June 26, 2017

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Tools & Techniques >Kitchen Tools

Kitchen Tools

Cooking is a practical art and all cooks are artisans, users of tools specific to executing a slice, a shard, a blend. The more you cook and gain familiarity with the tools, the easier it will become to isolate those tools that best help you express yourself in food. The following is a list of some of the newest and best items, with a couple of old can’t-do-withouts added.

Silicone Brushes

Among the newest and best finds for your kitchen are the basting and glazing brushes by Le Creuset. No more bristles sticking to egg wash on your baked goods or clinging to a pan when you brush the pan with melted butter. Made of silicone, the brushes are available in a variety of sizes from mini to big enough for basting barbeque; heatproof and stain-proof, they come in colors that blend with or jazz up your kitchen.

Spider

You need a spider beside you for transferring pasta to a waiting sauce; the spider retains just enough cooking liquid to thicken the sauce. You also need a spider to retrieve doughnuts, deep-fried fish, deep-fried anything for that matter, and even shallow-fried foods from hot oil. Spiders are available in several different materials: from the high-end super-sleek polished stainless steel long-handled model from Rösle to the simple coarse-wire “basket” with bamboo handle from Town Foodservice Equip.

Wire Whisk

Beat egg whites for a soufflé, smooth a béchamel, make a salad dressing and perfect every effort with a whisk of the right size: from mini to balloon. The choices are endless as are the grips from rubber to porcelain to stainless to wood, and most feature the latest twist: a silicone covering at the point where the whisk meets the handle. No more droplets of water splattering you when you remove the whisk from the dishwasher. From Cuisipro to OXO to KichenAid to LeCreuset, you’re sure to find the sizes and grips that suit you.

Spatula

Around for years and at a cost of less than five dollars, the Ekco icing spatula is a treasure. It’s the perfect size for frosting everything from a nine-inch layer cake to mini cupcakes. Whether you bake strictly from a mix or create your own genoise, the icing spatula and an offset spatula are necessities. For pancakes, omelets, and burgers, check out the latest in flexible spatulas. Many, like the Kuhn Rikon SoftEdge cook’s spatula, are treated with a silicone edge so they’re perfect for use with nonstick cookware. Calphalon nylon spatulas survive years of wear and don’t scratch pans. And for scraping the last bit of batter from a bowl, try the OXO small silicone spatula.

Grater

Which grater offers greater speed and ease? It’s a microplane grater/zester from Microplane. Available in sizes from fine to coarse to make small of items from nutmeg to parmesan, this handy tool is sharp as a tack, and takes up little storage space. But now let’s hear it for the old box grater, a marvel at grating cheese, shredding cabbage, and even zesting. The latest model from OXO is equipped with a box to hold shreds and shards. If it’s a rotary grater you fancy, several models are available from Cuisipro, OXO, and Zyliss.