You may be wondering what type of oil is best to use for conditioning butcher block or cutting boards? Butcher block countertops are making a comeback, and with the craze of charcuterie boards rising, wooden cutting boards are more popular than ever. We've done the work to bring you the best answers and have them for your here.
With either butcher block or cutting boards made of wood, you want to use a food-safe oil. Typically these are either natural plant oils or mineral oil. Many are marketed specifically for these products. The main thing to remember is to look for food-safe on the label.
We will look at more specifics on this below. We'll also explain how to oil a butcher block for the very first time if you need to seal both sides of it, how often you should oil your butcher block, how you can clean them, and if you can use cooking oils to season butcher block. So please keep reading for all the important details.
The Best Conditioning Oils For Butcher Block And Cutting Boards
Butcher block countertops and cutting boards are made of hardwoods. This natural material is porous and will dry out over time. Thus, the need to condition these surfaces to keep them from cracking or splitting with age. But which oils are best?
The Best Oils For Conditioning Butcher Block
Always look for oils that are food-safe when conditioning butcher block countertops in the kitchen. These surfaces come into contact with your food regularly, and you don't want anything on them that could be harmful to you when ingested.
This basic premium Food Grade Mineral Oil is the perfect oil for maintaining, preserving, and restoring natural butcherblock surfaces. It has a push applicator top and an easy squeeze bottle design that makes application a breeze.
Howard's Butcher Block Conditioner is made with butcher block countertops and islands in mind. It's food-safe and exceeds the USDA regulations. It works on hardwoods and bamboos, so feel free to use this oil on wooden salad bowls, tongs, and spoons as well.
This conditioner from John Taylor combines mineral oil with beeswax for a lustrous finish on butcher block countertops.
Best Conditioning Oil For Wood Cutting Boards
Wooden cutting boards are gorgeous, especially for charcuterie boards. But just like butcher block countertops, they need conditioning to keep them from getting dry and splitting. Just like wooden countertops, you need food-safe oils to condition them. Here are a few of our favorites.
Walrus Cutting Board Oil is a favorite among users. It's a mix of coconut oil, mineral oil, beeswax, and Vitamin E. It makes the tone of your wood rich and does a great job of restoring dried-out wood as well.
Clark's cutting board oil is infused with lemon and orange oils for a refreshing scent. This works on all types of wooden cutting boards, bowls, and utensils. It is a great product to have at your fingertips.
Here's an entire gallon of basic food-grade white mineral oil. This product will work on both your wooden cutting boards and your butcher block countertop. It's an excellent multi-purpose oil to have around the home for all of your wooden food preparing and serving items.
How To Oil A Butcher Block For The First Time?
With butcher block, either countertops or cutting boards, they will often arrive unfinished. If that's the case, then your first step is to let it acclimate to your home's particular temperature and humidity level. After a week of adjustment, wash it with dish soap and water, then let dry completely. When it's dry, apply an even coat of oil over the entire surface. Let the oil soak in overnight. Then repeat for three to five coats (depending on how dry the wood was) until it seems well-oiled and looks lustrous.
Do You Need To Seal Both Sides Of A Butcher Block?
If you're dealing with a countertop, it's not really feasible to seal (season) the underside of the butcher block. But definitely, seal the sides and the top. With a butcher block cutting board, you want to seal or season the top, sides, and bottom of the cutting board. This will keep it from warping or splitting. You can do one side at a time, or you can gently prop it against the backsplash while the oil dries.
How Often Should I Oil My Butcher Block?
A good rule of thumb for oiling butcher block is once a week for the first couple of months you're using it, then once a month afterward. However, if you wash it frequently or your house has dry heat, you may need to attend to it more regularly. The last thing you want is for your butcher block to dry out and crack or split.
Can You Over Oil A Butcher Block?
The great thing about butcher block is it will tell you when it's thoroughly oiled. It simply won't soak any more oil up. So if you over oil it, you'll need to clean the excess off of the surface to use it.
Can You Use Cooking Oil On A Butcher Block?
Though food-grade oil is recommended for use on butcher block, that doesn't mean the same thing as oils you use to cook food. Oils like vegetable oils and olive oil, which are great for cooking, aren't great for your butcher block. The problem with using these oils is that they can go rancid.
And oils like walnut oil or peanut oil are also not recommended for allergen reasons. If someone has a nut allergy, then cutting other food on a cutting board laden with nut oils could be dangerous. Best to stay away from them entirely.
How To Clean Butcher Block Countertops?
The first step to cleaning your butcher block countertops is to remove any caked-on gunk or crumbs. You can do this with a damp paper towel or even use a soft scrubby sponge to get stubborn spots. Once you've done that, add a bit of dish soap like Joy to your sponge and scrub your butcher block. Stick with the grain of the wood for the fastest cleaning. When that part's done, rinse the soap out of your sponge and go back over it with just a damp sponge. After you're finished, this is a great time to give your countertop a good conditioning.
Non-scouring sponges like this are great for butcher block because they don't scratch. If you do ever get scratches in your butcher block, you can always use a bit of fine sandpaper to sand them out. Of course, recondition after doing that.
Your Butcher Block Cutting Boards Will Last
Though butcher block takes a bit of maintenance, the payout is worth it. They're gorgeous to look at, and they will last for years and years if properly cared for.
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