5 Reasons Why You Need a Chef’s Towel as Your Kitchen Partner
Whether you’re a full-time home chef crafting elaborate five-course meals or just occasionally like to bake cookies, the chances are you live a busy life. With that in mind, it’s good to be on the lookout for great time-saving kitchen accessories.
But what if the best kitchen partner was closer to hand than you thought?
Truth is, a high-quality, reliable chef's towel is one of the best tools for saving you time and tears while you’re working. You may just be wiping your hands, need a temporary potholder for hot pans, or need something to dry delicate greens. A good chef’s towel can do all of this, and save you from wadding up tons of paper towels in the process.
Let's take a closer look at why you need a chef’s towel as the sustainable choice that will keep you working so you enjoy life in the kitchen more, and have more time to live outside of it.
Protects you from burns
The water’s boiling and you’ve waited patiently, your pasta is the perfect al dente, but oh no! Where’s the potholder? You need to take the pot off the burner quickly to keep your pasta from overcooking, but you can’t find your potholders to grab it safely without tipping.
Luckily you keep a trusty chef’s towel by your side, just thick enough to keep you protected from the heat of the pot. You double up the ends of the towel and grab each side of the pot to drain the water safely, keeping your pasta at that perfect level of “done”.
Score one: A good chef’s towel will be there to help you in a pinch when dealing with hot surfaces. From grabbing a hot skillet handle to pulling perfectly baked cookies out of the oven, a folded kitchen towel will get the job done and protect your hands from scalds and burns.
Dries Herbs and Veggies
The smell of really fresh herbs quickly invades your kitchen as soon as you get home from the market. You can’t wait to use that rosemary to add a little extra flavor to your favorite savory scone recipe.
The first thing you need to do is to wash your herbs, but they need to be completely dry to avoid adding any extra moisture to your scones. Carefully laying your rosemary out and then gently squeezing it in a fresh kitchen towel will help soak up all that excess water, so your herbs are prepped and ready to go.
Score two: It’s important to wash fruit and vegetables to remove dirt and bacteria, including E. coli, from their surface. It’s also important to dry them after washing. A soft, thirsty, reusable chef’s towel will handle this task with ease, even for the most delicate berries or greens.
Keeps your space tidy
The clock is ticking and you have ten dinner guests on their way for a party you’re hosting. You know you’re behind but you’re chopping that garlic as fast as you can! The garlic skins litter your cutting board and you can sense your knife getting that familiar sticky feeling.
You have no time to slow down, so you reach for your hip and with a quick swoosh the garlic peels are wiped off your board and into the trash. Another quick swipe and you remove the sticky garlic residue from your knife, then get back to clean, precise cuts on a freshly-cleared chopping board.
Score three: Even when you’re moving quickly, taking a few seconds to keep your space clean and organized only saves you time in the long run. A fresh kitchen towel can quickly deal with your mess and keep surfaces clear.
Keeps food fresh
It’s almost bedtime and you’re just pulling your fresh sourdough bread out of the oven. You know it needs to rest before you cut into it, but you’re exhausted. You want to go to bed and still have fresh bread for your avocado toast in the morning.
Not to worry! A clean kitchen towel draped over your bread will keep it fresh without making it soggy. Covering hot bread with plastic or tin foil can cause steam or condensation to form, even if your bread is almost cool, leaving you with damp bread in the morning.
A towel can also stop vegetables from drying out when defrosting. Just dampen your towel slightly before you place your frozen veggies on it, and they’ll be ready to use like fresh, with no risk of dehydration.
Score four: A good kitchen towel will absorb unwanted moisture from baked treats, and keep your greens and veggies hydrated and fresh.
Comes to the rescue
You’re working carefully to get the perfect julienne for your carrots and suddenly your hand slips. You see the bright red start to form around your finger, and quickly rush into action to save the meal.
Reaching down with your other hand, you grab your kitchen towel and tightly wrap it around your finger to help stop the bleeding. After a few minutes, you remove the towel, wash the cut, and securely bandage up your finger so you can safely return to the kitchen.
While that towel goes right into the wash, luckily you have a spare ready to protect you from any further mishaps. After cooking, remember that if you wrap some ice cubes in that spare towel it’ll make a great ice pack to help relieve the pain.
Score five: Having a good clean kitchen towel on hand can help you deal with minor injuries in a pinch, keeping your food prep on track and your guests delighted.
How to choose a great chef's towel
If you’re sold (like we are) on the idea that a good chef’s towel is your next best move, the question is how to choose from all the candidates.
Here are some tips to get you started:
- Look for towels with some percentage of natural bast fibers such as flax (linen), hemp, or ramie. These fibers are heartier than cotton and can withstand a lot of washing and drying.
- Avoid synthetics (such as microfiber), as these have poorer airflow than natural fiber blends, meaning they won’t maintain the proper level of moisture in your food.
- Avoid terry cloth. A flat gauze weave is a better choice for avoiding lint and keeping unwanted threads out of food.
That’s five reasons why you need a chef’s towel as your kitchen partner!
Hopefully, we’ve convinced you that if you choose it correctly, what may at first seem like a humble piece of fabric is in fact a critical part of your toolkit as a chef! A reliable towel keeps you from constantly returning to the paper towel roll, helps you whip up amazing meals, and simply saves you time, allowing you to get to all the other things on your to-do list.
Do you have more awesome uses for kitchen towels? Let us know your favorite ideas in the comments!
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