For most of my adult life, whenever I cooked something, I would lay out a paper towel on the counter to hold my spatulas/ladles/knives/whisks when I wasn’t actively using them. That was fine—really, it’s fine!—but I found something better.
Tomorrow’s Kitchen’s silicone utensil rest is literally just a slab of silicone with some molded grooves on top. You lay your utensils in the grooves, and all the grease and grime and E. coli-ridden raw meat juice drips onto the surface, and that’s where it stays. It doesn’t bleed through to dirty up your cooking surface, or lead to an outbreak of crippling diarrhea because you ate a potato chip off the counter two days later after it landed in a colony of salmonella because you used a dang paper towel to hold your utensils. “Bet you regret not buying a utensil rest!” I yell to nobody in particular, as you enter hour number three on the toilet.
That’s not to mention the reverse contamination that can occur when you set your utensils directly on the counter, and then use them to flip and cut and even serve the food that’s about to go into your mouth. Your counter is disgusting!
Okay I’m being a little dramatic, but this thing costs like $8, and you just throw it in the dishwasher to clean it. It’s cheap, you’ll use it every time you cook, and it’s the rare thing that can make your life a little better without really asking anything of you in return.