If you’re only using your kitchen shears to open the mail, you’re missing out on all the other handy things this hard-working multi-tasker can do for you.
How to Use Kitchen Shears
- Trim pie crusts. Snip, snip and your crust is oven-ready in seconds.
- Peel shrimp faster by snipping through the backs of the shells.
- Cut through chicken wing joints quickly and easily.
- Open food packaging.
- Cut up credit cards. (Just kidding. No, I’m not.)
- Cut pizza into slices.
- Chop whole canned tomatoes right in the can.
- Trim herbs, fruit, and vegetables.
- Chop herbs in a measuring cup.
- Garnish dishes by snipping herbs like chives and parsley directly over them instead of dirtying up a cutting board.
- Cut the eyes out of potatoes.
- Snip open a steamy baked potato. (No more scalded fingers.)
- Cut broccoli and cauliflower into florets.
- Shave off pieces of hard cheese or snip bits of soft cheese.
- Cut open crab and lobster claws.
- Cut bacon into pieces. (Firm it up in the freezer for 15 minutes to make cutting easier.)
- Split a sandwich.
- Cut bread into croutons.
- Cut tortillas into strips.
- Trim tough stalks from kale and other sturdy greens.
- Cut out the thick ribs from cabbage leaves.
- Cut salad greens in the bowl.
- Chop pickles directly into salads.
- Trim fat off meats before cooking.
- Trim sharp tips off artichoke leaves.
- Cut food into kid-size pieces.
- Break down a whole chicken, as Chef John demos in this video for cutting chicken with shears. Such a great money-saver.
- Last but not least, one of my favorite tricks: Take the mess out of butterflying whole chicken (aka spatchcocking). Instead of using a cutting board, put chicken in the sink or a pan and snip down both sides of the backbone to remove it before roasting or grilling. Clean up is easier and speedier than scrubbing raw chicken off your cutting board.
Chef Bridget Charters from the Hot Stove Society cooking school in Seattle talks about some her favorite ways to look sharp with shears in this quick video.
What to Look for in Kitchen Shears
The good news is you don’t have to spend a lot to get good quality kitchen shears. Here are a few features worth considering.
- Take-apart design makes for easier cleaning and resharpening
- Your hand should fit very comfortably into the handles
- Handles should not pinch your hand when you cut through something tough
- Some scissors are designed for use with left or right hand
- Optional steel-toothed insets in the handle can crack nuts and twist open bottles and jars
- Heavy-duty stainless steel is a must
Here’s to kitchen gadgets that actually make your life easier!