Great Ways to Care for your Wooden Spoons
Wooden spoons are a staple in every kitchen. Use these simple tips to care for your spoons and extend their lifespan.
Wooden spoons are the kitchen’s most under-rated workhorse. These beautifully functional utensils are perfect for using with non-stick cookware, since they generally won’t scratch surfaces. And since heat does not conduct through wood (unlike metal), there’s no risk of unexpected kitchen ouches. Never leave a wood spoon unattended sitting against the edge of a hot pan on the burner.
Caring for your wooden utensils is fairly straightforward. Simply hand wash in warm, soapy water using a mild dishwashing detergent with a non-abrasive scrubbing pad. Rinse them well under warm water, pat with a clean dishtowel and allow to air dry. Since wood expands in water, it’s never a good idea to leave spoons soaking too long in dirty dishwater. And as for the on-going debate of whether wooden spoons can be tossed in the dishwasher, they will indeed handle an occasional trip through the rinse cycle. However, excessive runs in the dishwasher may shorten their lifespan.
Many people worry that wood can harbor bacteria. The good news is that wood is naturally anti-bacterial, though it’s a good idea to sanitize your spoons from time to time by soaking them for 15 minutes in a solution of 50/50 white vinegar and water. And always avoid using wooden spoons to stir raw meats and eggs.
As a rule of thumb, if your spoons are cracked, chipped or scratched in any way, it’s best to toss them out and replace.
To preserve the wood (and beauty) of your spoons, occasionally oil them with olive or a food-grade mineral oil using a paper towel. And in case odors associated with your wood spoons are a concern, try this simple trick: Toss a tablespoon of baking soda into a cup of warm water and soak spoons in the solution for 25 minutes. Then rinse well and air dry. No one should ever know what feast you prepared for dinner by the scent of your spoon.
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