HOT stuff! Here is a mouthwatering quiz to satisfy the home chef in you!
When creating masterpieces in the kitchen, there is no shortage of tools and gadgets to help you get the job done. Like, who knew there were so many different types of knives? From shucking oysters to dicing herbs - there seems to be a knife for every culinary task.
Take that crescent-shaped knife, for example. Do you know what that one is used for? Better yet, do you know what it is called? We put it in the quiz, so jump right in and take a swing at it!
There is nothing quite like digging into a soft-boiled egg - perhaps with some perfectly browned toast fingers (a.k.a. soldiers). Getting the top off the egg can be a challenge, however, unless you have one of those handy little gadgets specially designed for it. Can you tell what tool we are thinking of? Take the quiz, and let's see if you are right!
Do you think you have got the mad skills required to whip up just about anything in the kitchen? If you do, then you can probably identify every single one of these kitchen tools and gadgets. Take a crack at the quiz and see how you do!
The first impression most people have of the flat whisk is that it looks just like the common balloon whisk – but flattened. The design of this whisk makes it the ideal tool for mixing pan sauces and for making roux. In fact, it is often referred to as the roux whisk.
There are basically two types of ladle: the small sauce ladle and the larger soup ladle. Regardless of size, the best ladles have a handle set at 90 degrees to a spherical bowl. One ladle variation is the slotted ladle, which is used for retrieving foods (like hard-boiled eggs) from the liquid they are cooked in or stored in.
The potato masher often gets blamed for leaving lumps in mashed potatoes, so many people prefer to reach for a potato ricer instead. Truth is, it’s all in the technique. By using a press-and-twist motion, together with ensuring you get to all corners of the bowl, you should see your potato masher producing heavenly clouds of fluffy potatoes every time!
When a recipe calls for more than a quarter cup of citrus juice, it is advisable for you to reach for a citrus press instead of squeezing the fruit by hand. The citrus press comes in handheld and countertop versions, as well as in various sizes, with the smallest ones specifically designed for limes.
This combination spoon and sieve is the ideal tool for removing food from hot oil and boiling liquids. They vary in size but typically have a long handle made of either wood or metal, to keep the chef's hands away from the heat.
Both pesto and hummus were traditionally made with a mortar and pestle. Most chefs will agree that this is still the best method for making the two dishes, as it produces superior taste and texture.
The wok is associated with the preparation of Chinese-style foods, such as stir-fries, but it is versatile enough to be used for a myriad of other dishes. For instance, the wok can be used for deep frying, making popcorn, steaming vegetables, mixing batters and keeping tortillas warm.
The salad spinner is very handy for washing and removing excess water from all kinds of greens, as well as rinsing grit from vegetables such as broccoli and leeks. Many seasoned cooks know that it can serve the same functions for pasta, beans and berries, as well.
A turntable (or rotating) cake stand is by no means a necessity in every kitchen. For those who enjoy baking and decorating cakes, however, the turntable cake stand can be a very convenient tool. The best ones are heavy and sturdy, preferably made of metal, and completely flat on top.
The mandoline is the trick chefs have up their sleeves when they prepare enviably thin, perfectly sliced vegetables. Its razor-sharp blade is adjustable so you can vary the thickness of the slices, but you can be sure of getting perfect, even slices every time.
Slicing the top off a soft-boiled egg can be a messy job (and dangerous for your fingers). Egg scissors, however, do the job easily, quickly and cleanly. Other names and variations of this handy device include the egg cutter and the egg topper.
Bamboo steamers are typically stackable, allowing you to steam several foods at once while keeping them separate. It is advisable to line the steamer with parchment paper or with lettuce or cabbage leaves, to prevent food from sticking to the bamboo.
Vegetable peelers make short work of peeling vegetables and fruits, without digging deep into and wasting the flesh underneath. Their designs include the straight peeler, the Y-peeler and the swivel peeler. Vegetable peelers are also good for shaving cheese and making thin slices of onion.
The microplane zester is a type of grater designed to efficiently remove the outer, flavorful skin of citrus fruits, called zest, without getting at the bitter pith underneath. Experienced chefs put the zester to other uses also, such as grating ginger and nutmeg.
Many people who own a stand mixer only use it for preparing cake batter. Seasoned cooks know, however, that they can rely on the stand mixer for combining meatball ingredients, whipping up pizza dough and even whisking a batch of eggs.
Apart from chopping straight through the bones in meat, the cleaver can be used to smash garlic and tenderize meat before cooking. It is usually recognizable by its large, broad blade, but there is a version of the cleaver made with a much narrower blade.
This tool is also called a urokotori (Japanese for scale remover). It is raked over the fish from tail to head to remove scales. Most cooks prefer using the urokotori instead of a knife, since it is gentler on the skin and flesh of the fish.
Silicone baking mats take on most of the jobs cooks would normally trust to parchment paper. They are reusable and work very well as cookie sheet liners when baking up batches of cookies.
The laser or infrared thermometer is a type of noncontact thermometer. You simply point it at whatever you want to know the temperature of and pull the trigger. It is definitely less messy than other types of thermometers, and you run no risk of getting burned by a hot oven, food or pots.
The inner cooking pot of a slow cooker is usually made of porcelain or ceramic, while the outer container is generally made from metal. It is not uncommon, however, to see slow cookers with both vessels made from metal. Oval-shaped slow cookers are preferred over the round ones when cooking whole birds or large cuts of meat.
The short, stout blade of the oyster knife makes it ideal for opening (shucking) oysters. The handle on most oyster knives is pear-shaped so that it fits better in your hand and makes shucking easier.
Two of the first things you notice when handling a Dutch oven are that it is thick and it is heavy. Dutch ovens are ideal for long-interval cooking and are often used for making braises and stews.
The mezzaluna is traditionally used for chopping up herbs and garlic. Its large blade, half-moon shape and double handle can make it somewhat intimidating for first-time users. Mastering the technique of using the mezzaluna is not difficult, however, and most people are comfortable using it after just a few short tries.
Apart from making perfectly shaped melon balls to add to a fruit salad, the melon baller can be put to work making balls of many other firm fruits. It can also make cheese balls and be used as a seed scraper to remove unwanted seeds from gourds, such as squashes.
A cake tester is one of the most basic cooking tools ever invented – a piece of stainless steel wire with a handle attached. Regardless of the “cake” in its name, this simple implement can also be used to test the doneness of all sorts of meats and vegetables.
Modern cast iron cookware typically comes pre-seasoned with a thin oil-like layer which helps it to behave more like a non-stick pan. This tough layer should not be washed away with soap. You can help to maintain the seasoning by using your cast irons pots regularly for searing, frying and baking.
Cookie scoops are essentially ice-cream scoops used for measuring and turning out cookie batter onto a baking sheet. They help to ensure that all your cookies are made with the right amount of batter.
After preparing delicate morsels of food, having to pick them up and transfer them to a plate can be nerve-racking. That’s where a pair of offset tweezers comes in! The bent and pointed ends, along with the skilled hands of the chef, ensure that fanciful (and flavorful) creations remain intact when plating a meal.
Pastry blenders are traditionally made with a wooden handle and thick wires for cutting fat into flour and other dry ingredients. Modern versions have handles of wood, plastic or metal, and some replace the wires with metal blades.
Grill pans help you to get the taste and look of an outdoor barbecue from indoor cooking. The pans vary in size, with some designed for use on one burner, others made to fit over two. They also come in round, square and rectangular versions and can be made from a variety of materials, including cast iron, enameled cast iron, stainless steel and copper.
Good advice when buying a colander is to choose one with feet. These will keep the colander's base at least an inch above the sink and allow for better draining. Also, consider getting a metal one. There will be no danger of the metal one melting when used with hot liquids, such as when draining pasta.
A really good pair of tongs should feel like an extension of your arm. They can help you to safely move food around in a pot or to grip, pick up and transfer food to another vessel. Some have a locking mechanism to reduce the risk of dropping food as you move with it.
Corkscrews perform a simple task – opening a bottle of wine. With the wrong corkscrew, however, that can quickly become a very frustrating task. To make the job stress free, look for a corkscrew which fits comfortably in your hand and requires the least amount of rotations to bore snugly into the cork. As a bonus, go for one which incorporates a foil cutter into its design.
If you are ever in a situation where you are dealing with a dull knife and there happens to be no knife sharpener in sight, take a look around for a ceramic mug or plate. Flip it over and use the harder-than-metal unglazed edge to temporarily sharpen your knife.
The immersion blender goes by many names, including hand blender, stick blender and wand. It was originally called a “Bamix” by its Swiss inventor. Of all the immersion blender brands which are currently on the market, the Bamix brand is still very popular in commercial kitchens.
Chefs will attest to the fact that freshly ground pepper is far superior in flavor to the pre-ground type. A good pepper mill will produce consistent results, whether you need fine or coarse ground pepper. It will also fit comfortably in your grasp and not require too much cranking to get the volume and texture of grinds you need.
The knuckle pounder meat tenderizer is made to look very much like brass knuckles. This small tool can be used to beat, pound and pierce meat all over so that it will cook quickly and evenly.
The cake leveler is one of many cake-sculpting tools used by cake makers. It helps you to get a nice flat top on a cake so that layers will rest securely, one on top of the other. Even if you are not creating a layered cake, a flat top is much easier to decorate and more presentable than a domed one.
There are a couple of methods you can try if don’t have an egg separator and must separate an egg (yolk from white). One is the egg shell technique, which requires some degree of skill, or you can just roll up your sleeve, loosely cradle the yolk in your hand, and let the white drain through your fingers.