Utensil Crocks Are the Best Thing to Ever Happen to My Kitchen

published May 8, 2020
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utensil crock
Credit: Wes Frazer

Some cooks are obsessed with their knives, others can’t get enough of their kitchen pegboard, but me? I’m in love with my utensil crocks. I’ve had the same kitchen for 40 years, and I’ve made many improvements over time — and one of the cheapest, easiest things I’ve done is stock up on crocks. They’re my secret to organizing my work area, and it doesn’t hurt that they also bring a big dash of personality to my kitchen.

But I don’t just put them willy-nilly around the kitchen. Here are my rules for making crocks useful: You need to have more than one, you need to organize them by type of utensil, and you need to place them where you actually will use that utensil.

When I unload the dishwasher, I have strict rules about which tools go in which crock and where each one is kept. That means when I need a wooden spoon to stir the tomato sauce, I can find it right there in the wooden tools crock above the stove. Likewise, when it’s time to flip the fish, my turners are in their own holder right next to the one with the wooden spoons. On my prep table, I have all my spatulas in a large tub and all my measuring spoons in a smaller one. Everything is easy to grab and I know just where to find what I need! 

Crocks don’t just organize your kitchen — they can also make you a better cook. Just think, when everything is neat and in place, you can easily grab that wooden spoon to stir the garlic before it goes from perfectly golden-brown to burnt and acrid!

Credit: Sharon Franke

One more tip: Think outside the crock when it comes to buying one! I take great joy from my collection of crocks without any worry about whether they match in any way whatsoever. And in fact, many of my “crocks” started out life as very different things — mugs, canning jars, teapots. Doesn’t much matter to me. They each hold memories of other times and places. For example, the handmade mug that my niece gave me as a holiday gift years ago lost its handle, so I turned it into a “crock.” And what was once my favorite morning coffee pot still brings me joy by holding my serving spoons and ladles. 

If you do want to get a new crock for your kitchen, however, there are plenty of great options. Here are some of our favorites.