Tips & Techniques

The Kitchen Tool You're Not Using Enough

May 27, 2016

Certain kitchen necessities—wooden spoons, parchment paper, toothpicks—are far more useful than their simplicity belies. We'd like to add a good pair of shears to that list, ones that can snip through chicken bones and tacky cellophane with equal ease. Our new stainless steel pair from Zwilling J. A. Henckels (who, fun fact, is one of the oldest brands on record) can do all that and more. And you can only find them in the Food52 Shop.

Here are all the ways we love using them around the house:


Our shears are made from two pieces of solid stainless steel, which means they're just as good at trimming tender herb stems without bruising them as they are at hacking into woody flower stems with no trouble at all.

Poppin' Caps

Close the shears and they form a built-in bottle opener, which will come in handy whether you're making Beer-Candied Bacon or just having one.

Photo by Bobbi Lin

Twistin' Off

Rather than using your favorite tee-shirt to grasp a twist-off cap, turn to the ridged middle section of these shears to paw it off with ease.

Photo by Bobbi Lin

Liftin' Tops

For when your can opener only gets you halfway to those beans, or when an ornery jar won't quite pop open, these two little prongs are here to leverage a rescue.

Photo by Bobbi Lin

And while we're especially fond of the stainless steel pair (since Zwilling made those just for us), we're also big on them in race car red.

Plus a few other tasks we love using shears for in the kitchen:

  • Serve pizza to a crowd with a pair of shears, so your guests can cut it up into whatever size and shape (and crust-laden or crust-free) pieces they feel like eating
  • Speed-chop a chicken breast or thigh, right into the wok for stir-frying
  • For one less cutting board to clean, shower herbs—like chives!—in a flurry on top of whatever you're serving
  • Cut corn or flour tortillas into strips for frying (as soup-toppers or chips)
  • Before storing your root vegetables, like carrots and radishes, rid them of their greens (clean those, too, and swirl them into an aioli)
  • Spatchcock a chicken for extra-crispy skin when you roast it

What's your favorite tool in your kitchen? Tell us in the comments.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • HalfPint
  • therefromhere
  • Amanda Sims
    Amanda Sims
Amanda Sims

Written by: Amanda Sims

Professional trespasser.


HalfPint May 27, 2016
My Meissermeister (sp?) shears are the workhorse of my house. I use them for almost everything.
therefromhere May 27, 2016
Uh... exclusive to Food52? Same shears are on sale for $50 at Williams Sonoma!
Amanda S. May 27, 2016
Hi therefromhere—thank you for letting me know! I think I've found the ones you're talking about on WS—but they're actually slightly different from ours (see: the width of the blades themselves, the finish, the quality of the overall construction) and don't appear to be Zwilling-made. I'm sorry for any confusion!