wood bowl in front of a stack of wood cutting boards in a farmhouse kitchen wood bowls for decor or food
decorating,  Food

Wood Bowls: For Food or Decor?

Do you use your wood bowls for food or for decor? Or both? Or are you a wood bowl free household? Tell me everything. Leave no details out.

I have a collection of wood bowls that I only use for decor purposes.

You might have seen them stacked above our black pantry cabinet. The collection has grown larger, as collections do, since I took this picture.

black built in pantry cabinet pantry organization tips for glass front cabinets Wood Bowls: For Food or Decor?

I started to wonder why I don’t use these wood bowls for holding food. And I’m not talking about food as in popcorn or a bunch of apples and bananas.

I mean the wet, sticky, gooey stuff like pasta, soup, bread dough, cereal, etc.

After all, I use my wood cutting boards every single day for everything except meat.

I love my wood cutting boards. (That collection is also growing…funny how that works.)

I’m not super careful with the cutting boards. They get berry stains on them. They have knife marks. I hand wash them and dry them. I occasionally oil them.

Aside from yours truly, they are the MVPs of my kitchen.

blueberry freezer jam on the happy list Wood Bowls: For Food or Decor?

The only thing truly different about my wood cutting boards and my wood bowls is the shape.

So why do I have a hang up about using the wood bowls for every day cooking or eating?

It’s not logical.

Pull up your couch. I’m going to need a spot to lie down because it seems like a therapy session might be in order.

Maybe using or not using wood bowls is a convenience issue.

Wood bowls can’t go in a microwave. They can’t go in the dishwasher. They can’t go in an oven.

That’s going to cramp our modern style.

*pats self on the back for this breakthrough*

Wood Bowls: For Food or Decor? stack of wood bowls in front of wood cutting boards in a farmhouse kitchen

Maybe using or not using wood bowls is a size issue. 

Most of my wood bowls are serving bowl size. However, we don’t use a lot of serving bowls here. We’re a “serve it straight from the pan on the stove because no one likes extra dishes” kind of household.

Classy, I know.

Maybe if I got some cereal bowl sized wood bowls we’d eat cereal from them? Or soup?

Cereal and soup? In a wood bowl? Why does that feel wrong?

Plenty of people use wood bowls for those purposes and have for eons. I don’t know why I can’t do the same.

It’s a good thing this therapy couch is comfy. I might be here a while.

wood bowl filled with mangos Wood Bowls: For Food or Decor?

Maybe using or not using wood bowls is a sanitary issue. 

I don’t worry about germs and wood bowls in the same way that the rest of the internet seems to worry about them. We’re a hardy bunch.

Assuming you’re using a wood bowl or cutting board that’s properly made and cared for, in good condition, and has a food safe finish, they are safe to use.

My hesitation, in regard to germs, comes more from the fact that all of my wood bowls are thrifted. I don’t know where they’ve been, how they’ve been used, or what sort of horrors they have seen.

It’s possible I have a few, small control freak tendencies.

*considers myself winning at this therapy thing even though therapy is not a contest and this isn’t actual therapy*

Wood Bowls: For Food or Decor? black pantry cabinet in farmhouse kitchen with wood bowls for decor

I don’t know that one blog post is really going to get me over my hang up over using wood bowls for everyday use instead of my pyrex or porcelain dishes.

It’s a work in progress.

I should probably start small, use what I have, and see how it goes. The worst thing that happens is I put that bowl right back up on the shelf to look pretty for the end of all time.

One thing I know for certain. If we used wood bowls, we’d sure break a lot fewer dishes around here.

Do you use your wood bowls for food? Or do you have the same hang ups I do? Seriously, let me know. You can always comment on this blog post, email us here, or reach out via Instagram or Facebook.

Happy Eating!

Interesting Resources:

When Salad Bowls Stalked The Earth | LA Times

Are Wood Bowls Safe To Eat From? | Wooden Earth

History of The Wooden Plate | Robin Wood

Thanks for being here today! I appreciate you. If you’ve got more time, I’ve got another blog post!

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  • Erin

    Hi There – I have a bowl my husband made in wood shop back in high school. It has a finish to it and I use it every time I make a big green salad. I always hand wash it immediately and don’t leave food sitting in for more than an hour or so. I also have a couple large unfinished bowls that were passed down to me and I only use those to store fresh fruit on the counter. Since they are unfinished and look pretty old I am not sure I would use it for anything else.

    • annisa

      How neat that you have a bowl your husband made in high school shop class! Does shop class even exist anymore? Wood salad bowls seem to be the most common, don’t you think?

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