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Seasoning Wooden Utensils In Oven?

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Muddirtt Jan 15, 2014 04:43 PM

I've always used food grade mineral oil on my unfinished wooden kitchen tools. To me, in a sense, the wood is still "alive" and needs to be kept alive -- Just as leather boots need oiled.

When new, I'll wet sand them (the wood, not the boots, haha) with some high grit sandpaper, let air dry overnight then, the next day, give them a good 2 day bath soaked in mineral oil in a container. Then a quick paper towel wipe down, and off to abuse for a month until I do it again. No dishwasher... Just handwashing... and a dip in boiled water or dilluted bleach every once in awhile. The mineral oil is found in any pharmacy just about, including Walmart and Walgreens, used as a laxative, as most of you know.

With my one-minute worth of Google searching, all I found was wiping with olive oil and into a preheated 350F oven on a baking sheet for a few minutes... Huh?

I have my own recipe for seasoning and reseasoning my cast iron every once in awhile with Crisco shortening and into a non preheated oven then up to 430F it goes for 1.5 hours and a slow cool down inside the oven. Twice at least for new iron cookware.

...But anyways, I'd like a "recipe" for doing something similar to wood... Basically putting a food-safe coat of plastic on/inside a wooden utensil.

I was wondering what the smoke point is for this mineral oil, and how hot I should go, along with duration? And, should I use a different oil for in the oven?

I would hang them below the racks with some metal wire -- Not put on a baking sheet.

Any ideas for temp and time? Would this even work as good as seasoning cast iron does?... After all, iron and wood are two totally different creatures, lol.

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  1. Chemicalkinetics RE: Muddirtt Jan 15, 2014 05:08 PM

    I have never heard of seasoning wooden utensils in an oven. In my "first order" approximation (basically initial guess), I consider this to be a bad practice.

    If you want to apply oil to the wooden utensils and dry the oil inside the wood, then why not use a drying oil like tung oil? This is what I used for all of my wood cutting boards, knife wooden handles....etc.

    "Tung oil or China wood oil is a drying oil... "

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tung_oil

    1. greygarious RE: Muddirtt Jan 15, 2014 05:28 PM

      I've never treated wooden utensils in any way. When finished using them, hand wash in detergent, rinse, air dry.
      For about 45 yrs now. Eventually they may absorb and retain some of the fat they've stirred but I've never heard of intentionally seasoning them. I treat my cutting boards the same way. Wood has some inherent antibacterial properties, or so I've read.

      1. kaleokahu RE: Muddirtt Jan 15, 2014 06:20 PM

        Hi, Muddirtt:

        I'd stick with what works for you now. Heat cycles at 350F can't be good for wood longevity, regardless of the mineral oil.

        Speaking of boots, I've been hunting with people who insist on drying their boots close to the fire. Sometimes with hilarious results.

        Personally, I mineral-oil my wooden utensils 2x/year. No sanding unless the grain is raised, and I just rub it in by hand. If it no longer sinks in, I wipe them and I'm done.

        Aloha,
        Kaleo

        1. d
          DebinIndiana RE: Muddirtt Jan 15, 2014 07:08 PM

          I treat wooden bowls and utensils once or twice a year with spoon butter (1 oz. beeswax melted with 4 fl. oz. mineral oil; stir and store in a jar).

          When I have accidentally left wooden objects in the oven and turned on the heat, the results were never good, regardless of treatment.

          1 Reply
          1. re: DebinIndiana
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            DebinIndiana RE: DebinIndiana Jun 29, 2014 10:35 AM

            BTW, I can see that this answer implies that I then bake the items -- not so. I don't think that wood should go into a hot oven, but I sometimes put a tool that has metal into a turned-off oven to make sure it gets dry without rusting.

          2. JayL RE: Muddirtt Jan 15, 2014 07:52 PM

            And what happens to your wooden utensils when you don't oil and/or heat treat it?

            Mine work fine as is.

            It's wood for goodness sake.

            2 Replies
            1. re: JayL
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              DebinIndiana RE: JayL Jan 16, 2014 07:17 PM

              Probably nothing would happen -- I just prefer the way they feel, look and smell when treated. And I hate to replace tools -- even cheap ones.

              1. re: DebinIndiana
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                Muddirtt RE: DebinIndiana Jan 17, 2014 06:49 AM

                Exactly... Why replace a tool when you already have one that you can take care of. I make sure the dog doesn't get a hold of my 75 cent hair comb... Or should I just give it to the dog and go buy a new one?

            2. t
              trakman RE: Muddirtt Jan 15, 2014 08:39 PM

              At a minimum, this is overkill. At a maximum, it borders on almost OCD. I agree with earlier posters. It's wood, for God's sake. Wash it, dry it, and leave it alone. If it gets to where you can't stand the pieces, throw them out and buy some new ones.

              1 Reply
              1. re: trakman
                JayL RE: trakman Jan 16, 2014 06:27 AM

                I recently bought a set of six utensils for around three dollars. They'll last me a few years as-is. When they are done I will buy more.

                PS...they also go in the washer...oh the voodoo...

              2. coll RE: Muddirtt Jan 16, 2014 06:32 AM

                I've always assumed they get enough grease on them from sautéing. My only rule is to set them aside when done rather than soaking in a pot of soapy water, because around here that can go on for a few hours!. I have a few from when I got my first apartment in 1975, cheapies but no issues at all. I would venture to say that baking them would shorten their life, if anything.

                Oh and I beg to disagree that wood is still "alive" after the tree is chopped down.

                1. rmarisco RE: Muddirtt Jan 16, 2014 01:59 PM

                  never heard of this. ever.

                  i have spoons that are at least 20 years old.

                  hand wash.. thank them for their service..and put them back until next time!

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