Wooden Serving Trays: A Versatile and Timeless Kitchen Essential

April 26, 2023

A wooden serving tray is a versatile and timeless kitchen essential that has been used for centuries, both in homes and restaurants. It's a piece of home decor that serves both practical and aesthetic purposes. Moreover, it's an ideal accessory for hosting dinner parties, entertaining guests, and even for everyday use.

History of Wooden Serving Trays

The use of wooden serving trays dates back to ancient times. In ancient Rome, wooden serving trays were used to carry food and drinks to guests at banquets. In colonial America, wooden serving trays were often used for serving tea in the parlor.

Over the years, wooden serving trays have become more than practical accessories. They are now considered works of art, often being handmade and adorned with intricate designs, carvings, and inlays.

Types of Wooden Serving Trays

There are several types of wooden serving trays, depending on their design and functionality.

Rectangular and Square Trays: The most common types of wooden serving trays are rectangular and square, which are ideal for carrying plates, glasses, and other utensils.

Oval Trays: Oval trays are popular for serving breakfast in bed or holding bottles and glasses.

Round Trays: Round trays can also be used for carrying plates, glasses and other utensils but are a great option for serving snacks like nuts, fruits and cheese.

Handled Trays: Handled trays have two bars attached to either side of the tray that makes it easy to carry around.

Benefits of Wooden Serving Trays

Wooden serving trays have several benefits that make them a popular addition to any kitchen.

Unmatched Durability: Wood is one of the most durable materials and can last for years, making it an excellent investment when choosing a serving tray.

Stylish and Timeless: Wooden serving trays are a timeless addition to any kitchen, they come in various shapes, sizes, designs and colors to add character to any interior style, whether it's a modern or traditional kitchen.

Environmentally Friendly: Natural resources like wood are environmentally sustainable and biodegradable compared to plastic or metal, which can take hundreds of years to decompose.

Non-Toxic and Safe: Wood is a natural material, ensuring that your food remains free of harmful chemicals and toxins that can be found in synthetic materials.

How to Choose the Perfect Wooden Serving Tray

When choosing a wooden serving tray, there are several aspects to consider:

Size: Consider the size and shape, based on the purpose of the tray like how many plates, glasses, or utensils you plan to carry? Will you be using it for serving drinks, snacks, or meals?

Design: Wooden serving trays come in various designs, from plain to carved, inlaid and painted. Copper, silver, and brass inlays can also be a good option, but they require more maintenance.

Material Quality: Choose high-quality materials like hardwoods as they are more durable, harder and moisture-resistant.

Functionality: Some wooden serving trays come with extra features, like handles, and detachable legs, making it easier to carry around with less risk of spills.

Maintaining Wooden Serving Trays

Maintaining your wooden serving tray, can keep it looking beautiful and ensure it lasts for a long time. Here are some essential care tips:

Avoid Exposing the Tray to Water: Do not put your wooden serving tray in the dishwasher or soak it in water. Just a quick wipe with a damp cloth is enough to remove any debris.

Dry the Tray after Use: Always dry the tray thoroughly after use before you store it.

Oil the Tray: Periodically oil the tray with mineral oil to prevent cracking and to maintain its shine.


Are wooden serving trays microwave safe?

Wooden serving trays should not be kept in the microwave as it can cause cracks and deformities in the tray's shape.

What is the average cost of a wooden serving tray?

The price range for wooden serving trays is fairly wide and depends on the quality, size, and design of the tray. They can cost anywhere between $10 to $300.

What are the most popular types of wooden serving trays?

The most popular types of wooden serving trays are the rectangular and square trays, but there are plenty of other options to choose from, including round and oval trays, as well as handled trays.

Can you put hot items on a wooden serving tray?

Wooden serving trays are not recommended for use with extremely hot items as it can cause the wood to warp and deform. It's best to use a trivet or heat-resistant mat if you need to serve hot food on the tray.


A wooden serving tray is a timeless essential for any kitchen that offers both practical and aesthetic features. With so many shapes, sizes, designs, and functional options available, you're sure to find one that suits your needs and style. When properly maintained, a wooden serving tray can last for years, making it a cost-effective investment.



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I enjoy designing and curating experiences both virtually and in 3-dimensional reality. I have a Bachelor of Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology and currently practice professionally, but I also manage a few other ventures.
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