What is the Best Wood for Kitchen Utensils

Wood is some of the oldest materials used for making kitchen utensils, and it remains highly popular due to its performance and natural beauty.  Many types of wood are used to make cooking accessories but not all woods are created equally. Some types of wood are safe for making items that come in contact with food, while others should be avoided.

When it comes to choosing the right wood for your cooking utensils, only hardwood is tough enough to ensure its durability. Hardwood has denser wood fibers and is less prone to soaking water than softwood. The most commonly used hardwoods for making kitchen utensils are acacia, hard maple, cherry, and walnut.

Another important feature of wood material is food safety, meaning that wood shouldn’t contain harmful substances. Furthermore, the wood finish should be sealed with food-grade oil.

Finally, wood materials that are aesthetically pleasing can add charm and a rustic feel to the kitchen.

The Best Wood for Wooden Spoons, Spatulas, and Spurtles

Wooden spoons with their long handles feel comfortable in your hand. Since wood doesn’t conduct heat, you can use it for stirring without fear of burning your fingers. Opposite to quite noisy metal utensils, wooden spoons are pleasantly quiet while you work with them.

It seems that wood is an excellent choice for kitchen spoons, spatulas, and spurtles but this does not apply to all types of wood.

Fruit trees such as pear, plum, apple, cherry, teak, and walnut are good materials for making kitchen spoons because they are durable and non-toxic. Teak wood contains its own oil, which makes it more water-resistant than other types of wood used to make kitchen spoons.

Olive wood is very strong, stain resistant, decorative, and easy to maintain. However, using olive wood in contact with food may cause an allergic reaction in some people. Although these allergic reactions are rare, olive wood can cause symptoms such as sneezing and scratchy throat.

Despite their attractive appearance, exotic trees may not be a healthy option for making kitchen items. Some substances that these trees naturally produce to fight insects can be harmful to people’s health.

Wood for Making Cutting Boards

Picking suitable wood for a cutting board is essential for the successful process of food preparation and, also, for protecting the edge of your knife’s blade. Some of the most important criteria for choosing wood for cutting boards are hardness, absence of toxic ingredients, easy maintenance, and decorative appearance. The right blend of softness and hardness is an ideal option because some hardwood such as teak can dull knife blades. The most suitable cutting board materials are maple, walnut, cherry, and acacia. The decorative appearance of the wood should not be neglected either, in which cherry, walnut, and maple stand out in their own way. Due to their slightly darker color, cherry and walnut have the advantage that food stains are less visible and won’t affect their attractive appearance. Cherry also has the self-healing ability to restore cut marks from knives.

To ensure the preservation of natural resources, it is important that the consumption of wood for making kitchen products is sustainable. Walnut, maple, and cherry are considered renewable resources because they grow very quickly.

Maple wood has a creamy white color and tends to absorb stains if not properly sealed. With good maintenance and periodical sealing, maple utensils will last longer than other woods.

What Woods to Avoid for Cutting Boards?

Softwood like pine, balsa, or cedar isn’t suitable for cutting boards because softwood is prone to warping and cracking.

Porous cutting boards such as those made of ash or red oak are not easy to keep clean as they collect bacteria and fungi.

Wood that contains toxic substances should be avoided at all costs. For example, purpleheart is a very attractive material for making some wooden items, but it’s not suitable for making kitchen utensils. Purpleheart wood contains substances that can cause eye and skin irritation. Rosewood, American mahogany, and teak also contain poisonous substances.

Best Wood for Salad Bowls

Hardwoods such as cherry, acacia, black walnut, and maple are the best types of wood for making salad bowls. Hardwood doesn’t require the addition of fillers for durability and long-lasting performance.

To stay on the safe side, choose bowls that have a natural color. Wood stains are used to add a darker or more attractive appearance, but they may contain pigments that are not food safe.

Cherry wood is the best choice for making salad bowls because it has the necessary strength and a gorgeous reddish-brown color that looks beautiful on the table. It gets darker and even more beautiful over time.

Acacia is a very strong hardwood with long-lasting quality.  Acacia wood is rich in contrasting colors that bring a rustic, elegant look.

The black walnut wood is a fine-grained hardwood that ranges from chocolate brown to yellow. This hardwood is prized for its strength and deep rich color. Mineral oil is the only thing it needs to enhance its beautiful color.

Salad bowls made from wood that lacks strength such as birch should be avoided. Birchwood is prone to damage and warping.  Although looks beautiful it requires a lot of maintenance to resist moisture and damage.

Oak is also prone to cracking and damage, so your bowl won’t last long.

Some types of wood, such as beech, may change color over time, losing their attractiveness.

Wood Salad Servers

Serving salad in wooden bowls requires appropriate serving accessories such as salad tossers, salad tongs, salad hands, and salad spoons and forks.

When it comes to salad servers, they should be made of hardwood that is safe for use in food preparation. People commonly choose accessories made of wood that complement their wooden salad bowls. Cherry, acacia, black walnut, and maple are the best options when it comes to the durability, safety, and attractive look of salad serving tools.

Which Oil to Use for Sealing Wooden Utensils

Most oils we use for cooking are not suitable for oiling wooden kitchen utensils. These oils can easily go rancid which will negatively affect the taste of food. Food-grade mineral oil is the best option for sealing wooden kitchen utensils. This oil makes the wooden surface resistant to water and reduces the possibility of cracking. Mineral oil is easy to apply and won’t go rancid. Just make sure to reapply it periodically to keep the surface water-resistant and shiny.

If you need to restore the damaged utensils, remove unevenness with sandpaper, and then reapply the protective coating of mineral oil.

The Takeaway

Although you don’t make your kitchen utensils, you can still choose the materials your utensils are made of. You can make it by purchasing kitchen items from reliable kitchenware manufacturing companies. The wooden utensils should be accompanied by detailed information about the wood material and other features that may be important to customers. When shopping online, pay attention to the product description and buy only from reputable domestic manufacturers and sellers.

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