Oct 042012
 

A bamboo utensil holder conveniently holds all your utensils upright near where you cook. I have one that is made with strips of bamboo joined together in a circular shape.  It looks very nice but isn’t finished very well and will not take much water exposure and will probably break when dropped. If you want to buy a good quality utensil holder make sure it has some kind of finish and and preferrably made from laquered, laminated layers. My utensil holder looks like this. Bamboo utensils in a bamboo utensil holder looks pretty good.

 

A flatware tray has compartments for various items of flatware and other utensils

 

 

 

 

Oct 042012
 

There is four different types of bamboo flatware that I’ve discovered. Flatware is often called cutlery and sometimes silverwear. Most modern flatware is made from stainless steel, sometimes other metals are used.

The first sort is solid stainless  or stirling silver(or gold plated) with handles shaped lile bamboo stalks. They are elegant looking and I would like to own a set one day. Stay tuned!

 

Stainless Steel Bamboo flatware set

The second sort has bamboo shaped handles attached to stainless steel. This is usually made out of a resin or a plastic and isn’t actually bamboo. It has a different look to actual bamboo but is nice and is dishwasher safe, inexpensive and quite durable. These come in a variety of colors.

 

Plastic Bamboo Handled Flatware

P© Dinner Series|Flickr.com

 

The third set is similar to the second set but has real bamboo for the handles. These look very nice but I’ve read reviews that suggest they aren’t as practical or durable as plastic handled flatware. They would need to be treated with great care and not immersed in water or washed in the dishwasher for longevity. These also come in a variety of artificially colored bamboo.

Bamboo Handled Flatware

© geishaboy500|Flickr.com

 

Disposable picnic flatware is the last type. It’s made from thin alternating layers of bamboo, carved bamboo or bamboo pulp and is designed to decompose in landfill or compost piles in a few months. They are a sturdy and eco-friendly alternative to plasticware.

 

Disposable Bamboo Flatware

© Alicia Voorhies|Flickr.com

Do you need somewhere to store your flatware or utensils? Take a look here. Storage.

 

Sep 282012
 

A tea whisk is used in highly ritualized tea ceremonies. These whisks do not last long and need to be replaced frequently. They come in many different styles. They’re used to stir the powdered tea in a bowl to dissolve it. Tea Pots cat have bamboo handles and teas caddies are made of bamboo. Often a display of flowers and wood contains bamboo as well.

 

Sep 272012
 

A pepper mill is a useful gadget to use in the kitchen when cooking and an attractive addition to a table setting when serving meals. Bamboo Pepper mills can be constructed in several different ways. A common way is for a large turning knob at the top of the mill to turn a metal rod which will rotate the inside teeth of two grinder rings. These mills are made from glued-together bamboo lengths which have been carved into shape. This is the one I own and I like it very much. The different angles and curves displays different natural patterns in the bamboo. It is made from natural bamboo and is  quite an attractive piece. The turning part is smooth, yet it’s easy to get a good grip. I’ve noticed it is a bit lighter than traditonal wooden counterparts. It was inexpensive and the only complaint I have is it squeaks if I grind back and forth, though it’s lessening with use. I highly recommend this mill. Bamboo Mills can also grind sea salt and blends.

 

 Carved Bamboo Pepper Mill

 

Other types of bamboo pepper mills are made from a length of whole bamboo and are straight up and down rather than curved. The turning mechanism is the same. These mills are usually colored.

Colored Bamboo Pepper Mill

© Msk.nina | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

The last type of bamboo pepper grinder than i know has a metal crank handle that turns the grinding mechanism. These are usually made from colored bamboo.

 

 

 

Nov 272011
 

Bamboo utensils can be substituted for any standard kitchen utensil. Cooking utensils such as stirring spoons, spatulas and salad servers are made entirely out of bamboo.They are constructed of out lengths of bamboo which have been glued together and carved into the desired shapes. These utensils have a much better grip than wooden utensils, don’t absorb food stains and odors, don’t scratch non-stick surfaces and last much longer. They also do not leave a wooden taste or splinters in food. They look nice and are cheap too and it doesn’t seem to matter how cheap they are, I don’t have any problems with quality. I personally have replaced all my wooden spoons and spatulas with bamboo equivalents. I love them so much. See details of my set here.

Bamboo Salad Servers

 

Items such as turners, ladles and slotted spoons are made out of stainless steel with bamboo handles. These items have the desirable qualities of entire bamboo pieces, such as grip and attractiveness, however the prices aren’t cheaper than wooden versions and handles can fall of or break if not treated with care. I dropped my slotted turner and the handle came apart. As with most things there are different qualities and this would make a difference. If you treat them with care and don’t drop them, soak them or wash them in a dishwasher they should last a long time.

Flatware also can be made with bamboo handles. Click here

 

Bamboo utensils can be stored in a bamboo holder or flatware tray.

 

 

Nov 192011
 

 

A bamboo cutting board is made from strips of bamboo lengths glued together. The lengths can be cut vertical strips, or flattened, split bamboo. These bonded together strips can be kiln hardened, cut and sanded into shape. Cutting boards come in a choice of three grains; flat, side and end. Flat grain shows the width of a flattened length, with the nodes clearly visible. It’s a very attractive grain, but the softest of them. The next hardest grain is the side grain which is the lengths glued together on their broad side with thin edge showing. The nodes are not readily discernible, and is not as visually pleasing. The last grain, which is the end grain is the hardest of them all. The lengths are glued together and cut horizontally so the ends of the pieces of bamboo are visible. The nodes are not visible, but this orientation shows rather attractive speckling. Natural bamboo is a blond color, and doesn’t take to stains or dyes very readily. However it can be steamed in a process called carbonization which darkens the sugars making the bamboo a rich caramel color. Carbonization softens bamboo and makes it more susceptible to cuts.

Bamboo must be seasoned and may be treated after havesting to make it last longer.  Bamboo needs strong glue for bonding and can contain formaldehyde with various levels of VOCs. It’s best to check with the manufacturer/supplier which chemical/glues are used. If this information isn’t given readily, it’s safest to go with a company that supplies all this information.

Bamboo cutting boards are more expensive than other kinds, with the flat grain the cheapest and the end grain the most expensive. I’ve found the price comparable and even cheaper to high end wooden boards. As usual you get what you pay for and the more environmentally aware boards will cost more.

 

Bamboo Cutting Board

Pros:

  • Made from a sustainable source
  • Bacteria resistant
  • Does not scar easily
  • Gentle on knives
  • Looks attractive
  • Easy to clean
  • They last a long time

Cons:

  • Can be expensive
  • Can contain harmful chemicals
  • Not normally dishwasher safe

To care for a bamboo cutting board it must be seasoned with oil before use and at regular monthly intervals. The oil used can be mineral, speciality oils or even olive oil. Oil is rubbed onto the board then wiped off. Cleaning is easy. Rinse it in hot water if it’s not overly stained or wipe/scrub with soapy water depending on how soiled it is. Rinse in hot water and dry with clean tea towel. Leave to completely air dry before putting it away. Never soak, wax or wash in the dishwasher. Some brands have a special coating whereby you can put them in the dishwasher, but make sure it specifically says so. They’re so easy to clean that a dishwasher is not necessary.

I bought a set of three different sized cutting boards and I am very pleased with the performance. They look nice and are a pleasure to use. They don’t retain smells or stains. The biggest bonus is the total simplicity of cleaning. They never sit on the bench dirty, waiting to be washed, but a quick wipe and a rinse and they’re clean. I also have a cutting board ready to use at all times which makes me more organized in the kitchen.

My Bamboo Cutting Board

 

To see a list of other bamboo items I’ve talked about, click here:  Quick Guide.

Follow

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: