July 17, 2009, Newsletter Issue #175: Cooking Utensils: The Top Five Tools To Get The Job Done Right

Tip of the Week

Almost every cooking utensils set will include the items you need for everyday cooking. Stainless steel utensil sets are perfect for use on stainless steel and cast-iron iron cookware, whereas you’ll need a great silicone set to protect your hard-anodized aluminum or non-stick surfaces. Silicone as a utensil material stays flexible longer and will not discolor like traditional rubber styles do. They also have a hotter melting point than traditional rubber or plastic utensils. Wooden cooking utensils are also great for protecting surfaces and can even be made from all-natural olive wood. The only drawback to the wooden set is that they are not meant for the dishwasher as they will crack and split from the heat and exposure to harsh chemicals.

Here are the top five kitchen utensils every cook needs:

1. A spatula. This is used to turn over solid foods, like pancakes and hamburgers, in a pan, griddle or grill. A spatula is also used to transfer items from the pan to the plate.

2. A slotted spoon. An invaluable tool when removing food from boiling water, like poached eggs. These can be spoon-shaped or round. They can also be used for skimming off the surface of any cooked hot liquids.

3. A serving spoon: This is not a spoon for leaving in the pot as the handle will get hot. These are for serving from the pot to the plate in larger amounts than a regular tablespoon can handle.

4. A ladle: Indispensable for serving hot or cold sauces and gravies, soups and stews with ease.

5. A spaghetti fork: These toothy, large spoons are perfect for grabbing pasta noodles and transferring them from the pot/strainer/bowl to individual serving bowls.

Cast iron cooking utensils make great accents to country kitchens and complement cast iron cookware. And the same goes for antique cooking utensils including a mortar and pestle and baking pins that some cooks love to collect. For cooks who love to decorate with functional kitchen utensils, these are a fantastic gift idea!

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