Doctor Karl Kruszelnicki has answered the burning question about whether wooden spoons are safe to use after many discovered the amount of dirt lurking inside the cooking utensil.
In recent years, home cooks have been soaking old spoons in boiling water to see what seeps out of the wood.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Dr Karl answers question about wooden spoons.
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Much to their disgust, many have reported seeing a heavy layer of cooking oil appear on top of the water within minutes.
So are wooden spoons safe to use over and over again?
“Ahoy, Dr Karl here with the big question: Is it safe to use wooden spoons… from an infectious disease point of view?” he said in a now-viral TikTok video.
“After all in the 1990s, people being worried about bacteria invading the porous surface, there was a big move away from wooden spoons into spoons made of steel, plastic, nylon or silicon.”
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But he quickly pointed out the benefits of using wooden spoons.
“Wooden spoons are so lovely,” Dr Karl said.
“They got the advantage that they cannot chip your, for example, porcelain type cooking stuff, they don’t add flavour and if you have it in a pot, they don’t overheat.
“So the bacteria story? Yes, the bacteria do exist.”
However, Dr Karl said wooden spoons were safe to use due to wood’s natural germ-killing properties.
Doctor Karl Kruszelnicki has answered the burning question about whether wooden spoons are safe to use. Credit: Dr Karl/TikTok
“The bacteria will invade the porous surface and they will go underneath the wood, and then, without nutrition, they just simply die,” he explained.
“It’s just does not appear in the medical record that these things are a danger.
“So stir away.”
One Aussie woman was left disgusted after she decided to give the cleaning method a go on her old wooden spoons. Credit: Facebook
His video has been viewed more than 175,000 times – with many weighing in on his statement.
“Thank goodness! I didn’t want to give up my wooden spoons,” one said.
Another claimed: “I’ve been cooking with my mum’s hand-me-down wooden spoon for 30 years and never once, not once, did any of us get ill from using it.”
While one added: “Still use wooden spoons, I never stopped using them.”
How to clean
Many shared their own techniques of cleaning the humble spoons.
“I douse mine with white vinegar after plunging in hot water. I leave the vinegar for 20 minutes, give it a good rinse or soak in clean water – no odours,” one shared.
Another said: “Simply clean it! Warm Soapy water… spray with vinegar and air dry.”
One suggested: “All one has to do is have a pot of boiling water and place the spoon in there for a minute or two, it will clean and sterilise the spoons.”
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While another added: “Nan would boil in salt once a week.”
Food critic Matt Preston once revealed a simple trick for cleaning wooden spoons.
“Get your old wooden spoon, put it in a cup of boiling water and then have a sniff and you’ll say, ‘Thank you Matt Preston for making me get a new wooden spoon’,” he said.
One Aussie woman was left disgusted after she decided to give the cleaning method a go on her old wooden spoons.
She shared a picture showing the dirty water after cooking oil oozed out of her spoons.
“This one is going into the bin,” she said.
Meanwhile, many shared amusing memories of their experiences with wooden spoons.
“The only thing dangerous about wooden spoons, was my mum cracking it on my butt when I was out of line,” one said, laughing.
Another suggested: “My mother used them all the time… Not so much for cooking though.”
However, Dr Karl quickly responded: “Violence is not the way.”
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