Updated May 2022
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Buying guide for Best wooden spoons

There are plenty of tools and utensils that come in handy in the kitchen, but there are few as versatile as the wooden spoon. You can mix and stir with it, but it’s also ideal for sautéing in a hot pan, serving at the table, and even outdoor cooking.

Most wooden spoons are made entirely of wood, but every wooden spoon has a wooden bowl for scooping, mixing, and moving food. A wooden spoon is safe for use during cooking because it doesn’t react with acidic ingredients or leach any potentially harmful chemicals. It doesn’t get overly hot when exposed to heat, and it won’t damage a nonstick cooking surface. Wooden spoons are environmentally friendly and easy to clean, too.

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Wooden spoons don’t conduct heat, so you don’t have to worry about them altering the cooking temperature of any dishes you’re preparing.

Key considerations

Type and design

The most common type of wooden spoon resembles other spoons, but it’s larger than those used for eating. It’s well suited for mixing, stirring, sautéing, or stir-frying. It’s one of the most versatile kitchen utensils you can have in your drawer.

You can also find slotted wooden spoons, which have a couple of openings in the bowl to allow liquids to drain through. That makes them perfect for lifting large pieces of meat and veggies without picking up any liquid.

If you opt for a basic wooden spoon, there are other design features to consider. Most have a shallow bowl, so you’re just able to get a single taste while cooking. However, if you want a wooden spoon that you can use for serving, look for one with a deeper bowl.

Consider the edges of the spoon, too. Most wooden spoons have rounded edges, but if you want a spoon that can scrape up food stuck on the bottom of a pan, look for one with sharp, straight edges.

Expert Tip
When gifting wooden spoons, a nice variety of three different types is best. A standard wooden spoon with a corner is great for getting into the bottom edges of a pan. A spoon with a hole in the center is intended for risotto, but it has many other uses. Also consider either a large deep-bowled spoon that can operate as a ladle or a long-handled, tiny-bowled spoon that is great for tasting the goods.
BestReviews Cooking and Baking Expert

Wood

Wooden spoons are made from several different types of wood. Inexpensive spoons are usually made of pine, which works just fine but doesn’t last as long as other types of wood. Keep in mind that pine spoons can sometimes give your food an unpleasant “piney” taste when you first start using them, too.

If you want a higher-quality wooden spoon, opt for one made of hardwood like maple, cherry, beech, or olive. For an eco-friendly option, consider a bamboo spoon. Bamboo is a fast-growing, renewable source of wood.

Features

Handle

For a wooden spoon to be as easy to use as possible, it must have a comfortable handle. Some handles have squared-off sides that allow you to get a better grip and provide a spot to rest your thumb. You can also find some spoons with silicone handles that offer a softer grip that’s more comfortable to hold.

Pay attention to the handle’s length, too. A longer handle is best for sautéing or frying because it increases the distance between your hand and the heat from the stove. Longer handles also work well when you’re mixing in deep bowls or containers.

Construction

The best wooden spoons feature one-piece construction — the spoon is made from a single piece of wood. Spoons that have two or more pieces are more likely to break or snap along the seams, so they aren’t as durable. Food and bacteria can also collect in the seams.

Expert Tip
Cracks and chips are bad news and can catch food particles, which can rot and mold in the crevices. Try buffing out any pits with fine sandpaper. If that doesn’t work, it’s time to get a new spoon.
BestReviews Cooking and Baking Expert

Bowl

The size of a spoon’s bowl can play a significant role in its performance. A spoon with an extremely wide bowl can be bulky and difficult to maneuver, but if the bowl is too narrow, it can require a lot of effort to mix ingredients or scrape food from the bottom of a container. Look for a spoon with a midsize bowl that’s easy to move but still provides enough power to mix or scrape effectively.

Quantity

Many wooden spoons are sold individually, so you can buy a single spoon in the size and design you need. You can also find wooden spoon sets that include as few as three or as many as ten spoons. Some sets include several spoons that are all the same size, while others have spoons in varying sizes. If you only need to replace a wooden spoon or two, a single spoon or small set is usually the best value, but if you need a few wooden spoons, you can save money by buying a larger set.

Wooden spoon prices

Wooden spoons vary in price based on the size, construction, wood, and the number of spoons in the set. Most spoons cost between $1 and $30.

Inexpensive

The most affordable wooden spoons are typically made of pine and don’t have particularly long handles or wide bowls. Some come as part of a set that contains as many as six spoons. You’ll typically pay between $1 and $8 for these.

Mid-range

These wooden spoons are made of hardwoods like maple or cherry. They can vary in size from midsize to large. Some sets also fall in this price range. You’ll generally spend between $5 and $15 on these.

Expensive

The most expensive wooden spoons are made of bamboo or hardwoods like maple or cherry. These tend to be larger spoons with wide heads that are ideal for mixing, sautéing, and serving. You’ll usually pay between $14 and $30 for these.

Expert TIp
Don’t let your wooden spoons soak in water. Wood absorbs water and expands, and then it retracts as it dries, which can make for rough surfaces and cause cracks.
BestReviews Cooking and Baking Expert

Tips

  • Wash your wooden spoon after each use. Wood is porous, and it can absorb stains and odors quickly if you let food sit on the spoon.
  • Don’t use a wooden spoon to mix raw meat, raw eggs, or other foods that can cause food poisoning. Wood can harbor bacteria more easily than other materials.
  • Don’t put your wooden spoon in the dishwasher. Cleaning a wooden spoon in the dishwasher can cause the spoon to crack or warp.
  • Oil your wooden spoon. This can help keep it in excellent condition. Rub food-grade mineral oil over the spoon to help it absorb into the wood. Allow the spoon to dry completely before using it.
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If you can’t hang your wooden spoons to dry, propping them upright also allows for adequate airflow to get rid of excess moisture.

FAQ

Q. Do I have to season a wooden spoon?

A. If you want your spoon to last as long as possible, it helps to season an unfinished spoon. As with cast iron, seasoning the wood creates a protective coating that helps prevent it from warping or cracking.

To season a wooden spoon, rub it down with food-grade mineral oil and allow the oil to soak in for approximately 15 minutes but preferably overnight. Wipe off any excess oil and place it in the oven at 350°F for a couple of minutes. After the initial seasoning, you’ll need to reseason the spoons about once a month.

Q. How do I sanitize a wooden spoon?

A. Wooden spoons can harbor bacteria pretty easily, so if you use one to mix raw meat or eggs, you’ll definitely want to sanitize it every month or two. Wash the spoons with soap and water as you usually would, and then place them on a baking sheet. Pour 3% hydrogen peroxide over the spoons and let them sit for about 15 minutes. Rinse the spoons with warm water and allow them to dry before storing them.

Q. What’s the best way to dry wooden spoons after washing?

A. Dry the spoons with a towel or paper towel to remove any surface moisture. Next, hang them up to finish drying. Laying them down to dry can cause water to pool beneath them, so they don’t fully dry.

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