choosing a wood type for your kitchen utensils - thoughts on american beech...

February 08, 2015

It seems like most customers pick out a wood type mostly based on the color and grain type that appeals to them. There's nothing wrong with that, and it's often the only information that an online customer has to go on, but there are other factors to consider when choosing a wood type. I'm going to be writing a series of posts discussing the features of each wood type over the next few weeks, and then we'll talk about other wood type issues to consider.

Today we'll talk about American Beech, and why you might like it better than you think.

American Beech Wooden Spoon

American Beech is one of our most seldomly chosen wood types. Perhaps it's because the name doesn't sound romantic, or maybe it's just because we don't have enough of our designs photographed in Beech (I'll have to work on that)...or perhaps the color and grain just don't grab people's attention. The reality is, if more people could pick up, touch and hold our designs before buying, more people would select American Beech as their favorite wood.

American Beech Salad Serving Set

It's really important to remember that even in a particular wood type, like Maple or Cherry or Beech, there is a huge amount of variation- in color, grain type, weight and feel. But overall, this is an accurate description of the features you'll find in American Beech.

American Beech Wooden Serving Spoon

When you pick up a piece of dreamware in American Beech, the first thing you'll notice is the way it feels. It is cold, hard and smooth. Unlike Oak, it has a tight, closed grain that feels really nice in your hand. Some pieces almost feel more like marble than wood. It is not overly heavy, but it has a nice weight to it, similar to Wild Cherry. Every once in a while, you'll run into a piece of very light Beech, but for the most part, it's pretty dense, and that means it seasons well.

American Beech Spurtle

The color ranges from a creamy golden color to a rich reddish brown, most often leaning toward the reddish color. The richer colored pieces are often the densest, with the tightest, smoothest texture. American Beech is a "plainer" wood, in the respect that it is unusual to find a piece that has a fancy grain pattern, though we have had some surprises. It is fairly consistent and looks really nice on more contemporary styled utensils.

American Beech Spurtle

  No matter what wood type you choose, your utensils will probably become fuzzy the first time you wash them. This is called "raising the grain", and it's a natural part of the seasoning process. The more you use and wash them, the faser those little fuzzy grain ends will rub off and you'll have a perfectly smooth utensil again.

American Beech Spurtle Set

Overall, I like American Beech best for heavy duty cooking spoons, spatulas and spurtles. It's one of those simple but solid wood types that lend themselves to practicality and function, and because it's simple, it really allows the utensil to show off it's smart design. I hope that you'll give it a try on your next order of dreamware! I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.  


All the best,

Click here to read more about the wood types Black Walnut, Maple and Wild Cherry


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