Ina Garten smiling
The Utensil Ina Garten Keeps Next To Her Stove At All Times

Professional chefs are taught to taste their food often — at the beginning, middle, and end of the cooking and especially before serving — to have more control over their creation.

That’s why Ina Garten always keeps a jar of antique silver tasting spoons near her stove so she can easily sample her recipe and has a clean spoon for each tasting.

It is best to use a clean spoon each time as reusing tasting spoons can cross-contaminate a dish leading to foodborne illnesses like E.Coli and Salmonella.

Similarly, double dipping with your finger when sampling multiple times can introduce allergens and harmful bacteria to a cooked dish, not to mention illness if the cook is sick.

If vintage silver spoons are not in your budget or you’re worried about the environmental and cost implications of disposable ones, try the ladle method instead.

Use your stirring spoon to drop the food onto a tasting spoon, ensuring the two do not touch. This will prevent cross-contamination, and you only have to use two spoons.