Favorite Family Kitchen Tools Series: Shears & Microplanes

September 29, 2009


I recently posted a call to organize our kitchens together, and going through our kitchen gadgetry seems the perfect place to start. After all, the family cook’s kitchen may churn out food just as good as any other cook, but we work differently. With little time. With tots nipping at our heels. With the need to whip up one meal that can satisfy the ChowMama and ChowPapa while still accommodating ChowBabies at different eating stages.

With that in mind, the criteria I use to measure my kitchen gadgets are:

  • Easy to reach: I can’t be bothered grabbing a step stool or unpacking a cabinet to get something in the way back
  • Easy to clean: I can’t be bothered cleaning up a million separate pieces, especially by hand
  • Cut down cooking or prep time: flourishes are nice when I decide—and arrange—to take the time but, otherwise, it’s all about saving time

Two tools that best meet these criteria are my kitchen shears and microplane.

I’m not the only one who loves these practical gadgets; two readers reported that these are their faves. Here’s the low down on why you either need to get your hands on these or dust off the ones you own. You won’t be sorry.

Kitchen Shears
These are useful for everything from taking apart a chicken to making bite size pieces of, well, anything! Often times faster than using a knife (and dirtying a cutting board), kitchen shears make cutting everything from soft veggies to a sandwich quicker and easier. They come in a wide price range, starting as low as $5.00.

Microplanes
Ditch the box grater! These powerful tools make perfect zest and grate everything from cheese to nutmeg to veggies. They come in several sizes. I like the thin zest grater (for zest, cheese, spices, ginger) AND wider coarse grater (also for cheese and vegetables). Here are just a few recipes made easier with microplanes:

Have other uses for these? Please share! And more favorite family kitchen tools coming soon…

One Response

  1. […] leave it there, but this time I felt compelled to say more. The thing is, I have food shears, and it’s no secret that they are my all-time favorite kitchen tool. I use them for everything from deboning a chicken […]

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