Korean-American chef Edward Lee has figured out how to repurpose the wooden kitchen spoon. He starts by cutting off—and throwing away—the spoon end, keeping just the round handle.
Lee, who blends Southern and Asian flavors at his restaurant 610 Magnolia in Louisville, Kentucky, was inspired by a distaste of rolling pins.
“Rolling pins take up a lot of room. They’re bulky and long. One day I was at home and I couldn’t find a rolling pin,” he says. “So I lopped off part of my wooden spoon. It worked so well, I’ve been doing it ever since.”
Lee also uses the handles to stir; because they’re narrow, they easily reach into the edges and corners of pots. They also work well to lift hot pot lids and move food around in a skillet.
“In the same way that tongs are kind of an extension of your hand, it becomes kind of an extension of your finger,” he says.
To make your own, look for cheap, round-handled wooden spoons. Lee saws off the spoon end with a strong serrated knife; a hacksaw works, too.