I Use This Tool for Everything from Ground Beef to Banana Bread
The blending fork has replaced all other utensils in my kitchen.
If it feels like you dirty every utensil in your kitchen each time you cook or bake, you're not alone. Sure, there are instances where a specific whisk gets the job done perfectly or your favorite spatula reigns supreme. But, since I began experimenting with a pair of silicone blending forks (a gift I was admittedly skeptical about), I realized that sometimes one utensil is all you need.
When I first mixed pancake batter using the blending fork, I marveled at how quickly (and clump-free) it came together compared to a whisk. And when making my grandma's super-moist banana bread, I found the curves of the outer tines handily allowed me to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl without swapping utensils. Since then, I’ve experimented beyond quick breads and pancake batters to the point where my wooden spoons, whisks, spatulas and serving forks are collecting dust. The forks allow me to stir and scrambled eggs right in the skillet, separate and fluff grains of rice, and crumble and sauté ground beef and turkey. When I’m making salads, I use the forks to whisk the vinaigrette, toss the greens and toppings, and then leave them in the bowl for serving.
To put it simply, I am no longer a skeptic. Blending forks — specifically this pair by Elizabeth Karmel — have become my go-to kitchen workhorses.
Karmel, a chef, author and creator of Girls at the Grill, invented these blending forks to fill a need in her own kitchen. “I believe there are three kinds of cooks in the world: wooden spoon cooks, whisk cooks and fork cooks. Like my mother and my grandmother before me, I am a fork cook,” Karmel says. “My grandmother had an oversized fork she used; I had a steel core made that replicated the shape and size of her blending fork, then had it coated in silicone, and that became the blending fork.”
I like that the design is sturdy with just the right amount heft, so it still feels good in your hands. The silicone coating gives the handle a comfortable grip, but it also makes the forks heatproof and prevents scratching metal and ceramic surfaces (unlike metal tongs). The silicone coating also makes them super-easy to clean, and they don’t retain odors, flavors or stains. I prefer to hand-wash my blending forks, but (much to my husband’s delight) they’re dishwasher-safe and have remained like-new after multiple spins.
Like me, Karmel is a fan of using her forks to scramble eggs, but she also gave me a few new ideas to try, including shredding pork, incorporating flour and butter for pie crust and biscuits, lifting roasted birds (no more metal claws at Thanksgiving) and using the tines to spear and flip slices of bacon. The blending forks have become such an indispensable tool for Karmel that she even travels with a couple pairs, packing them alongside her chef’s knife and a pair of tongs for culinary events, such as SOBE Food & Wine Festival.
The one thing the forks can’t replace are carving forks, as the tines aren’t sharp enough for spearing roasts, plus you risk slicing or nicking the silicone coating if you do. But, as for the remainder of my kitchen endeavors, I look forward to finding more ways to put this blending fork to work.