I have a large wooden cooking spoon. Nothing happens to it when you toss
it in the dishwasher (other then getting clean...), but it is maybe 10 years
old and starting to show its age.
I made one out of walnut, but it gets pretty ratty after one washing.
What wood is good for this purpose? The one I have looks like ash, but is
probably some Asian wood.
Yes. Beech is tough and resists checking which is important
for something that going to be repeatedly wetted. Pearwood
is good, probably many other orchard woods.
You can probably make any wooden spoon last longer by
using pure tung oil on it (and waiting for it to harden before
suing it) and by NOT putting it in the dishwasher.
Roy Underhill used to make a lot spoons and says he often
used cottonwood. One of his guests showed a spoon made
from poison ivy. I recommend against that choice.
I like tight-grain rock maple, but I also never run them through the
"We need to make a sacrifice to the gods, find me a young virgin... oh, and
bring something to kill"
I have two thoughts on this.
One, is that wooden spoons are cheap and plentiful and you could easily pick
up some wood spoons at many stores near you.
Secondly, this is a small enough job, you could just experiment. Try
different woods. Have fun with it. It isn't like a big investment in wood
or time. See what you come up with. Any surplus could end up as christmas
Remember the PBS series about the guy who built a cabin in Alaska and lived
there for many years? He just grabbed some wood he chopped down and started
splitting and carving. He produced a big wooden spoon very quickly. This was
immediately pressed into service as an overall cooking and eating implement.
I wonder how many years that hand carved spoon served him in this wilderness
What's a'matta you
Why you look so sad
Whaddayou think you do
Why you feel so bad
It's a nice'a day
It's a nice'a place
Buy the Olive wood spoon.
(apologies, sorta, to Joe Dolce)
tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email)
Hereabouts I'd go by the two yards in the area with a
reasonable stock of exotics and explain what I was about and obtain some
cutoffs of everything they have, make a sample out of each (not a spoon,
just cut them to a standard size and run them through the planer), toss
them all in the diswasher and see what survived best, then plug the FPL
database and see if they had any toxicity information and once I'd figured
out what to use get a board and have at it.
to email, dial "usenet" and validate
(was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
Don't have any idea whether this will work, but if the dishwasher is
producing a raised-grain effect, you might try sanding down the spoon,
washing it again, and sanding it again. As I understand grain raising,
it should get less ratty every time until it pretty much stays the
same. If I'm off base on this, I'm sure someone will correct me. It
sure wouldn't hurt to try, though.
I do know that bamboo tends to stay nice and smooth even after several
cookings and washings, but of course it's not available at most local
Try some experiments, have fun with it, and let us know what works,
No wood is good in the dishwasher, even those vacuum-treated knife handles.
If you insist on doing it, get a wood suitable for cutting board use with
short grain and few extractives. Won't look as fuzzy or fade as fast.
If you don't like straight-handled disposables, carve your own useful
patterns out of something local and wash them by hand. They last for years.
Trespa, Micarta or Corian.
No wood enjoys repeated trips through a dishwasher. IMHE, lime
(basswood), beech and maple all make fine spoons. If you regularly
re-oil them, then they'll even survive dishwashing. Not that I'd
recommend it though.
Ash (and many other European hardwoods) are no use for food use as
Olive doesn't survive well (certainly for deep spoons and ladles) as it
tends to crack rather than just drying out. I get my small-diameter
olivewood for turnery as scrap from a local olive seller, by scrounging
the handles of their big ladles when they crack after too much washing.
Tropicals are mainly terrible as spoons, particularly because many are
porous (especially the Africans). Some of the oily ones are OK, such as
teak or iroko, and these would probably resist dishwashing. Bamboo
cetainly does, although this is hard to obtain as wide flat pressed
sheet in the West (I buy cheap spatulas and cut them down).
Most any wood will get ratty when placed in the dishwasher. I wash
them by hand. I've made a set of spoons out of apple wood. Most any
fruitwood will do well. Also consider olive wood. Warm them at 200
degrees, then apply mineral oil.
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