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View Full Version : Wooden kitchen utensils - What do you use/like?



apathetic
11-21-2013, 12:10 PM
I tend to use a lot my wooden spatula among others, and I was thinking it would be worthwhile to get a set made into some really nice wood that would last a lifetime and probably be good enough to pass son to a future generation :)
So:

- Do you use wooden tools?
- Which ones are your favourite?
- If you were to make some custom ones, what wood would you use, which shape, etc...
- This also include pastry tools, has anybody ever used a wooden whisk?

bahamaroot
11-21-2013, 01:10 PM
I put wooden utensils right up there with Cutco knives.:vmc: But I'm sure they have there place.

chinacats
11-21-2013, 01:27 PM
I'd enjoy a few nice different shapes to use with my steel pans. Currently have found bamboo to hold up the best, but would enjoy something made of a nicer wood.

Burl Source
11-21-2013, 02:50 PM
I use a wooden spoon (lots) and wooden spatula (sometimes).
Usually for mixing stuff that would bend a plastic or metal one.

I have tried making some from burl (bad idea) but I kept breaking the handles.
I would suggest a straight grain figured wood like curly maple or koa.
There are a bunch of people on etsy making/selling wooden utensils.

boomchakabowwow
11-21-2013, 04:06 PM
i friggen love wooden spoons and spatulas.

i love them when they get broken in and they develop that deep darkness in the wood. i am pretty sure my stuff are just cheapos. i have a wooden spatula that i use for fried rice and stuff. i will be so bummed when that thing breaks.

EdipisReks
11-21-2013, 04:43 PM
wooden utensils are a must if you use tinned copper pots and pans. i like berard olive wood spoons and spatulas.

tripleq
11-21-2013, 04:48 PM
I've been using bamboo for a few years as well. Extremely tough.

apathetic
11-21-2013, 04:51 PM
I was wondering actually if I could make some utensils out of your burl. Was it too much a pain to work in shape or was it too fragile?
Just a note, I am still quite ignorant when it comes to wood, but this forum is a great learning platform! :)
Apart from the cost, would there be any reason to avoid making utensils in very dense woods like ebony?
I would have thought that something like that might last the longest.


I use a wooden spoon (lots) and wooden spatula (sometimes).
Usually for mixing stuff that would bend a plastic or metal one.

I have tried making some from burl (bad idea) but I kept breaking the handles.
I would suggest a straight grain figured wood like curly maple or koa.
There are a bunch of people on etsy making/selling wooden utensils.

@boomchakabowwow: that's one of the reasons I am looking into making/buying some really durable utensils.

@EdipisReks: I actually now mainly use carbon pans or seasoned cast iron pans and pots so I know I could just use metal utensils. But I still love the feel of wooden utensils.

brainsausage
11-21-2013, 04:53 PM
I put wooden utensils right up there with Cutco knives.:vmc: But I'm sure they have there place.

Stirring a rondo full of product with a metal spoon sounds and feels awful. I definitely prefer wooden spoons/scrapers. Just my opinion. I don't understand the cutco metaphor?

rahimlee54
11-21-2013, 05:04 PM
I have been getting wooden paddles for my last wooden utensil pickup. They are awesome for everything and scrape the entire bottom of a pan with ease. I have never tried a wooden spatula always have silicone or metal maybe I should step out on a limb.

panda
11-21-2013, 05:46 PM
MUCH prefer wooden spoons for stirring.

Sambal
11-21-2013, 06:27 PM
I use wooden paddles and have for yonks.

Stirring and scraping a pan with metal ones is very grating and it scratches my steel pans as well. I like the ones made from very large bamboo (from China I think). They're very efficient, hard, as well as hard wearing. These are getting increasingly difficult to find for some reason. My beautiful bamboo rice paddle recently cracked after about 7 years of use and I haven't yet found a suitable replacement. I'm using a Japanese plastic one with a tiny bubbly texture at the moment. Works well, the rice doesn't stick to it but I love the feel of a natural wooden/bamboo one better.

JHunter
11-21-2013, 07:29 PM
I love my Yew wood spoons and Spatulas and am lucky enough to have a father whom makes em pretty much any size and shape i want em
https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/1374877_10151733084553935_770089502_n.jpg

EdipisReks
11-21-2013, 07:30 PM
I use wooden paddles and have for yonks.

Stirring and scraping a pan with metal ones is very grating and it scratches my steel pans as well. I like the ones made from very large bamboo (from China I think). They're very efficient, hard, as well as hard wearing. These are getting increasingly difficult to find for some reason. My beautiful bamboo rice paddle recently cracked after about 7 years of use and I haven't yet found a suitable replacement. I'm using a Japanese plastic one with a tiny bubbly texture at the moment. Works well, the rice doesn't stick to it but I love the feel of a natural wooden/bamboo one better.

have you thought about repairing them? Many epoxies are food safe (they get used in home-brew all the time), and the bond between epoxy and wood is usually stronger than the wood itself. I repaired a Berard olive wood spatula that broke with epoxy, and it worked perfectly. In fact, when the spatula was later broken again (the thing was twice crushed in boxes when I moved apartments, just bad luck) it broke around the epoxy, but the epoxy bond itself was still intact.

Sambal
11-21-2013, 08:10 PM
have you thought about repairing them? Many epoxies are food safe (they get used in home-brew all the time), and the bond between epoxy and wood is usually stronger than the wood itself. I repaired a Berard olive wood spatula that broke with epoxy, and it worked perfectly. In fact, when the spatula was later broken again (the thing was twice crushed in boxes when I moved apartments, just bad luck) it broke around the epoxy, but the epoxy bond itself was still intact.


Thanks for the suggestion ER but this particular paddle had truly gone past its use-by date by a long shot. So, I'm still looking for that 'one' special bamboo rice paddle where the grain is straight, the curvature just right, and the node (where it's strongest) falls towards the the tip of the paddle.

With other flat paddles I actually prefer softer wooden ones because they scrape the bottom of the pan better. Great when making thick stews or soups where there's a tendency to stick and burn on the bottom.

Sambal
11-21-2013, 08:11 PM
I love my Yew wood spoons and Spatulas and am lucky enough to have a father whom makes em pretty much any size and shape i want em
https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/1374877_10151733084553935_770089502_n.jpg


Excuse my ignorance but isn't Yew poisonous?

Bill13
11-21-2013, 08:21 PM
Love wooden spoons! Olive wood is my favorite for it's beautiful grain.

Burl Source
11-21-2013, 08:35 PM
I was wondering actually if I could make some utensils out of your burl. Was it too much a pain to work in shape or was it too fragile?
Apart from the cost, would there be any reason to avoid making utensils in very dense woods like ebony?
I would have thought that something like that might last the longest.
I use a wooden spoon most when mixing ingredients for baking. So I need the wood to be able to flex without breaking.
With burl the grain is turning all over the place and is prone to breaking.
Straight grain wood will have a lot more strength and is able to flex without as much chance of breaking.
When wood cracks or breaks, it usually breaks along the grain. With burl the grain can be going across a 1/2" or less wide handle. So you have only about 1/2" of strength. VS a piece of straight grain wood the grain runs the length of the spoon giving several inches of strength. I am not sure if I am making sense.

split0101
11-21-2013, 08:54 PM
I use wooden spoons all the time. I have a few that I have had for years. I would agree that bamboo seems to last the longest (and cheapest) while an olive wood spoon that I had was gorgeous but broke after a few uses.

EdipisReks
11-21-2013, 09:00 PM
Excuse my ignorance but isn't Yew poisonous?

I'd suggest not eating the spatulas, but I'd be highly skeptical to claims that yew cooking utensils are going to poison anybody.

apathetic
11-22-2013, 07:18 AM
Thanks for the explanation, it makes sense to me


I use a wooden spoon most when mixing ingredients for baking. So I need the wood to be able to flex without breaking.
With burl the grain is turning all over the place and is prone to breaking.
Straight grain wood will have a lot more strength and is able to flex without as much chance of breaking.
When wood cracks or breaks, it usually breaks along the grain. With burl the grain can be going across a 1/2" or less wide handle. So you have only about 1/2" of strength. VS a piece of straight grain wood the grain runs the length of the spoon giving several inches of strength. I am not sure if I am making sense.

cookinstuff
11-22-2013, 11:12 AM
I have a couple of really big sturdy spatulas my friend got me from Mexico, a flat scraper style that will deglaze the biggest roasters no problem, and a large bowled serving spoon style. I also have a spoon/scraper combo in olivewood from Berard, and really like the wooden handled le creuset silicone spatulas, the wood they use seems to be better than most and they are sturdy. I enjoy rubber spatulas as well as wooden spoons, but sometime a plastic handled rubber spatula just can't support a lot of weight, especially after going through the dishwasher a million times, they start to flex.

quantumcloud509
11-22-2013, 05:09 PM
I love my wooden stirring spoons and always will

RGNY
11-22-2013, 08:45 PM
another wooden spoon fan here. have a wooden corner spoon just for risotto....

Pensacola Tiger
11-22-2013, 08:49 PM
I have a couple of olivewood spoons that I would replace in an instant if something happened to them.

Erilyn75
11-24-2013, 05:32 AM
I love my wooden utensils as much as my knives and cast iron! My favorite is the spurtle. I've always said if I had to pick only 3 kitchen utensils to use for the rest of my life it would be my knife, cast iron pan and my spurtle. It's a cross between and spoon and spatula. You can do pretty much anything with it. Everyone should own one of these pretties.


My collection. Everything is handmade out of cherry or maple.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/classycrafter/image-9.jpg


A few of my spurtles

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/classycrafter/image-10.jpg

AFKitchenknivesguy
11-24-2013, 12:52 PM
This thread needs more sources.

Erilyn75
11-24-2013, 03:40 PM
Some of mine are custom but if you email them they'll customize something for you.


https://www.etsy.com/shop/OldWorldMarket
http://kitchencarvers.com/
http://www.mebskitchenwares.com/
http://spoonmaker.com/

Erilyn75
11-24-2013, 04:54 PM
One more. He's not taking anymore orders this year though. But he does something I like. He wet finishes them to make sure when you use it, you won't have to sand it to get the initial fuzz off.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/KitchenCarvings?ref=pr_faveshops

Sambal
11-24-2013, 05:27 PM
I love my wooden utensils as much as my knives and cast iron! My favorite is the spurtle. I've always said if I had to pick only 3 kitchen utensils to use for the rest of my life it would be my knife, cast iron pan and my spurtle. It's a cross between and spoon and spatula. You can do pretty much anything with it. Everyone should own one of these pretties.


My collection. Everything is handmade out of cherry or maple.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/classycrafter/image-9.jpg


A few of my spurtles

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/classycrafter/image-10.jpg




Your spurtles are fantastic! Makes me want one.

mr drinky
11-24-2013, 07:07 PM
wooden utensils are a must if you use tinned copper pots and pans. i like berard olive wood spoons and spatulas.

I have several different gerard utensils and love them. Get three spoons in different lengths (10", 12", and 14"). The pointed spoon might be nice too.

With that said, I am not sure they will last a lifetime. I've snapped one making a dough, chopped one in a vitamin, and set another one on fire. I use them every time I cook.

k.

RGNY
11-24-2013, 07:29 PM
now want a spurtle.......*sigh*......$$$

99Limited
11-24-2013, 08:11 PM
I would not know what to do without my wooden spoons and spatulas. I have a couple of wooden spoons that I have had for so long the spoon portion has developed a 45 degree angled tip like some spatulas.

mr drinky
11-25-2013, 06:56 AM
I have several different gerard utensils and love them. Get three spoons in different lengths (10", 12", and 14"). The pointed spoon might be nice too.

With that said, I am not sure they will last a lifetime. I've snapped one making a dough, chopped one in a vitamin, and set another one on fire. I use them every time I cook.

k.

Just FYI, meant 'Berard' not gerard and Vitamix not vitamin.

Also that spurtle looks cool. I didn't see that part of the thread.

k.

apathetic
11-25-2013, 06:03 PM
@Erilyn75: thanks for posting the pics and sources. Gives me good ideas on what I want!

This thread need more pcitures :)
Here's a picture of a ladle I am very tempted to get

http://i40.tinypic.com/13zmrti.jpg

EdipisReks
11-25-2013, 06:43 PM
I have several different gerard utensils and love them. Get three spoons in different lengths (10", 12", and 14"). The pointed spoon might be nice too.

With that said, I am not sure they will last a lifetime. I've snapped one making a dough, chopped one in a vitamin, and set another one on fire. I use them every time I cook.

k.

The flat edged/pointed spoon is what I use the most. I wouldn't rely on any wooden tool to last a life time, if it actually gets used, but they are cheap enough for it to not matter. I also use mine every time I cook, just about, and I've also set one on fire, when it slipped, un-noticed, close to a burner. I scraped off the char and still use that spoon.

Erilyn75
11-26-2013, 12:34 AM
The spurtle is pretty great. It's the most used tool in my kitchen other than my knife. I even got my little ones their very own mini spurtles so they can help in the kitchen. My 2.5 year old already uses his to help stir batters. There are 3 different makers, each differently designed. My new one should be arriving within the next few days so ill have to post a pic when I get it.

I have quite a few only because I want to make sure I have them because you never know if the craftsman passed down his art to another to continue making them. I did the same with Nigella Lawson's mini whisks too, another favorite tool. Glad I did because you can't find them anymore.

Sambal
11-26-2013, 04:20 AM
I'm sure spurtles are efficient tools but apart from that I appreciate how gorgeous they are in a sculptural way.

Just looked it up online and the spurtle is listed as a Scots kitchen tool dating from the 15th Century. Och aye!

Craig
11-26-2013, 12:17 PM
Huh, I've been using a (bamboo, I think) thing for a while that I really like, but have always called a spatula. It's not that different in shape from a spurtle, but it has holes in it which I suppose is so things don't stick or something, but mostly they just get clogged with food and are a pain to clean.

Anywho, now I have two spurtles on order from that etsy link. 27.10 each isn't so bad for something hand made.

cookinstuff
11-26-2013, 12:55 PM
aye, spurtles are great for making oatmeal. Just remember stirring clockwise, counterclockwise invites the devil into your home. Or something of that sort. I always make some sort of joke to my chef when I take over the risotto and finish it to the plate, (we are both of scottish heritage, and he is a lefty, I'm a righty, so he stirs counterclockwise). That Berard ladle is beautiful, would match my berard spoon/spatulas nicely.

Erilyn75
12-09-2013, 03:15 AM
Here is my custom spurtle in American Beech along with a little spurtle spreader in Cherry that they sent as a gift. Too cute!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/classycrafter/f21ff705865cd5700be5178403cd8e96.jpg

Delbert Ealy
12-09-2013, 02:32 PM
I like them too, not so much the spoons, but there is one wooden......... Spatula really isn't the right word, but it has a flat edge set at an angle and it is a bit cupped. I bought one and then couldn't find any more. So I made a couple more from some Birdseye maple that didn't pass muster for knife handles. I love them. I have thought several times about offering them for sale, but getting wood in good quality that will stand up to the abuse of the kitchen and then the time to actually make them, I didn't know if I could sell them for enough.
I know maple and beech work well for this, it's getting some that has some interesting figure, like curly or Birdseye. I wonder if sycamore is a food safe wood? That can be interesting if you cut it right.
Maybe if there is enough interest I'll look into doing a run of these and some spurtles, if someone would be willing to loan me one, so I can get the design right.
Also, what would you guys think is a reasonable price for wooden utensils like this?
Del

Erilyn75
12-09-2013, 03:59 PM
I LOVE Birdseye. I've only got one in It because its not common to use for kitchen utensils I guess. I think it's beautiful.

The cheapest I've paid is $25, the most expensive was the Birdseye at $55. If you do decide to make a few, I have several so I can send you one. And if you decide to make another Birdseye or curly, I'd love to buy one lol.

Here's my meat browning spurtle. As you can see, it's gotten a lot of love over the years

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/classycrafter/5140a4a2812f5ef4e79b5c579acd59f4.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/classycrafter/d09ff0b11c2e6e7983aad34a0db87c29.jpg

NO ChoP!
12-09-2013, 04:00 PM
Can't cook arborio without one....

toddnmd
12-09-2013, 09:08 PM
Go for it, Del!

toddnmd
12-09-2013, 11:12 PM
And sycamore seems to be food safe . . .

Mrmnms
12-10-2013, 02:13 AM
I'd be interested

jazzybadger
12-18-2013, 08:57 PM
I love wooden spoons. I'm a part of the bamboo crowd as well. They're nothing fancy, but I absolutely adore them all the same.

sachem allison
12-19-2013, 01:58 AM
I'm a huge wooden spoon fan. I inherited a giant hundred year old risotto spoon that was bent and twisted in a dozen different directions just from sitting on the pot. I also got a couple big soup spoons from chef. Came to work one day and saw little tiny splinters of wood all over my kitchen. Apparently, my gm and one of the owners got into a cocaine and alcohol fueled drum session and destroyed all my spoons. They claimed they didn't remember a thing. The security video on the other hand tells a different story. I quit on the spot.
I carved the ones I'm currently using now when I was recuperating from my first heart surgery back in 2007. It gave me something to do while I was sitting in bed. ***** to clean up the wood chips though. These are roughly based on some Native American beliefs that all things have soul. Often times you feed the spoon before you feed yourself thus, the open mouths. Two of them are cherry wood and one is white birch.

sachem allison
12-19-2013, 02:00 AM
a few more

sachem allison
12-19-2013, 11:23 PM
see if I can find a couple of my giant spoons

Sambal
12-20-2013, 09:11 AM
see if I can find a couple of my giant spoons

Would love to see them.

You have some terrific stuff Son!

sachem allison
12-28-2013, 01:40 AM
I found one but, it is so long I can't get it all in the pic. I'll try later this week and see what I can do. It isn't carved though

Sambal
12-28-2013, 02:03 AM
I found one but, it is so long I can't get it all in the pic. I'll try later this week and see what I can do. It isn't carved though


Sounds like a fisherman's story Son! Ha Ha!

The largest wooden ladle/spatula I've ever seen by far were from India. It was at some Hindu festival I chanced upon in the 70s in Rajasthan. They were feeding tens of thousands of people, no exaggeration. There were banks of pots at the outdoor cooking area that were as large as the comic book pots that cannibals would use to cook a whole live human being in. The wooden stirrers were as large as oars!