The Slotted Spoon Is an Underappreciated Kitchen Tool, Here Are All the Ways We Like to Use It
You probably have a slotted spoon in your utensil crock or drawer. Maybe you reach for it often, or maybe it's intertwined with whisks, a pastry brush, zester, and various other utensils, and never quite gets the attention it deserves. Here's everything you need to know about this handy tool and the many reasons you'll want to reach for your slotted spoon more often.
How to Use a Slotted Spoon
Think of slotted spoons as the happy-medium between a large serving spoon and a spider strainer. They are multifunctional and can be used for both cooking and serving. Use slotted spoons to lift bacon or other fried foods from fat, remove vegetables from hot water, and extract delicate foods, such as fish or eggs, from poaching liquid.
When cooking soft- or hard-boiled eggs, Martha always turns to the trusty slotted spoon. "I always like to roll the egg a bit, just to make sure that the yolks are suspended evenly in the shell," she explained in an episode of Martha Stewart's Cooking School. Slotted spoons are also indispensable when deep-frying arancini, donuts, or French fries (once they're done cooking, just scoop them up with the spoon and carefully shake off the excess oil), and are great for stirring polenta or oatmeal.
Slotted spoons are also one of culinary director Thomas Joseph's favorite cooking tools. When he makes scalloped potatoes, he uses a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked potato slices from the pot to a gratin dish. Doing so helps to separate the potatoes from the milk that they cook in, so you can create an even layer of shingled potato slices without excess liquid in the dish.
What to Look For
When shopping for a slotted spoon, ones with large holes or long slots offer good drainage for water, oil, and grease. Make sure it is made of heatproof material, such as stainless steel, wood, or heat-resistant nylon. A long handle is important to protect yourself from the otherwise inevitable burns if your hand gets too close to a pot of boiling water. The handle should also be comfortable and easy to hold. Stainless steel slotted spoons, like this one from the Martha Stewart Collection ($25, macys.com), are more durable than nylon or silicone-based slotted spoons.