This hack for checking whether it’s time to bin your wooden cooking utensils has gone viral, and it might just shock you into never using them again.
The tip was developed by former MasterChef Australia Judge Matt Preston in 2016 but has recently resurfaced on social media and gone viral.
Writing in 2016, for Delicious, Preston advises people to place their wooden spoons in boiling water for up to 20 minutes to see what comes out of the wood. When a wooden spoon is dirty, a visible and pungent layer of oil appears on the surface of the water.
“On the surface a perfect present but stick an old one in a cup of boiling water to see what fate awaits all wooden spoons. Give it a sniff. Phew, stinky! And you were going to stir your custard with that”.
Recently a mother posted her results on a Facebook group and it sparked a huge reaction.
"This one is going into the bin. A tip I learned from Matt Preston years ago. Does anyone soak their wooden spoons in boiling water?” one woman wrote in a Facebook group.
"Mine always go into the dishwasher every night but that doesn't stop what gets absorbed. Revolting really."
Another woman claimed the test spoiled the spoon and so she just regularly buys new ones and bins the others. “I find [wooden spoons] have a funky taste if they have been soaked in water so I just grab cheap ones often, chuck them out after a few uses or else the taste leaches into foods or they crack,” she wrote.
Instead of constantly ditching your wooden spoons, Preston advises us instead to use a silicone spatula.
“Ask for a $10 silicon spatula instead,” he writes in the original article. “They're hygienic, heat-resistant and flexible, so they are great for getting into the corner of a pan or getting every last skerrick out of a bowl.”
Not everyone agrees with Preston. Some posters claim that wood is a perfectly good material to cook with because of its natural antibacterial properties. ”That’s why butcher’s blocks are always made of wood,” writes one.
Others insist that they’ve used wooden spoons for their whole culinary careers and no one ever got sick. Some also point out that wooden spoons are more sustainable than silicone spatulas and will biodegrade far quicker.