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How To Buy The Best Material For Your Cooking Utensils

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How To Buy The Best Material For Your Cooking Utensils

When it comes to preparing meals, you want the best cooking tools possible. But how does one decide to use a metal spatula over a plastic one, or a wooden spoon over a bamboo one?

The different materials available for kitchen tools and cooking utensils can seem overwhelming, but each type has reasons why it is best for you and your kitchen.

 

Want A Flexible And Heat-Resistant Option?

Silicone Cooking Utensil Considered the newcomer of the bunch, silicone cooking utensils are steadily rising in popularity. Before cooking, double check what temperature the silicone can handle and that it is food-grade and Food and Drug Administration-approved. Typically, the highest heat-resistant silicone will not be colored and will hold a stiffer shape.

  • Man-made compound with no known health hazards
  • Has higher heat resistance than plastic (up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Does not harbor bacteria and is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning
  • Non-porous material and therefore, stain-resistant
  • Will not scratch/damage surfaces of nonstick or enamel cookware

 

Looking For An Eco-Friendly Option?

Bamboo Cooking Utensil Bamboo cooking utensils are the most eco-friendly member of the group. When cut, bamboo stalks will grow again. What’s more, bamboo grows at a faster pace than trees. However, although this renewable resource is not as absorbent as its wooden counterpart, it still can take in moisture and emit a peculiar odor. As a result, it is important to clean bamboo cooking utensils thoroughly and carefully.

  • Sturdier than its wooden counterpart but still lightweight 
  • Does not conduct heat
  • Naturally resists mold and mildew and less porous than most woods
  • 100 percent biodegradable; can be disposed of easily without hurting the environment

 

Prefer A Long Lasting And Classic Choice?

Wooden Utensil Wooden kitchen tools are a classic choice, as long as they are taken care of properly. More absorbent than bamboo and other materials and therefore more likely to become a breeding ground for bacteria, they require utmost care in cleaning. Clean well with hot, soapy water, but do not leave wooden tools soaking for too long. Otherwise, they may crack or splinter. Wooden utensils are a favorite of professional chefs.

  • Moderately priced (plastic as the cheapest, stainless steel as most expensive)
  • Can be used in high temperatures without damage
  • Won’t scratch nonstick cookware or cast-iron skillets
  • Usually dishwasher safe

 

Use Uncoated Over Non-Stick Cookware?

Nylon Utensil For use of stainless steel cooking utensils, avoid using any nonstick pans that may be scratched easily, or be extra attentive when cooking. Stainless steel tools are used most by professionals and have an attractive, no-nonsense appeal; however, they tend to be more expensive. These functional cooking utensils also come in handy when scraping something off the pan is necessary.

  • Easier to clean than most materials
  • Though thinner, typically more sturdy and durable
  • Dishwasher safe

 

Want A Wallet-Friendly Option?

Nylon Spatula Nylon or plastic cooking utensils are popular because they are the cheapest selection. But, while mostly easy to wash and dry, food like eggs and rice tend to stick and require more intensive scrubbing. Additional negative attributes include plastic's greater likelihood of melting when exposed to heat, as well as the unsafe chemicals found in plastic. Last but not least, plastic tends to be a less attractive choice than other available options.

  • Inexpensive due to economical (but environmentally damaging) material
  • Won’t scratch nonstick cookware or cast-iron skillets
  • Flexible, can scrape items and corners well
  • May be dishwasher safe (check product's safety label first)

Weigh the options of silicone, bamboo, wood, stainless steel or nylon/plastic cooking utensils, and decide which material works best for you before prepping a culinary masterpiece.

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