Reply by Charlie

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Posted on submerging cutting board in mineral oil

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1101 posts in 2848 days

#1 posted 11-18-2012 07:48 PM

oil isn’t water :) I don’t think I’d submerge a cutting board in anything long term. And as far as wrapping it in Saran wrap…. I guess I’d ask why? I don’t think mineral oil evaporates… does it? I cook. Therefore I actually USE cutting boards. Some pretty big ones. I have 2 hard maple boards now. They got oiled every day for a week. Then every week for 2 months, then every month for a year.After that it’s kinda whenever they need it. The wax/oil mixtures are nice. Gives the board a different feel and easy to apply. But understand that I keep a microfiber cloth that I use for oiling in a quart-sized freezer bag in the cupboard with a small squeeze bottle of mineral oil.

Boards NEED re-oiling. Fairly regularly if you’re cleaning them. I never use soap on my wood boards. They get rinsed in hot water (NOT submerged) while being scrubbed with a plastic scrubby pad and then they are stood on end to dry so that air can circulate all around them.

The wood kills bacteria on its own. A wood board is actually cleaner than a synthetic one. (This was scientifically proven during the course of trying to find out how to disinfect a wood cutting board like you can with synthetics. The DISINFECTED synthetic boards had more bacteria than a wood board that had NOT been disinfected.)
If they get grungy, they get dampened and then scrubbed with kosher salt and a scrubby pad, rinsed with hot water, stood to dry and then re-oiled… sometimes they only need a light oiling. You can tell by looking at them when they need oiling. Usually the centers get lighter than the edges when dry.

The oil is just keeping light liquids and juices from deeply staining the wood. And it keeps the wood from completely drying out and cracking. You use mineral oil (not walnut oil or olive oil or any other food oil) because mineral oil doesn’t go rancid and ALL food oils will. A cutting board made to look pretty and not get used or only RARELY get used, needs almost no maintenance at all. A board meant to be USED will need to be oiled occasionally and cleaned with salt occasionally. That’s the nature of a real wood cutting board. Just ask someone who actually uses them every day or nearly every day.

And my cast iron cookware never sees soap either. Scrubbed with extremely hot water, dried, then put on a burner to heat up and evaporate ALL the water, then oiled while warm, wiped and put away. Makes them some of the best non-stick cookware I own and no chemical coatings to come off on your food or… sorry….I know that’s not a wood cutting board, but the idea is the same. If a piece is meant to be used and to last, it needs to be taken care of correctly :)

Ask a cook! hehehe (who also just happens to do woodworking…)

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