Clever Ways to Put Kitchen Scissors to Work

If you're only using your kitchen scissors to slice twine and open packages, you're tapping just a fraction of their potential.

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5 Uses for Kitchen Scissors You’d Never Considered


From chopping oily anchovies in a dish to cutting up lettuce to trimming green beans, there isn’t much prep that isn’t made easier with scissors. It’s especially satisfying to use them on herbs: no need for a cutting board, and best of all, no bruising. Snipping chives right onto eggs, slicing green onions into a bowl, all with minimal cleanup… the list goes on and on, constrained only by your imagination!

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Uses for kitchen scissors - portioning fish
Photo: Ostancov Vladislav /

Portioning Fish

This how-to is a quick one: forget about the cutting board, the knife and the resulting cleanup. When you want to portion fish into individual servings or smaller pieces for skewers or curries, just pull out the scissors. All quality kitchen shears have micro-serrations on the lower blade for gripping slippery subjects. This holds the fish in place while the top blade slices. You can do this right on the paper from the fishmonger, making prepping fish fast, easy and low-maintenance.

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Canned whole tomatoes
Photo: Moving Moment /

Dicing Canned Tomatoes

In winter, when the tomatoes in the produce aisle can be less than appetizing, we turn to our stash of whole canned tomatoes. If you’re throwing together a classic recipe like puttanesca, breaking the tomatoes down in the pan can be a messy and time-consuming endeavour. Instead, pop the top off and use your handy kitchen shears to slice up the tomatoes while they’re still in the can. The idea of tipping out a whole can onto a cutting board to dice (and the resulting waste and cleanup) gives me the shivers. There is no need to do this!

Here are more simple tricks to become a faster cook.

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Spatchcocked chicken
Photo: Peter Cripps /

Spatchcocking a Chicken

This culinary trick to speed the cooking time of a whole chicken sounds so much more complicated than it is; scissors make it an absolute breeze. First, cut down both sides of the backbone and detach (toss into the freezer and save for stock if you’re so inclined). You’ll notice the bird will still not lie completely flat. Open it up and made a 2-inch snip in the top of of the interior breastbone. If you like, you can proceed to very simply segment the entire chicken from here, or cook it whole.

Don’t miss these baked chicken recipes your family will love.

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Whole lobster on plate
Photo: YARUNIV Studio /

Shelling Lobster

Using scissors to shell lobster is the quickest, cleanest and most efficient method, hands down. Scissors designed specifically for fish and shellfish feature serrated lower blades for a vicelike grip on those slippery surfaces and ergonomic handles that allow for strong torque to get through tough shells. In addition, you can conduct the whole operation on a pan or plate to catch the inevitable mess, making cleanup a dream.

After you’ve tried these new uses for kitchen scissors, discover 40 kitchen hacks that’ll change the way you cook.

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