Monday, February 29, 2016

The Many Advantages of Wooden Spoons

Egyptian wooden spoons at the Louvre in Paris.
Wooden spoons have been a staple in the kitchen since there was nothing more than an open fire with a cauldron.  Wood was the most readily available resource to early man for making spoons, and could easily be fashioned into a concave surface with a handle.  Samples of wood spoons have been found from both the ancient Greek and Egyptian civilizations, proving their use from the advent of advanced civilization.


So how does the modern wooden spoon, after tens of thousands of years later, still find its way into the modern home?  The answer is simple - when cared for properly, wooden spoons still offer many advantages over the competition.

Plastic spoons can melt if left in a pot

Durability

Wooden spoons can last a long time is cared for properly. Hand washing between uses, a simple coat of oil now and then, and coating them with a wax product, such as cutting board conditioner will keep your wooden spoons in tip top shape for years to come. Never put them in a dishwasher, as the extreme heat in the drying process of the modern dishwasher will destroy any wooden items, causing them to crack.

Ergonomics

The size and shape of wooden spoons are appealing for the long term use of constant stirring or mixing.  The flat handles of most metal spoons do not compare to the much large handles with rounded edges, and may cause quicker fatigue with extended use and operation.

Metal spoons can get hot really fast if left in a pot.

Low Conductors of Heat

Unlike the metal cousins, wooden spoons will not get hot if you leave them in in the pot when you cook. While plastic spoons are also poor conductors of electricity, they can melt when exposed to extreme temperatures either in your pot or when submerged in hot oil.


Flexibility

When we talk about the flexibility of wooden spoons, we are not specifically referring to their ability to bend.  Wooden spoons can be used in cast iron, non-stick cookware, and in other metal pans.  They will not scratch the most popular cookware surfaces, prolonging the life of your pots and pans.


Always be sure to properly care for your wood
spoons.  Wash them regularly, and coat them
with oil and wood conditioner.


Beauty and Aesthetics

The gorgeous beauty of wood lending itself to a warm and inviting atmosphere in the kitchen.  All aesthetics influence our mood and behaviors, and wood is no different.  While it may sound a bit hokey, it definitely true.  The more wood and earth-type textures appeal to your senses, the more you will enjoy cooking when using wooden spoons.



Variety

Just like their metal cousins, wooden spoons come in a variety of shapes and sizes - except you can find even more variety with wooden spoons.  Think outside the big box store and their standard low end wooden spoons.  The local spoon carving artisan will have the ability to provide you the perfect size and shape of spoon you are looking for.



Function

An watched pot never boils, but leave it alone unwatched too long and it could boil over. Laying a wooden spoon across the top of the pot will prevent it from boiling over.  The lazy chef in me has tested this theory with great results.


Where to Get a Good Wooden Spoon

Once you hold a highly functional and classy wooden spoon in your hand, you can understand who its the choice of so many professional chefs in their own kitchen.  The next time you visit your local craft show, stop by your local wood worker's booth, and ask about the wooden spoons he or she offers for sale.  Or, send me an email at idlewoodworker@gmail.com for a custom made wooden spoon at a fair price.

Spoon carving is a true art, and there are people who dedicate
their whole craft to it.  Pictured above is some tools used to carve
wooden spoons and a few spoons I had in the process of being carved.





4 comments:

  1. Hi Joe! Your spoons are beautiful. Nice work.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Joe, it is realy artistic
    I love it

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  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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