The utensils you use in your kitchen are just as important as the ingredients that go into your favorite recipes. Quality utensils can make it easier to prepare and serve food. Utensils can also improve overall food safety by preventing cross-contamination.
Wooden utensils are the traditional way to cook and many people still enjoy cooking with these today. Stainless steel utensils are more modern, and they’re also more popular.
Is one better than the other? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of wood vs. stainless steel for your kitchen.
Wood Kitchen Utensils Pros and Cons
Wood utensils are traditional, they look great, and they are long-lasting when properly cared for. Just like any material, wood isn’t perfect, and there are clear advantages and disadvantages to using it in your kitchen.
- No chemical reactions with food.
- Safe for non-stick cookware.
- No risk of burning or heat transfer through the material.
- A classic esthetic that many home cooks love.
- Reasonably priced, even for premium utensils.
- Wood can chip, crack, and split over time.
- May harbor bacteria and pathogens if damaged.
- Wood is porous and can stain or absorb flavors and odors.
- Won’t last as long as metal utensils.
- Requires regular care and oiling to keep the surface protected.
Looking at this list, it’s easy to see why wooden utensils are still popular today. Despite the downsides, the material is excellent for preparation, cooking, and serving.
As long as your utensils are kept in good condition, your food will be free of contamination.
The real risk comes when wood becomes damaged by chips and cracks. This is when bacteria and other germs can start to multiply in the material, making it potentially unsafe. This is a problem that metal utensils don’t suffer from.
Stainless Steel Kitchen Utensils Pros and Cons
Stainless steel is modern yet looks great in any kitchen, even traditional and transitional-styled kitchens. It is durable and the best stainless steel utensils can last for a lifetime. Consider the pros and cons before you invest in your next set of kitchen utensils.
- Stainless steel is strong and durable. It’s incredibly difficult to break a quality set of utensils. Chips, cracks, and other accidental damage won’t be a problem.
- Stainless steel can be used for scraping pans and pots, which is ideal when cooking on a grill or cast iron.
- The material is inert and won’t add unwanted flavors or odors to your food.
- Non-porous, so long-term contamination isn’t possible.
- Easy to care for and clean, with most stainless steel utensils being dishwasher-safe.
- Stainless steel is more versatile for specialist utensils like graters, measurers, and more.
- Stainless steel can be more expensive than wooden utensils when considering premium sets, but there are affordable options available.
- Can’t be used with non-stick cookware.
The downsides of stainless steel are far fewer than those of wood, which is why it’s the most popular kitchen utensil material today. You will find stainless steel in the majority of home kitchens as well as in commercial kitchens around the world.
Which Should You Choose?
When it comes down to wood vs. stainless steel utensils, the choice is ultimately one of preference. Yes, wood doesn’t last as long and after it becomes damaged it is no longer hygienic, however, the low cost of wooden utensils could allow you to overlook this.
You may also prefer the traditional look and feel of wooden utensils.
If you’re purely focusing on performance and don’t need compatibility for non-stick cookware, then stainless steel utensils are the obvious choice.
- This beautiful teak Nonstick Kitchen Utensil Set by AIUHI is a great starting option for basic cooking needs. The set can be oiled and maintained with this John Boos MYSB Mystery Butcher Block Oil. Regularly oiling any wooden utensils will prevent cracks, splits, cracks, and chips.
- If you prefer stainless steel, consider this affordable Berglander Cooking Utensil Set. It includes an organizer along with all the kitchen essentials. Has a high-quality stainless steel handle, they are durable, rust-resistant, and dishwasher safe.
- If you want a complete set of utensils for cooking, baking, prep, and serving, consider this huge HOME HERO Stainless Steel Kitchen Utensil Set with 29 pieces. Manufactured with stainless steel & silicone non – stick materials. Also ideal as a gift.
Whether you choose wood or stainless steel, you’ll have the best cooking experience when you choose reliable kitchen utensils that are suited to your needs.
When it comes to wood vs. stainless steel utensils for your kitchen, shop based on your budget, and pick a set that most appeals to you.