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Stein Discovers His Kitchen Miracle Tool

"I am a believer!" I told Nancy Leson,  "In the single most useful kitchen tool I've encountered in years. "


"I have those, Stein," Nancy said.  "What's the big deal?" 

The big deal is that these tweezers are big – and amazingly versatile. 

While browsing I saw the headline "Yes You Need a Pair of Kitchen Tweezers". 

"Yeah, right," I snorted. But by the time I'd finished Sohla El-Waylly's very funny and informative blog, I was convinced to buy a pair.  I'm discovering new uses for them almost every day.

As you can see in the shot above, they're terrific for breading meats.  No more egg/crumb goop all over your fingers or clogging up your tongs.  They make picking little bits of shell out of the scrambled egg bowl easy.  Big tweezers are the perfect tool for fishing olives or pepperoncini from those narrow jars. And that's just the start

You can twirl spaghetti with them to make it look fancy on the plate. And they're even better for pulling a single strand out of the pot to test for al dente-ness.  Big tweezers are just the thing for flipping bacon and turning hot dogs or vegetables on the grill

Nancy says that all that can be accomplished with chopsticks.  Sure, but not by me.  I'm so bad with them that once, while struggling with a pair in the card room, a Korean player begged, "Would you please get a fork?  It's driving me crazy just looking at you!"

I love these tweezers for when I have a lot of small things like scallops that I want to turn for even browning.  The tweezers' precision is way better than clumsy spatulas or tongs.  Ever have a little piece of food fly out of the pan and fall between the grids on the stove?  Retrieving with fingers is a good way to get burned.  With tweezers?  No probbbbbbbbbbbbblem.  They're good for fishing stuff out of the sink drain, too.

These eight inch tweezers work way better than the LBJ hemostat I've been using  – though not always in the kitchen – for decades.  It's a genuine historical artifact from Johnson's presidential gall bladder operation.  At least that's what the Air Force medic who sold it to me claimed.

Credit Stein / KNKX
If this hemostat wasn't really used in LBJ's gallbladder operation, I'm out five bucks.

Even though Nancy pooh-pooh'd my new infatuation with tweezers, she did offer a clever way to way to use them to pull pin bones from a fish filet.  

"Take a small bowl, turn it over and lay the fillet over the back of it.  Run your fingers over the fillet and use the tweezers to pull the bones out," she said.

This Just In: Nancy Wises Up

Credit Rufus T. Firefly / KNKX

"Won't you step into the freezer, seize her with a tweezer."  – Phish

Dick Stein joined KNKX in January 1992. He retired in 2020 after three decades on air. During his storied radio career, he hosted the morning jazz show, co-hosted and produced "Food for Thought" with Nancy Leson and wrote and directed the Jimmy Jazzoid live radio musical comedies and 100 episodes of Jazz Kitchen.