- Food and Cooking
My Most Useful Kitchen Utensil
A Paint Scraper??
Humour me here! I'm innovating not renovating!!
Call it what you will, a paint scraper or a putty knife, but this little gadget that I picked up quite cheaply from the hardware store quickly became my most useful kitchen utensil ever.
It's a funny thing I guess but despite having been chief cook for over 20 years now and having various gadgets, utensils and innovations come (and go!!!) in my kitchen my trusty paint scrapers have stood the test of time.
Perhaps it's because my dad is a builder. I think it's more likely that it's because my mum is a builders wife! A visit to her kitchen will find an array of paint scrapers handy for the grabbing. They're used for many a task during each and every meal.
I confess I have only two (in differing widths) but they are often being rinsed hurriedly and moved onto the next task at hand. Many times they find themselves in the dishwasher and out again just as quickly without the scrub up they were anticipating!
Indispensable. Sensible. Affordable. Classic. Admired. Never to be retired! Here's why I love my most useful kitchen utensil, what I use it for (and it's quite a list), which is the best one to buy and why, when you get one, you'll never live without it again. Trust me!
What am I talking about? - It's called a paint scraper, putty knife or sometimes a spatula.
Amazon lists it as a Wood Handle Wall Scraper though.... so I guess we should add that too!
If you want to know more about it as a tool, and it's various names, you can look here.
I strongly recommend a wood handled utensil. Keep in mind that you'll be using this scraper predominantly with heat and a lot of the man made plastic or synthetic type handles will melt. I believe timber to be safer in your kitchen and I also think it just looks better!
Some class is appreciated! I may accessorise my house at the hardware store but it doesn't have to look like it!
I chose this 3 inch scraper due to the finish on the handle. The stanley brand scrapers I saw are unfinished wood and my 4 inch scraper is like this. Truthfully it's also wearing fine although the finish does protect the handle during daily use and dishwashing. The raw timber is faded and not so smooth anymore.
My smaller scraper is a 3 inch and extremely useful for the same (and different) purposes as the 4 inch one I own. I did browse here and see a 6 inch scraper and, while I'm interested, I think it may prove too wide for daily use.
The perfect cooking companions?!
For me it's my gas cooktop, my cast iron frypan and my trusty paint scraper.
What a team!
Lets Get Sizzling!
Kitchen uses for a paint scraper. - Other than renovating! ;-)
"Yeah" , I can hear some people thinking "I have an egg flipper for doing stuff in the frypan". That's true although there are extra benefits that make the paint scraper my most useful kitchen utensil.
These include having a short handle so you're working directly with the food rather than from the end of a long levering handle stem. It gives you control and deftness as you work. It sits neatly beside my pan and doesn't get in the way on the bench.
The useable edge is sharp (not as in cut yourself but rather as in thin and beveled). It easily slips under food and separates it from the pan without the sawing or digging motion of other thicker blades.
Check out all the things I use my paint scraper for.
- Saute-ing in my frypan. Onion and garlic are quickly and easily moved around to prevent burning and the sharp edge ensures none is left caught on the bottom.
On a similar vein, the paint scraper works brilliantly for stir frying in my cast iron frypan.
- All types of flipping. I like it best for eggs and fish that have a fragile quality to cooking them. The edge of the scraper is really like a flat blade that slips between the food and the pan while cutting it away from the heat source. Equally brilliant for pancakes.
- Rolling Baked vegetables. Essential if you have problems with the crunchy coating outside of the pumpkin or potato sticking to the pan and staying on it's bottom.
- BBQ-ing. Brilliant from start to finish. There's nothing like a paint scraper to clean up the last people's BBQ mess at the park. Comes in handy at home too for that matter. Put the point between the grill plate to remove stuck on bits down there too.
Easily flips meats and rolls sausages with the extra bonus of being able to prick the sausages with the sharp corner of the paint scraper.
When you're done a paint scraper will coral the oil to one place when you're cleaning the plate and easily hold paper towel in place with it's wide blade to wipe everything clean for next time.
- Do you love hot cookies or just need to move them quickly onto a cooling rack? The paint scraper leaves the cookie sheet clean and ready for the next batch and never rips the bottom out of a hot cookie.
- Cooking frozen mince (or ground meat)? Due to it's sharp edge you can cut a partially frozen block of meat into smaller pieces for quicker cooking much sooner.
- Burnt on food? It will remove paint from a wall so it's not going to pause at a little food mess. Rinse your pot and bring in the trusty paint scraper! Cleaned up in no time!
- Great for serving some foods. A scoop of taco meat on the blade works just as well as a serving spoon. Out comes my paint scraper to help cut and serve pie! And on pizza night? You guessed it! Perfect!
Cooking and cutting frozen meat.
The meat does need to be partially thawed. If you want to cut frozen meat my husband did have success once with an axe......
Awesome cleaning up!
Look how the paint scraper removes burnt on food. Brilliant!!
My most horrid clean up is when I make jam and it burns to the bottom. The paint scraper really earns it's worth in these instances!
Instances when you wouldn't use a paint scraper. - That's OK, there's lots of options available!
Great for cookware that needs non scratching utensils.
Cute if you like the novelly cooking bit!
I like this guy!! Just like a paint scraper only classier?! Not sure about the bent part in the blade though. it would subtly alter it's feel and potentially it's use.
I'm fond of stainless steel if you do want a classic egg flip type utensil.
Warning: Paint scrapers remove... well, paint!
This may seem obvious but do remember that if you are using non-stick surfaces you will need to use the appropriate utensils. Paint scrapers have a sharp edge (and are metal) and really that's the whole point.
I've gotten into the habit of using mine for everything and anything. In fact I won't have a pot or pan in my kitchen that isn't compatible with the paint scraper. My one exception is the sandwich press.... I still use the scraper.... carefully!
Thanks for stopping by! I hope you've enjoyed being here and I look forward to reading your comments.