10 fantastic kitchen utensils you’ve probably never heard of
Utensils can be anything from spoons and plates to whisks, graters, and more. These items are used in many different ways for cooking and preparing food. However, these 10 examples might surprise you! So let’s explore the world of non-traditional utensils that you never knew existed!
The Fork Spatula
This is a combination of two kitchen tools that have been around since the early 1900s. It has a long handle like a regular spatula but features tines at one end like a fork. The fork spatula is designed for flipping pancakes or turning an omelet over without breaking it up too much; however, if you want to have your eggs cooked evenly throughout for a more consistent texture, then the side of your saute pan might be a better option.
The fork spatula can also be used to cut the browned bits off your meats or vegetables on a pan. It’s good for scraping up browned bits and tossing them into soups, gravies, or sauces. Also, when you are deglazing a pan with wine, it works very well as a makeshift whisk that helps mix in flour while cooking roux-based foods like stews and gumbo. It is also quite useful for mixing together ingredients from wet measuring cups before adding dry measurements and combining them in the food processor. A regular spatula may not reach exactly where one needs it; however, this tool can help blend things succinctly without leaving too many lumps–or at least reduce the number of lumps to a bare minimum. It can also help scrape and clean up the ingredients off of one’s cookie sheet or baking pan when it comes time to wash dishes, which is a rather nifty feature.
It may be easier to use a knife or pastry cutter when cutting vegetables so that you don’t have to peel them with an additional gadget; however, this tool has other uses aside from just cooking in the kitchen, such as helping mix together dry ingredients for batters and doughs. You can use it as you would do with any large fork: Place the prongs underneath your meaty morsels before mixing them around lightly in order to flip them over in a pan without too much mashing involved. Likewise, it’s useful for fluffing up batter for cakes before you place it in the oven.
The underside of this tool is also very useful for placing under a heavy lid on a pan so that your fingers don’t get burned by steam or hot air while cooking; and if one has limited hand activity due to injuries, arthritis, or other environmental conditions, then this kitchen utensil can be quite handy.
The Potato Ricer
This tool is used to press cooked potatoes through small holes, resulting in mashed potato that’s smoother and creamier than if it was passed through a masher or mixer. It’s not just useful for making mash either; you can also use it with cauliflower or other vegetables for fluffy rice.
If you have a boiled potato ready to mash, simply cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the inside. Place your chopped potato into the ricer’s hopper and squeeze the handles together to force it through the holes. You won’t get quite as much fluffy mash as if you used an electric mixer or masher, but that’s because air is trapped within the potatoes and leeks instead of being whipped up into them like in a mixer or food processor. This method also feels healthier since there are fewer blades involved in the process. And when using cauliflower or other vegetables to create white rice-style fluffiness, squeezing individual grains rather than forcing everything through small holes results in a chewier, more al dente texture.
You can purchase a potato ricer from department stores and even some kitchen supply shops. Alternatively, you can make your own out of a sturdy bottle such as an empty wine or champagne bottle! First, simply cut the top off the bottle, and if necessary, trim it down with scissors so that it’s flat enough to fit into your pot or sink when held horizontally. Next, remove the cap from the other end of the bottle and insert its neck into the opening in the bottleneck; using pliers will help you get a tight fit. While squeezing, place something heavy atop this assembly (a pan full of water works well). Then press down on the handles of the bottle with your hands until it forces the potato through. !
For a basic ricer that doesn’t have additional uses, you can make one out of plastic from an old yogurt container or other containers that are stackable and empty; just cut off the top of the container using scissors, trimming any parts that jut out too far to fit in another container below it. This method may not be as sturdy as a metal tool, but you’ll still get the job done! If you use this version, be sure to squeeze lightly so as to avoid squashing and smashing your potatoes rather than merely mashing them.
The Skimmer Ladle
A skimmer ladle looks like a regular slotted spoon, and its function is similar; however, it has a deep bowl on one end so that when you skim items off of the top of the liquid (such as hot stock), you don’t lose any of the liquid when you take it out. The skimmer ladle is usually professional kitchenware but might be worth investing in if you do a lot of cooking and boiling. A regular slotted spoon is a great tool for cooking, but if you’re going to be taking hot stock off of the top of a liquid, it’s good to use a skimmer ladle.
The skimmer ladle has a deep bowl that catches all of the stock and prevents you from having to constantly dip back in for more.
For boiling things like pasta or vegetables, it can never hurt to have some extra tools on hand in case something goes wrong. First, of course, a regular slotted spoon is important – these are some of those kitchen utensils that don’t have an exact replacement (there’s nothing exactly the same as them) because they perform many functions while only looking like one tool!
Skimmer ladles aren’t exactly cheap, but if you’re going to be doing lots of cooking, it’s definitely a worthwhile investment. If you want to go ahead and buy one, here are some places that sell them; otherwise, try out your regular slotted spoon for skimming and see if it gets the job done well enough.
This utensil is exactly what it sounds like – a spoon with an extra-wide scoop-shaped blade, which makes it easier to serve soup or stew without spilling. It’s also great for ice cream scooping and can make light work of milkshakes! In addition, it’s easier to clean than a ladle, and it’s sturdier. Apparently, in the U.S., this utensil is referred to as a “Spatula Spoon” or simply a spoonula. In Australia, they’re called Spoodles (which we think has an even better ring to it!).
There are two types of spoonulas: stainless steel and silicone. The stainless steel version has some durability advantages over the plastic-coated or silicon kind; however, because metal can scratch non-stick surfaces, you’ll want to avoid using them on non-stick cookware – either of these would work equally well for stirring things like soups or sauces on your regular pots and pans though! You should also avoid using your spoonula on non-stick bakeware because the plastic coating may chip away.
The silicon version is meant to be used exactly as it would be with a regular utensil. It’s heat resistant to 600 degrees F; so they can go right in the oven (no more burning yourself trying to get cookie dough off that spoon!). These can also withstand temperatures of -40F and up to 450 degrees F in boiling water, making them ideal for melting butter or chocolate over a double boiler. They’re dishwasher safe and are available at kitchen stores like Bed Bath & Beyond or Target, but you probably won’t find them at Walmart or K-Mart. For stainless steel versions, try Amazon.com!
The Grater Scraper
This one isn’t so much a kitchen utensil as a handy household tool. A grater scraper is used to scrape food off of surfaces such as non-stick pans after they’ve been cooked in or to scrape off excess dough from the countertop during baking. It can also be used as a regular serving spoon and is much better than using your hands! Check out the GRS set at Amazon.
The Grater Scraper is one of those kitchen items that you don’t realize how useful they are until you try it, and then you wonder how you’ve lived without it for so long!
The grater scraper isn’t your typical utensil; it is like a stick with two ends. One end has a flat surface and can be used like any other spatula, while the other end has little teeth all over it-kind of like a cheese grater. You use this to scrape food off of pans or scales by simply going in one direction (rather than horizontally, like blades). This ensures that unsightly stuck-on pieces do not remain on your pan or countertop.
The grater scraper also makes for a very handy tool when measuring flour, baking mixes, and other dry goods for a recipe (especially if you’re a bit messy). The flat end can be dragged across the dough to level it off just right.
Another great use for this utensil is in scraping the excess dough from counters during baking. If you’ve ever kneaded (or tried to knead) bread by hand, then you know how frustrating it can get. You keep pushing the dough together, and more of it sticks out at the end rather than going back into the ball! But with the grater scraper, all those annoying little bits of bread that stick onto that surface like a magnet!
And you can just scrape it off right into the trash (or compost bin for all those environmentally-conscious readers!). Another option is to run the grater scraper over your hands. Those little bits of dough will stick to your gloved hand as well, helping make clean up easier if you’re making cookies or something like that.
The Grater Slotted Spoon
A grater slotted spoon looks similar to a flat-headed (also known as a spatula) ladle. It has holes in its bowl edge so that food like potatoes can be scooped out without having to waste any of it – perfect for mashed potato lovers! In addition, the design makes it harder for food to get stuck between the slats. A slotted spoon doesn’t have the deep bowl of a ladle, but if more liquid is required, then it can be used to skim fat from the surface. The holes in the bowl are also useful for draining pasta or tossing vegetables with butter and herbs without making a mess.
A grater slotted spoon has many uses – aside from serving potatoes, it’s great for:
Scooping meat off bones: this helps keep all the juices inside when making stews or gravy
Filling stock pots: stock must be poured into a pot evenly, which is easier if your spoon has slots so that nothing runs over the edge.
Using as a strainer: pour boiling water on fruit to make jam, fish stock, or broth – the holes will catch pieces of fruit and vegetables so that they can be removed before cooking.
The slotted spoon is shaped like a flat-headed ladle, with a deep bowl for scooping ingredients. This makes it ideal for serving large portions of hot soup, cereal, rice pudding, etc., at the table, without any mess in the kitchen afterward! It also has long handles which allow you to cook without getting too close to heat sources such as open flames (in case you were wondering!).
The grater slotted spoon is made from stainless steel and measures 20cm/8″ across approx; it’s dishwasher safe.
A cake spatula is very similar to a skimmer spoon but with a wider bowl edge. It can have straight or curved edges and is often used in professional kitchens when turning flapjacks or other flat batters over; this helps to avoid breaking them up too much during flipping. They are also used when pouring liquids into a pan to make sure the batter or liquid doesn’t spill over the side. Cake spatulas have many uses in home kitchens, including using them as serving utensils for cutting and portioning cakes or cookies that have been baked on a baking sheet but be careful not to cut through the bottom of the cake.
Cake spatulas are also used in restaurants to transfer cakes from a pan directly to the oven without any burnt residue sticking to the spatula and then falling onto the cake during baking, which creates an undesirable taste in the finished product. Cake spoons are created with a thicker handle than their skimmer cousins, but both still allow for a very thin edge to be used when reaching into a hot pan.
Cake spatulas will always have a rounded edge which can come to a wide variety of widths. Some are designed with stainless steel blades and wooden handles, while others offer plastic or silicone-coated materials. For the perfect cake dish every time, use the appropriate cake spatula when cutting into, serving, or transferring the baked product.
Cake Serving Spatulas Are Used for More Than Just Cake
Where most people think that a cake spatula is just used to cut and serve cakes, there are several other things you can do with them. A good example would be that if you make a lot of casseroles or deep-dish pies, you can use a cake spatula to serve them in. Other people like using them for serving brownies, cookies, and bars as well.
The Melon Baller
If you’ve ever eaten at a fancy restaurant, then you’ll have probably seen some amazing-looking fruit platters on display which come all perfectly shaped into balls, just like melons! This is where melon ballers come in handy; they are used for cutting round sections out of hard fruits like pineapple and watermelon so that they can be arranged into a perfect ball. It’s great for garnishing dishes as well!
There are a number of melon ballers in the market ranging from those made of stainless steel, which can cut through tough fruit, to fun plastic ones, which look really funny! But, do you know what a melon baller is?
How To Use A Melon Baller
To use a melon baller, all you have to do is to cut out the middle of your fruit and scoop up all the insides with it. To do this, first, hold onto the melon baller firmly, then run it all around the outer edge of your fruit, creating a groove as you go along. Finally, grab a spoon and scoop out all that juicy stuff!
When You Should Use A MelonBaller
Use a melon baller if you want to cut something round and spherical out of your fruit, like pineapple or watermelon! Melon ballers are also useful for garnishing dishes so that they look more appealing to the eye. They can even be used as ice cream scoops. It’s easy to use too- it just takes practice and a steady hand!
What Is A Melon Baller Used for?
A melon baller is used to cut out round pieces of fruit. You can also use it to scoop up bite-sized chunks of fruit as well. It’s easy to run the tool around the edges of the fruit, creating a groove that you can then scoop up with a spoon!
Melon Baller Variations
There are a few different types of melon ballers in the market. The stainless steel ones can cut through tough fruit like watermelons, pineapples, or even ice if you want to make them into balls! They are very easy to use- just run it all around the edge of your fruit and scoop up the juicy pieces! There are also plastic melon ballers that can make garnishing food such as fruit platters easy. They even come in all shapes and sizes, making them really fun to use!
How To Clean A Melon Baller
Melon ballers are generally made from stainless steel or plastic. They can even be made of silicone! Ensure to wash them thoroughly after each use to stay clean and prevent any food from getting stuck in between the blades. You can soak them in warm water with some soap if you’re cleaning it out or run it under the tap with a regular dishwashing liquid to remove debris. Let it dry before you put it away so that it doesn’t rust.
The Ladle Spatula
Another non-traditional kitchen utensil that looks similar to the regular slotted spoon, except it has spoons on both ends! The ladle spatula is pretty useless when it comes to serving food; its purpose instead is in cooking. Its first end has a deep bowl that holds a lot of liquid so that it can be evenly distributed into smaller pots or frying pans. It’s a very useful tool to have in the kitchen for baking or boiling large amounts of food for serving.
Whitney Webb states, “The Ladle Spatula has a long handle that can reach deep into pots and pans.” This utensil is used to mix thick foods (like cake batter) or cook small amounts of thin food (like frying an egg). In addition, it can be used for lifting or transferring baked goods to another container. The ladle spatula is also good for cooking large amounts of food because it lets you transfer a lot of batter without spilling. For example, if you are making pancakes and need to separate out the extra flour in the mixing bowl, this utensil is great for this.
This one might seem like overkill if you’re not big on pitting cherries – however, if you regularly make cherry pies, then this little device will save you tons of time and effort. It’s a simple handheld contraption that holds the cherry in place and allows you to push the stone out without having to sacrifice any of the flesh itself. Each cherry is pitted in just seconds.
This gadget comes in two parts: a plastic clamp and the metal ‘finger,’ which goes inside the fruit and pushes out the stone. The stoner part of it can also be used by itself with any other kind of soft fruit (if you don’t mind losing a bit of it – but I’m sure most of us won’t mind that). The small metal prongs are designed to separate the stone from the flesh while not piercing any skin.
The only difference between this and a cherry stoner is that it doesn’t hold the fruit still, which means you need more arm strength. Cherry pitters have two main parts; a bowl into which the cherries are placed and then a plunger-like mechanism that forces the stone out as pressure is applied. This type of cherry pitter is great if you’re making lots of pies at once! When cherries are pitted, they can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 months!
If you have any other interesting kitchen utensils that we have missed out on, let us know in the comments below.