care for wooden spoons?

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Forum topic by Schwarzwald posted 08-27-2016 04:05 PM 1146 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Schwarzwald's profile


3 posts in 1750 days

08-27-2016 04:05 PM

Topic tags/keywords: spoon spoons finish splitting cracking cooking

Hello there! I am brand new to the site and so far it has been very useful to read all of the stuff and check out the amazing projects! I did have a question that I hope someone could help me with though. I recently carved some spoons for the kitchen out of various kinds of wood. They are mostly around 12” and could be used for serving food, or stirring soup, etc. I am curious to know how to keep the spoons in good shape if they are used for things like stirring soup, or hotter cooking, like making a brown roux. I don’t know the exact temperature for making a roux, but it’s easily above boiling, and I would guess that it is at least 300 degrees. I’m no expert when it comes to wood finishes, but I have used several different kinds over the years. Does anyone have a recommendation for what sort of finish to use for a wooden spoon that is used in high temperature cooking? Let’s assume for the moment that the wood is a domestic hardwood, because most of my spoons are. I have some that are sugar maple, cherry, honey locust and walnut. I also have a couple that are an exotic wood that might be lignum vitae, but it wasn’t labelled. Whatever it is, it is dense and definitely has oils in it.

Also I am assuming that there are certain things I should avoid with a wooden spoon, like running it through the dishwasher. If there are other pointers, I would love to hear them. The main thing I am trying to avoid is the spoon cracking, splitting and falling apart, I don’t mind discoloration or other cosmetic problems. I just don’t want the thing to fall apart. I guess going with that, I don’t want a film finish to melt into my food, haha. Which isn’t to say that I’m opposed to using a film finish; I am just not sure what the melting point would be.

Thanks in advance!


-- I want to know

7 replies so far

View Wildwood's profile


2959 posts in 3247 days

#1 posted 08-27-2016 04:49 PM

No finish at all! Whatever you put on will come off once stick it into something that is boiling. My wife washes her wooden spoons with dish washing soap at the sink and lets air dry. We buy new if they fall apart.

-- Bill

View Kirk650's profile


739 posts in 1861 days

#2 posted 08-27-2016 09:38 PM

From time to time I make a bunch of wooden spoons and spatulas. I’ve put various oils and potions on them (mineral oil, tung oil, walnut oil, etc.). I’d say that tung oil lasts a bit longer, but nothing lasts very long. But they do look good new, with a coat of oil, so I’ll keep doing it.

View Picklehead's profile


1055 posts in 3042 days

#3 posted 08-27-2016 11:28 PM

I use half and half mineral oil and beeswax. Heat spoons in oven at 170 and apply several coats. Let cool then buff with cloth. Nothing lasts forever but this makes them look and smell good, and is good for touching up.

-- Quote from ebay tool listing: " Has nicks and dings wear and tear dust and dirt rust and pitting but in good working condition"

View ClaudeF's profile


1306 posts in 2820 days

#4 posted 08-28-2016 01:24 AM

I sand my cooking spoons down to 400 grit, then hold them under the faucet for a few seconds to thoroughly wet them. I then dry them with a hair dryer for 2-3 minutes. Re-sand with a piece of used 400 grit, re-wet, re-dry, etc. After about 3-4 cycles of this, no more fibers raise up from the water and the spoon stays smooth. I then coat it heavily in olive oil, since this is what I cook with. I have to re-coat it about once per hour as the oil soaks in. After leaving overnight, I just wipe it dry with a paper towel and throw it in the drawer.

Robson Valley, from BC CA heats his in the over at 200 for a bit so the olive oil will soak into the wood better.

If you are selling these, mineral oil from the pharmacy is a better choice as some people may be allergic to olives. Either way, that’s all I do to them.



View Schwarzwald's profile


3 posts in 1750 days

#5 posted 08-28-2016 06:53 AM

Awesome! Thanks so much for all of your replies!

-- I want to know

View jdh122's profile


1240 posts in 3930 days

#6 posted 08-28-2016 09:47 AM

Peter Follansbee recommends soaking them in raw linseed oil until they won’t absorb any more of the oil. I think this takes a few weeks. I generally use tung oil, applied the regular way.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View martyoc's profile


44 posts in 2029 days

#7 posted 08-28-2016 03:37 PM

We several wooden spoons and they have no finish. They are many years old and have had a lot of use by my wife for cooking and canning and then are cleaned and dried in the dish washer. Have never had a problem.

-- Marty O'C

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