Can You Put Toothpicks in the Oven

Cooking, FAQs

Can You Put Toothpicks in the Oven?

Just because something may not originally be intended for use in the kitchen doesn’t mean that you have to disregard it altogether.

Toothpicks have been used for tasks beyond picking food from people’s teeth for as long as they have existed and have become commonplace in the kitchen in recent years. But how versatile are toothpicks when it comes to the oven?

So long as the toothpick has no fancy lace frills or a plastic coating, the wood will not catch fire or disintegrate if used for up to an hour or so, so it can keep doing its intended job. 

Which Toothpicks To Avoid Using In Cooking

Though you can use toothpicks in the kitchen for a variety of tasks, some toothpicks could be unsafe or outright toxic if used in the oven. 

There are typically 2 kinds of toothpicks that you can pick up from pretty much every supermarket shelf – plastic toothpicks and wooden toothpicks. 

Plastic toothpicks are the cheaper of the 2 and are usually available in larger packs. However, not all plastic is suitable for oven use. The cheap plastic will likely melt with the heat and create a dangerous mess of your food.

If the main plastic build of the toothpick does hold up in the oven, then the flimsy plastic coating protecting the toothpicks is still likely to have melted into your food without you realizing it.

This could mean that your food is then too toxic to eat. 

Some wooden toothpicks are specifically designed for decorative use in arts and crafts or to help present food.

These types of toothpicks are not only more likely to have additional features that could catch fire in the oven but are also likely to have a similar toxic coating as plastic toothpicks that could damage or ruin your dish. 

Your best and safest choice of a toothpick for use in the oven is plain wooden toothpicks that are void of any additional materials or details. This limits the chances of the toothpicks catching fire in your oven. 

If you are unsure where to find safe wooden toothpicks, check the pantry or spice isles in your local supermarket. They are often sold alongside kebab skewers and tin foil. 

Can You Put Toothpicks In The Microwave? 

Compared to other kitchen appliances, the microwave is a new invention that continues to provide endless ease in any home. 

Some people rely on a microwave for everything, from reheating food to boiling water. However, microwaves can become very dangerous when misused.

You would think that because toothpicks are safe enough to use in the oven for an hour at a time that they would be acceptable to use in the microwave for a couple of minutes. But that is not the case. 

Ovens produce a lot of heat, primarily when used at high temperatures. You certainly wouldn’t want to go and stick your head in a heated oven. 

Microwaves produce not just a more intense heat, but also a dryer heat. This is the perfect condition to make the dry wood of the toothpicks set on fire. 

You can use your toothpicks to check the temperature of your food when using a microwave to reheat or cook your food. Just make sure to remove the toothpick before you start the microwave again to avoid any issues. 

Top Toothpick Uses In The Kitchen 

We all know the feeling of having to buy an entire pack of something we wouldn’t typically buy simply to appease that one recipe you have been wanting to try for months.

The next time you find yourself with more toothpicks than you need, here are a few ways you can use them in your day-to-day cooking: 

  • Preventing Movement When Cooking – Some foods like to be a nuisance and roll around when you are trying to cook them on the stove or the grill. Sausages are some of the worst culprits. You can skewer the sausages on either end with some toothpicks and connect them to other sausages to link them up and make them easier to cook. 
  • Food Readiness Test – Perhaps the most common use of toothpicks in the kitchen is to use them in place of a fork or your finger to check when something is cooked correctly in the middle.

    Just stick the toothpick into the middle of your dish. If it comes away with no food attached, then you can take your dish out of the oven. However, if the toothpick is dirty, you will need to leave the dish in for a little while. 
  • Swirly Details – Instead of getting a clean knife dirty and risking ruining the texture of your cake or cheesecake, you can use a toothpick to add some swirling patterns into the frosting or to create a marbled effect to really make your dish stand out. 
Toothpick for Swirling Icing
  • Holding Food Together – Stuffed meats, as delicious as they are, can be very fiddley to hold together, especially if you tend to overstuff the meat.

    This is the perfect time to use toothpicks to help hold your food together and to help prevent too much food from spilling out of the meat while it is cooking. 
  • Making Up For Terrible Wrapping Skills – Likewise, if you are yet to master the skill of wrapping the perfect enchilada or burrito, then you can use toothpicks to keep the tortillas neat and tidy until you are ready to eat them. make sure to remove the toothpicks before you enjoy your meal. 

Toothpick FAQs

Do you have further questions about using toothpicks in the kitchen? You may find these questions helpful:

Can You Put Coloured Toothpicks in the Oven?

We would avoid using coloured or decorated toothpicks in the oven. Unless stated, you won’t know whether the paint or dye used is food safe.

Can You Put Toothpicks on a BBQ?

Before using any wooden toothpick or skewer on the grill, soak them in cold water for around 30 minutes. This will prevent them from catching fire or burning.

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