Good quality cutting boards and charcuterie trays are very important and often overlooked pieces of your everyday kitchen essentials. Like good knives, or a sturdy cast iron pan, your wooden boards are investments that require proper care and maintenance.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
- Lint-free cloth
- Food-grade oil that will not go rancid* – we recommend butcher block oil or mineral oil
- Optional – food-grade wax finish, such as butcher block wax. If you prefer a “natural” alternative, beeswax based products like Howards Feed and Wax or Clapham’s Salad Bowl Finish are safe options and smell fantastic!
Before you apply any oils or waxes to your board, make sure it’s clean. Wipe it down with light soap and water and allow to air dry or wipe dry.
Using a soft, lint-free cloth (e.g. a microfiber towel, an old tshirt), dip into the oil and apply or pour a small amount onto the surface and buff the oil into the wood. Continue to apply and buff in until the wood is no longer absorbing the product. Wipe off excess.
If you would like, you can also finish the wood with a wax product for added protection. There are also mixed oil-wax products, that streamlines the two steps. Apply the wax in a similar fashion, wipe off excess, and allow the board to dry.
* There’s a huge debate about whether certain kinds of oils are appropriate for seasoning your boards. Different people have different preferences, but some of the options people go for include walnut oil, hemp oil, tung oil, flaxseed oil, and food grade mineral oil. Our recommendation is to go for food grade (USP) mineral oil because it is safe if ingested in small quantities (FYI, USP mineral oil is sold as a laxative in pharmacies) and will not go rancid. With plant-based oils, rancidity is always a concern, especially for olive oils and vegetable oils.
Some people argue that walnut oil does not go rancid – there is contested information (and we recommend you go out and do the research) on the topic. Based on what we’ve found, walnut oil has relatively low rancidity, but is also more expensive than USP mineral oil and may cause issues for people with nut allergies.
– Oil your charcuterie board frequently, ideally after each wash/use
– Store whatever oil or wax finishing products in cool, dark places
– Use abrasive materials on the board (e.g. scrubbing with steel wool)
– Place your wooden board in direct sunlight for extended periods of time or over direct heat
– Use olive oil or vegetable oils to season your board, as these will go rancid making your board smell bad
That’s it! As long as you are maintaining your charcuterie or cutting board regularly, it should last for many years of usage.