spurtle and porridge

A spurtle is a wooden kitchen tool from Scotland that is used primarily for stirring porridge oats whilst cooking. Traditionally it is considered to be better than a spoon when it comes to mixing. This is due to the slim tip which prevents oats from clumping together. That being said throughout Scotland, they believe that this tool is superior for stirring just about anything. From soup, stews, broths, and bread dough this is a super handy simple tool. 

What is the history of the spurtle?

The spurtle's clever design facilitated effortless stirring of dense porridge, preventing it from adhering to the pot or forming clumps. Its sleek surface and shape streamlined circular stirring motions, ensuring the porridge remained smooth.

Spurtles were hand-carved from wood and cherished across generations. Crafted from diverse woods like birch or sycamore, they gradually gained worldwide popularity for their versatility in mixing an array of dishes. Today, spurtles come in varied materials such as wood, bamboo, or silicone, tailored to modern cooking needs and preferences.

While originating in Scotland, the spurtle's influence has reached far beyond. In places like India, it's employed to mix rice, adeptly keeping each grain separate. Dating back to the 15th century, spurtles are typically fashioned from beech, cherry, or maple, although they can be crafted from nearly any food-safe wood.

Spurtles are a simple tool to use and it takes us back to a simplistic way of stirring food just like our ancestors would have mixed foods using a stick. If you enjoy a good healthy bowl of oatmeal for breakfast in the morning then you should definitely consider this authentic tool to get the job done.

Spurtle's that have not been sanded properly are likely to cause splinters and this is common for machine made products. The size is another factor that could affect the price, each one can vary depending on the design. With that being said early spurtles were flat, and not the rounded type that you more commonly see. It was also not uncommon to have metal varieties. 

How much do spurtles cost?

Spurtle prices change depending on the material, how well they're made, and the brand. Simple wooden spurtles might cost £3 to £10. Fancy sets, made with special woods or extra tools, might be £10 to £30 or more. Some spurtles, especially the handmade ones with rare woods, could be even pricier, maybe over £30 each. Prices can be different in various stores or online. A good-quality spurtle is often handmade from the right wood by a skilled craftsperson. If you want it personalised, like for a traditional Scottish gift, the price might be higher, from £4 to £26 or more.

How to use a spurtle?

Prepare ingredients and have the spurtle ready for use with an appropriate pot or bowl. Firmly grip the spurtle and gently stir in circular motions within your mixture—porridge, soup, or sauce—scraping the pot's base and edges to prevent sticking and break lumps in thicker mixtures. Adjust stirring speed and pressure for consistency, using the spurtle's shape to reach corners and edges. Test intermittently, adjusting technique, and when satisfied with the dish's consistency, serve immediately or continue cooking.

Where to buy a spurtle?

You'll find spurtles available in various places. Amazon offers a wide selection, and kitchenware stores, online retailers like Amazon or eBay, specialty shops focusing on Scottish or traditional kitchenware, craft fairs, markets, and even department stores with kitchen sections often stock spurtles. To ensure you pick the right one, consider the material, size, and intended use.

If purchasing online, checking reviews can help ensure the quality meets your expectations. You can buy a spurtle on amazon and they also have a wide selection of spurtles to choose from.


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