Wooden Spoons

Published October 1, 2012. From Cook's Country.

Simple yet indispensable, wooden spoons stir, scrape and scoop.

Overview:

Wooden spoons are one of the most basic cooking tools—an enterprising caveman probably fashioned the first, snapping a twig from a nearby sapling to prod a hunk of meat over an open fire. Simple yet indispensable, wooden spoons stir, scrape and scoop. Since our previous favorite recently changed manufacturers, we set out to test the new version against four additional wooden spoons, each widely available.

The spoons ranged from $1.85 to $11.49, in bamboo, beech, or acacia wood, and all measured between 12 and 13 inches. We used them to make vegetable curry, toasting spices and stirring chunks of potatoes and cauliflower; we also left spoons simmering 10 minutes in the thick, pumpkin-hued sauce to see how well they resisted stains. To assess their dexterity and shape, we browned batches of beef cubes, then scraped the fond, assembled the beef stew, and stirred it in a deep Dutch oven.

A comfortable handle is essential; we preferred squared-off sides, which leave your hand less clenched than a traditional round handle, and… read more

Wooden spoons are one of the most basic cooking tools—an enterprising caveman probably fashioned the first, snapping a twig from a nearby sapling to prod a hunk of meat over an open fire. Simple yet indispensable, wooden spoons stir, scrape and scoop. Since our previous favorite recently changed manufacturers, we set out to test the new version against four additional wooden spoons, each widely available.

The spoons ranged from $1.85 to $11.49, in bamboo, beech, or acacia wood, and all measured between 12 and 13¾ inches. We used them to make vegetable curry, toasting spices and stirring chunks of potatoes and cauliflower; we also left spoons simmering 10 minutes in the thick, pumpkin-hued sauce to see how well they resisted stains. To assess their dexterity and shape, we browned batches of beef cubes, then scraped the fond, assembled the beef stew, and stirred it in a deep Dutch oven.

A comfortable handle is essential; we preferred squared-off sides, which leave your hand less clenched than a traditional round handle, and give your thumb a place to rest securely on top for leverage. Height and width of the head was also important: Wide, squat designs were like stirring with a ping-pong paddle, with too much surface area to push through the soup and not enough handle to leverage against the weight.

Our winning brand excelled at every turn: Sturdy, with a well designed head that managed tasks both delicate and substantial, our winner beat out our old favorite, bumping it to second place; while they performed similarly, our winner had the most surface area in contact with the pan to scrape up fond efficiently, a smooth, comfortable finish, and the least amount of staining, looking almost new even after weeks of use.

less
  • Product Tested

    Results Key:

    Good ★ ★ ★ Fair ★ ★ Poor
  • Prices are subject to change.
  • Recommended - Winner

    SCI Bamboo Wood Cooking Spoon

    This light, smooth bamboo spoon was broad enough to churn bulky stews, yet small enough to rotate a single chunk of beef without disturbing surrounding pieces. Its rectangular handle was comfortable to grip; its head had the most surface area in contact with the pan, so it excelled at scraping fond. Stain-resistant, it emerged after testing looking closest to new.

    • Comfort ★★★
    • Durability ★★★
    • Performance ★★★

    $2.40

    BUY NOW Amazon
  • Recommended

    Mario Batali by Dansk Solid Spoon

    Our previous winner performed well again, downgraded from first place only because its head had a smaller tip to scrape fond and the finish was slightly rough. It aced performance tests with a nice grip and tapered handle that let testers “choke up” for more control during delicate tasks, with a full, oval-shaped head that stirred, scooped, and edged into corners well.

    • Comfort ★★½
    • Durability ★★½
    • Performance ★★★

    $9.95

    BUY NOW Amazon
  • Recommended with Reservations

    Cat Cora Acacia Wooden Spoon

    This spoon is weighted with a metal tip on the handle for balance; we appreciated this at first, but soon found it a bit heavy. With a comfortable shape, it stirred and scooped well and was second best at scraping fond. However, after only a few washes the spoon looked worse for the wear: Its luster faded significantly and lost its smooth finish.

    • Comfort ★★½
    • Durability ★★
    • Performance ★★½

    $11.49

  • Recommended with Reservations

    SCI Beech Wood Cooking Spoon

    This classic-looking wooden spoon had an elongated head, meaning the ratio of head to handle was off, making it difficult to get enough leverage to comfortably stir bulky stews. It performed all of the tasks, but with less ease than other spoons. While its surface stayed smooth and splinter-free, curry stained it a vibrant yellow.

    • Comfort ★★
    • Durability ★★
    • Performance ★★

    $1.85

  • Not Recommended

    HIC Harold Import Heavy Weight Deluxe Beech Wood Spoon

    This bulky spoon cracked up the center of the head after only a few washes. (It happened again with a backup copy of the spoon.) Its handle was too thick for comfort, and felt cumbersome in the pot. Delicate tasks like turning beef were a bust; its head was too fat to maneuver between chunks of beef with dexterity. It was stained canary yellow by the curry and felt rough in our hands.

    • Comfort
    • Durability
    • Performance

    $5.21

In My Favorites
Please Wait…
Remove Favorite
Add to custom collection