(Listed in alphabetical order.)
Baster | Butter Curler | Butter Mould | Cake Comb | Can/Tin Opener | Carafe | Cheese Wire | Chopping Board / Cutting Board | Chopsticks | Citrus Stripper | Citrus Zester | Colander | Cookie Cutter | Cookie Mould | Cookie Press/Cookie Gun | Cookie Stamp | Cooks Measure | Cooling Rack | Corer | Corkscrew | Decanter | Dough Scraper | Duck Press | Egg Piercer | Egg Ring | Egg Scissors | Egg Slicer | Egg Timer
A clear, heat-resistant plastic tube with a flexible bulb on top which can suction up hot pan liquids. Pressing on the bulb creates a vacuum to suck up the liquids for removing them from the dish or to moisten meat with while cooking. Some come with measurements along the tube and a nylon cleaning brush.
A small 6- to 7-inch long utensil with a hook at the end with one edge serrated used to make curled butter garnishes. Create curls by drawing the hook end down the length of a stick of butter. To set their shape, drop into ice water or start with chilled butter and dip the curler into warm water before dragging it on the butter. All have the same single piece construction with no moving parts so choose the cheapest or personal preference.
Decorative moulds in ceramic, metal, wood or plastic, used to shape butter. Moulds come in a variety of shapes and sizes – from individual to family size. Softened butter is pressed into moulds, levelled off and chilled. Once solidified, the butter is removed and refrigerated until ready to use.
A one-dimensional, triangle-shaped tool usually with 4-inch sides made of stainless steel. Each of the 3 edges has different sized serrations to impart a variety of designs in cake frosting decorations. Be sure to spread a thick layer of icing over the cake as the comb will remove a lot of the icing.
A tool with two sharp, round disks into which a can/tin edge is placed and the handles are firmly pressed together. Turning the knob moves the disks around the can until it reaches the beginning and the top of the tin can be removed. Traditional designs remove only the top of the inner lip. Other models remove the entire top of the can including the rim. Electric openers are also available.
A glass or metal, decorative bottle often with a flared lip and usually with a fitted stopper used for serving cold beverages such as water or wine. A carafe can also refer to a glass pot with a pouring spout used in making coffee.
A long, thin wire with wooden handles at each end, used to cut large rounds or wedges of cheese. Smaller handheld versions of these are also available for cutting individual slices.
A board upon which food such as meat and vegetables are cut on top of. Boards can be plastic/acrylic, wooden or even flexible polyurethane mats.
In general wooden ones are more expensive but last longer. A groove cut into a board will collect juices from meat or fruit. Research* proves wooden boards are so inhospitable to bacterial contaminants, such as from poultry juices, that bacteria is easily eliminated from wooden surfaces and inside boards within minutes whereas bacteria multiplies rapidly at room temperature on plastic boards especially in knife cut marks even after washing.
*Study done by two University of Wisconsin microbiologists. Futher research shows boards made of White Ash only show mild signs of inhibiting bacterial growth and ones made from Maple or other popular types showed no inhibitive properties.
Ideally have at least two boards one for vegetables and another for meats. For optimal kitchen safety, restaurants and commercial kitchens have a color coding system for each type of food.
Clean either types with hot water and detergent after each use. Plastic ones may be cleaned in the dishwasher. To clean a wooden work surface with household ingredients, sprinkle a large handful of fine or coarse salt onto the wood and scrub it with the cut side of a lemon half. You could use vinegar and a plastic scrubber if a lemon is not available. The salt sours the wood and the lemon dissolves the grease.
Professionals keep boards from moving by placing a damp towel underneath plastic and wood boards. A moist cloth towel works best but damp, thick-ply paper towels can also work.
Thin, tapered eating utensils originating from Asia available in a variety of materials such as wood, bamboo and plastic generally from 10 to 12 inches long. Types:
- Cooking and serving chopsticks can be up to 20 inches long and also called o-hashi.
- Children’s chopsticks can be as short as 5 inches.
- Japanese chopsticks are also called hashi and pointed at the eating end.
- Chinese chopsticks are blunt at both ends.
To use, the lower chopstick rests on the base inbetween thumb and index finger and is held between middle and ring finger. The top chopstick is held in place with the thumb against the base of the index finger. Keeping the bottom one stationary, the upper stick pivots up and down in a pincer-like motion by releasing and applying downward pressure with your index finger. Tips should be even throughout use.
A tool with a stainless-steel notched edge used to cut ¼-inch wide strips of rind from fruits and vegetables, in particular citrus fruits. Commonly used to make lemon or lime strips for drinks or as a garnish. Short strips created when pulled from top to bottom. Long strips made by pulling in a long spiral around fruit. Avoid pressing too hard that you cut into the bitter white pith. Can, also, be used to cut decorative designs in vegetables such as cucumbers or zucchini.
A tool with five, tiny holes in the stainless steel end. When pulled across the surface of citrus fruits threadlike strips of zest (the outer coloured portion of the peel) are created leaving behind the white bitter pith.
A perforated bowl-shaped container in metal, plastic or ceramic used to drain liquid away from solids such as pasta and vegetables.
A decorative, metal or plastic mould usually only an outline used to cut shapes out of flat, rolled-out dough. Dipping in flour or granulated sugar before depressed in the dough will prevent it from sticking especially to soft dough. Purchase individually or in sets.
A rolling cookie cutter has raised outlines on a cylindrical tube which is rolled over the dough by using an attached handle. The resulting pattern results in differently shaped cookies with minimal dough wastage.
A decorative mould often made of wood in a variety of shapes and sizes. Cookie dough is pressed into a floured mould, levelled with a knife then inverted onto a baking sheet.
A barrel or hollow tube through which cookie dough is forced out an interchangeable decorative disk and nozzle at one end, by a plunger when trigger or lever is pushed, forming perfectly shaped professional pressed cookies.
A decorative, round or square mould often made of glass, ceramic or wood in a variety of designs. Dust stamp with flour to minimize sticking and depress onto a cookie dough ball (generally walnut size works well) to imprints it with a decorative motif and flatten it to the desired thickness. Food colouring may be used to tint dough and accent designs.
A funnel shaped container marked on the inside with the volume equivalent to various weights of dry ingredients such as flour, sugar, rice, raisins, icing sugar, rolled oats, cocoa, and others.
A round, square or rectangular wire stand in various sizes with short legs used to raise baked goods so air can surround food on all sides. The improved air circulation cools baked goods quicker and prevents moisture build-up on the bottom which can cause them to become soggy. Wires should be relatively close together and strong to hold goods without sagging.
A tool in various shapes usually in stainless steel used to remove the core or centre of fruits and vegetables. Types:
- All-purpose: A medium length, open cylinder with a ring of teeth at the base to cut through fruit such as apples and pears, and pull out the centre stems and seeds.
- Zucchini corer: A long 5 to 6 inch, trough-shaped blade with a pointed end used to create a hollow centre in zucchini for stuffing. To use, insert, rotate and remove the centre pulp and seeds taking care not to pierce the skin.
- Pineapple corer: A long cylindrical tool with a handle at one end and a ring with a serrated edge at the other used to remove the centre core from a pineapple. Some have two cutting rings at the base to corer as well as create spiral rings leaving an empty outer shell ideal for a decorative drink or dessert cup. If unavailable, try coring individual rings with a small, round cookie cutter.
- Tomato corer: A small, round, stainless-steel, head that removes a tomato’s stem and top core with a quick turn of the wrist. It is also useful to scoop away the seeds.
A tool to remove corks from bottles ranging from simple models with a spiral which is screwed into the cork and pulled out with the handle, to models with a foil cutter and crank to extract a cork in one up and down motion.
Traditionally a glass, narrow-necked container with an expanded lip designed to easily hold and leave the sediment behind when pouring wine. The term now includes bottles with stoppers and lips used to store liqueur and other spirits.
A flexible metal blade utensil with a wood or easy grip handle essential for prying sticky dough from work surfaces. It can also be used to divide dough and to scrape chopped vegetables from a chopping board – saving your knife blade additional wear and tear.
Often a silver or brass plated device with a wheel on top of a press plate used to extract the juices from a carcass such as cooked duck. Pressed duck is a French specialty in which the breast and legs are removed from a roasted duck before the remainder is compressed in a duck press to extract all the juices. The extracted juice is mixed with other ingredients to produce a flavourful sauce that is served over the sliced breast and crispy legs.
A sharp, needle-like pin set into a base which safely pokes a tiny hole in the base of an uncooked eggshell. When air expands during boiling, this pinhole allows air to gradually escape thus preventing cracking.
A circular, stainless steel or silicon ring generally with a handle, placed directly on a hot surface which keeps the egg from spreading and maintain a perfectly round shape while cooking. Eggs can be poached or fried. To use break an egg into the ring and remove the ring just prior to turning or when done.
A scissor-like handle tool with a circular ring that fits over the top of an egg and on the other side a blade that cuts the top third off a soft-cooked egg.
A hinged cutter that raises and lowers the fine steel cutting wires over the base to produce even slices in seconds. Hard boiled eggs, mushrooms and even some cheeses will rest securely in the cradled base before being sliced. Look for ones with a sturdy base and wires.
Traditionally an hourglass timer for soft-boiled eggs but more recently an egg shaped timer placed in the pan with the eggs. Internal sensors react to heat the same way an egg does automatically adjusting for the amount of water, number of eggs and altitude. The face indicates soft, medium and hard as well as the stages inbetween.