Oct 14, 2022 | Samuel Albert

When Do You Use A Wooden Spoon?

Things made of wood are unique and connect us to nature. They are not just aesthetically pleasing but also give us a happy feeling of doing justice to the environment when we opt to buy them. No one can deny that wooden spoons can make our kitchen more appealing with their earthly color and grainy designs. They do not just look great, but they are versatile and serve many purposes.

Image by Monika from Pixabay 

It is wise to use a wooden spoon when one 

  1. Has the habit of leaving the ladle in a hot pot.
  2. Opts for a spoon that doesn't leach chemicals into the dish.
  3. Wants to keep the cooking pot or nonstick cookware from scratching by the metal spoon.
  4. Wants to glamorize the cooking space.
  5. Wants to support the local artisans and wants to go green.
  6. Wants a sure, solid feel while holding the spoon.

The wooden spoon also finds many other uses in the kitchen besides cooking. Let's take a quick look at these and why wooden spoons are champs in this arena.


  1. Why do chefs often put a wooden spoon across a pot of boiling water?

The answer is that the chefs are always around in the kitchen. So, the supposedly genius hack of placing the wooden spoon over a pot of boiling water to tackle the issue of the pot boiling over is actually effective for just a little while.

Photo by Nicola Barts 

You might be surprised to find many YouTubers trying to prove whether this trick really works, and many say it works like a charm. However, it is notable that they run the entire experiment with the wooden spoon on the pot. Interestingly, they never take it off to prove that the boiling contents will spill over without the wooden spoon.


Another thing to note is the pot will never boil over if the heat is monitored sensibly. So, one needs to increase the stove's heat to see whether the wooden spoon really stands guard for the foamy starch that does not cross its boundaries.


So, I don't want you to regret it later, but this is the truth. I have personally run this experiment and have found it to be a big faux. A wooden spoon can only momentarily help stop the spill but doesn't hold it for long.


So, make sure you are close by in the kitchen while you boil your pot of pasta or potatoes or milk. Always keep an eye on the boiling pot, and control the temperature if you don't want to clean the mess on the stovetop and the pot afterward.


P.S.: A couple of YouTubers have proved this as a myth by generously letting their pots boil over with the wooden spoon sported right across the pot.


  1. Why is there a hole in the wooden cook spoon?

Photo by Gary Barnes

Some plausible reasons why a wooden spoon has a hole in it are,

  1. To facilitate free movement of the soupy liquid through the spoon when stirring the pot, thus reducing the resistance of the spoon and effort needed to stir the pot.
  2. To separate the solids from the liquid meal effortlessly when scooping them out from the pot.
  3. Wooden spoons tend to absorb moisture and retain it. A wet wooden spoon can lead to quick rotting and splitting. The hole in the middle enhances the scoop to dry out faster because of increased surface area. This, in return, helps increase the spoon's life and remain germ-free and safe for utility.   

  1. What is the hole in the middle of your pasta spoon used for?

Cooking pasta requires only two things - water and pasta. However, boiling the pasta to the right consistency is the most crucial step in pasta making as it can either turn the dish into a disaster or a winner. If you get this step right, your pasta-making skills will be considered one of the finest.


When you have the right tools in hand, it will aid in making the perfect pasta. One such kitchen tool is the pasta spoon. It is an angel in disguise when cooking pasta. When the pasta is just done (al dente), the pasta spoon helps you to scoop it out right into the saucepan quickly. Timely help in the form of a pasta spoon is right at hand. No bothering about colander or stainer. No handling of heavy hot water pans or messy countertops. It is super easy to maneuver and so handy. And it serves your purpose and gets your job done in a matter of a few minutes.


Some claim that these are perfect for measuring a serving of spaghetti. Yes, the hole in the center is where you stack your spaghetti for measuring, which equals one serving.

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay 

Cooking for a family and want to calculate the servings precisely? No worries!


Just multiply it by the number of people you plan to prepare dinner for, and you will have no more leftover spaghetti. This way, you can make hot and fresh spaghetti every time and finish it all. No bothering about leftovers.


  1. When do you use a wooden spoon?
  1. If you are among the forgetful lot that leaves the spoon in the cooking pot and returns to find that it has become super scaldingly hot by burning your fingers, don't worry. You have company. Switch to using wooden spoons when you cook. And spare your delicate fingers, please!  
  2. Doesn't leach chemicals - Metal spoons can be left in a pot of boiling broth without any fear of leaching chemicals into the dish. The same cannot be said for foods with an acidic medium. On the other hand, plastic spoons can melt or leach harmful chemicals into your food. The only safe alternative is a wooden spoon which neither gets too hot nor emits toxic substances into the food.
  3. To preserve the integrity of the pot - Burnt food is not something we opt for. But unfortunately, it is also not something we can always avoid.

 

We can definitely prevent the nasty scratches at the pot's bottom caused by scratching off the adherent burnt grease. It is bred in the cook's bones to scrap off the burnt food with the spoon.


When you have a wooden spoon in hand, you have just gotten lucky. The scrapping doesn't scratch the metal pot, while a metal spoon or spatula can leave unforgiving marks on the pot's bottom.


Wooden spoons and nonstick cookware are made for each other as the former goes gentle over the latter's surface, helping keep the surface intact.

  1. To make your cooking space look glamorous - Hanging wooden spoons in your kitchen make a lovely sight. Who wouldn't want to have a couple of them around? Display some elegant wooden spoons in your kitchen, and you don't need to think about decorating your cook space with other accessories.
  2. To support the local artisans and to go green - When you choose wooden spoons and spatulas as your go-to cooking tools, you favor the environment. As they are recyclable, non-polluting, and bio-degradable, they do not harm the environment in the long run. In contrast, plastic can cause damage to the environment beyond our wildest imagination.

Not just that, handmade wooden spoons support the Wood Craft Community in your locality.

  1. Strong, solid feel - Wooden spoon handles offer your hands a firm grip and a smooth feel. Unlike plastic and flimsy metal spoons, they don't easily budge under pressure. As a result, you can be a confident cook when you have your own set of wooden spoons.

  1. What are the disadvantages of using a wooden spoon?

Photo by Pixabay 

Shorter lifespan - Since wood is biodegradable, it will easily crack, splint and warp after using them for some time. It can quickly deteriorate if it is not of good quality.
Pick up stains and odors - Wood can easily imbibe the color and become stained. Odor retention and flavor absorption of the cooking meal are also significant drawbacks, which brings us to the next step.
Hygiene - Since wood is natural, it provides a suitable substrate for thriving bacteria, especially when it is wet. This makes it essential for us to clean and dry it properly before storing it.
Hard to clean - Since wood absorbs the food's juices, it becomes hard to clean it to perfection and bring it back to its original color and state. 

    1. How do you care for your wooden spoons?

    Photo by Maria Ilves on Unsplash

    1. Don't just toss them into the dishwasher.
    2. Hand clean the wooden spoons with hot water and a little dish detergent immediately after use. Avoid carelessly leaving them in the kitchen sink soaking with other dirty dishes for long hours after use.  
    3. Pat the wooden kitchen tools dry. Set them on clean counter space to air dry. Ensure you dry them adequately before stowing them away in a clean, dry spot.
    4. While storing them, coat them with preferably coconut oil or cooking oil for preserving the wood. This would keep them from absorbing moisture and will be safe to use. Do this regularly every month.
    5. If your wooden spoon has picked up flavors and odors, use lemon juice or baking soda to eliminate the smells and taste.
    6. Choose wooden spoons made of strong hardwood with antimicrobial properties.
    7. When buying wooden spoons, do not go for cheap ones. Instead, get durable and sturdy ones that will last longer. That way, it will be affordable for you in the long run. 

    1. Which wooden spoons are the best?

    Cherry, olive, maple, and beechwood are among the best options for wooden spoons as they are robust and long-lasting hardwoods and are generally preferred over others. Bamboo spoons are also an excellent option due to their hardiness, durability, availability, and renewability.


    1. When do you need to throw away your wooden spoons?

    When the wood has become dark, developed splinters at the edges, and cracked, it is apparent that it is time to throw them away. Try not to keep your wooden spoons for more than 5 years.

    Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

    It might be hard for you to do so if you have grown familiar with your wooden spoons, but take a look at it from a safety standpoint and make up your mind.


    1. What are the other uses of a wooden spoon other than stirring a pot?
    2. To check the temperature of the oil in the pot. Poke the hot oil with the stem of the wooden spoon to check if your oil is hot enough. If it is, it will make the oil sizzle. If you see bigger, slower bubbles emerging, wait for some time as your oil is not hot enough.
    3. If you are not a great fan of wooden spoons but have a couple around, use them to decorate your kitchen by hanging them in your kitchen. No words to describe their beauty, right? They are a feast to your eyes, and anyone would love to have them around this way.
    4. They can also be used as a marking device, particularly when you want a certain liquid to boil down and reduce in quantity. Use the spoon's stem to measure the original level of the liquid and mark it. Then, after some time has elapsed, use it again, in the same manner, to check whether the liquid has reduced to the desired level.
    5. If you are making your own pasta and haven't bought pasta drying racks yet, you can opt for the wooden spoons in hand to make your makeshift pasta rack. They are a perfect fit for the purpose, so much to the point that you would think twice about buying pasta dowels after using them.

      

    Proper cleaning and maintenance of wooden spoons is a must, and discarding damaged ones is essential from a hygiene and cleanliness point of view. Though many material options are available regarding spoons, nothing can compete with our humble wooden spoon, which wears many feathers in its crown.

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