The current state (ever evolving) of one's tools

I have too many tools in crocks on the counter, but over the years I have learned a few things. I used to have too many wooden items, but I always seem to use the salad servers, the risotto spoon, the regular spoons, and a spatula. I have way too many wooden spatulas. I hang onto two very large, deep wooden spoons. They are mainly used for soups and stews, probably more for their looks than their functionality. Thinning the olive wood items I over collected was useful. In the metal tools arena I use both regular and slotted spoons a lot, and a couple of sharp edged metal spatulas are used a lot. The restaurant sized spatula finally moved on. I let my metal tip tongs go as they wore out but love the versatility of silicone tipped ones. I got a pair of long plating tweezers, and they are in almost constant use. I have what look like too many whisks, but each has its regular use, the regular metal whisk being the most infrequently used. The silicone whisk and the wire flat whisk probably do 95% of the work. I do have too many silicone spoons and spatulas, but people seem to give them to me, and I am too polite (believe me, I am not very sentimental) to cull them. The long jar scraper is perfect for folded eggs, the mini spatula is great for getting all of something out of a bowl. The large spoon like spatula is perfect for scraping doughs or batters out of bowls. Silicone spoons are almost always bypassed for wooden ones. A few very specialized things like a pasta ladle could probably go away. I always take a ladle or two of pasta water for cooking, pour the rest through a strainer, and dump it into a bowl to sauce. The fine mesh strainer gets little love. The chinois catches what it used to catch. The spider strainer is the perfect tool for many things. Several other slotted scoops gather dust.

So what tools are you always grabbing, What do you regret and allow to gather dust? What have you over or under bought? Do you have thoughts as to the sweet spot for frequently used things like tongs and spatulas? Any other thoughts? What type of cooking do you do most? My tools are mainly geared to continental cooking except for two wok specific tools, a flat ladle and a curved end spatula.


I have a mix of wooded and metal utensils. Wood utensils are gentler for my cookware. For example, a wood spatula is a must for my clay donabe. On the other hand, metal ladle (for my wok) and metal spatula (for frying pan) are better at turning and moving foods.

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