How do you use toothpicks in the kitchen?

I'm inspired by BerryBaby, she has all sorts of unique uses for them beyond testing cakes, like cleaning around the edge of the faucet and the rubber on fridge doors and cleaning mesh strainers or de-clogged anything else with small holes. Are you a toothpick fan? What are your favorite uses for them?

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18 Comments

PHIL July 13, 2016
Your Guardian Chef -only my wife thinks I am cool.
 
BerryBaby July 13, 2016
Remembered another...I use them to make designs on cakes. Frost the cake, apply food coloring or food gel in straight lines, then take the toothpick and run it across the lines. Makes a very interesting design. I've seen cakes at Halloween with this technique to make spider webs.
 
pierino July 13, 2016
Don't try this at home but maybe if you get some time in San Q http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-folsom-prisoner-who-built-functional-miniature-carnivals-out-of-toothpicks?
 
PHIL July 13, 2016
I thought my joke bombed! Glad it gave you a laugh.
 
Rachel July 12, 2016
when I force plants using a growlight and peat pellets, I don't have enough real estate to use the whole packet of seeds, so I fold masking or painters tape in half around a toothpick and write the name of my vegetable on it and poke it in the peat pellet. Keeps my from mixing my jalapenos and bell pepper plants.
 
AntoniaJames July 12, 2016
Saltimbocca: my photo shows before and after (you take them out before serving). Some people don't use them at all, but I like to start the process with the sage leaves face down in the oil, to flavor it, so I find the toothpicks indispensable. https://food52.com/recipes/31943-turkey-saltimbocca

Useful for securing - and to facilitate self-serving / eating - melon wrapped in speck or prosciutto, an old-school but (in my house at least) much-loved summer appetizer.

;o)
 
pierino July 12, 2016
I use them to pick bits of dried dough out of my pasta rollers among other things. They are always handy to have around.
 
sdebrango July 12, 2016
I always have toothpicks on hand. I still like them (the pretty ones) when serving cocktail meatballs or small cubes of cheese. Don't really use them for cleaning but sounds interesting. When making small bracciole I will use them instead of butchers twine to keep the filling in. I use decorative toothpicks to skewer fruit or olives for drink garnish.
Answer image
 
Smaug July 12, 2016
More of a bamboo skewer person myself, but the same kind of uses- the extra length can also be helpful, such as for keeping wrapping from touching foods, cleaning into corners on coffee makers and such, rescuing things that have dropped under a burner grate... Also useful in the garden for staking very small plants, cleaning mud off of shoe soles, intimidating gophers. Also in the shop as disposable mixing sticks, applying glue in small places, reaming dust and gook out of corners- the list goes on forever,
 
PHIL July 12, 2016
I use them when making spedini / also to look cool when I am cooking
Answer image
 
Lindsay-Jean H. July 13, 2016
Ha, somehow the picture didn't load for me when I first looked at your answer, it certainly helps clarify the second part! :)
 
Susan W. July 13, 2016
Lol. I didn't see the image the first time either, so I was using my imagination. Photo is perfect!
 
BerryBaby July 13, 2016
We had a neighbor who always had a toothpick in his mouth when he'd cut the grass. Didn't look this good!
 
creamtea July 12, 2016
Not very exotic, but I use them to test the doneness of cakes. Also, I usually bake cakes a day before serving. After frosting them, I poke them in around the perimeter at even intervals, and in the center before covering the whole with plastic wrap to keep the wrap from clinging to the frosting and marring the surface. Obviously, I remove them before serving.
Like BerryBaby, I also use them for cleaning: the crevice around the sink drain for example.
 
HalfPint July 12, 2016
Not food-related but fun: my high school physics teacher has a project that requires building a bridge using only toothpicks and glue. This bridge must be able to support the weight of a fellow classmate.
 
Lindsay-Jean H. July 12, 2016
Wow, those would be impressive bridges!
 
702551 July 12, 2016
Like Susan W, I've used toothpicks when I've stuffed some meats (roulades, etc.), sometimes they work better than twine.

A few of them have ended up in cocktails over the years...
 
Susan W. July 12, 2016
I haven't bought toothpicks in years, but after reading BerryBaby's uses I bought some. I found myself dipping them in chlorine bleach and poking them into a crevice in the corner of my shower door that was black and has always bugged me. Old shower door. It's clean and shiny now.

That led me to an eighties flashback and I've been using them to close up chicken breasts that I've been stuffing with yummy goodness...including another flashback to the eighties...sundried tomatoes.
 
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