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Apr 26, 2014 07:14 AM

Best? Most Useful? Countertop Utensil Container

My collection of really useful, everyday silicone spatulas, wooden spoons, and various turners/stirrers has just expanded beyond the size of my current countertop utensil "jug."

What do you guys use?
Any pics would be appreciated (yes, I really want to "voyer" a small part of your kitchen...)

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    1. Any good wide mouth vase. I use an old Denby Jar and a chinese vase. Too many utensils for just one.

        1. Hi, Kris:

          I have 'way too many utensils to fit in a countertop container, so what I do is maintain a repurposed tall, round SS cannister (about the size of yours) on the back of the stove holding the 2-5 tools I know I'll be using for something. This leaves enough room inside the cannister to fill it partway with water for keeping the stove and counters cleaner and a quick rinse between uses if I'm cooking a lot. Keeping the tools to a minimum there makes for no searching and easy grabbing. If you watch the TV cooking shows like Iron Chef and Flay's, they just use cheap round SS inserts made for flatware storage--just a buck or two from most resto supply houses.

          Then I keep all my other and specialty utensils in a plastic bin in a drawer. And I actually have a smaller bin-within-the bin, too, which keeps the smaller/shorter things segregated and easy to find.

          This system works really well for me. I found with the large "bouquet" of utensils in an upright container, the stuff falls out, tips over, gets dusty/greasy, and takes awhile to find what you're looking for, etc.

          The downside of this is you need to also wash your container when you wash your utensils.


          19 Replies
          1. re: kaleokahu

            Morning, K,

            I like your system. I've never liked storing tools upright, because I don't like grabbing them by the business end. Sure, my hands are clean, but there's a certain yuck factor for me.

            Add to that the dust and grease that you noted, and it's a total nonstarter for me.

            1. re: DuffyH

              Completely get the "grabbing the business end" reluctance.

              I am trying to figure out how something like the attached pic could be created so you could always grab the handle.


              1. re: DuffyH

                Hi, Duffy:

                Here's the thing: I store the tools I know I'll need in the stoveside container business end *down*. There are usually so few, I hardly ever miss-grab.


                1. re: kaleokahu

                  Hi K,

                  Yeah, I could have guessed that, since they're part of your mise en place.

                  I was commenting on *storing* tools handle down. Can't do it.

                  1. re: DuffyH

                    Hi, Duffy:

                    Well, you *can*, but they play Naked Twister when you pull one out.


                    1. re: kaleokahu


                      Need one of these so they keep their naughty handles to themselves:


                        1. re: kaleokahu

                          You want pretty or functional? Sometimes we have to choose.

                          ETA - You know, on second thought, I kind of like the insert color, and I also like the back-to-front slant on the crock thing. Makes it easier to put shorter things in it. So nope, can't agree that it's ugly at all. Of course, the possibility exists that I only like it because the green is a deeper version of my kitchen wall color.


                          1. re: DuffyH

                            Hi, Duffy:

                            If you find it beautiful, that's great--surround yourself with beauty. In my kitchen, I try to have both beauty and high levels of functionality and durability; life's to short to do without all three.

                            I look at plastic things like this and an instant later, I can visualize a giant mound of them in a landfill.

                            The Joseph Joseph stuff is always well-designed, few abject fails, like OXO, but even more plastic-y.


                            1. re: kaleokahu

                              Thanks for sharing, K, but I'm not the one looking for a solution. I don't keep my utensils on the counter because I don't like the clutter and I'm fortunate to have drawers in my island and within easy reach of my cooktop.

                              I know that I'm lucky, and not everyone has adequate storage space.

                              1. re: DuffyH

                                hey! that's exactly what I do now, too!

                2. re: DuffyH

                  The handles of our utensils in the Le Creuset crock on our counter are long enough to grab the handles. I also am not averse to picking up a whisk by the end. It's easier to grab the silicone spatulas and wooden spoons by the handle. I would worry more about any dust that accumulates in the bottom of the crock.

                  1. re: John E.

                    Yep. It's easy to forget to clean out what you never see without making some effort. It can get icky down there.

                    1. re: mcf

                      I finally stuck a recurring reminder in my phone to alert me about every 3 weeks and then I snooze it a day at a time until there's room in the dishwasher and I wash the holders.

                      1. re: ccbweb

                        I plan to adopt your method. Maybe I'll add "clean under fridge" to that reminder. Thanks for the good idea. :)

                        1. re: NicoletteT

                          If you do, this is a wonderful thing... I can't believe how much dust and cat hair ends up under the stove and fridge in the space of two weeks:

                          Washes up great in the laundry and mine has lasted for about ten years.

                          1. re: mcf

                            Just ordered an $8. treat for myself. Thank you for the link!
                            Now I can retire the yardstick that gets wrapped in various materials to clean under the fridge. Some jobs are just more fun with their own special tools. :)

                            Thanks so much, mcf. You are moving me into the Spring Cleaning groove, and boy, do I need to get there.

                            1. re: mcf

                              mcf, the cleaning tool has arrived, been put to work, and shamed me thoroughly. :)
                              It's amazing how much dust and stuff gets under there!
                              Love that I can shake it out and pop in the washer.
                              Many thanks for this tip. I'm getting them for my kids, too.

                  2. re: kaleokahu

                    Totally wish I could use your approach.
                    I'm in a rental and the kitchen has only 4 drawers that aren't broken -- they are vertical next to the DW. When I am at the stove, they are to my 7 o'clock.
                    As inconsequential as it may seem, Turning, Scratching around in a drawer, and Turning back -- well, it frustrates me!
                    My 4 drawers are 10" wide, 3 1/2" tall, and 16" deep.
                    1) silverware,
                    2) Stuff: can opener, measuring spoons and cups, those random single-use devices
                    3) boxed things: ziplock bags, foil, parchment paper, and so on
                    4) paper napkins and small equipment: plastic mandolins and graters, rolling pin, larger single/rare-use devices

                    1. re: charlesbois

                      And a salt pig!
                      Do you have a Butter Bell, too?

                      1. re: Kris in Beijing

                        No, but my mother keeps trying to give me hers. I just can't get used to them though.

                      2. re: charlesbois

                        LOL -- that's *exactly how I have mine sorted...metal and plastic in one, and wood and silicone in the other.

                        I have two earthenware vases -- one made in France, the other a mass-produced one my sister gave me as a gift.