A Spider You’ll Want in the Kitchen

Selma Brown Morrow

Selma Brown Morrow

Selma Brown Morrow is a freelance recipe developer, writer, and consultant to restaurants, TV celebrity chefs, and numerous publications.

A most useful gadget in my kitchen is called a skimmer, spider, strainer or maybe even a combo of all three names. The one I have is very inexpensive and available on Amazon for $5.89. It’s a Winco stainless steel strainer, 6-inch fine mesh.

It’s basically a flattish wire circle on a long handle. Great for scooping generous portions of small pasta, vegetables, rice, gnocchi, etc. from boiling water when I don’t want that ‘something’ to overcook and need to get all of it out of the water quickly. I set a colander on a baking sheet next to the pot in question. Two and three quick passes with the spider usually gets the job done. I find this easier (and less injurious) than lugging a heavy hot pot over to a colander in the sink.

My spider-strainer-skimmer is the perfect tool for pulling batches of fritters, fries, or onion rings out of hot oil at just the right moment. In these cases, I’ve lined a large baking sheet with paper grocery bags and set it right next to the fryer.