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Kitchen gadget: The ruler

A ruler is just as essential to the serious chef as a kitchen scale or a sharp chef's knife

A ruler? In the kitchen? I know, many of you probably think a ruler is one of the last tools you would need in a kitchen. But a ruler is just as essential to the serious chef as a kitchen scale or a sharp chef's knife (some even have rulers tattooed on their hands for easy reference).

We keep several rulers in the Test Kitchen at any given time, and I probably use one at least once every single time I test a recipe. Not only are they helpful -- if not essential -- in baking when measuring and cutting dough, they're also a must in the savory kitchen when you need to gauge the thickness and size of a fillet or steak, or want to have the perfect brunoise or macedoine for the composed salad or vegetable dish you're preparing.

Rulers are inexpensive and can be found at almost any store, as well as online. Depending on the material used, a ruler should set you back no more than $1 to $5. (A tattoo will cost substantially more, and I'd recommend going through a reputable -- and accurate -- artist).

Cooking is fun — at least it should be! No matter how long you’ve been in the kitchen, there is always something new to learn, whether it’s a simple twist on an old technique, or a handy tip to save time and energy. In this series of short videos, I demonstrate a variety of kitchen tips, including how to hold a chef’s knife for maximum control and how to use a spoon to peel fresh ginger. If you have any gadgets, kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment or shoot me an email at noelle.carter@latimes.

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