I'm trying to find information on which woods are safe to make kitchen
utensils out of & which woods should be avoided.
I tried google and didn't have very good luck. Any help would be greatly
On one of the _Woodwright Shoppe_ episodes Roy visited with a
spoonmaker who made spoons from a variety of woods including
poison ivy vine.
Generally speaking, you probably should NOT use poison ivy vine, nor
any of the woods with a reputation for toxicity or alergic reactions.
So, woods to avoid would be black walnut, most of the tropical exotics
especially cocobola and rosewoods, redwood, cedars, etc. Probably
most softwoods, being resinous, would at least tend to add some
undesireable flavors to the food.
Woods that have been commonly used for kitchen utensiils include
orchard woods like apple or pearwood, and also olive, maple,
beech, birch, cherry.
Probably it would be best to avoid porous woods like red oak.
My favorite is cherry. Maple shows black mildew if the user leaves it
submerged too long, and shows up food colors easily as well.
Nothing with a lot of large pores or extractives used as dyes.
As to resins, some of the best-looking and most durable spoons I've sold -
and have - have been made of tamarack.
Maple is traditionally used for butcher blocks even though it is not the
hardest wood. The belief is that there is something in maple that
naturally inhibits bacterial growth. At the end of the day, the block is
scrubbed hard with specially tempered hard wire brush. I suppose that
besides cleaning the pores of the wood of fat and blood, the newly exposed
wood starts the cycle again. Any butchers out there to verify this?
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