How to CookEssential ToolsKitchen Hacks

15 Reasons a Pair of Chopsticks Is an Extremely Essential Tool

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Chopsticks 

If you don't currently have any chopsticks rolling around in your silverware drawer, you should a) order Chinese food tonight and begin your collection, or b) head to the closest Asian grocery store and scoop up a couple pairs of wooden or metal chopsticks. Then take them home and wonder why it took you so long to add them to your arsenal.

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Chopsticks are one of those tools that come in handy nearly every day. Here are 15 ways we use them:

  • No hair-tie? Loop up your ponytail and secure with chopsticks.
  • Use one as a slicing guide—like in this recipe for a Hasselback Potato Skillet Bake—so that you don't slice all the way through the potato.
  • All out of skewers, but the grill's already heating up? Spear your kebabs (or your corndogs) with chopsticks.
  • A chopstick makes a good stand-in for a swizzle stick in cocktails.
  • Or anytime you need to stir something deep, like the coffee-water slurry in a French press or Aeropress.
  • Use them as you would tongs or tweezers—like when you need to grab a slice of hot toast, pull a vegetable or piece of pasta from hot water, flip things in oil, or stir-fry noodles. (Bonus: Dominique Ansel does this!)
  • You could use your fingers to poke at your focaccia dough... or you could use a chopstick and keep your rings on. 
  • No need to buy a cake tester: Use a chopstick to know if your baked goods are done.
  • And you can swirl one through your batter for a marbled effect.
  • Or prop up festive pennant flags in a finished cake or pie, using the chopsticks as the "poles."
  • The same rule applies to droopy plants: Stick chopsticks in their pots to give the plants' arms something to pull itself up on.
  • Or use them in your garden as plant markers.
  • Use them to make your home smell nice! We haven't tried it yet, but we think wooden chopsticks could replace skewers as the reeds in a diffuser.
  • That dusty corner of your ceiling? That one? You can reach it by throwing a dishtowel or dust rag over a chopstick—that is, by giving yourself a dusting-arm extension.
  • If you figure out how to make chopsticks into an impromptu pasta drying rack, tell us! We're certain it could work.

What's the best use for chopsticks that you've found? Share your ways in the comments.

Tags: chopsticks, essential tools