Which of these spoons would you be most likely to see in use in a professional kitchen?

Discussion in 'Cooking Equipment Reviews' started by christian holmes, Oct 23, 2010.

  1. I'm assembling my kit for school, and trying to figure out which one to bring. The silver one is made by Winco, and is stainless steel. The one on the right is made by Calphalon, which I guess is nylon?

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    Thank you!
     
  2. french fries

    french fries

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    Stainless Steel.
     
  3. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Stainless.

    Nylon will melt, and the s/s skin will peel off.

    When buying ladles NEVER get ones with a welded on handle, crud will lodge in the cracks, get one made from a single piece of s/s.
     
  4. Thank you both. I really appreciate your detailed answer foodpump. As a student, you have two guidelines when it comes to equipment it seems: use whatever you want to get the job done, but don't use the wrong thing or you'll look stupid.
     
  5. french fries

    french fries

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    Ah but sometimes the "wrong" thing might be just the thing that will make you look pro. Like using a skillet as a lid, or placing a skillet upside down across two burners to re-ignite a pilot that went off... /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
  6. amazingrace

    amazingrace

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    The stainless is superior for several reasons.  Not only is there risk for the nylon melting,  but the nylon does not have the stability needed for some functions.  If you are lifting something from a boiling caldron, for instance, you want to be sure that the tool you are using will not bend or wobble under the weight of what you are lifting.  This can happen with the nylon.  Even if it seems fairly stable at room temp,  heat from the cook pot can soften it.  How might I know this?  My daughter's kitchen is poorly equipped with the most awful spoons and ladles in the world.  I suspect they were part of some "everything in one box" kitchen outfit,  from her newlywed days.  Anyway,  these are flimsy and useless for anything but the simplest of tasks. 

    So, yes, stainless is better, and get the heaviest you can afford.  Since these will be used at school, you will want to brand all your tools with some sort of ID.  You name, birthdate or your car license plate number, so no one else can say it's his. 

    I hope you do well in your school.  G.
     
  7. Thank you for your further elaboration! Do you have any suggestions for labeling things like the spoon, etc? I mean, it seems like a sharpie would make it unsanitary. I guess engraving would be okay, but I would guess it would be expensive.

    Are there any other good ways?
     
  8. french fries

    french fries

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    Laser engraving is pretty cheap. Something like a couple of dollars.
     
     
  9. foodpump

    foodpump

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    On cheap stuff like spoons and ladles a "Dremel" type electric engraver will work, so will a carbide tipped marking awl, number or letter punches work too.  All of these tools can be borrowed, no need to buy them.

    Another way is to use "Plasti-dip"  This is a thick, colourfull rubber coating, like you see on pliar and wrench handles and other tools.  Colourfull, smooth, and waterproof.  You buy a can in hardware stores and dip part of your tool, maybe the first 1 inch,  into it.  Good for knives, you can spot it from quite a distance.
     
  10. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    BTW, if you should go with nonmetallic tools, choose silicon rather than nylon.
     
  11. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    The coated, teflon, nylon, and other plastics spoons, spats, tongs and other small tools are made for non-stick cookware.  That is, they don't scratch the coating.  They melt easily, aren't very strong or sure, and don't really belong in a professional kitchen.  Women, bless them, find slightly melted plastic tools endearing.  But that's a different kettle of cioppino altogether.

    Try and buy from a restaurant supply store.  Pros tend to use the same sorts of tools, it's a lot harder to go wrong in a restaurant supply than at "gourmet" or hardware stores. 

    Don't worry about looking as though you don't know what you're doing.  You will because you don't.  That's why you're going to school in the first place.  Don't put too much anxiety into what's best, now.  We'll be more than happy to go through whichever tools you're required to have when you show you up.  Otherwise, wait til you get there.

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2010
  12. bellybones

    bellybones

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    Stay away from Teflon and plastic around heat.
     
  13. bhtoad

    bhtoad

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    You can get an electronic engraver for about $25.  At least that's what I paid for one a few years ago, and I bought it off of a Snap-On truck.  (Not the cheapest source of tools.)  Try Sears, Harbor Freight, Lee Valley, or your local hardware store.  You'll probably have better luck at a regular hardware store than the big box stores.
     
  14. amazingrace

    amazingrace

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    I've seen "etching pens" very cheap in craft stores,  and yes,  hardware stores.  Typically under $15.  Considering the number of uses you might find for such a tool once you have it,  that's not a bad investment.  In addition to your kitchen tools,  you can use it to identify lots of other stuff.  Camera, cell phone, household appliances,  etc.  Actually anything that you may need to be able to identify if it becomes lost or stolen. 
     
  15. tylerm713

    tylerm713

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    I personally see no reason to spend money on marking a $3 spoon. Take a flathead screwdriver and a hammer, and etch your initials into the back of the handle.
     
  16. amazingrace

    amazingrace

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    That'll work.  The point is be able to distinguish your tools from anyone else's similar or identical ones.  This is especially useful if another party's tool becomes damaged,  and s/he tryies to switch out for your better one.  Trust me,  this does happen, not only in school settings but in professional venues as well.  No matter where you are in life,  you will find people are people.  Some have great integrity and ethics,  others have none.  Even as a team player, you'll have to look out for yourself first. 
     
  17. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    I have to agree that an etching tool, whether one of the cheapee pens or a high end engraver, is a great investment. It's one of those things you never knew you needed, until you start playing with one.
     
  18. How to etching pens work? Are they just pens that can scrape into metal? Or is it an electronic thing?
     
     
  19. tylerm713

    tylerm713

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    They are essentially a pen that has a very hard tip (usually tungsten carbide I think), instead of an ink insert. Hold it just like a pen and write like you're using a pen, but etch the writing into metal. You can probably find one at a craft store for cheap.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2010
  20. missyjean

    missyjean

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    I agree. I love silicone. I wonder if it will eventually replace nylon tools completely.