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Is a wooden spoon just a wooden spoon?

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Is there any difference in wooden spoons . . . or can I just buy the cheapest one I can find. Thanks.

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  1. Interesting question. I'd like to hear some answers.

    1. Well speaking for myself (I have a wooden spoon collection from around the world) not all 'spoons' are created equal!

      Materials, weight, shapes, finish...and the care of that spoon counts for everything.

      So, whether you are shopping for a show piece or a utility spoon, make your choice accordingly....but please, please, please don't put your wooden spoon in a dishwasher!

      1. My two long-time favorites are made from American cherry and French olive wood. They are handmade and of substantial weight. Each is a different shape and perfect in its own right.
        The cherry spoon is quite large with a deep bowl that is wonderful for serving. I use it for braises and stews.
        The olive "spoon" really is more like a paddle with a broad, flat edge that is perfect for moving a lot of food. I use it to scramble eggs or with starchy foods because it covers more territory than a spoon.
        BTW - none of these - and I have several of each design - has ever seen the inside of a dishwasher. They're all over thirty years old and going strong.

        1. My favorite wooden implements are made of olive wood. It seems to stay smooth and age very well. The cheaper wooden spoons and spatulas I've bought have all, eventually, needed to be replaced. They're softer and have a tendency to splinter just a bit.

          1. If have a French cherry wood spoon and I did have an Israeli olive wood spoon (I wonder where that went?). What I love are those simple cheap wooden cooking forks from Cost Plus. They are about .99 @ and while they don't last for ever they last quite awhile. I really prefer them to spoons for most stirring

            1. What do you mean by "a difference"? As the previous poster says, cheap ones probably won't last as long, though it's the kind of thing where you can never really tell, but they work as well as anything. You could use freebie wooden paint stirrer for most things just as well, for that matter.

              Personally, I also like olive and cherry, but as much for looks and durability as anything else - really doesn't make a difference from a functional standpoint and I would never spend "real money" on one. The only reason to do that would be because you like the appearance and feel. Functionally, it won't matter at all.

              2 Replies
              1. re: MikeG

                I don't think I have ever broken a wooden spoon. However I have enough variety that I can chose one that fits the job. Some have a narrow handle, but wide flat bowl. Several have a handle that is nearly as wide as the bowl (with a sipping groove in top that I never use). Another is really a heavy duty spatula. Obviously I'm not going to vigorously stir a stiff paste with a thin handle spoon.

                I haven't paid much attention to material. Silicon or rubber spatulas wear out faster than wood spoons.


                1. re: paulj

                  I've broken a wooden spoon - my very favorite one in the house, as a matter of fact. It was a cheapie, as most of ours were, but it was just the right size, feel, etc.

                  We have a lot of spoons now, some the super-cheap ones, others nicer, including a beautiful cherrywood one we got as a wedding gift. There's a big variation in length and in the size, shape, and depth of the bowl, and different ones are useful for different things. I'd never want to only have one or two, or for them all to be uniform in style.

                  My nowadays favorite, the one I asked BFP to please not use to keep the oven door cracked open when he's using the broiler, is in fact an olivewood spoon from Williams Sonoma. On the small side and relatively short-handled, but it's just what I like.

                  MikeG says below that woodent spatulas aren't as good as silicone for use as a spatula. Actually, for use as a spatula (i.e., turnigh things like eggs or removing something intact from a pan) I prefer hard rubber or metal, since I find silicone too floppy, but my most-used tool while I'm actually cooking is a wooden spatula, which works best for me for moving things around in a sautee, stirring a risotto, and so on.

              2. My wooden spoons came from the Dollar Tree! They work perfectly well and the only annoying thing about them is that they saved money by making the handles REALLY SHORT. One day I'll get 'real' ones, but since all I use them for is stirring custard and sauces they work just fine.

                1. I use the el cheapos too,work fine for me.

                  1. Hit the Asian markets for bamboo spoons and spatchulas. Cheap and last a long time.

                    1. Yabbut, wooden spatulas don't work nearly as well as silicon, for use as a spatula. And plain rubber obviously can't be used with very hot foods (mostly what I use spatulas for.) After 5+ years, my LeCreuset spatula is showing no signs of going anywhere in the foreseeable future.

                      I don't remember saying anything about breaking spoons, but at some point, the cheap birch ones tend to start warping and splitting a bit not to mention absorbing stuff past the point of no return (AFAIC anyway.) Olive and cherry are harder, tighter woods. Like I said, there's no particular reason to use them and certainly no reason to spend what I assume must be $$ at places like Williams-Sonoma, but I figure spending $4-5 on olivewood instead of $1-2 on a cheap on is worth the "investment."

                      1. I bought two sets of Galloping Gourmet spurtles from Crate and Barrel on Michigan Ave in Chicago in 1978 for $1 a set. They still reside in my "plastic" utensil drawer (as opposed to my "metal" utensiol drawer) next to the myriad of high-temp spatulas.

                        I reach for them less often these days, but when I'm making some My-T-Fine chocolate pudding I grab the one with the two holes in it. Something about watching the chocoalte pudding glide through those two holes brings back childhood cooking memories.