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Chopping board finish advice

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Mark Karacsonyi

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I believe butchers blocks were regularly scraped back? I think im right in saying end grain soaks up moisture the quickest though, so although the 'cut' surface lasts longer, the blood from a butchers blood would go in quicker. Saying that, oak is to a degree antibacterial ( tannins etc ).

In terms of vegetable oil, it will go rancid after a while. I dont know how long

Your correct, I remember my Saturday job in the local butchers, end of the day we used to apply watered down bleach to the board. Scrub it with a hardcore brush, where the bristles were metal, not wire. Then cover it with sawdust to soak up the dampness, then brush it off. You didn’t need a gym those days.
 

eribaMotters

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Original - Oddball
" due to absorption can harbour bacteria so aggressive abrading is required when cleaning. "
When cutting on the board food fibres will become trapped in the surface. Those on the surface will be scrubbed off when the board is washed, whilst those in the surface will be trapped in an environment without oxygen and as such any bacteria will die.
I recall test results some years ago came as a surprise when it was found that a correctly cleaned wooden chopping board was a cleaner surface than a plastic cutting board surface.

Colin
 

Jones

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In a plastic chopping board bacteria can lurk in cuts in the surface and at hand washing temperature can survive as moisture is held in by capillary action. With a wooden board at say 12% moisture content bacteria in surface cuts are dehydrated by the wood and so die. Any coating will probably reduce this dehydrating effect.
 

jrm688

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On a new cutting board I soak it with mineral oil for the first coat and let it sit for a day. For the second coat I use a mineral oil/ beeswax mix (4:1 by weight) and rub it in well.
 

Peri

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Mineral oil.
I wouldn't consider using any type of vegetable or food based oil - but my wife uses one board for bread, one for veg and a different one for meat, so sometimes a board might sit for days between uses.

I know the old saying of "Once a day for a week, once a week for a month, once a month for ever", but ours get re-coated when they look like they need it :)
 

SkinnyB

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I soak all my boards for two hours using Mineral Oil, then a coat of beeswax mixed with mineral oil.
www.SkinnerDesigns.co.uk

25.jpg
 

Terry - Somerset

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Wood for appearance and occassional use. I use something marked "food safe" - I assume an oil sold in small containers at 10 times the price of a 5L bottle!

Plastic for day to day - goes in the dishwasher after use, high temperature + detergent tends to kill off annoying bugs (apparently!).
 

Richard_C

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I apply a single coat of vegetable oil when the board is finished. Thereafter the board draws it's moisture from whatever is being cut or chopped - and from regular washing. Have a board that has been in use for 4+ year and never needs to re-oil.

I took the same approach on a pair of oak boards I made from leftovers a year or so ago. Works fine, and you don't have to worry about scrubbing with hot water. I used canola/rapeseed oil which is what we normally cook with.

I made for my own use, if you are making for sale you probably need something shinier.

I also took an actiarial approach. The boards are 22mm thick. If I need to re sand from time to time I reckon that will reduce by 0.5mm every year. They will still be useable at 12mm. A quick look at the Government Actuary life expectancy tables, deduct my age, fine - probably won't need to make any more and if I do it will be very good fortune.
 

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