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Old 07.06.2015, 15:47
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Chefs - seasoning a wood cutting board

A question for the "professional" cooks on EF.

I had to repair/re-glue a wood cutting board that I then sanded down. I now need to prep the wood with some sort of oil. I can't remember what I last used.

Google said don't use olive oil (will go rancid quickly) but there was also some comment about using a "food grade" mineral oil. I have never heard of this. Does it exist in CH? Is this the solution? I was thinking of using a grape seed oil instead.

Comments? Ideas?

Much appreciated.
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Old 07.06.2015, 18:09
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Re: Chefs - seasoning a wood cutting board

No idea for Switzerland but can't imagine many chefs would have a clue.

The EHO in the UK would definately not be happy finding a wooden chopping board in the kitchen, can't remember the last time I ever saw one in a kitchen.

Difficult to clean, absorb smells and dont retain shape.
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Old 07.06.2015, 18:19
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Re: Chefs - seasoning a wood cutting board

Chuck the damn thing and get one out of polyethylene, if you are silly enough to get one out of wood then you need something like this brush made out of good spring steel and be prepared to use plenty of elbow grease.
Never, ever use any kind of oil on a wooden cutting board.
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Old 07.06.2015, 18:28
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Re: Chefs - seasoning a wood cutting board

Did you never play cricket? ...... linseed (flaxseed) oil.
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Old 07.06.2015, 18:31
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Re: Chefs - seasoning a wood cutting board

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Chuck the damn thing and get one out of polyethylene, if you are silly enough to get one out of wood....
Why should people chuck out wooden boards?

In tests, wooden boards have shown to exhibit anti-bacterial properties, and are much more pleasant to use than a plastic one.

P.S. I do appreciate the need for colour-coded plastic ones in a professional kitchen to avoid cross-contamination and the potential for food poisoning.

To the OP:

I used a food-grade mineral oil. Once dry it is safe to prepare food on the board. I don't have the can any more otherwise I could tell you what it was exactly.
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Old 07.06.2015, 19:11
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Re: Chefs - seasoning a wood cutting board

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Why should people chuck out wooden boards?

In tests, wooden boards have shown to exhibit anti-bacterial properties, and are much more pleasant to use than a plastic one.

P.S. I do appreciate the need for colour-coded plastic ones in a professional kitchen to avoid cross-contamination and the potential for food poisoning.

To the OP:

I used a food-grade mineral oil. Once dry it is safe to prepare food on the board. I don't have the can any more otherwise I could tell you what it was exactly.

Thanks Tom. Purchased in CH? Can you remember what type of store you found it in? I can look from there.
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Old 07.06.2015, 20:39
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Re: Chefs - seasoning a wood cutting board

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Thanks Tom. Purchased in CH? Can you remember what type of store you found it in? I can look from there.
Sorry, I've just found the can. I didn't buy it here at all.

It's TG Wood Treatment Oil, T and G, Bristol. England.

But, I'd suggest trying Manor or somewhere else with a comprehensive cooking range.
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Old 07.06.2015, 22:12
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Re: Chefs - seasoning a wood cutting board

I have an oiled dining table and use linseed oil.

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Thanks Tom. Purchased in CH? Can you remember what type of store you found it in? I can look from there.
Try any farm shop or pet shops that sell horse food. We used to give this to our horses for their coats. Cold-pressed linseed or flaxseed oil only where they don't use a solvent to extract the oil.
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Old 07.06.2015, 23:12
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Re: Chefs - seasoning a wood cutting board

Mohnöl or Poppy seed oil ..
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Old 07.06.2015, 23:57
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Re: Chefs - seasoning a wood cutting board

The antibacterial properties of wooden boards is attributed to the tannic acid in certain types of wood, pine is one such wood, so yes wooden boards, for a while at least, do exhibit some antibacterial properties. But, (and really trust me on this) not all bacteria are intimidated by this, seriously don't believe the adverts you see on TV for cleaning products that kill 99.9% of all known germs, then as a rule boards used in a household are not cleaned as vigorously and with the same care seen in the gastronomy, also household boards are not used as often as professional boards, meaning the nasties that you may or may not have missed have had a chance to go forth and multiply. "Well I put my board in the dishwasher" unlike a plastic board not so good an idea with wooden boards, if you want a clean wooden board put it in the microwave and never use the same board for meat, fish and veggies.
But this discussion is moot, why argue wood v. plastic when the far larger bacteria incubator is the dish wash cloth or sponge, do you use a fresh one every time you do the dishes?
Or do you wipe your wooden antibacterial board with the same bacteria dripping rag?
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Old 08.06.2015, 00:01
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Re: Chefs - seasoning a wood cutting board

Ikea sells a food grade mineral oil for their cutting boards, at least they used to. It's in the kitchen area, cheap and easy to apply.
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Old 08.06.2015, 07:26
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Re: Chefs - seasoning a wood cutting board

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Ikea sells a food grade mineral oil for their cutting boards, at least they used to. It's in the kitchen area, cheap and easy to apply.
Thanks for that vostok4. I came across it on their FR website but not on the CH website. It might just be that they do not sell it for delivery from the webshop. I need to drop by one of these days for something else so I will check it out.
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Old 08.06.2015, 08:25
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Re: Chefs - seasoning a wood cutting board

I use one oil for everything - Castrol GTX - it really adds something to salads
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Old 08.06.2015, 08:35
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Re: Chefs - seasoning a wood cutting board

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The antibacterial properties of wooden boards is attributed to the tannic acid in certain types of wood, pine is one such wood, so yes wooden boards, for a while at least, do exhibit some antibacterial properties. But, (and really trust me on this) not all bacteria are intimidated by this, seriously don't believe the adverts you see on TV for cleaning products that kill 99.9% of all known germs, then as a rule boards used in a household are not cleaned as vigorously and with the same care seen in the gastronomy, also household boards are not used as often as professional boards, meaning the nasties that you may or may not have missed have had a chance to go forth and multiply. "Well I put my board in the dishwasher" unlike a plastic board not so good an idea with wooden boards, if you want a clean wooden board put it in the microwave and never use the same board for meat, fish and veggies.
But this discussion is moot, why argue wood v. plastic when the far larger bacteria incubator is the dish wash cloth or sponge, do you use a fresh one every time you do the dishes?
Or do you wipe your wooden antibacterial board with the same bacteria dripping rag?
A simple solution is to microwave your sponge etc. for 30 seconds each day which helps solve this problem
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Old 08.06.2015, 09:35
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Re: Chefs - seasoning a wood cutting board

Good quality wooden boards are so much more practical and when used properly more hygienic. It is something of a moot topic about wood containing natural antibacterial which can kill some potential illness inducing bacteria, but there is plenty of truth behind it and like anything in life it doesn't excuse bad housekeeping.

You shouldn't really need to keep oiling a wooden block board. A good quality beech block board should just need wiping down with a cold cloth first to remove debris/food waste (use a damp cloth so as to ensure you don't flood the fibres and cells, thus opening them up). Then wipe down with a soapy wet scourer or scrubbing brush. Wipe over with a clean non-soapy cloth and dry with a towel so you don't leave excess water on it.

If you have any staining on the top, get a steel/wire brush and scrub hard across the whole surface so you don't induce a "cupping" in the top, wipe down again and allow to dry. Job done. I have 2 wooden block boards. 1 is a full size, free standing butchers block I made myself. The other is just a board for using on a counter/work top. Both of them are well over 15yrs old and still going strong.

What/however you clean it, don't allow water to sit or pool on the surface. The cyclical process of flooding and drying will cause the wood to crack. Don't put them in a dish washer. The high heat, steam and length of cycles will flood, dry out the board and warp it, again causing it to crack. Don't store it too close to a heat source like near the oven or radiator as the moisture content will fall too low and this can cause it to split.

If you really want to use an oil, then you can get food safe mineral oil on Amazon. There are loads of different types of oils for "sealing" wood and timbers, but whichever one you buy, absolutely ensure that it's registered as "food safe" for our block.
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Old 08.06.2015, 10:24
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Re: Chefs - seasoning a wood cutting board

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But this discussion is moot, why argue wood v. plastic when the far larger bacteria incubator is the dish wash cloth or sponge, do you use a fresh one every time you do the dishes?
Or do you wipe your wooden antibacterial board with the same bacteria dripping rag?
We sometimes use two or three clean dish clothes for one meal and definitely a clean one after preparing meat or poultry.

Even the 'disposable' J-cloths and those thicker cloths can be washed in a washing machine at 95'C.

Perhaps you should too rather than your 'bacteria dripping rag?'
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Old 08.06.2015, 10:44
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Re: Chefs - seasoning a wood cutting board

I have two thick wooden chopping boards which it got from my grandma ( and she died in 1984) which I use everyday. We have not had food poisoning so far so either we are very restitution to the bacteria or they are not harbouring any harmful bacteria.
I always clean them thoroughly after use and make sure they are dry before putting them away and I have not oiled them in all the time I've had them. I don't think my grandmother did either and she'd been using them for a very long time.

I am very particular about the cloths I use though and they all get the microwave treatment at least once a day and are hot washed in the machine every week.
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Old 08.06.2015, 14:31
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Re: Chefs - seasoning a wood cutting board

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Chuck the damn thing and get one out of polyethylene, if you are silly enough to get one out of wood then you need something like this brush made out of good spring steel and be prepared to use plenty of elbow grease.
Never, ever use any kind of oil on a wooden cutting board.
Very bad advice IMO. The steel brush will create lots of "strains" where the little critters can hide from and breed.
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Old 08.06.2015, 23:17
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Re: Chefs - seasoning a wood cutting board

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Very bad advice IMO. The steel brush will create lots of "strains" where the little critters can hide from and breed.
Well there is a reason why they exist, you need to get down where the seepage is and if you have never been an apprentice in a kitchen and spent hours brushing down a wooden board twice a day just to get the stains out and that board nice and sparkly again then you really don't know what you are talking about, back in the good old days professional blocks made from wood were regularly picked up and taken to a carpenter to be planed down a cm or two.
But if you really want to go all greeny use a bamboo board, or if you want ease of use get a glass board.
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Old 09.06.2015, 09:34
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Re: Chefs - seasoning a wood cutting board

OP, my hubby always oils them with linseed oil (Leinöl in German) before the first use and lets them dry for a couple of days. I've found out that they last longer indeed. (I used to rinse them with very hot water so urgent measures were needed...)
Yes, we have all sizes of plastic cutting boards but nothing compares with wood.
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