The List: The definitive ranking of kitchen utensils
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.