Should you boil your wooden spoons

Boiling Wooden Spoons: A Finishing Process for Spoon Carvers

Should you boil your wooden spoons? This question has been doing rounds in the spoon carving forums. Some carvers prefer to boil their spoons. Why? We are about to answer that. Here is everything you need to know about boiling wooden spoons as a finishing process.

Should you boil your wooden spoons

The answer to this question depends on several factors. While some are just concerned about cleaning wooden spoons, this article will only focus on boiling spoons as a finishing process in spoon carving.

To the lovers of green spoon carving, the answer is yes. You should boil your spoons for the following reasons.

Boiling wooden spoons help the wood dry quicker.

Deeping your spoons in boiling water for close to 15 minutes can help release trapped moisture and sap from the wood. Thirty minutes of boiling every ½ in (12 mm) of wood thickness. As most spoons are considerably thinner than this, they may take only 10 minutes or so to temper.

These liquids would take longer to drain from the wood in normal circumstances.

This method, however, is prone to wood splits that occur when the wood loses moisture too quickly. Therefore, you are advised to wrap your spoon in kraft paper to prevent it from drying too quickly and unevenly.


Before using green wood utensils, they should be tempered, cured, and oiled. Tempering is achieved by boiling the utensil in clean water.
The extreme heat helps break down any latent tension in the original piece of wood and sterilizes the spoon.

When not to boil wooden spoons

When carving dry wood, then boiling the spoon is not necessary. This is because the wood is probably kiln dried or well dried and has no significant oils and moisture locked in the wood.

Placing your dry carved spoon in boiling water may do more harm than good. However, it can still be done while cautioning how the wooden spoon will lose water thereafter.

Summary: Should you boil your wooden spoons?

Boiling your wooden spoon may not be a necessary finishing process, especially if the wood is dry. Still, for green carvers, boiling can be a good way to temper and cure your spoon before seasoning it, and waiting for the finishing process.

The boiling time may vary with thickness, but it’s a short process that won’t take you long.

After boiling your spoon, take proper measures to ensure the drying is as slow as possible, enabling even drying and preventing splits from developing on your spoon.

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