Having the proper tools available when cooking or baking can help to ensure that the recipe turns out as it was meant to. There may be many variations of each tool available as well as many combination tools that can perform a number of functions. Cooking tools may be professional quality or geared toward the light cook who only needs them on occasion.
A spatula is a somewhat flexible, slightly tapered, flat-sided cooking utensil with a handle that is used to spread food products across a surface. One bottom corner of the spatula may be curved while the other is square. It may also be used to scrape bowls or mix batters. Spatulas may be made of rubber, silicone or metal and come in a variety of sizes.
Peelers typically consist of a plastic handle and a concave, pointed blade with two long, sharp openings running parallel to one another on the inside of the blade. A peeler can remove the skin from vegetables or fruits, or the pointed tip can be used to core out bad parts of vegetables.
A zester is used to remove small, thin strips of peel from fruit without removing any of the rind. A zester consists of a plastic or rubberized handle with a blade that contains a series of small, blade-like holes that when run along the fruit peel removes thin strips of zest. A zester may also have an additional, bigger hole for removing larger strips of zest.
A grater is a metal device with multiple sharp holes that is used to shred vegetables, cheeses and other foods when they are rubbed against it. The size of the holes may vary between brands and models. Some graters are single sided and hand-held, while others are four sided, stand on their own and have a variety of hole-size options.
This kitchen tool is usually made of steel but may also be made of silicone. It consists of multiple pieces of wire that are either curved or coiled and connected with a handle. A whisk uses short, quick strokes to mix, break up chunks in, or aerate liquid.
A rolling pin is a solid, hard cylinder, usually between 10 and 18 inches in length and 2 to 3 inches in diameter that rotates freely around a shaft that is attached to handles on either end. The rolling pin is used to flatten, thin and smooth dough, pastry and other items by pressing and rolling it along the food's surface.
Measuring Cups and Spoons
Measuring cups and spoons measure units such as teaspoons, tablespoons and cups as well as fractions of each of these. Measuring cups may be designed to measure both dry ingredients and liquids, or they may be specifically designed for one or the other.