The List: The definitive ranking of kitchen utensils

Joel Oliphint

Consistently awesome indie-rock act Spoon, which visits the Newport Music Hall on Thursday, May 11, inspired us to create this indisputable, take-it-to-the-bank ranking of 13 kitchen utensils.

13. Spork

Instead of excelling at one thing, the spork tries to perform two functions at once and, like a texting driver, fails at both.

12. Melon baller

Cantaloupe is gross.

11. Salad fork

A useless redundancy.

10. Teflon cookware

The chemical coating flakes off easily, may or may not be a carcinogen and requires too many soft, rubber utensils. Opt for cast iron or porcelain enamel.

9. Chopsticks

Once you master chopsticks, they're fun to use and more practical than myopic Westerners might think. But the learning curve is a hurdle.

8. Cheese slicer

Pre-sliced cheese is expensive and less fresh, so don't be afraid to cut the cheese on your own. A sharp knife will do the trick in a pinch, but handheld slicers make it easier.

7. Microplane grater

Equally useful for zesting lemons and grating hard cheeses, the Microplane grater was originally a woodworking tool and is now an unsung hero of the kitchen. (Editor's note: it's also ideal for grating garlic on the quick.)

6. Rubber spatula

The wooden spoon leaves way too much brownie batter behind.

5. Immersion blender

Though it could be argued that the electricity required to operate this device puts it in the appliance category, it's also small, effective and relatively easy to wash, unlike unwieldy, standard blenders that seem to break constantly and require a 17-step dismantling process to clean.

4. Digital meat thermometer

An essential tool for ensuring your grilled chicken doesn't taste like rubber or give your family salmonella poisoning.

3. Spoon

Pairs well with cereal and soup and comes in handy for certain Soundgarden songs.

2. Chef's knife

If you spend the money on a good chef's knife and sharpener, there's really no need for that wooden block with knives of various sizes. One chef's knife and a bread knife should suffice. (OK, maybe a paring knife, too.)

1. Fork

It's soup's worst enemy but your best friend. You used one today and yesterday, and you'll use it tomorrow and the next day. It's arguably the reason we have opposable thumbs.