So,
I received a set of four lovely spoons from my sister as a Christmas gift. These things are awesome for several various reasons. First, I LOVE to read. I’m a recovering book-aholic. My sister and her husband took this into account and purchased these wooden utensils with quotes from Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series! (I will share the quotes below) she said, “everyone needs a little magic in their kitchen!” And as much as I love being in the kitchen, she is sooo right!

Now the second reason these babies are so awesome is the fact that they are made from bamboo wood. If you didn’t know, you will soon find out, my husband and I really love the Asian culture. As a child I spent about a year overseas in Japan and just fell in love with everything (minus seafood). So these just add to the overall sense of the Asian theme in a small way.

Lastly, they are wood. I love wood. ( in all forms and fashions 😉 ) I love the weight and feel of a wooden spoon in my hand while I’m cooking. They won’t damage my pans and they seems to scrap everything off the sides of everything, almost as well as a spatula.

Back on topic!
I have been researching on seasoning my wooden utensils much like I would a cast iron skillet or my wok. However, i thought with wood the process may differ. This is the basis of what I’ve found out. ( and I may still be wrong )

1. Oil is key!
I’ve read many a sight that suggests using food grade mineral oil. What’s that? Basically it is mineral oil that you can ingest. There may be more natural types that are create from plants and others are petrol based. I have also seen, and heard that you can use olive oils, almond oil, etc…etc… So, my thought here is, as long as it’s an oil you can ingest, you can season. For my project, I happen to use coconut oil. I happen to have some virgin coconut oil around, and heated it up a bit to apply it to my spoons.

2. Never soak or wash wooden utensils in dishwasher!
From what I gather, when you soak wooden utensils, not only can it soften them, but the soap can damage the wood and get ingrained in it. I’m not saying don’t wash your spoons! Please for the sake of all that is holy, wash your spoons! What I do is I take a dab ( a very tiny, tiny amount ) of soap, on a scrubby. I scrub the end of my spoon with it and proceed to rinse it under warm water. I will then take my fingers (clean hands!) and proceed to scrub off any soapy residue. I pat dry with a paper towel and then let it air dry the rest of the way. The point here is to not let anything sink into the wood to fester and allow bacterial growth. I pretty much always reseason after washing.

3. To sand or not to sand?
I have read some directions that have you go as far as sanding down the item first, and then a couple other additional steps before seasoning your spoons. I’d say this is a personal choice. On a couple of my spoons, I had some splintered edges so I took some sand paper and sanded it down smooth. This was after I already received a splinter from one of them! Also, since I had engraving on my spoons, I really didn’t want to sand the entire thing down.

So… How to:

Step one:
Clean and clear an area. You don’t need a whole lot of space for this project, but enough.

Step two:
If you are going to sand, go ahead and pre-prep here. Either way check for splintered edges and remove them. In this step you are focusing on having a clean work surface to apply the oil to.
Ps. Another cleaning idea I had seen for cutting boards is coarse salt and lemon. This might be good to use on the spoons as well….

Step Three:
Choose your oil. I used coconut, but as I mentioned before, I don’t see why you couldn’t use another food safe oil. I do know that some woods respond I guess differently to different oils and there for the color of your spoons may differ.

Step four:
Apply liberly. Don’t be stingy, soak those babies in the oil ! They may be extremely thirsty so you may have to apply several times. You want to keep applying until after 24 hrs there is still oil sitting on top of the wood. If there is no oil, apply some more! Just keep going until the wood is essentially no longer thirsty.

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Step five:
Wipe off the excess, and you’re done!

It is really a simple process. At the time of writing this blog, I am in the process of seasoning mine. Once they are all finished I will post another picture.

Now, I the picture you will notice the spoon on the far right is really dark. It accidentally was dyed that color when I did a cinnamon and clove simmer pot over the holidays. I love the color that was infused into the wood and while I said never to soak your woods, I may be trying something out in the future to see if I can soak them and air dry them to get that rich, dark color provided from the cinnamon and cloves.

Until next time
-Kerokda

 

UPDATE:

So, while I like coconut oil, I think that some other oil would probable be better suited for this task. We happen to keep our apartment fairly cold, as that is just how we like it. The thing about coconut oil is that at colder temperatures, it tends to harden. So, leaving my spoons out, the coconut oil didn’t really have a chance to completely sink in and I had to reheat my oil. I think almond, or olive oil would have been better suited. Mineral Oil still would work fine to, I just didn’t have any on hand. Also, don’t microwave them 🙂 It drys them out and makes them brittle.

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