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Synthetic Spoons

Have we finally found a replacement for wooden spoons, with all of their drawbacks? Not quite, but awfully close.

What We Learned

Although they may look like they are made of meltable plastic, Exoglass cooking spoons, a product of France, are actually a blend of resin and fiberglass that makes them heat resistant up to 430 degrees. Unlike wooden spoons, which must be washed by hand, have a tendency to absorb odors and colors, and can split over time after repeated soaks in water, Exoglass spoons are quite durable and offer several advantages. First, they can be thrown into the dishwasher without melting or splintering. Second, being nonporous (unlike wood), they don't stain or retain food particles, odors, or bacteria, which makes them a good choice when melting or caramelizing sugar (food particles can cause the heating sugar to crystallize rather than liquefy) or when stirring slow-simmering, stain-prone foods such as chili, curry, and tomato sauce.

Such merits notwithstanding, the Exoglass spoon cannot entirely replace the wooden spoon, which we still find useful when trying to gauge the consistency of sauces via the "coating the back of the spoon" test (the slick surface of the Exoglass makes this more difficult) and to scrape up fond (browned bits) from the bottom of a pan (flat-bottomed spoons are the best choice here).

So we're holding on to our wooden spoons, but we wouldn't mind adding an Exoglass spoon or two to our utensil drawer—especially given that we found one for a modest price.