Handmade Hardwood Kitchen Utensils
Why use wooden cooking utensils?
Here are several valid reasons for using them.
They are gentler on your pans than steel
They won’t leach out any residues
They resist changing the temperature of your food
They are often able to be rejuvenated
They can be easier on the environment if sustainably made
They are a connection to nature
This image is of our Long Handle Stockpot Stirrer. Made with recycled hardwood floor board and coated with pure tung oil for a tough long lasting waterproof finish.
The overall length of this spoon is 500 mm long as the spoon is designed to keep fingers safe from hot liquids.
These are individually handcrafted and finished. They are a premium product designed for the serious home cook or professional chef and are priced accordingly.
Clicking the image or the button below will take you to a kitchen listings page.
Are wooden utensils gentle on your pans?
We have a son who lives with us who has special needs. I understand that many households are in this situation so I don’t see my family as any different; however I am able to make the home situation easier for all through our wooden kitchen utensils. They have allowed our son to take part in the cooking of meals at times without needing to be concerned for coatings like non-stick frying pans and for hot metal burns on skin. Wood doesn’t retain heat like metal.
It was with the above in mind that I ventured down the wooden utensil path and am very pleased that as a family we did. It has allowed us ( Pickers Ridge ) to design and make our style of utensils, from our long handled stock pot stirrers to the tasting spoons. I am very happy in the knowledge that the pans are safe from scratches and our son is relatively ok with the heat. I keep an eye on things as you would.
We actually have a spat that is not listed for sale (yet) that is fantastic for scrambled eggs and we can leave our son to use it and sort out a simple meal for himself without a parent hovering intensely. We think it’s great.
So, we are of the firm belief that wooden cooking utensils are safe for all pans.
The image here is of our tasting spoon design and it is also made from recycled hardwood floor board.
It is approximately 380mm in length with slight variations to that as they are all individually handcrafted and not machine made. Also coated in a pure tung oil finish for longevity.
The shape of the spoon head will also have slight variations as well and will be different than the spoon shown here. We pride ourselves on selling individuality where we can as we think it’s important.
Are wooden utensils safe and sanitary?
There is no reason to think that a wooden utensil is any less safe than a steel ladle or a silicone spatula. There is a place for them all as long as they are kept in good condition.
A steel utensil can rust.
Much of the metal kitchen equipment produced these days claims to be stainless steel and while that is mostly true, some of it is far from stainless and far from strong. The connection points between the heads and the handles can harbor germs and bacteria just as well as any other type of material.
Silicone is used in many situations like spatulas where the tip can bend and conform to the shape of the bowl when used for cake mixes and the like. The question of safety with silicone is heat and longevity and how it reacts over time. It should be expected that this product would start to break down as all items will do, but can you say for certain that you can tell when it changes from safe to unsafe, because we can’t. As it breaks down are there small particles of who-knows-what slowly leaching into your favorite desert mix?
What we do know is wooden utensils will visibly show you when they are finished with all the hard work and are in need of retirement. If the utensil is coated with a good finish, one that is food safe and in good condition, then there should be little chance of a bacteria issue.
The finish we use actually becomes part of the wood and cannot be scratched off easily. With a good finish on the utensil, warm soapy water will remove food residue just as easily as from a metal or plastic utensil. The experienced cook will know what utensil to use in the process being undertaken. Getting that right is the trick for sanitation and safety.
The item in this image has some history behind it. My grandmother preserved food using the Fowlers Food Preserving method and she had a food-packing stick that was a part of the set she had. That old packing stick is now living with me and it is really showing it’s age. So, as you would expect in a business that handmakes hardwood items, we made a new one and this is the result. It has a longer handle than the original and is made from recycled floor board. It is about 380mm long.
We use this for everything cooking related.
How long do wooden utensils last?
How long is a piece of string, as the answer is pretty much the same.
I have that food packing stick that belonged to my grandmother and I still have it. It is worn and jaded, far shorter that original but still functions just fine. Its replacement similar to the one above is made from recycled floor board and will last 50 years and it could go for far longer but I won’t be around to check, so half a century will do for a rough guess.
Again, this keeps popping up, but it really does matter. The better your utensil is finished, the longer you can expect it to last. To achieve a long utensil life the finish needs to be re-doable (is that even a word?) and something the cook can do in the kitchen at a moments notice. and not have to rely on a handyman to get it done. This is where oil finishes shine. For info on this, go here to an article we have on tung oil.
One of the best things about wooden utensils is that when their time has come you can recycle them back into the soil and they get to become a part of something else like a flower, a home-grown veggie, or even another tree.
Are wooden utensils better for cooking?
The short answer for us is yes.
The long answer is more nuanced but it is safe to say there is a very strong connection between humans and nature that goes back a long way.
Wood has played a vital role in getting us to where we are today with fire, construction materials, weapons, and protection. It cannot be removed from our dna.
When it comes to kitchen utensils there is a deep feeling of something inherent in our past that we are drawing on. It could be called romance. It might be a yearning for quieter times that our grandparents knew while we rush about in our crazy modern life.
I cannot put a finger on it but do know that it is very real, and many of our customers who have a collection of wooden cooking utensils will likely say the same thing. For any particular process the right utensil might be metal, plastic, or wood. Some things like stirring spoons just work with wood.
We love the feel of a solid spoon. We trust and understand the medium, and as you would expect, yes our kitchen is full of handcrafted wooden cooking utensils.
You should start collecting as well. Buy the best you can and you will have handy cooking friends for life.