Would you like to know one of my least favorite things? It’s when you have to hunt for a wooden spoon or spatula in a too-full drawer. You usually end up grabbing the wrong thing once or twice before finding what you’re looking for. And, inevitably, that drawer eventually gets jammed, making things all the more frustrating. Which is why I love my utensil crock.
It sits to the right of my stove, holding all of my favorite kitchen helpers for easy grabbing. It keeps me organized, which I can, um, always use more of. Here are the kitchen tools that are always in my utensil crock, ready to lend a hand from dinner to dessert.
Sign up for the Notes from the Test Kitchen newsletter
Our favorite tips and recipes, enjoyed by 2 million+ subscribers!
I have three spatulas in my utensil holder. I love a larger silicone spatula for everything from mixing cake batter to scrambling eggs. A skinny jar spatula is great at reaching those last bits of jam or tahini out of their jars or for mixing dips. And a spoonula (spatula-spoon) is perfect for scraping and stirring—it’s sturdy enough to get fond off the bottom of a skillet and doesn’t have any nooks or crannies for food to get caught in.
While I do own and like our favorite 12-inch tongs, the smaller 9-inch version with silicone heads is actually my most-used pair. Its shorter stature is more manageable for me (although I do prefer 12-inch tongs when grilling). And because I’m paranoid about damaging my nonstick cookware, I gravitate towards the silicone head option (our favorite has uncoated, scalloped stainless-steel tips). Read Our Review | Buy Now on Amazon
I purchased our Best Buy option, the J.A. Henckels International Take-Apart Kitchen Shears, for about $20 and I couldn’t be happier with them. They’re my go-to for everything from snipping chives to removing the backbone of a chicken for spatchcocking. I also love that the blades come apart, which makes them easier to clean. Read Our Review | Buy Now on Amazon
For a while, I thought I didn’t need a spider skimmer. I was wrong. I use it to retrieve things like boiled dumplings and cooked pasta. The other night I blanched spinach and Mr. Spider Skimmer grabbed all the little leaves in a couple swoops, which was very satisfying. Read Our Review | Buy Now on Amazon
Slotted Metal Spoon
A slotted spoon was one of those little things I wanted for a long time, but never got around to buying. Which actually ended up being a good thing because I got one for free from our yearly equipment giveaway (yay!). I use mine for things like retrieving poached eggs and fishing meatballs out of tomato sauce. I also like my metal slotted spoon because it’s attractive enough to double as a serving utensil when I’m feeling lazy. Read Our Review | Buy Now on Amazon