Food & Drink

Kitchen Shears Are The Tool You’re Probably Not Using Enough

If you only use kitchen shears to open packaging, to cut twine, or on the rare occasion when you summon up the courage to tackle that spatchcocked chicken recipe, you are seriously underutilizing your pair of snips. While I used my everyday scissors for non-food purposes such as cutting paper or fabric or curling ribbons for presents, for a long time, I didn’t fully understand the versatility of kitchen shears. It took visiting a K-BBQ spot as a teenager—where I witnessed my friend deftly using a pair to trim marinated strips of kalbi and kimchi into bite-size pieces—to realize how practical a dedicated pair of very sharp scissors can be in the realm of food.

Here at Bon Appétit, many staffers wield scissors for both kitchen prep work and serving. Head of digital video June Kim, whose mother used scissors in the kitchen daily, pulls them out for many tasks that others might designate to a knife. She’ll cut up raw veggies, snip herbs, and slice meat or kimchi into small pieces directly over the pan. “It’s way easier than having to transfer the meat to a cutting board and cut it up there,” June says.

Messermeister 8-Inch Take-Apart Kitchen Scissors

At the table, she’ll use her snips (properly sanitized, of course) to slice pizza, Korean pancakes, and, in a use-case that surprised me, sandwiches. “I feel like scissors provide a cleaner cut than a knife would, because with a sandwich, for instance, you have to do like a sawing motion back and forth, and that can jiggle the condiments around and make your sandwich messy,” June says.

Commerce editor Carina Finn picked up a few scissor tips from cooking with a former partner’s mother. She likes to snip cooked boneless chicken thighs into chunks for adding to salads, and opts for a pair to slice up any type of greens when she’s feeling too lazy to pull out a knife and cutting board. “Reducing the amount of dishes I have to do later is always a priority for me,” says Carina, “and I find that kitchen shears really help in that regard.”

While there are plenty of kitchen scissors out there, we do have some particular favorites. Deputy food editor Hana Asbrink recommends the exceptionally sharp Good Shears by Material, while Carina is partial to the Kline cookware kitchen scissors. June relies on a pair of Messermeister shears, which come apart easily for cleaning nooks and crannies around the blade hinge. In any case, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have two pairs on hand: one for handling raw ingredients and the other for cooked food.

If you really think about it, scissors are really just two knives attached by a hinge, so pulling them out in the kitchen on a regular basis makes a lot of sense. And if you happen to be apprehensive, go ahead and make yourself a PB&J, pull out those shears, and cut that bad boy in half. You might just find yourself convinced.

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