Care and Feeding of your Wood Craft Items
Many of the items made here in the Grattan Creek Woodshop are going to be used with food. As such, you probably want to know the best way to take care of them so they continue to be safe for food use, last as long as possible and continue to look nice when you use them.
Here are a few kitchen utensils that were created here in our workshop and are currently available at our local farmers market and craft shows we are attending.
The top pair of pieces are made of Jatoba hardwood. These are simple spatulas made for a variety of uses in the kitchen. The long, flat, contoured handle makes them easy to grip and more controllable than many kitchen utensils with thin, round handles. They are about 13 inches long and are perfect for using as a stir-fry or sauté spatula. They are also great for stirring and serving salads.
The middle piece is made from Bloodwood. This one is about 10 inches long. It is thicker and has a rounded butt on one end and a sharp, flat scraper on the other. This one is great for use in your cast iron skillet and has a bit better edge in case your burger sticks a bit.
The last piece is also made of Bloodwood and is designed to be used as a spreader, good for butter, mayo, soft cheeses, etc.
When these pieces are made, they are thoroughly soaked with food-grade mineral oil for a day or more, then wiped clean. When you get them they may weep a bit of the excess oil. This is totally normal and is not going to hurt anything or affect your food.
So, how do you take care of them? Rule number one: Do not wash wood utensils in a dishwasher. This also applies to knives and other utensils you might have with wood handles. Wash them by hand using regular dish soap and your scrubby kitchen sponge. Scrub it with the rough side of your kitchen sponge. This will keep your kitchen tools polished and smooth out any scratches or rough spots caused by regular use. Rule number two: Do not soak wood kitchen tools in water or leave them in the sink. Using wood with water and wet foods is perfectly fine but take them out of the pot between stirs and don't leave them soaking for extended periods. Soaking will remove the protective oils and cause them to age faster. Do you need to periodically oil them, and if so, what should you use? Depending on how often you use them and how they are used, wood kitchen utensils and dished may eventually dry out and need to be oiled. This mostly depends on use and could be every few months or it might be a year or more before it starts looking dry. When it's time to oil them, simply wet the whole surface with oil and let it sit for an hour or so, then wipe it clean.
I recommend using food-grade mineral oil. This can be found at most hardware stores and kitchen stores. It may be labeled as butcher block or cutting board oil or simply food-grade or food-safe mineral oil. Vegetable oil may impart unwanted flavors to your food. Vegetable oil also can go rancid over time and can become a sticky, hard to remove layer if the wood piece is left unused for long period of time.
Thanks for visiting Grattan Creek!
Now go cook something!