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Do wooden spoons become "seasoned"?

g
GDSinPA Dec 21, 2006 02:09 PM

I love a nice wooden spoon. Seems like they're good for all kinds of tasks -especially if you have toddlers (just kidding!)

Anyway, a couple of my spoons are getting old, but they are no where near cracking or chipping. In fact, they seem to be better with age. Hardly anything sticks to them, and nothing stains them, even temporarily. They seem to have that seasoned look, clearly lighter on the handle, and darker as you head down to the spoon end.

Do wooden spoons become seasoned? If so, perhaps it's just certain quality or materials?

Thoughts?

  1. t
    torty Dec 21, 2006 04:23 PM

    I grew up in a kitchen with 2 wooden spoons- one for savory cooking & one for sweets. The savory one that was used almost daily to start the onions or stir the soup was always darker and rounded whereas the "sweet" one was more oblong. Until I started with new wooden spoons in my own kitchen and cooked alot I did not realize that the darker rounded one was the result of daily use. Could never figure out where they "bought" that shape! Yes- I agree they become seasoned. Can't cook without mine.

    1. m
      MakingSense Dec 21, 2006 04:39 PM

      Sure they do. From the oils in foods. That might explain why Toodie Jane's savory spoon would be darker than the one used for sweets, which wouldn't have as much oil as hot sautes, stews, soups, etc. My olive wood spoons haven't darkened as much maybe because the wood grain is so tight.

      1. galleygirl Dec 21, 2006 05:07 PM

        I have some new, cheapo ones I've been using for Indian simmer sauce demos, and they're bright yellow from curries, or the turmeric and cumin in them...
        I agree, tho, all my old ones are nice and dark...A few have cracked tho, but we're talking 3o years....

        1. oaklandfoodie Dec 21, 2006 05:11 PM

          DH and I have some beautiful wooden spoons that friends made us for a wedding present. I've oiled them a few times with mineral oil, but have never used them becasue I didn't want to ruin them. Maybe I should start using them...

          1 Reply
          1. re: oaklandfoodie
            cayjohan Dec 21, 2006 09:58 PM

            Use them! If they're oiled properly, it will prevent cracks. I have some from 20 years ago that are just fine, thank you. Wooden spoons are wonderful implements, and although other utensils might do the job the same, there's something very home-y about the woodens.

            Also great for use in any non-stick, if you've got it.

            Most of mine are cheapies, BTW.

          2. mnosyne Dec 21, 2006 05:32 PM

            My favorite wooden spoon is so old that one side of it has been worn down to a sharp edge, which makes it perfect for breaking up lumps in pasta sauce, etc. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

            1. RShea78 Dec 21, 2006 06:04 PM

              I do not think seasoned is the right term to use. Perhaps the useage "builds character" into the wooden spoon. ;-)

              1 Reply
              1. re: RShea78
                t
                torty Dec 21, 2006 07:59 PM

                All I know is that everytime I pick it up I think of great-grandma, Oma or mom who taught me how to cook- unfortunately all long gone...

              2. FoodFuser Dec 22, 2006 03:25 AM

                One can always enjoy the "annual oiling hour".

                Just look around the kitchen for every item that has wood components: knife handles, pan handles, cutting boards, wooden spoons.

                300 grit sandpaper then steel wool to buff down the inevitable raising of the grain. Then a thin wipe with mineral oil.

                As to spoons specifically: most of mine were cheap at purchase, but if softly sanded and oiled thru the first few years, and never soaked in the sink (swell and split), they have indeed "seasoned".

                My fave is a 16" long with a 5/8" diameter stem, which I put on the saw to square off the tip and straighten one side, yielding a right angle. A strong tool for stirring 3 gallons of spaghetti sauce, stocks etc, because the straight edge and tip allow for scraping both the sides and the bottom of the pot. My gravy-making tool for cast iron is a smaller version of same, inspired by Grandma. I wonder why they don't sell these... does a round spoon scrape a flat bottom and flat side of a pot?

                2 Replies
                1. re: FoodFuser
                  s
                  sheiladeedee Dec 22, 2006 03:18 PM

                  I love that time with my wooden tools... it's very restful sitting down and rubbing the oil in with my hands. Some of my spoons and spatulas and cutting boards date back to just after I was married, so it's like reliving the last 40 years..

                  1. re: sheiladeedee
                    FoodFuser Dec 22, 2006 10:47 PM

                    This is so true. And when the item was a gift from friends, it ramifies in reminiscing about those relationships. Best done on a winter day with a cozy warm kitchen. Thanks.

                2. andreas Dec 22, 2006 04:13 AM

                  I still ow a wooden spoon that was originally my grandmother's. One of my favorites.

                  1. p
                    personalcheffie Dec 22, 2006 02:26 PM

                    The older they get, the thinner the ends become. My favorite 'spoons' are more like flat spatulas, I have two of them. Like FoodFuser above, the right angles and straight edge grab everything for stirring and make a saute really complete. I have bamboo spoons, a rice paddle in bamboo, and old, old long and short regular spoons. They all sit in the crock next on the counter. No plastic in my kitchen, except for the heat resistent rubber spatulas and pasta fork.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: personalcheffie
                      NewSushiFiend Jul 12, 2007 02:57 PM

                      I heard long ago that you can let a bamboo spoon soak in water without hurting it, unlike a wooden spoon which should never soak in water. Is this true?

                    2. omotosando Dec 24, 2006 12:21 AM

                      Anyone know where to buy decent wooden spoons? I have some old ones that are quite nice, but the stuff I see in the stores nowadays looks very flimsy and not as high quality as my old spoons.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: omotosando
                        i
                        itstangy Jul 6, 2007 08:26 AM

                        Sur La Table has some very nice ones. I bought mine from there and I love it! The handle end of it has "France" etched on it.

                      2. p
                        personalcheffie Dec 24, 2006 12:47 PM

                        Have you tried a high end kitchen store? Sur La Table or Williams Sonoma?

                        For online shipping, try Fantes.com.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: personalcheffie
                          FoodFuser Dec 24, 2006 01:26 PM

                          There's some really imaginative stuff out there. Try these three sites:

                          http://www.kitchencarvers.com/

                          http://vermontbutcherblock.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=47&osCsid=8b01054bae94ad219a97c22b4dfd2cbe

                          http://www.creativecookware.com/olive...

                        2. shana Jan 4, 2007 07:06 PM

                          http://www.littledeer.ca/en/paddles.html

                          Check out this brand they make wonderful shaped maple wood utensils - I'm sure they'd ship to the US.

                          The pot scoop is the best for getting into edges, breaking up lumps etc.

                          1. k
                            ktcolt Jun 25, 2007 07:01 PM

                            Anyone know the best wood to buy when looking at wooden spoons?

                            1. Quine Jun 25, 2007 07:08 PM

                              I have my Great Grandmother's big wooden spoon, I gave no idea what wood it is, it sure is solid though. It has a long handle, for deep 11 childen enough pots. I think it was hand carved. It is my favorite spoon, it has magic. I treat it with more care than I am sure she ever thought was needed. Yes, it is certainly seasoned.

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