"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Cookware and Accessories
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 11-03-2010, 06:01 PM   #1
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Bordeaux
Posts: 179
Why do all the recipes suggest using a wooden spoon to make risotto?

I just love risotto, and do an "OK" job at home, even though I don't somehow manage to do as well as in a decent restaurant.

Anyway, I am amazed to see recipe after recipe calling for the use of a wooden spoon.

Fine. You need to stir the risotto frequently. But what qualities does wood have that a stainless steel or teflon-coated utensil do not have?

Thanks in advance,
Yours sincerely,
Alex R.

__________________

__________________
AlexR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2010, 06:15 PM   #2
Head Chef
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Studio City, Calif.
Posts: 2,459
The conventional answer is that wood is non-reactive and won't change the taste as some metals will. Now does that still apply today with all the new materials in use is a good question.
__________________

__________________
MSC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2010, 05:11 PM   #3
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexR View Post
I just love risotto, and do an "OK" job at home, even though I don't somehow manage to do as well as in a decent restaurant.

Anyway, I am amazed to see recipe after recipe calling for the use of a wooden spoon.

Fine. You need to stir the risotto frequently. But what qualities does wood have that a stainless steel or teflon-coated utensil do not have?

Thanks in advance,
Yours sincerely,
Alex R.

Stainless steel should not react adversly with anything much, though my pref is a wooden spoon because it feels nice and comfy in my hand. However, when stirring stiff peaked egg whites (as in making meriengue, do not use a wooden spoon as it's likely to knock the air out of it. Always use a stainless steel spoon.

I have not seen teflon-coated spoons so can't comment. But a wooden spoon is so very much cheaper.
__________________
You can forget what a person looks like, and you can forget what they say. But you will never forget how they made you feel.
Poppi G. Koullias is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2010, 05:24 PM   #4
Executive Chef
 
bakechef's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 4,082
I just love wooden spoons. They don't make that scraping noise on the bottom of the pan like a metal spoon does.
__________________
bakechef is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2010, 06:56 PM   #5
Head Chef
 
spork's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Landlocked in Southwest U.S.
Posts: 1,123
Doesn't matter, AlexR. Recipes and cookbooks next year might argue that a spoon carved from an olive tree is the only true utensil for stirring risotto. (I have one, but it's just a treasured souvenir, nothing more.) For risotto, doesn't matter. Except, 1, stirring frequently mostly means leaving the spoon in the pot, which gets too hot to handle if it is metal; 2, sharp metal utensils constantly scratching another hard metal pot releases microscopic metal shavings, or bits of teflon into your food; 3, a thick wooden spoon leaves a larger wake behind it than a thinner, more hydrodynamic, metal spoon. Either way, it doesn't much matter, if you keep stirring it.

I hate tending it, and DC's many "industrial design student questionnaires" should just come up with an electric risotto robotto.
__________________
spork is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2010, 07:07 PM   #6
Executive Chef
 
Selkie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 3,796
Why is a wooden spoon required to cook risotto? Because not everyone has a Spork!
__________________
"Food is our common ground, a universal experience." - James Beard
Selkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2010, 01:56 AM   #7
Cook
 
callahan9119's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Ohio
Posts: 51
I personally think it's traditional nonsense, silicone spatulas work fine for me. I guess there is a thinking that it is frictional and causes more starches to be released or they don't retain heat..silicone doesn't retain heat, nor is it reactive.

I watched something Alton Brown did about risotto where he more or less just shook the pan and it was enough. After that I stopped obsessing about stirring so much (still stirred) and it turns out the same. I think it's more about seasoning or ingredients and just making sure it's cooked properly.
__________________
callahan9119 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2010, 03:43 AM   #8
Executive Chef
 
Bolas De Fraile's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 3,193
I make a lot of Risotto, this is a good one for veggies at chrimbo.
Add to your standard risotto at the 15 minute stage chopped cooked chestnuts, sweated onions, sweated shredded sprouts and Parmesan, finish as usual.
Cling film a tray with sides of at least one inch and put risotto in, leave in the fridge till set hard, turn out and using a quite large round cutter make patties, flour, egg wash, bread crumb then fry till crisp and heated through, serve with a butter based herb sauce.
__________________
Bolas De Fraile is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2010, 08:51 AM   #9
Master Chef
 
jennyema's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Boston
Posts: 9,256
The answer is because you need a wide flat surface like a wooden spoon or silicone spatula to properly work a risotto. The directions will say "stir" but what you really need to be doing is working the rice and liquid together by smooching it together with the flat side of a wooden spoon or spatula. It helps the rice give off the starch. You can't do that with a whisk and it's harder to do with a spoon.

Metal utensils are stainless and are non-reactive.
__________________
Less is not more. More is more and more is fabulous.
jennyema is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2010, 11:29 AM   #10
Chef Extraordinaire
 
taxlady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: near Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Posts: 18,874
Send a message via Skype™ to taxlady
Quote:
Originally Posted by bakechef View Post
I just love wooden spoons. They don't make that scraping noise on the bottom of the pan like a metal spoon does.


That's exactly what I was thinking.
__________________

__________________
May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.
Robert A. Heinlein
taxlady is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:21 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.