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Best Silicone Kitchen Utensil Gifts
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Need a quick and fun holiday gift? Or maybe a gift for a bride? Consider a set of colorful silicone kitchen utensils. These new kitchen gadgets are better than many of the wooden or metal or plastic kitchen utensils your cook may already have. Although they may cost a bit more, they will last longer and hold up better.
For the Cook Who Has Everything
Does your favorite cook seem to have every type of kitchen gadget? Then silicone kitchen tools may be your best bet for a gift because many of them are something all cooks could use duplicates of. I have about 10 spatulas and I actually am asking for more for my birthday because I'm always needing one for a different dish.
Better yet, silicone ice trays and cake pans come in lots of different sizes and shapes that your favorite cook may not have yet. Because they can be used both in the freezer and the oven, these kitchen tools are great for molding ice, Jell-O, and chocolate, as well as baked goods.
What Makes Silicone Better?
- They don't stain and don't fade in color.
- They come in a variety of colors to match any kitchen.
- Spatulas are more flexible and scrape more cleanly.
- Can go from the freezer to the microwave or oven.
- Can take heat up to 400 degrees.
- You can clean them in any rack of a dishwasher.
- They are lightweight and durable.
Kitchen Essentials Poll
Which is your favorite kitchen utensil?
4 Cool Tools
Not every kitchen tool is better in silicone. The flexibility of this material is an advantage in spatulas and scrapers but a disadvantage in stirring tools. I still like my wire whisk and prefer my fabric pot holders for gripping. However for the three most common kitchen tools, spatulas, scrapers and spoons, silicone far superior to any other materials. Whether you buy them separately, or in a set, these are my four favorites:
I'm never going back to another kind of spatula! I've tried every other sort and they always either scrape my pans, don't turn the food well or else actually get bend and burned on the edges. Silicone spatulas are flexible, strong and they grip the pan better so that you can actually get under the pancakes or eggs and turn them without making a mess.
I love the fact that these can take the heat even of my outside grill. My plastic ones melt and the metal ones can't be used on my non-stick pans. These also are much better at lifting up sticky things and not leaving part of the food behind. I'm throwing all my other spatulas away and sticking with these from now on.
O.K. I have to say I love scrapers. They are probably my favorite kitchen tool, maybe because I'm always baking something. I like a flexible scraper and it drives me crazy if the scraper doesn't really get the batter completely out of the bowl. More importantly, I'm frugal and want to get every last bit of peanut butter out of the jar!
Silicone scrapers are the first ones that actually do what I want them to do. I can use them to mix my Cookies in a pan without making a mess. They are strong enough for mixing up my stiff brownie mix, and also good for using when I make candies. Better yet, because they can take the heat, I can also use scrapers to make things on the stove, like scrambled eggs or stir fry. These scrapers mean I can cook without fat and not worry about sticking. Definitely a five-star kitchen utensil for me!
3. Pastry Brush
I've tried every other sort of pastry brush around and none of them ever lasted. The problem with pastry brushes is that you use them mostly for brushing on oils, butter, and eggs, all of which need to be washed off in the dishwasher to get them clean and germ-free. None of the wood or metal brushes could stand the dishwasher for long. Moreover, they never seemed completely clean. My silicone pastry brush has lasted several years and still looks new and works much better at putting melted butter on top of my homemade rolls, or brushing on egg on my pie crusts.
Making Shaped Crayons
4. Shaped Ice Cube Trays
I've saved the best for last: Shaped Ice Cube Trays! I just discovered these and started using them, but then my kids have taken over. My son found a Lego mold and melted chocolates to make brick set chocolates. My daughters just hosted a tea party and used the heart mold for cupcakes and flavored ice bites.
How to Make Colored and Flavored Ice
Just fill the molds with any of the following. The small molds generally freeze in an hour or two and you can then take the ice out of the mold, put it in a container for later and freeze some more:
- Any soft drink (my kid's idea and it really works!)
- Water with food coloring
Other Ideas for Molds
- Making Jello Jigglers
- Molding Chocolate for eating or decorating cakes, cookies and cupcakes
- Making frozen yogurt bites (just fill the mold with yogurt and freeze)
- Making frozen mashed fruit bites (blend up fruit with a little juice and put in mold)
- Molding butter
- Homemade soap
- Shaped crayons
- Freeze coffee and add to iced coffee drinks
Everywhere you turn, people are worrying about the safety of products. You probably know silicone breast implants have caused problems, but what about kitchen tools? In spite of some of the hype by consumer's groups, the research indicates that this material is actually safer than other products. Here are the facts:
- Silicone is made from bonded silicon (found in sand) and oxygen.
- The Food and Drug Administration says that when the material is heated it doesn't react with other compounds and doesn't give off any fumes when heated, which makes it safer than Teflon and other non-stick products.
- This material can be cleaned easily and completely which prevents the transfer of bacteria and salmonella to food so it is safer than wood.
- Some silicone utensils are made with fillers which might compromise the product. How can you tell? Kansas State University Extension suggests you twist to see if you see a white line. If you do, the product may not be 100% silicone.
- The most current research from August 2012 on silicone and baby formula found no transfer from baking sheets or nipples made with this material.