DISCLAIMER: The marketing team from The Saucepan Chef gave me two sets of their utensils for review and a giveaway. No promise of a positive review was given in exchange for these products.
If you’re like me, you probably love your kitchen toys. Zesters, blenders, high-tech or basic, these gadgets can make cooking even more fun! I must say that, with professional training, I don’t use them quite as much as I once did. But sometimes there’s just no substitute for what a cooking tool can accomplish.
We’re starting a new series here on Fancy Pants Foodie, the Foodie Tool Review. These reviews may be of a product I already have, or I may accept a sample product to complete the review. Either way, there’s no promise of a good review…I’ll just tell you what I thought.
My first Tool Review subject is a set of cooking utensils by The Saucepan Chef. These utensils are unlike anything you’ve ever seen or used. They’re kind of big and bulky, and a little heavy. And they’re awesome.
The heft and size comes from their unique design. The business ends are a little bigger than average, and they’re at weird angles…more on that in a minute. Made of vinyl, they can withstand high-ish heat (I did rough up the end of one in some super-hot bacon grease). They’re solid black with grooved handles for your thumb, so they look sleek and would probably match most kitchens.
The spoon in the set is narrowish and squared off on the end, allowing you to scrape the corners of a pot easily. I also found the flat end helpful when stirring a sauce that might burn or reduce too much if it didn’t get scraped thoroughly while stirring in the pan. When serving a hard-to-grip product like rice, the narrow spoon gets down into the pan easily and scoops it up well, without a lot of spillage.
The spatula is really wide, curved at the edge, and, most noticeably, and tilted at a precarious angle. I wondered how this would feel while cooking, but my test on a burger patty worked great. Learning to flip at this angle took a bit of brain retraining, but once you get the hang of it, the Saucepan Chef spatula feels quite natural. Later, I used it to cook some bacon pieces and noticed it worked well turned upside down to move the food around. Then I could scoop it up easily with the spatula turned the other way.
Well, yeah, this is where the outer limits of the spatula’s temperature range got tested…when the grease got really hot, the spatula’s edge started to get a bit of a rough texture. But there was no outright melting like you’d see with a cheap plastic spatula.
The slotted spoon functioned pretty much as expected, if a bit sturdier than usual. And I honestly haven’t used the “spork” just yet, although it does look like it would be handy at lifting heavier meats. The leaf-shaped “knife” was handy, however, at breaking up ground meat in a pan.
I’m saving the ladle for last. It’s magnificent, my daughter says. She’s not wrong.
I mean, why haven’t ladles always had corners? Some do have a slight edge, but I’ve never seen a large ladle like this. The corner directs the flow of what you’re pouring. Right. Into. The. Destination. It’s a thing of beauty. My husband’s cheese dip will never be the same. (And by never being the same, I mean I won’t have to scrub it off the countertop anymore.)
The Saucepan Chef utensil set retails for $39.95 and is sold exclusively on their website at this time.
I would say it’s worth it. I’ve seen high-end spatulas alone retailing for $15 or so, and this is a whole set of tools that will last you a long time. (I mean, if you’re smart enough to not dip them in boiling grease.) Plus, there’s a 30-day guarantee on full sets and a one-year guarantee on individual utensils.
And how do I prove that they’re great? A giveaway! I’ve got an extra set of Saucepan Chef utensils that you can win, just by commenting with what you’d make with them. Do so below, and on Friday, Nov. 14 we’ll randomly pick a winner.