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Baking trays, cake tins and high-end food processors are flying off the shelves in a phenomenon dubbed the "MasterChef effect".

Home cooking shows, in particular MasterChef and New Zealand's Hottest Home Baker, have generated a dramatic increase in home chefs and baking connoisseurs.

Owners of homeware stores said the popular programmes had encouraged New Zealanders to be more adventurous in their kitchens, and seek out specialist cooking equipment.

Millie's Kitchen manager Karen Michaud said her store regularly sold out of products which had been shown the night before on television.

"We get plenty of people coming and asking 'we saw this on MasterChef - do you have it?"'

"Most of it is for baking products - and quite technical things. People want to decorate their cakes ... like never before." While the trend towards home cooking had been particularly acute in the last year, since the shows began airing, Ms Michaud said it was a trend that had been slowly building for five years - perhaps due to difficult economic conditions.

"We don't think it's a fad. It just keeps going."

She said demand was especially high for specialised items such as tart tins and pizza lifters.

Stevens staff said they made sure the exact products shown on Friday night show MasterChef MasterClass were in store on Saturday morning.

Non-stick cookware from Circulon, which has featured on MasterChef, was one of the most in-demand products, staff said.

The newly-found enthusiasm from amateur chefs has also led to an increased demand for tuition. Millie's twice-daily baking classes, which fit up to 20 people, regularly sell out.

"Many people come into the stores with lots of questions."

Free-to-air TV shows around 150 hours of cooking shows a week. MasterChef New Zealand is the most watched, with around 400,000 viewers.