What’s the Best Wood for Salad Bowls? 

Live edge Ambrosia Maple Bowl and salad tossers

What’s the best wood for salad bowls? We’ll examine the many varieties that are available in this post and give our top picks based on sustainability and durability. We’ll also explain why wooden bowls are a great complement to any kitchen and provide easy maintenance tips.

Wooden Salad Bowls vs Metal or Plastic

First, why choose wooden salad bowls at all–are they worth the bit of extra care they require? 

Absolutely. Wooden salad bowls offer numerous advantages over metal or plastic alternatives. Wood is a natural material that adds warmth and elegance to any table setting. Unlike metal bowls, which can give a cold, industrial feel, or plastic bowls, which can look cheap, wooden bowls provide a rustic charm.

Additionally, wooden bowls are gentle on your utensils. Metal bowls can dull your knives, while plastic bowls can be easily scratched. Wooden bowls are also non-reactive, meaning they won’t alter the taste of your food, unlike some metal bowls that can impart a metallic flavor.

Studies have also shown that when it comes to cleanliness and food safety, wooden bowls are the winner. Wooden bowls, hardwood in particular, are less likely to harbor harmful bacteria.

spalted live edge bowl

So, What Is the Best Wood For Salad Bowls?

When choosing the best wood for salad bowls, consider factors like durability, grain pattern, and sustainability. Some woods are harder and more durable, while others offer unique and attractive grain patterns. It’s essential to choose a wood that not only looks good but also stands up to regular use.

Hardwood vs. Softwood Salad Bowls

Due to its durability and resistance to scratches and dents, hardwoods are are better choice for wooden bowls. Softwoods, while beautiful, are often too delicate for everyday use. 

Great Hardwoods for Salad Bowls

Maple: Known for its light color and fine grain, maple is a popular choice for salad bowls. It is hard and durable, making it resistant to scratches and dents.

Cherry: Cherry wood has a rich, reddish-brown color and a smooth grain. It darkens with age, adding character to your bowl over time.

Walnut: Walnut is a dark wood with a straight grain and a rich, chocolate color. It is both durable and aesthetically pleasing, making it a favorite for high-end salad bowls.

Oak: Oak wood, known for its strength and durability, is an excellent choice for salad bowls due to its resistance to wear and its beautiful, prominent grain patterns.

Olivewood: With its beautiful, swirling grain patterns and durability, olivewood is a stunning option for wooden bowls. It is a harder wood, making it ideal for salad bowls that will see frequent use.

The Best Wood For Salad Bowls Is A Sustainable Choice

Hardwoods like maple, cherry, and walnut are often harvested from well-managed forests, ensuring that tree removal does not harm the ecosystem. Olivewood, typically sourced from old olive trees no longer producing fruit, is an excellent sustainable option.

However, not all hardwoods are sustainably harvested. Some woods, such as mahogany and teak, are often sourced from unsustainable logging practices. These practices lead to deforestation and habitat destruction, impacting biodiversity and contributing to climate change. 

Some examples:

Mahogany: This wood is highly valued for its beauty and durability, but it is often harvested from rainforests in ways that are not environmentally friendly. Overharvesting has led to significant deforestation and habitat loss.

Teak: Strong and water resistant, teak is a favorite among furniture makers and boat builders. Unfortunately, much of the teak available on the market comes from illegally logged sources in Southeast Asia, leading to severe environmental degradation.

Ebony: Dense and dark, ebony wood is gorgeous but frequently harvested unsustainably. The slow growth rate of ebony trees makes them particularly vulnerable to overharvesting.

At Spencer Peterman, we use sustainably and locally sourced wood in all of our wooden kitchenware. We accomplish this by sourcing already fallen logs, often from local tree services, that would otherwise be burned, chipped, or tossed. 

We’ve also found ways to bring the look of certain woods, like ebony, to our work, without actually using those materials. By using a traditional technique called “ebonizing,” we can achieve a similar look to ebony wood while using local and sustainably sourced materials.

Ebonized black bowl

What Kind of Finish Should My Wood Salad Bowl Have?

Choosing the best wood for salad bowls is a key consideration–but don’t forget the finish! The finish on your wooden salad bowl is crucial for both aesthetics and safety. At Spencer Peterman, we use all-natural and completely food-safe finishes on our wooden bowls. These finishes enhance the wood’s natural beauty while providing a protective layer. They ensure that your salad bowl is safe for food contact and easy to clean.

best wood for salad bowls food safe finishes

How to Care for a Wooden Salad Bowl

Proper care extends the life of your wooden salad bowl. Here are our top tips:

Hand Wash Only: Avoid putting your wooden bowl in the dishwasher. Instead, wash it by hand with mild soap and warm water. Rinse thoroughly and dry immediately.

Avoid Soaking: Do not soak your wooden bowl in water, as this can cause the wood to warp or crack.

Regular Conditioning: To maintain the wood’s luster and prevent it from drying out, oil your bowl regularly with a food-safe oil, like mineral oil or beeswax.

Store Properly: Store your bowl in a dry place away from direct sunlight and heat sources to prevent cracking and fading.

best wood for salad bowls hardwood bowls

And The Best Wood For Salad Bowls Is…

At Spencer Peterman, we believe that the best wood for salad bowls is also the best wood for the planet. That’s why each bowl we make is handcrafted from locally sourced, sustainable hardwoods and finished with natural, food-safe finishes. Our commitment to quality and sustainability ensures that every bowl is not only a work of art but also a practical and eco-friendly choice for your kitchen.

We offer a stunning collection of handcrafted wooden salad bowls. Explore our full collection of bowls to find the perfect wooden salad bowl that combines beauty, functionality, and sustainability.

Recent Posts

Get the scoop about our new products and sales