Chances are good that if you have purchased a set of knives then you have a pair of kitchen shears laying around somewhere. Chances are also good that if you own kitchen shears, you don’t use them. They have probably ended up lost in a drawer or are now simply scissors used for everyday cutting. The truth is that kitchen shears are one of the most useful tools in a chef’s repertoire. Here is how to use them.
Cutting Meat into Strips
If you want to cut thin strips of meat for stir-fry or for use in a salad, then kitchen shears can make fast work of the job. Because you won’t be sliding the edge of the shears against a cutting board, they’ll stay sharp. The same cannot be said of chef’s knife. As an added bonus, shears can help you trim away fat without the dangerous hacking moves a knife encourages.
Cutting herbs, particularly leafy herbs, with a knife is neither easy nor safe. Sure, lots of chefs use a knife to chop herbs, but kitchen shears are much faster. In fact, cutting herbs is one of the best ways to dull a kitchen knife, something you won’t have to worry about with shears.
Cutting a Whole Chicken
Good shears can cut through bone and joints the way that no knife can. They also give you greater control over your work and make the job of cutting up a chicken easier. Using kitchen shears to cut up a whole chicken is also cheaper than buying pre-cut chicken.
The easiest way to remove the spiky ends of artichoke leaves is to use shears. It is also the safest way to get the job done. Just snip the pointy end off of each leaf and then turn the artichoke on its side. Use a chef’s knife to slice off the ends of the denser leaves at the very top and you are ready to go.
Trimming Pie Crust
Shears are a great way to trim off extra pie crust after putting it into the pie pan. They tend to be faster than a knife and won’t pull or tear the crust. Kitchen shears also allow for greater control when trimming crust, which can give you the freedom to get creative.
Cutting Fresh Pasta
Shears are perfect for cutting pasta and offer a level of luxury and refinement to your work that you just can’t get from a knife. Why do they work so well for pasta? For starters, shears don’t crush or mash raw pasta the way that a knife can. They also allow you to make fancy designs and control the size of each noodle. By allowing you to cut the pasta in the air as it comes off the press, shears also make the whole task easier.
Shear Versus Knife
The truth is that shears are just as versatile as knives even though cooking show hosts and professional chefs aren’t often seen using them. Forget about trends and go with the easier, safer option of kitchen shears when the job calls for them. You’ll be happy you did.
Andrea Harris is always on the lookout for ways to make her home nicer. An avid blogger, she likes to share what works well for her with others on the web. Look for her interesting posts on many of today’s websites and blogs.
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