We all know that our basic kitchenware utensils consist of knives, forks and spoons. But did you know there are actually utensils out there that are combinations of more than one utensil, and others that are specifically designed for one certain purpose?
These combination kitchenware items can save space (if you’re traveling or taking your lunch to school or work) and time (not as much to clean), so they are used quite a bit for picnics, buffets, or kids. And while almost everyone has heard of a spork, there are actually many more that can be added to the list. And since most of these items come in different colors and materials, you can probably find a set that will match the kitchenware you already have, or you can start an additional theme specifically for picnics or parties.
Spork – The very popular Spoon and Fork combination comes in a couple of different styles and many sizes and colors. You can get a Spork with a spoon on one end and a fork on the other, or a spoon shaped utensil with small tines on the end of it. Either way, you can eat soup and pick up some other tasty food with this one utensil. There are also many manufactures, so some are made of metal, some plastic, and some even use wood.
Knork – as you can probably guess, the knork is a combination of the fork and knife. It looks like a regular fork except that instead of having a flat surface, it curls up. The Knork improved on the typical design of the fork by recognizing how people often use the side of the fork for cutting. The outer tines of the knork are much wider, but there aren’t any serrated edges to cut your mouth. The handle is balanced and the end is wide so it provides stability and comfort when using the side for cutting. There’s also a wide finger platform on both sides of the neck so it doesn’t matter whether you’re right-handed or left-handed, as you can press one or more fingers against it for leverage and comfort while cutting.
Sporf – This Spoon, Fork and Knife combination (also known as a Splayd) typically has a spoon shape with fork tines in the middle and flat edges on one or both sides, and is suitable for cutting through soft food. An alternate shape contains the knife part, which is similar to a butter knife in sharpness and use, designed right into the handle.
Chork – A utensil made up of a fork and chopsticks, the Chork has pointed and slightly curved tongs, which can be used like chopsticks at one end and a fork at the other. It can be used as a standard fork by grabbing the two sticks and holding it like a fork, or as chopsticks by using the sticks connected together to practice in the trainer function. Once you become an expert with the chopsticks, there is a kind of Chork with a split handle that can be broken in half to make two chopsticks.
Forkchops – These are three common utensils rolled up into one. You get a fork, a knife and a pair of chopsticks. Used as a pair, this utensil set has a fork and a knife on one end and chopsticks at the other. The tips of the chopsticks are textured for better gripping.
Spife – Popular with people across North America, this tool has the blade of a knife used as the handle of the spoon and is often used for cutting kiwi fruit. It is usually sold with a handle guard that covers the blade of the handle to prevent injury while using it as a spoon.
Spoon Straw – A drinking straw with a scooped end intended for slushies and milkshakes.
Specialty kitchenware utensils are almost the opposite of combination utensils. Instead of being used as a tool for a variety of different functions for different foods, the specialty utensils are usually designed for one specific purpose.
Crab Cracker – (also known as a lobster cracker or crab claw cracker) similar to certain types of nutcrackers, that is used to crack the hard shells of crabs and lobsters by pulling the two handles together to access the meat inside.
Fondue Fork – a long-stemmed fork used to dip bread, fruits and other foods into dishes of hot liquids including melted cheese, chocolate and oil served in a communal pot.
Grapefruit spoon – (sometimes called an orange spoon) usually similar in design to a teaspoon that tapers to a sharp edge or teeth. Although it can be used for other citrus fruits like kiwifruit and melons, the purpose of the front serration is to separate the inside of a grapefruit from its rind. A variation of the design has a blunt front edge with serrated sides to allow you to dig the spoon into the fruit before using the serrated sides to separate the flesh from the rind.
Lobster pick – (or lobster fork) is a long, narrow utensil that is used to remove meat from the joints, legs, claws, and other small parts of the lobster or other seafood, such as crab and crawfish. They’re usually made of stainless steel and weigh about the same as an average teaspoon. They have a long, textured, cylinder-shaped handle that ends in a crescent-shaped, reasonably sharp pick, or a small two-tined fork. The other end may have a spoon for scooping out the meat from inside the lobster.
Nutcracker – designed to crack nuts, these usually somewhat resemble pliers, but have a spring-jointed pivot point at the other end instead of in the middle. Nuts have long been a popular choice for desserts, particularly throughout Europe. Nutcrackers were placed on dining tables to serve as a fun and entertaining center of conversation while diners awaited their final course. At one time, nutcrackers were actually made of metals such as brass, and it wasn’t until the 1800s in Germany that the popularity of wooden ones began to spread.
Trongs – Designed for eating finger foods like buffalo wings and bbq ribs so that you don’t get your fingers messy, trongs are a gripping and lifting tool made of three limbs, or finger-channels, with teeth on the end of each of them. They are used in pairs so you have one for each hand.