Can You Match the Kitchen Utensil to Its Description?

By: Monica Lee
Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

Does a knife work just as well as a mango pitter? Do you really need a flexible frosting spreader, or is a knife dipped in water just fine for spreading frosting evenly? Unless you're someone known for the best strawberry jam this side of the Mississippi, you probably don't need a strawberry huller. So it's time to take a good hard look at that kitchen drawer that hardly closes, due to the potato masher and ladles you have stored in there. 

However, there is a price for minimalism, and that price is paying more than you think you need for utensils. If you are only going to have a few tools, they need to be of the very highest quality. That's especially true for knives, cutting boards and serving utensils. 

This quiz will help you take a fresh look at that old drawer and see if you can donate a few items to charity. When you hear the description, you may initially think, "Hey, a knife could do that," and realize you may not need that bagel slicer after all. Check out this quiz now. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain, including a kitchen drawer that's easier to close! 

This utensil is used to remove the outer layer of fruits and vegetables. What is it?

Although a paring knife can do the job, it can do many other jobs as well, including cutting meat and slicing dough. So the correct answer is vegetable peeler.

Use this to hand mix ingredients and add air to your batter. What utensil is best for that?

Use a wire whisk to whip eggs or cream ingredients together, or add air to a batter. Do not try to use a whisk with thick mixtures.

It's the best utensil to get every ounce of batter from that bowl. Which one does that?

Using a metal spoon might do the job, but a rubber scraper is perfectly shaped for mixing, folding soft ingredients, and especially removing batter from a bowl completely and efficiently. The rubber flexes to match the contour of the bowl.

This tool is perfectly shaped to flip flapjacks or burgers. Which tool is it?

Although you can flip things with your fingers (ouch) or with a fork, it's preferable to do it with a spatula. Plus, spatulas come in various sizes and shapes for every serving situation.

This utensil will make fast work of spreading out dough evenly. Which one should you choose?

Whether the dough is used to make cookies, pizza crust, pie crust or rolls, a rolling pin is an essential tool in any kitchen. Choose the style that is most comfortable for you.

Although its name may make you think it's only good for one thing, it's also good for cutting noodles and dough. Which one is it?

Although it's also good for cutting, a chef's knife doesn't make you think of one particular food. A pizza cutter is useful for cutting pizza, as well as noodles and dough.

This tool is a wire mesh bowl or scoop that is used to strain solids from liquid ingredients. What do you call it?

A strainer is a wire mesh bowl or scoop, while a colander has bigger holes in the container and is often plastic. You may need to use a strainer, depending on the foods you're separating. For example, spaghetti or julienned veggies could slip through the holes of a colander, but not a strainer.

This is a cutting tool used to shred food. What's its name?

This utensil is used to shred or grate foods like potatoes, cabbage or cheese. Depending on the size of the grating holes or surface area, a shredder can also be used to zest lemons or ginger.

You're going to cut up a whole chicken. Which is the best knife to use?

A butcher's knife is a specialty knife used for cutting meats because of its thicker broad blade. A butter knife only cuts through and spreads soft items, like butter and cream cheese.

Which utensil is good to use when stirring, if you don't want to scratch your pots and pans?

Wooden spoons don't scratch pots and pans. They also don't heat to scalding temperatures or chemically react with acidic foods, as metal does. Wooden spoons won't melt or leach chemicals or strange tastes into hot foods, as plastic does.

Time for the egg wash to be brushed on top of the rolls, for a nice brown finish. What are you using to do that?

Although a knife or spoon might work, it will be a sloppy experience. Instead, use a pastry brush to do the job right. Traditional pastry brushes are made with natural bristles, while modern kitchen brushes usually have silicone bristles for easier cleaning.

Ready to make mashed potatoes? What utensil is perfect for the job?

Although you could theoretically use all of these to smash up potatoes, the perfect tool is the potato masher, which has no other purpose. The only drawback is that the potato masher has a clunky shape and doesn't fit neatly in the drawer with the rest of your utensils.

You don't want soggy salad greens, so what item should you use?

After washing a head of lettuce, do you dry each leaf? Heck no! That's what a salad spinner is for, as “spinning” your greens is by far the easiest way to do it.

This utensil lets you take out pieces of chicken from a pot of soup without scooping up the broth. What utensil is it?

Slotted spoons are used to stir foods that are in liquids and, if needed, to separate the solid foods from the liquids when serving or transferring temporarily to a plate.

This tool lets you remove metal bottle caps from bottles quickly and easily. What is it?

Today's bottle openers are useful and fun, and many people like to collect them. They can come in crazy shapes, sizes, colors and themes.

It's a tool that covers an area, making it perfect for chopping meats and vegetables. What is it?

One of the most basic tools you need in your kitchen is a good cutting board. Since you’ll be using it every time you cook, it’s important to choose one that’s durable and well designed.

These utensils help you follow the recipe as directed, including adding the exact amounts of ingredients. Which are they?

Measuring cups and spoons are used for precisely measuring the volumes of liquid or dry cooking ingredients. You'll want measuring cups that are stackable and have a pouring lip.

This tool is ideal for draining foods or cold shocking vegetables. Which one of these does the job?

A colander is a metal or plastic container with a perforated bottom that is used for draining and/or straining food from liquid. It can also be used to cold shock vegetables to stop the cooking process after blanching, by running the vegetables under cold water in the colander.

You have a couple pounds of cherries and have decided to make cherry pies. What utensil would be good to have around?

A cherry pitter removes pits quickly and cleanly, without any cherry juice splatter. If you don't have one of these pitters, you can always use chopsticks and a cherry sitting atop the mouth of an empty bottle to get the job done!

Although it can cut many kinds of rolls in half, people use this mostly for bagels. What utensil is it?

A bagel slicer keeps your hands away from any potential slicing harm. The cradle holds the bagel while the two plastic safety shields keep fingers away from the cutting blade.

What utensil will help you know if your meat is properly cooked?

If you like to grill or cook meat at home, it's a good idea to have a meat thermometer on hand. The best options are digital probe thermometers and instant-read thermometers.

This utensil resembles a mallet with a short handle and dual heads. One face of the tool is flat, while the other has rows of pyramid-shaped bumps. What is it?

Whether you're tenderizing your meat or pounding chicken breasts to have consistent thickness, use a meat tenderizer, meat mallet, or meat pounder. Don't want to pay for one? Use a rolling pin or the bottom of a heavy pan to pound meat instead.

It can make avocados easier to cut up. What is it?

Avocados and their pits are notoriously hard to separate. That's why you might want an avocado pit remover. It takes the mess out of preparing avocados for fajitas, salads, dips and sandwiches.

This utensil is designed with blades stemming out from a ring in the middle and two handles. What is it?

Apple corers can core and divide fruit into even wedges. Besides apples, you can use it on pears and other fruits with small cores.

This utensil gets the most juice out of a lime or lemon. It can be manual or electric. What do you call it?

Why not use a knife to cut and then squeeze a lemon or lime half? It's actually more hassle than it should be - as you get juice all over your hands and seeds in your food. Plus, a citrus juicer is known to get more juice out of the fruit.

This utensil can carve around the odd-shaped seed in a mango. What utensil does this the best?

Sweet, delicious mangoes are hard to efficiently peel and slice because of the odd-shaped seed. That's why many people will buy a mango slicer. With one downward press the sharp, stainless-steel blades core and cut even the ripest mangoes.

Which of these utensils will give you an edge when your knives are dull?

Any of these utensils will help you get a sharp edge on your knives. The honing rod is used to grind away material from the blade. A whetstone is a fine-grained stone used for sharpening cutting tools, and a knife sharpener performs exactly as titled.

This utensil works well for picking up meats or serving salads. What is it?

Tongs make it easy to flip meats and gather vegetables. Most people prefer to have tongs with silicone tips to prevent scratching pans and pots. Because the tips have a high degree of heat resistance, they don’t melt away after frequent use.

What's the name of the utensil that makes serving liquids a breeze?

A ladle is essentially a very large, long-handled spoon with a deep bowl. It is used for serving liquids, like soups, stews or punch.

This thing goes between your table and a hot casserole to ensure the table doesn't take the heat. What do you call it?

A trivet is a heat-resistant surface that you place hot dishes on, so you don’t burn your table. It can be cloth, bamboo, wood - you name it - as long as it keeps the heat in the food container and not on the table.

You can use this instead of a knife to open food packaging and cut up poultry. What is it?

Shears are more versatile than knives. They are great for snipping herbs, cutting pizza into slices and pitas into wedges. They also make fast work of splitting a chicken and toddler-sizing food.

This utensil not only measures the right amount of dough, but it also easily drops it onto a cookie sheet. What is it?

Although some of these options will work to get cookie dough on a tray, extracting that perfectly rounded dollop of cookie dough and using a spring setup to release the dough is what makes having your very own cookie dough scoop so great.

Add more flair to cutting up hard-boiled eggs with one of these utensils. Which one?

Dress a salad beautifully with thinly sliced hard-boiled eggs. Use the egg slicer to turn your hard-boiled eggs into bright, colorful accents on a plate.

This utensil makes sure tea leaves aren't swallowed. Which one is it?

Since tea leaves don't all fall to the bottom of your teacup, you might want to use a tea infuser, tea egg or tea ball to make sure the leaves stay contained. Tea shouldn't have a leafy texture.

This utensil makes rounded shapes so a fruit salad looks extra special. What is it?

This stainless-steel utensil was formally called a Parisienne scoop. The melon baller is a small spoon-like tool used to cut round- or oval-shaped sections of melon (melon balls) by pressing it into the fruit and twisting the handle.

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