My Spotless Countertops Owe It All to This Spoon Rest
By Megan Wahn
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In all my years of cooking at home, it never occurred to me that I needed a spoon rest. For me, a spoon rest could be the bag one of my bananas came in, a paper towel, or the nearest flat surface, which more often than not was my cutting board or a stray plate. Inefficient and dirty, I know—but these were often what was within arm’s reach so I wouldn’t lose momentum when cooking. Then I spent a week at my parents’ house.
After making my eggs one morning, I went to put down my spatula and found I’d nestled it right in a ceramic spoon rest. The world suddenly made sense. “Oh, this is what I’m supposed to use,” I thought. “My utensils need a home, even when I’m using them.” When I returned to my apartment, I made it my mission to get a spoon rest of my own.
As I researched my ideal spoon rest, I established some criteria. First, it needed to be relatively cheap. Although a spoon rest had proved itself essential to my kitchen, it still wasn’t something I wanted to spend more than $10 to $15 on. That said, I didn’t want my spoon rest to look cheap: It would live on my countertop at all times, so it needed to have some curb appeal. Third, considering this would be the landing spot for all my cooking tools and would likely pick up its fair share of pesto or sauce spills, the spoon rest also needed to be dishwasher-safe. Finally, I wanted something that could hold larger spoons, spatulas, ladles, tongs, and silicone flippers without taking up too much real estate on the counter.
With this criteria in mind, I landed on four different spoon rests to test out: a sleek silicone model that intrigued me due to its generous size (it also has a spoon handle); a stainless-steel spoon rest with a generously long handle for larger tools; a circular, sand-hued stoneware option from Pottery Barn; and a curved, rectangular matte black spoon rest from Crate & Barrel.
I spent a few days with these spoon rests, spreading them out on my counters, using them interchangeably, and resting different utensils on them while cooking various dishes. I had eggs with gratuitous amounts of oil and a few cheesy sandwiches, but the ultimate test was a saucy, garlicky chicken with Parmesan risotto that required spice-coated tongs for the chicken and a sauce-covered spoon for the risotto.
All of them were nice in their own way, but three of the four had notable drawbacks. I loved the amount of real estate the silicone spoon rest offered, which meant it could comfortably hold larger utensils like open tongs without dripping onto the counters. However, I didn’t love its flimsiness. It’s made of silicone, so it flops around a good bit when you hold it, but that didn’t bother me as much as its overall meh appearance. The stainless-steel one was great for long tools like spoons since its oversized handle can fit the whole body of a spoon but not so much wider things like spatulas. The circular Pottery Barn pick looked lovely but didn’t quite have the real estate I wanted from a spoon rest—all it could fit was a spoon.
The Crate & Barrel spoon rest had all of these missing qualities—and more. Measuring at 6.9 inches in width and 4.8 inches in depth, it was long enough to hold a spoon with sauce dribbling down the handle, big enough to fit a set of open tongs, and nice looking enough that I wouldn’t feel bad about having it on my counter 24/7. It is dishwasher-safe, but any lingering stains won’t show thanks to the dark color.
Now, whenever I’m holding a dirty utensil, I don’t look frantically around my kitchen for a place to rest it anymore. I just peacefully lay it on my spoon rest that lives conveniently near my stove. Though it might seem like a small, perhaps superfluous item on the counter, like a good ladle, a spoon rest is the kind of tool that can make all the difference in maintaining a cleaner, more cohesive, more put-together kitchen that feels a little less chaotic when I’m cooking. Adios, produce bags.