Kitchen Shears Use and Care Guide
If you have never owned a pair of kitchen shears or never really knew how to properly use or care for them this guide was made for you. If you are simply looking for more information about kitchen shears, this guide may be useful. I suggest going through and reading the various headings I have set up so that you can get a better idea of what this guide is about and skip ahead to the parts you find most interesting.
If you are looking for information about what to look for when purchasing kitchen shears, I would like to direct you to our Kitchen Shears Buying Guide. That guide has information about important features and specifications you will want to look for when you purchase your next pair of shears.
Basic Uses for Kitchen Shears
The most basic uses for kitchen shears are probably those which are the most popular and the most familiar to you. Unlike scissors, your kitchen shears should be kept away from “dirty” jobs which may contaminate them or leave behind sticky residue. For that reason, I must first advise that you do not use your kitchen shears for office work or crafts. I have replaced more than one set of shears after finding that they have developed pits and bends as the result of my children using them to cut sticks for various craft projects. I have also spent my fair share of time using degreasers to remove the remnants of glue and tape from my shears. If you want to use your shears for kitchen tasks, stick to only kitchen tasks.
Basic kitchen task shears are quite useful for cutting butcher’s twine to wrap or unwrap meat, opening freeze pops, trimming parchment paper, wax paper and aluminum foil, and making your way into difficult-to-open foil-lined packages.
Using Kitchen Shears for Cutting and Chopping Food
You may be amazed, as I once was, to find out that kitchen shears aren’t simply meant for the basic tasks listed above. They can also be very useful for preparing food in the kitchen and are actually preferable to knives in certain situations. In fact, they were originally developed for these purposes, not the basic uses listed above.
Have you ever tried to fillet a chicken breast using a boning knife (or another type of knife) only to find that it was difficult to control? Using knives for tasks such as this can actually become quite dangerous if you lose control of your knife. To use your kitchen shears for this purpose simply slide the sharp tip of one blade into your chicken breast and cut your way through. You will find yourself with a perfectly filleted breast, ready to be stuffed by anything your heart desires.
Have you ever rolled out a pie crust, placed it into the pan and found yourself struggling to create a clean cut around the edges as you worked at removing the excess crust dough? A good pair of kitchen shears will cut through that dough with ease, leaving behind a clean line perfect for impressing your dinner guests.
You can separate a rack of ribs in mere minutes using your kitchen shears. You can also use them to slice difficult, thin cuts of meat such as bacon. I have tried halving my bacon using a knife only to find that it basically shredded the bacon into strings. Using my kitchen shears, I was able to quickly, effortless cut my bacon into smaller strips without compromising their visual appeal.
Another of my favorite uses for shears is chopping sundried tomatoes. I am quite the fan of incorporating sundried tomatoes into many different pasta dishes, but have struggled when trying to cut them with a knife. First, it takes an incredibly sharp knife to actually cut through their tough skins without smooshing the soft inner flesh into a hideous mess. Second, they usually come coated in olive oil which can cause both my knife and my fingers to slide around. To avoid a frustrating and potentially dangerous situation, I once tried my kitchen shears and was so impressed that I never used a knife to cut them again.
Of course, you can chop a large variety of fruits, vegetables, and delicate herbs with your shears. They can be useful in preparing sliced strawberries, dill springs, perfectly cylindrical chives and scallions, and beautiful arches of celery. Though a knife works just as well for these purposes, your kitchen shears may come in especially handy when you find yourself running out of counter space or would like to prepare directly into a mixing bowl or pot.
Other food-related uses for kitchen shears include, but are in no way limited to, removing tomatoes from vines, portioning meat, cutting pastry dough, snipping springs of herbs from your home garden, removing roots from vegetables, snipping florets from broccoli and cauliflower, trimming phyllo pastry, breaking apart dry noodles.
Storing Your Kitchen Shears
There is a reason why many knife blocks incorporate a spot for kitchen shears; many people assume that it is simply for convenience. Though it does often make life more convenient, knife blocks are designed to protect the blades of your knives from dulling and pitting as the result of rubbing and banging against other things in a drawer. Metal, ceramic and glass can all damage and dull your knife blades, which is why, as you may have noticed, most knife blocks are constructed from wood or plastic.
The blades of your kitchen shears may be more difficult to access since they are often inset behind each other’s outer edges, but they are just as important to protect. I suggest storing your shears in you knife block, if you have one. Otherwise, try wrapping them in a dishtowel before placing them in a drawer.
Cleaning Your Kitchen Shears
The type of shears you purchase will impact the way you can clean them. Some shears are made to come apart easily, allowing you to slide the blades and handles apart so that you can easily access every part of the shears for a thorough cleaning and drying.
Other shears are fastened together and cannot come apart. You will have to be careful when cleaning and drying this type of shears. Your first concern should be bacteria. Crevices around the point where the blades and handles meet is a prime location for the development of bacterial colonies which can put you at risk. This is especially true if you use your shears to cut meat of any kind. Pay special attention to cleaning these areas with soap and water.
Your second concern with this type of shears is rust. If you do not thoroughly dry the hard-to-reach areas, even stainless steel shears may develop rust since air cannot reach these areas very well. For this reason, I do not suggest placing your kitchen shears in a dishwasher, even if the instruction manual tells you that it is okay to do so. Instead, wash them carefully by hand with water and soap, dry them thoroughly then leave them open on a drying rack. Leaving them open allows better air circulation to help them dry faster.
I hope that this guide has been helpful for you. Of course, there are many other possible uses for your kitchen shears, so feel free to browse your way around the internet for more tips and tricks. Don’t forget to ask people to tell you some of their personal tips and tricks – you may be surprised at what you find.
Now that you know more about the possible uses of kitchen shears and how to properly care for them, you can confidently begin looking into purchasing your next pair. Take some time to browse around this website to see some of my favorite popular kitchen shears. If you are still a little uncertain about what to look for, take a moment to check out our “Kitchen Shears Buying Guide”.