The Best Material for Cooking Utensils

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Cooking utensils are one of those things we use on a daily basis.  Often, many of my friends ask me what is the best material for cooking utensils.

The truth is that it ties back to what you are cooking on.

The materials for cooking utensil break down into the following basic categories:

  • Wood
  • Plastic
  • Metal
  • Silicone

You can also have cooking utensils made out of different types of materials, for example the tool may have a metal handle but a silicone tip.

This is a popular option since silicone does not damage or scratch any pots or pans, unlike some of the other materials we are going to look at.

Let’s take a look at the different types and materials for cooking utensils and what they are like.

Wood Cooking Utensils

Who doesn’t love a classic wooden spoon to stir something.

I use wooden spoons almost all the time.  While they are hard, they won’t scratch ceramic or nonstick pots and pans.

Now when I say wood in this case, I mean the whole utensil is wood, not just the handle.

This is a great bamboo set with every utensil you could need!

This bamboo is also organic and sustainable.

Wood is a great and classic material for cooking utensils, however they can be prone to cracking over time if they are not properly cared for.

I have accepted that sometimes my wooden spoons will split and break, and just replace them when they do.

The good part about wooden utensils is they do not have a high price point, but you should be prepared to replace them on a fairly regular basis.

If you are considering wood don’t miss our guide to the best wooden cooking utensils with detailed reviews!

Plastic Cooking Utensils

Plastic cooking utensils are another option.  While I do have a few of them, they are not my favorite.

Personally, I do not like cooking with plastic over high heat.  There has been a couple of times that I have noticed tips of utensils like spatulas seem slightly melted or worn away after use.

I have also noticed plastic utensils turning colors based on some of the food I have cooked with them like sautéed carrots and tomato sauce.

Plastic cooking utensils are not the same as silicone!  Stay tuned for more on why soon!

I would not call plastic a good material for cooking utensils, and personally I no longer use them.

Therefore, I will not be recommending any for you to try!

Metal Cooking Utensils

Metal cooking utensils are fantastic with one main caveat: they have the potential to damage delicate surfaces.

Think non stick, ceramic, and porcelain enameled surfaces.  Metal should never be used on any of them, unless it is coated with silicone.

That being said, metal can be used on stainless steel without issue, however it may scratch your stainless steel pots and pans.

If the scratching doesn’t bother you, feel free to use metal.

Here are some of my favorite metal utensils by All-Clad.  I have had this set for well over ten years!

It also comes with a great way to store them right on your kitchen counter with this stainless steel caddy.

Silicone Cooking Utensils

Silicone may be one of the best materials for cooking utensils that exists.  Let me explain why.

First of all, silicone won’t react to foods or melt at high temperatures.  This means no staining, and no melting.

It is also highly durable, unlike wooden spoons.

Finally, it won’t scratch any surfaces like a metal cooking utensils.

Silicone utensils come in a number of different forms.

Silicone Coated Metal Utensils

First of all, there is silicone coated metal, like this spatula and these tongs.

These are great because they preform like a metal utensil, but won’t damage delicate surfaces.

Silicone and Wood Utensils

Next, are silicone utensils with wooden handles, like this set:

My favorite in this set is probably the silicone whisk, which lets me make gravy right in my favorite copper roasting pan without damaging it.

Silicone Cooking Utensils

Your next option is plain old silicone cooking utensils.

This set is great because it comes in three different colors.

Silicone cooking utensils come in all different shapes and sizes.  No matter which utensil you want to use, there is a silicone version of it.

Another nice bonus of silicone is that it comes in pretty much every color you want.

As you can see, you can even buy a set with all different colors!

The Best Material for Cooking Utensils is Silicone

The best material for cooking utensils is by far silicone.

It does not face any of the drawbacks of other cooking utensil materials.

It will not stain, melt, or warp.  It also will not damage even the most delicate cooking surfaces, and you won’t burn your hands on it if you leave it in a pot or pan by accident.  Best of all, it is safe for high temperatures.

Last update on 2021-06-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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