A KITCHEN UTENSIL is a small hand held tool used for food preparation. Common kitchen tasks include cutting food items to size, heating food on an open fire or on a stove, baking, grinding, mixing, blending, and measuring; different utensils are made for each task. A general purpose utensil such as a chef's knife may be used for a variety of foods; other kitchen utensils are highly specialized and may be used only in connection with preparation of a particular type of food, such as an egg separator or an apple corer . Some specialized utensils are used when an operation is to be repeated many times, or when the cook has limited dexterity or mobility. The number of utensils in a household kitchen varies with time and the style of cooking.
A COOKING UTENSIL is a utensil for cooking. Utensils may be categorized by use with terms derived from the word "ware": KITCHENWARE, wares for the kitchen; OVENWARE and BAKEWARE, kitchen utensils that are for use inside ovens and for baking; COOKWARE, merchandise used for cooking; and so forth.
A partially overlapping category of tools is that of eating utensils
, which are tools used for eating (c.f. the more general category of
tableware ). Some utensils are both kitchen utensils and eating
Other names used for various types of kitchen utensils, although not strictly denoting a utensil that is specific to the kitchen, are according to the materials they are made of, again using the "-ware" suffix, rather than their functions: earthenware , utensils made of clay; silverware , utensils (both kitchen and dining) made of silver; glassware , utensils (both kitchen and dining) made of glass; and so forth. These latter categorizations include utensils — made of glass, silver, clay, and so forth — that are not necessarily kitchen utensils.
* 1 Materials
* 2 Diversity and utility
* 2.1 Before the 19th century * 2.2 19th century growth * 2.3 "Labour-saving" utensils generating more labour
* 3 See also * 4 References * 5 Further reading * 6 External links
Stainless steel finds many applications in the manufacture of kitchen utensils. Stainless steel is considerably less likely to rust in contact with water or food products, and so reduces the effort required to maintain utensils in clean useful condition. Cutting tools made with stainless steel maintain a usable edge while not presenting the risk of rust found with iron or other types of steel.
EARTHENWARE AND ENAMELWARE
In addition to their problems with thermal shock , enamelware utensils require careful handling, as careful as for glassware, because they are prone to chipping. But enamel utensils are not affected by acidic foods, are durable, and are easily cleaned. However, they cannot be used with strong alkalis.
Earthenware, porcelain, and pottery utensils can be used for both cooking and serving food, and so thereby save on washing-up of two separate sets of utensils. They are durable, and (van Rensselaer notes) "excellent for slow, even cooking in even heat, such as slow baking". However, they are comparatively unsuitable for cooking using a direct heat, such as a cooking over a flame.
James Frank Breazeale in 1918 opined that aluminium "is without doubt the best material for kitchen utensils", noting that it is "as far superior to enamelled ware as enamelled ware is to the old-time iron or tin". He qualified his recommendation for replacing worn out tin or enamelled utensils with aluminium ones by noting that "old-fashioned black iron frying pans and muffin rings, polished on the inside or worn smooth by long usage, are, however, superior to aluminium ones".
Aluminium's advantages over other materials for kitchen utensils is
its good thermal conductivity (which is approximately an order of
magnitude greater than that of steel ), the fact that it is largely
non-reactive with foodstuffs at low and high temperatures, its low
toxicity , and the fact that its corrosion products are white and so
(unlike the dark corrosion products of, say, iron) do not discolour
food that they happen to be mixed into during cooking. However, its
disadvantages are that it is easily discoloured, can be dissolved by
acidic foods (to a comparatively small extent), and reacts to alkaline
soaps if they are used for cleaning a utensil. An exhibit of
Israeli Defence Forces kitchen utensils at the Batey ha-Osef Museum in
A great feature of non-enameled ceramics is that clay does not come into a reaction with food, does not contain toxic substances, and it is safe for food use because it does not give off toxic substances when heated.
There are several types of ceramic utensils. Terracotta utensils, which are made of red clay and black ceramics. The clay utensils for preparing food can also be used in electric ovens, microwaves and stoves, we can also place them in fireplaces. It is not advised to put the clay utensil in the 220-250 temperature oven directly, because it will break. It also is not recommended to place the clay pot over an open fire. Clay utensils do not like sharp change in temperature. The dishes prepared in clay pots come to be particularly juicy and soft – this is due to the clay’s porous surface. Due to this porous nature of the surface the clay utensils inhale aroma and grease. The coffee made in clay coffee boilers is very aromatic, but such pots need special care. It is not advised to scrub the pots with metal scrubs, it is better to pour soda water in the pot and let it stay there and afterwards to wash the pot with warm water. The clay utensils must be kept in a dry place, so that they will not get damp.
Plastics can be readily formed by molding into a variety of shapes useful for kitchen utensils. Transparent plastic measuring cups allow ingredient levels to be easily visible, and are lighter and less fragile than glass measuring cups. Plastic handles added to utensils improve comfort and grip. While many plastics deform or decompose if heated, a few silicone products can be used in boiling water or in an oven for food preparation. Non-stick plastic coatings can be applied to frying pans; newer coatings avoid the issues with decomposition of plastics under strong heating.
Heat-resistant glass utensils can be used for baking or other cooking. Glass does not conduct heat as well as metal, and has the drawback of breaking easily if dropped. Transparent glass measuring cups allow ready measurement of liquid and dry ingredients.
DIVERSITY AND UTILITY
Various kitchen utensils. At top: a spice rack with jars of mint , caraway , thyme , and sage . Lower: hanging from hooks; a small pan, a meat fork, an icing spatula, a whole spoon, a slotted spoon, and a perforated spatula.
BEFORE THE 19TH CENTURY
"Of the culinary utensils of the ancients", wrote Mrs Beeton , "our knowledge is very limited; but as the art of living, in every civilized country, is pretty much the same, the instruments for cooking must, in a great degree, bear a striking resemblance to one another".
Archaeologists and historians have studied the kitchen utensils used in centuries past. For example: In the Middle Eastern villages and towns of the middle first millennium AD , historical and archaeological sources record that Jewish households generally had stone measuring cups, a meyḥam (a wide-necked vessel for heating water), a kederah (an unlidded pot-bellied cooking pot), a ilpas (a lidded stewpot/casserole pot type of vessel used for stewing and steaming), yorah and kumkum (pots for heating water), two types of teganon (frying pan) for deep and shallow frying, an iskutla (a glass serving platter), a tamḥui (ceramic serving bowl), a keara (a bowl for bread), a kiton (a canteen of cold water used to dilute wine), and a lagin (a wine decanter).
Ownership and types of kitchen utensils varied from household to
household. Records survive of inventories of kitchen utensils from
19TH CENTURY GROWTH
The up-to-date kitchen fireproof ware in 1894
The 19th century, particularly in the United States, saw an explosion in the number of kitchen utensils available on the market, with many labour-saving devices being invented and patented throughout the century. Maria Parloa's Cook Book and Marketing Guide listed a minimum of 139 kitchen utensils without which a contemporary kitchen would not be considered properly furnished. Parloa wrote that "the homemaker will find there is continually something new to be bought".
A growth in the range of kitchen utensils available can be traced through the growth in the range of utensils recommended to the aspiring householder in cookbooks as the century progressed. Earlier in the century, in 1828, Frances Byerley Parkes (Parkes 1828 ) had recommended a smaller array of utensils. By 1858, Elizabeth H. Putnam, in Mrs Putnam's Receipt Book and Young Housekeeper's Assistant, wrote with the assumption that her readers would have the "usual quantity of utensils", to which she added a list of necessary items:
— Putnam 1858 , p. 318
Mrs Beeton, in her Book of Household Management, wrote:
The following list, supplied by Messrs Richard & John Slack, 336, Strand, will show the articles required for the kitchen of a family in the middle class of life, although it does not contain all the things that may be deemed necessary for some families, and may contain more than are required for others. As Messrs Slack themselves, however, publish a useful illustrated catalogue, which may be had at their establishment gratis, and which it will be found advantageous to consult by those about to furnish, it supersedes the necessity of our enlarging that which we give:
1 Toasting-fork 1s. 0d. 3 Block-tin saucepans
3 Flat-irons 3s. 6d.
1 Bread-grater 1s. 0d.
5s. 9d. 2 Frying-pans 4s. 0d.
1 Pair of Brass
Candlesticks 3s. 6d. 1 Ditto and Steamer
1 Mustard-pot 1s. 0d.
6s. 6d. 1 Salt-cellar 8d.
1 Bottle-jack 9s. 9d. 1 Large Boiling-pot
1 Pepper-box 6d.
6 Spoons 1s. 6d.
1 Pair of
1 Candle-box 1s. 4d. 1 Dripping-pan and
1 Plate-basket 5s. 6d.
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* ^ "Kitchen utensils". GBS. * ^ Thompson 1969 , p. 232–239. * ^ Parloa 1908 , p. xxvi. * ^ A B Vargel 2004 , p. 579. * ^ van Rensselaer, Rose & Canon 1919 , p. 233–234. * ^ Thompson 1969 , p. 232–233. * ^ A B van Rensselaer, Rose & Canon 1919 , p. 235–236. * ^ Thompson 1969 , p. 236–239. * ^ A B van Rensselaer, Rose & Canon 1919 , p. 234–235. * ^ van Rensselaer, Rose & Canon 1919 , p. 236. * ^ Breazeale 1918 , p. 36–37. * ^ van Rensselaer, Rose & Canon 1919 , p. 232–233. * ^ Beeton 1861 , p. 28. * ^ Schwartz 2006 , p. 439–441. * ^ Carlin & Rosenthal 1998 , pp. 42–32. * ^ Kreidberg 1975 , pp. 164. * ^ A B Volo -webkit-column-count: 1; column-count: 1;">
* Beeton, Isabella Mary (1861). The Book of Household Management.
Wordworth Reference Series (republished by Wordsworth Editions, 2006
Samuel Orchart Beeton
* Brooks, Phillips V. (2004). Kitchen Utensils: names, origins, and definitions through the ages. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-4039-6619-3 . * Matranga, Victoria K. (1996). America at Home: A Celebration of Twentieth-Century Housewares, International Housewares Association , ISBN 978-0-9655487-0-0 * Schuler, Stanley; Schuler, Elizabeth Meriwether (1975). "kitchen utensils". The householders' encyclopedia. Galahad Books. ISBN 978-0-88365-301-2 . * Byrne, David; Wheeler, Mike (1995). Kitchen Utensils. Science in the kitchen. Longman. ISBN 978-0-582-12457-8 . * Studley, Vance (1981). The Woodworker's Book of Wooden Kitchen Utensils. Van Nostrand Reinhold Co. ISBN 978-0-442-24726-3 . * Shrock, Joel (2004). The Gilded Age. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-313-32204-4 . * Klippensteen, Kate (2006). Cool Tools: Cooking Utensils from the Japanese Kitchen. Kodansha International. ISBN 978-4-7700-3016-0 . * McGee, Harold (2004). "Cooking Methods and Utensil Materials". On Food and Cooking: The Science and lore of the Kitchen . Simon and Schuster. pp. 787–791. ISBN 978-0-684-80001-1 . * Hancock, Ralph (2006). "metal utensils". In Davidson, Alan; Jaine, Tom. The Oxford companion to food. Oxford Companions Series (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-280681-9 . * Lifshey, Earl (1973). The Housewares Story: a history of the American housewares industry. Chicago: National Housewares Manufacturers Association. pp. 125–195. * Parkes, Frances Byerley (1828). Domestic Duties ; or, Instructions to Young Married Ladies on the Management of their Household, and the Regulations of their conduct in the various Relations and Duties of Married Life. New York: JJ Harper. * Putnam, Elizabeth H. (1858). Mrs Putnam's Receipt Book and Young Housekeeper's Assistant. New York: Sheldon & Co. * Rorer, Sarah Tyson (1886). Philadelphia Cook Book: A Manual of Home Economies. Philadelphia: Arnold and Company. * Wilcox, Estelle Woods (1877). Buckeye Cookery & Practical Housekeeping: Tried and Approved, Compiled from Original Recipes (reprinted by Applewood Books, 2002 ed.). Minneapolis: Buckeye Publishing Company. pp. 364–365. ISBN 978-1-55709-515-2 . * Ettlinger, Steve (2001). The Kitchenware Book. Barnes & Noble Books. ISBN 978-0-7607-2332-6 . * Campbell, Susan (1980). The Cook's Companion. London: Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-28790-8 .
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