One of the main instruments in our kitchen is the wooden spatula.
Wood is a porous material and can therefore turn into a cesspool for the development of microorganisms, so we must know how to clean it and the types of care we need to provide our little wooden kitchen assistants.
Most modern kitchens have a wooden spoon at their disposal and regardless of its design and the material it's made of, its regular cleaning and proper storage can save us a ton of headaches.
Unlike metal, wooden utensils are handy and practical, don't heat up the cook's hands as much, are heat resistant, don't react chemically with sour foods and are very suitable for using in Teflon and ceramic cookware.
And even though wooden utensils have been a part of the home kitchen for centuries they are not always well-kept and rarely get the attention they deserve.
There are just a few main rules to follow in order to protect them and keep using them. When buying a wooden utensil, be sure to choose one of a suitable size and shape, so that it fits comfortably in your hand. The price varies according to the quality of the wood, so it's recommended to avoid those with a price that's too low, as this is a premise for low quality, which may cost you later on.
Make sure the utensils have a smooth surface, no cracks, grooves or furrows on the wood. Food and moisture accumulate in damaged surfaces, making it easier for bacteria to grow and develop.
Follow these main guidelines to preserve them:
- Wash wooden utensils with warm water and a nonabrasive cleaning agent immediately after using them.
- Don't soak them in water. When they absorb water they will swell and become unusable, which means you'll have to throw them out.
- Don't put them in a dishwasher, wash them by hand. The machine's soaking and high temperature will also damage them.
- After washing, dry them with a towel and leave them out to finish drying by air.
- It's preferable to store wooden utensils on a stand or hooks, don't put them in a cupboard or drawer where they'll get stuffy and catch mold.
- And finally, to care for these modest kitchen instruments you can rub them with olive oil from time to time, as it will protect and refine the wood.