Real Solutions: Color-Coded Kitchen Utensils

Today: Our Test Kitchen Manager Erin McDowell shares her brilliant trick to keep flavors just as they're intended while cooking. 

Color-Coded Spatulas

I’m big on organization in my kitchen, but the trick I'm asked about most often is also one of the simplest. On my countertop, I have a utensil holder full of wooden spoons and red spatulas. I also have a drawer full of utensils that contains offset spatulas, bench scrapers, and blue spatulas. Why the two colors? I color code commonly used kitchen tools to differentiate between sweet and savory.

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I’ve seen a million ways to do this: wrap each utensil in a piece of tape (white tape for sweet, blue for savory), make a mark on it in some way, etc. But with Silicone spatulas (my most-used kitchen tool, bar none) that are available in so many colors, why work harder to see the difference? I just purchase different colors for different tasks, and that way I never end up with garlicky whipped cream or vanilla-scented Bolognese.  

What are your best tricks for staying organized in the kitchen? Let us know in the comments!

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Laura415
  • Hannah
  • Emilie
I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, Savory Baking, came out in Fall of 2022 - is full of recipes to translate a love of baking into recipes for breakfast, dinner, and everything in between!


Laura415 June 3, 2016
I could see this if you consistently make very aromatic dishes like curry, but I use my silicone spatulas for everything and I clean them as soon as I finish with them so they never get too much smell on them. A wooden spoon is another matter. Those seem to absorb every smell.
Hannah June 1, 2015
Or you can have a kosher kitchen and already have 2 of everything! ;)
Emilie May 28, 2015
I have those exact spatulas and love them. But it never occurred to me to designate some tools for savory and some for sweet. Does it really matter if all of them go in the dishwasher? (Assuming they're only used for one purpose between each wash.)