Making Kitchen Supplies Last
There’s no bigger bummer than cracking a beautiful cutting board or staining marble—to that end, we assembled some tips for making your heirloom investments last. While we addressed new additions to the goop Cookbook Shop (we’ll be adding more every week), hit us up @goop if you have any other questions.
Many don’t realize that it’s important to season any kind of wooden kitchen materials before you break them out. Using a clean cloth, thoroughly coat the wood with mineral oil—the wood geniuses at The Wooden Palate make a particularly great one, but any mineral oil will do—and allow it to dry for a few days. After that first seasoning, it should only need to be oiled every few months, or when it’s looking dry (cutting boards, since they get so much wear and tear, may need to be oiled more frequently); oil them end of day so they can dry overnight.
Another key to extending the life of wood kitchen tools is to keep them dry. Never let wood utensils soak in water or leave a wooden bowl full of liquid overnight, and dry everything thoroughly before you put it away (this prevents cracking and warping).
ANDREA BRUGI ITALIAN
OLIVE WOOD BOARD WITH
HANDLE goop, $220
ANDREA BRUGI Italian
Olive Wood Mother
Spoon goop, $73
THE WOODEN PALATE
Black Walnut Oval Bowl goop, $260
THE WOODEN PALATE
Black Walnut Three Dip Board goop, $395
The most important element of knife care is sharpening—it’s not just an issue of effectiveness, but of safety, as blunt blades can slip and nick you. For sharpening, it’s best to invest in a knife steel and a ceramic sharpener; use the knife steel for blunt sharpening, and then the ceramic to fine-tune (some chefs even keep the ceramic sharpener by their cutting board, sharpening between cuts to maintain a sharp edge). For both tools, do your research in advance to make sure you’re using the right technique.
If you’re not confident in your knife sharpening skills, you can always have them done professionally. Many farmers markets famously devote a tent to knife sharpening, and you can also take them to Williams Sonoma for a small fee.
Once you’ve got nice, sharp knives in your kitchen, store them properly in a knife block or with a cover to prevent damage to the tip. Proper storage, combined with regular professional sharpening, will greatly extend the life of the blade.
Good quality copper will naturally darken over time, and while there’s not necessarily any functional problem with that process, there’s nothing quite as beautiful as copper that’s clean and polished. A mixture of vinegar, salt, and lemon is an easy at-home hack for shining them up, but for pots that have really seen better days, it’s worth investing in Mauvel’s copper polish.
HARIO Copper Coffee
Spoon goop, $20
HARIO Copper Pour Over
with Brass Handle goop, $96
SMITH SHOP DETROIT Hand
Forged Steel and Copper
Serving Spoons goop, $1,200
Silver is a soft metal, so for everyday wash it’s best to stick with a sponge and hot, soapy water—nothing abrasive. While you can buff out minor staining with a silver cloth, they’re pre-treated with chemicals, so it’s best to use them sparingly. The best option here is to have them professionally polished every once in a while. Silver cutlery should also stay out of the dishwasher (sorry).
Full disclosure, brass is just super hard to keep shiny—for sanity’s sake, it might be best to get comfortable with a cool tarnished look. If it has to be perfectly shiny, Brasso is your best bet, though we’ve also heard that a mixture of salt and ketchup is a good at-home hack.
SKULTUNA Tall Solid Brass
Candle Holder goop, $156
LUE BRASS Japanese Brass
Flatware Sets goop, $88
SKULTANA Solid Brass
Napkin Rings goop, $52
For a super-crisp napkin, it’s best to look for good quality cotton with a nice high-thread count—they’ll iron out crisply and last for years. Linen is another nice option, as it gets stronger with every wash. They won’t iron so crisply, though, so they’re better if you’re good with a more rustic look.
Placing a tablecloth on a raw wood table feels flimsy and does nothing to protect the wood—for a more substantial effect, put down a felt liner or even a towel. And added bonus is that you can iron the tablecloth directly on the table (a game-changer for linen, especially).
Do everything in your power to whiten linens without bleach—not only is it toxic, it’s damaging to the linens over the course of their lives.
- LIBECO LINEN TABLECLOTH goop, $320
- AUNTIE OTI Khadi Napkin Blue Set goop, $52
- AUNTIE OTI Tablecloth goop, $92
- LIBECO Sag Harbor Tea Towel goop, $29
Glass & Crystal
It might be tempting to throw all glass and crystal into the dishwasher, but the change in temperatures from hot to cold so quickly isn’t good for your glass long-term. Instead, work with very hot water and a little bit of dish soap. For polishing crystal, use a clean but well-worn cotton cloth that’s lost most of its lint.
Classic cast iron skillets can last for generations if they’re properly cared for, and a properly seasoned pan will be ridiculously nonstick (learn why to avoid Teflon here). When you first buy a bare cast iron skillet like a Griswold or Wagner (either used or brand-new), you’ll want to season it to get a jump-start on the non-stick qualities and to protect the porous metal from air and water, which can trigger rust. To do that, coat the pan in oil (use something with a very high burn temperature, like black seed oil, so it won’t burn off early) and leave it in the oven on its hottest temperature for about an hour—then turn off the oven and let everything cool down. Do that two or three times, and you’ll have a really nice nonstick surface to cook on—after that, stick to simple soap-and-water cleanings, using salt if you’ve got some gunk that’s really stuck.
For a slightly more low-maintenance option, there’s enamel-coated cast iron, which provides a lot of the benefits of cast iron (heat retention, versatility) but the protective enamel eliminates the need to season. Plus, it can go in the dishwasher.
- STAUB X GOOP 12″ Fry Pan goop, $190
STAUB X GOOP 4.5 QT
Perfect Pan goop, $230
STAUB X GOOP Grill Press
Combo goop, $260
Goop’s love-affair with marble is well documented in our Instagram account. To keep it photo-ready, avoid leaving anything acidic (citrus, tomatoes, etc.) on the surface for too long, as it can damage the top-most layer.