Kitchn Love Letters

The Best Wooden Spoon Isn’t Technically a Spoon

published May 29, 2021
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Earlywood spoon stirring caramelized onions in a nonstick skillet.
Credit: Sarah Crowley

A wooden spoon is one of my desert-island kitchen tools (and yes, this is something I’ve actually thought about before). It’s my go-to utensil for stirring and scraping and can be used on every piece of cookware out there — including an enameled Dutch oven and a nonstick skillet (the same cannot be said for, say, a metal spatula). And if you treat a wooden spoon right — meaning you hand-wash it and give it a little care when needed — it’ll last for years and years.

The wooden spoons I have are just that: wooden spoons. They work well, but, as with everything kitchen-related, I’m always searching for the best — the thing that’ll make me excited and happy every time I use it. And I finally found that wooden spoon I truly love, except it’s not a spoon at all: It’s the large flat sauté from Earlywood.

If you think some kitchen utensils are “pretty,” the flat sauté would win an award for prettiest. It comes in several lovely finishes, including blonde “hard maple” and a reddish-brown “bloodwood” (what I have). It’s minalistic-looking and super comfortable to hold, with a smooth finish.

Credit: Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm

Outside of looks, this thing works, too. It’s 13 inches long, which is the ideal length for keeping hands away from a hot skillet and any wayward oil spatters. It has a wide, flat-edge that’s great for stirring and sautéing and scraping fond off the bottom of a pan. It also works for folding batters together and even flipping things that don’t require too much finesse, like burgers. Because it has a flat-edge that easily picks up food, it can be used for portioning and serving desserts and things like mac and cheese. The company notes that two large sautés can be used as salad tongs, which I absolutely will do when I inevitably buy a second one.

Earlywood also sells tons of other useful wooden kitchen utensils, including tasting spoons, small scrapers, and spreaders. I haven’t tried them, but If they’re anything like the large flat sauté, I won’t be disappointed.

Do you have a favorite wooden spoon? Tell us about it in the comments!