One of the best tools I have for my kitchen are my kitchen shears. A good pair of shears can cut cleanly through almost anything, including meat, gristle, and bone. If you have a garden, you can even use them to cut and de-thorn flowers. The pair I own is sharp enough to slice through bacon strips, and snip raw vegetables. It cuts through gift wrap, and even penetrates armor-plated clamshell packaging!
Why You Should Own a Pair of Kitchen Shears
A good knife (or knife set) is an investment, so realizing you’ve dulled the blade is a real bummer. Unfortunately, carving or cutting meat from the bone may blunt your kitchen knives. Dull knives are potentially dangerous. If you’re not careful, you may end up carving a finger instead of that zucchini! Given that being safe in the kitchen is a priority for all of us, kitchen shears should be used for any tricky cutting tasks.
When I found out what I could do with kitchen shears, I ended up using them as often as my knives! It’s super useful to have a quality pair of shears that can perform all sorts of household tasks. There are mainly two types of kitchen shears. The first are poultry shears with curved blades (this allows you to cut around bones and hard-to-reach areas of a chicken). The second kind are straight-bladed multi-purpose shears.
What to Look for in a Pair of Shears
If you are interested in buying a pair of shears, there are certain things you should look for as you are shopping for them. The best shears will be balanced, sharp, and constructed using durable materials. They should also be easy to open and close with minimal effort. Some models also come with cool extra features, like nutcrackers and bottle openers.
The handles should comfortably fit your hand. Avoid buying a pair that is too small for your hand, as this will reduce control and force. Shears with rubber or plastic handles are the best because you have better grip when you are cutting through bones or tough materials.
If you have weak wrists or hands, purchase a pair of shears that have ergonomic, soft, large handles with loops or grips that can accommodate all your fingers. This way, you can utilize your whole hand to apply force and cut through anything with ease.
Look for shears that have a bone notch on one of the blades. The notch serves to grip poultry bones for easier cutting. Mine comes with a lock, which is useful on spring-loaded models—the lock holds the blades safely closed any time you are not using them.
A quality pair of shears will sometimes have a tightening mechanism, such as a bolt, which you can use to keep the blades closely aligned. To check whether the blades are well-aligned, close them and look to see whether blades meet closely and cleanly.
Pull-apart shears can be separated for easy cleaning. This is extremely handy, especially if you’ll be using your shears for meat preparation.
Shears are very versatile, and you can do plenty of things with them. So, find a pair that is multi-functional. I recommend having a second pair dedicated to food preparation, however, in order to keep your kitchen tools hygienic.
Looking After the Shears
Shears can last a long time but, like any items you have in the house, you need to store them properly. Most shears come with their own cover. If they do not, you can wrap your shears in a cloth or sheath to protect the blades. Or, you might choose to store the shears in a knife block.
Do not put the shears in your dishwasher, even though most of them are labelled dishwasher-safe. It is best to clean shears by hand and wipe them dry thoroughly before returning them to their sheath or cover. To sharpen them, you can use a honing steel or take them to a professional.
With a quality pair of shears, you’ll be cutting through chicken, turkey, and anything else you can think of with ease! Don’t be afraid to shell out a few extra bucks for a quality model, as the best shears will last a long time and pay for themselves many times over in the years to come.
What do you use your kitchen shears for? Leave a comment below and tell me what interesting uses you’ve found for this multipurpose tool!