Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Mineral oil rub down

Justin and I have been doing a lot of cooking lately and as we pulled out our large wood chopping block to slice up our homemade italian pizza the other night, I was embarrassed by its condition. Let's face it, the board isn't the best or the top of the line, heck it was only $10 at Ikea, but I do my best to care for our belongings so they last as long as possible. Though, I must have been slacking on this particular piece. As you can see, the wood is extremely light and there are some darker spots, which I assume is from food.

To maintain our block's swedish quality, I follow some "rules" each time we use it. First, we do not use this board for raw meat, completely eliminating the potential for bacteria to harbor in the wood. Second, we give it a good scrub by hand shortly after using so our food doesn't stain the wood, and then let it dry immediately. Do not let wood kitchen items soak in water as this can lead to water damage, allowing more places for bacteria. Last, I treat our board with mineral oil on a semi-regular basis (every couple months or so).

Treating your chopping block to a mineral oil rub down is similar to you going to a spa. The mineral oil locks in the natural moisture and prevents cracking and other forms of wearing out. It is my understanding to not use any other type of oil such as olive or canola because these turn rancid over time and make your board unsanitary.

When Linen's-N-Things was still around a few years ago, I picked up this very large bottle of oil for less than $10. Each new wood tool we purchase for our kitchen gets an initial mild-soap wash and mineral oil rub down. As you can see in the above picture, we haven't even come close to using half the bottle—a little goes a long way.

After scrubbing and washing off the homemade pizza sauce from our board, I let it dry overnight. Then I treated our chopping block to a nice mineral oil massage. I'm not sure if each bottle has the same directions, but I put a small amount of oil in a bowl and warmed it up for 5–10 seconds in the micro. Then I used a soft rag to soak up some oil and rubbed it into the board. I have never applied the oil directly to the board because I fear really dark oil spots, but I'm sure if you follow the instructions on your bottle you'll be fine.

The last step in the application is to let the board rest for a while to allow the oil to fully soak in.

If you are treating one wood tool and have other wood cutting boards, bowls, spoons, or serving utensils you might as well fix them all up at the same time, or at least until you have used the warmed-up oil. Waste not, want not!

1 comment:

  1. I have also read that sanding a wooden cutting board can help with the food stains. :)


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