Seasoning New (And Not So New) Wood Cutting Boards, Carving Boards and Butcher Blocks
When someone asks me how they can make their Wooden Cutting Board, Carving Board or Butcher Block last a long, long time, I tell them there are only two things you need to do.
First, buy the best one you can afford. You can buy cheap wooden cutting boards at any big store or grocery market but if you want it to last, you need to buy one made with strong, sturdy wood and handcrafted with care and expert craftsmanship – not something made of low quality (and possibly non-food safe) wood that’s been spit out of a machine.
Our food-safe wooden cutting boards, carving boards and butcher blocks are made right here in New Hampshire by local craftsman, using only the finest, strongest and most beautiful wood. So your cutting board will not just serve you well, it will look amazing on your kitchen counter or when serving cheese and crackers to your guests. Boards made with high quality wood, don't break down like cheaper boards. In fact, a good wooden cutting board only gets better with age. Over time it will look even more attractive.
However, cutting, chopping, warm, soapy water, all of these things will take a toll on a cutting board if not properly maintained. So the second thing you must do to ensure your cutting board, carving board or butcher block lasts, is to take good care of it. And the most important part of taking care of a wooden cutting board is seasoning it.
So you’ll be pleased to know that when you buy a wooden cutting board from us, it’s already been seasoned for you. Implementing a process used for generations, we season each board by hand using food grade FDA-approved mineral oil – and we take the time to do it right. It’s not just the quality of the oil or the way we season the boards but the patience we take with each one to make sure it’s seasoned 100% correctly. By the time you use it, you can be sure it already has a fine layer of protection to preserve it.
But to make sure your board lasts long enough to hand down to your grand kids, a little effort is required. And by little we truly mean it. With a wooden cutting board or carving/butcher block, it’s important to re-season every once in a while. This process will make sure that your board has a strong layer of protection surrounding it and will keep it safe from heat, blades and bacteria from food, which can seep into wood that has not been properly seasoned. This is something that could not only affect the life and look of your board but affect the health of you and your family.
Seasoning a wooden cutting board is a snap. Just follow these easy steps and you’ll be using your board happily many years from now.
Step One: Wash the board so it is clean. Use hot soapy water and allow it to dry. Make sure it is completely dry as you won’t want any moisture to absorb into the wood.
Step Two: Heat food grade FDA-approved Mineral Oil until it is warm to the touch. Dump 8 ounces of this warm oil in a trash bag and immerse your board in the bag. Shake and rub to make sure the board is totally covered, including any nooks and corners. Tie the bag and store in a dark cool place for 4 days.
Step Three: Use a soft, lint-free cloth to apply more of the mineral oil along the grain of the cutting board. Once finished, let the oil soak into the board. This should take about 4 hours. After the proper amount of time has passed, wipe of any excess oil that did not get absorbed into the wood. And there you have it.
If you’re in the market for a new wooden cutting board, carving board or butcher block, we highly recommend buying it from smaller stores that season and handcraft them. Cutting boards from big shops almost never come pre-seasoned. If you have a brand new cutting board that hasn’t been seasoned, simply repeat step 2 and 3, about 4 or 5 times. For a used cutting board, you’ll typically want to re-season once a month if possible. If you do, your board will look great and last a lifetime.