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wooden spoons

so it has really bothered me that everything I have ever read says to oil your wooden spoons with MINERAL OIL. I just can't do it! Can't can't can't can't and WON'T!

The same stuff says you can't use olive or vegetable oil since it will go rancid. And kill you or just taste bad?? It never made it clear.

So over the years I have either done nothing (poor drying out cracking and splitting spoons) or used olive oil.

What should I be doing?
 
Alaskan (gardening in zones 2 to 5) (*SPRING* avatar...Spring scheduled for May 7th)
I never do anything to my wooden spoons and they're just fine.I use mine for everthing including custard.i don't want any oil in my custard.Bamboo spoons are suposed to be very hard wearing and long lasting,but i just use regular ones and I havent had any problems.I pour boiling water over mine to clean them.
Mavis
 
I LIVE in the garden ,I sleep in the house
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Why would you want to oil them? My wood spoons work great, last a couple of years and when they start looking sorry, I keep my eyes open for replacements.
 
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I have read or heard that you are supposed to do something with wooden bowls, but never wooden spoons.

I never do anything to mine either, but to scrub them in hot soapy water & rinse well & let air dry. They last for years that way! Wink
 
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I bought one from a guy who makes them... he told me just to never let them sit in water. So when I'm done using, I rinse it off well and let dry if I'm not doing the dishes right away, otherwise wash and let air dry. BTW, the hand made spoons are a treat to use, they fit your hand better than any I have ever found at the store.
 
Plant seeds in the sunshine, dance in the rain
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mine tend to look dry and start cracking when I don't oil them.

so all you never oil them??? and they last just fine???

so many of mine have chipped, the bottom edge chips off. A while ago I bought one of each different kind to see if a different kinda wood would last longer.

I guess the olive wood one looks best, but it is starting to crack too. I didn't think I let them sit in water. *boggle* (i think I bought this new set less than a year ago)
 
Alaskan (gardening in zones 2 to 5) (*SPRING* avatar...Spring scheduled for May 7th)
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I even put my wooden spoons in the DW, and they last for years in my kitchen. Maybe they look dry, but they still work ok, and they don't crack. I finally tossed an olivewood one that was over 10 years old easily, and was simply wearing out, and I have some bamboo spoons I got for a steal, and they are also lasting as if they are steel! I know...that was bad. I have an excuse - it's late. lol

Dave
 

Dave    in Woodbury, NJ  zone 6B

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I don't do anything to them either. And I toss them in the dishwasher (but I usually wash on the delicate or fast cycle).

However, I'm becoming more enamored of the silicon "spoonula" I got at Target for $1.50. It does all the jobs a wooden spoon does, plus some other jobs too.
 
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What kind of wooden spoons are you using? I've never had any luck with those cheap things that come three in a pack for a buck or two. They just don't hold up in my kitchen no matter what.

I have several bamboo spoons that I never do anything to other than wash and use. My wooden spoons I got at a good kitchen store four years ago. They get the same treatment as the bamboo. Wash and use. I just noticed one of them is beginning to crack.
 

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Bloom where you are planted.

Zone 4 Central South Dakota

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A while ago (I thought it was less than a year ago) I bought some wooden spoons, nice ones in different woods to see if one type would last best. So I got a bamboo one (the entire bottom of the bowl is chipped off), a birch one and an olive wood one. All are cracked.

But since *everyone* else isn't having the same wooden spoon problems I am I am thinking I will have to watch what I am doing more.

I didn't think I was soaking them in water....but anyway, I will pay more attention.

And thank you so much for all of the responses! It was really nice to be able to read about everyone's experiences!
 
Alaskan (gardening in zones 2 to 5) (*SPRING* avatar...Spring scheduled for May 7th)
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I got a nice cutting board and it needs to be waxed, and I felt the same way, mineral oil just seemed to awful.

And I found that beeswax butcher block conditioner works wonderfully and is very safe. I got it on eBay. It has what is called food grade mineral oil in it to get it softer, so if you aren't comfortable with that, just get some beeswax candles, melt them, and very thinly rub it into your wood and buff it. Reapply as necessary because hot temps would melt it off of there.
 
---------------------- Life goes on within you and without you - George Harrison
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But when you think about using oil as a wood conditioner, we've got bottles of oil in the kitchen that sometimes sit there for more than a year, and they're not rancid. So wouldn't that imply that you'd have to have that spoon or board sitting in oil, untouched, uncleaned, unused for more than a year before it might go rancid?

Since we are using hot temps on wooden spoons in soups and sauces, and washing them often, I don't think the application of oil would cause that much of a problem.

And here's a trick I use with a sponge that I think would work well with a woodden spoon. To kill bacteria on a wet sponge, but it in the microwave for 1 minutes. Let it cool. If it still smells, do it again until it doesn't smell bad. Doing it a few times a week keeps it fresh. I think you could nuke the spoon for a minute every once in a while and it would be fine Smiler
 
---------------------- Life goes on within you and without you - George Harrison
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those are good ideas sweetpea, thanks!

And as to rancid oil....I think it also depends on climate (well, temperature). My little sister lives with no AC and her oils *do* go rancid. I think she said within a few weeks in the summer.

Actually, I also live with no AC, but *I* live in ALASKA and *she* lives in TEXAS!
 
Alaskan (gardening in zones 2 to 5) (*SPRING* avatar...Spring scheduled for May 7th)
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Geez, Alaskan...I never do anything to mine but wash them & let them air dry.

And I AM guilty of letting them soak overnight in water sometimes...maybe they NEED that soaking to replentish their moisture?

I think I have done that alot, actually! Confused Not really on purpose, but my kids might do it too!

It sounds like someone else might be using your's for drumsticks or other banging utensils, if they are splitting & chipping like that! Big Grin
 
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Wow, bummer about the oil in Texas getting rancid. Do they refrigerate it? Then it gets solid, and that's not much fun to use.

Alaskan, do you use cast iron? I treat my wood in the kitchen just like cast iron. After each use it gets oiled or waxed. If it gets fuzzy or slightly chipped you can sand it. I've still got my mother's wooden utensils from the 1940's, and they are a pleasure to use for sentimental reasons, and also the quality is very nice.

I think I'm going to put a caution about nuking the spoon. I read where even the heat from a dishwasher can cause wooden utensils to crack in the long run, so maybe that's not such a good idea.

But you can treat it like you would any wood cutting board, if you aren't using beeswax, use lemon juice and salt and rub it over it, let it dry on and wipe off any excess. That kills bacteria.

I also read where soaking wood in water causes cracking because of the expansion and contraction. I have had that happen in wooden salad spoons, they seem to be quite vulnerable, and I'm not always as careful with those because when you've got company the dishes can sit before you get to them, and apparently that's enough water to start the problems.
 
---------------------- Life goes on within you and without you - George Harrison
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quote:
Originally posted by beansprout56:
It sounds like someone else might be using your's for drumsticks or other banging utensils, if they are splitting & chipping like that! Big Grin


Now that I have read everyones experiences regarding wooden spoons, I wonder if that is my problem!

It is true there was the time I couldn't find my mixer beaters for over a month....turned out they were in the toy box.

Maybe they are wiser now, use them as drum sticks, then put them back where they belong. Roll Eyes
 
Alaskan (gardening in zones 2 to 5) (*SPRING* avatar...Spring scheduled for May 7th)
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No wooden spoons or cutting boards here. I just can't get my head around the fact that wood is so porous. The bacteria content would probably be phenomenal in my house - using it for chicken or hamburger and then onions or celery! Even the other way around creeps me out, as a simple wash in a hot soapy sink doesn't seem sufficient to me, and adding bleach to this same porous wood sounds even more dangerous! I need multi-purpose items, so I use glass cutting boards and white plastic spoons formed into the same shape as wood ones. I have only bought replacements once in three years! The very edges of the spoon tips were slightly melted from stirring pots (scraping the bottom) on the stove. I know, I know, I'm sure carcinogens are a factor, but I only used the white plastic in a hot pot when I couldn't find my high temperature spoonula! Big Grin Now those are great kitchen must haves!

Now, if I had a dishwasher, which would get the water hot enough to kill the bacterium, maybe, but I'd bet every wood cutting board comes with instructions not to do that!

Added a few minutes later: HAH! I KNEW IT! They do also talk about keeping it saturated with enough oil to prevent the wood from soaking too much liquid up from whatever you place on it, but I just don't need another thing to watch and worry about. What if I never forget anything else in my life but this one thing! Roll Eyes
 
~ Mary ~ ddogtalk at hotmail dot com There's nothing to like or dislike in another that isn't a reflection of yourself.
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I have never given our wooden spoons much thought. I actually went into the kitchen to look at the one that gets the most use. Yes it is a little chipped on the bottom, but we have been using it when making cookies for as long as I can remember, which is 40+ years. It wouldn't surprise me if Mom got it when she got married in the 40's.

We never did anything special with wooden spoons, other than we do try to wash them right away, rather than leave them soaking in water. The wooden spoons have held up much better than the rubber spatulas.

--J--
 
You should always have a plant B.
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Daisy, I imagine caring for a wood spoon or bowl is not really much different than caring for a wooden cutting board, which gets no high temps at all to clean it, like a dishwasher. So the few things we do, like lemon and salt, must be enough to deal with the bacteria that gets on wood.

I honestly think cooking with plastic spatulas and so much plastic in general is more of a worry and not good for us. It's off-gassing into the food, it can melt in small ways and get into the food. How many spatulas and baking spatulas have had their ends thin and melt away after years of use? And where did that stuff go? When I realized that, I got rid of all plastic and aluminum.

I've switched all of my kitchen cookware to cast iron and wood, glass, and ceramics. At least I know I can deal with the bacteria pretty easily.

BPM, I can't help but think the quality of the wooden utensils in the '40's was much better, probably mostly made of hardwoods in the US.

So the splitting and chipping happens on the newer wooden spoons that are made from woods out of tropical forests, or whatever can be made cheaply, and crack and chip more easily because they aren't as thick and made as well as they used to do it.
 
---------------------- Life goes on within you and without you - George Harrison
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quote:
Originally posted by sweetpea:
So the splitting and chipping happens on the newer wooden spoons that are made from woods out of tropical forests, or whatever can be made cheaply, and crack and chip more easily because they aren't as thick and made as well as they used to do it.


Ah, I have to say it again, if you can buy handmade wooden spoons... Do it! The one I bought was made from Black Walnut, if I remember right, but the guy made them from a wide range of woods. The price of the spoon might be higher, but to have a spoon that fits your hand nice is a treat to work with and it should last much longer.

The other night while making cookies DH commented on what a great wooden spoon that was and we are going to buy some more of them next chance we get!
 
Plant seeds in the sunshine, dance in the rain
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