In order to prevent your wooden cutting board from cracking and splitting, you need to oil it regularly. But which type of oil?
First of all never use olive oil or any vegetable based oil – they will quickly go rancid on your board and the rancidness will go into whatever you are chopping on the board. Instead use a food grade mineral oil. Food grade mineral oil will have the following E number on the label: E905a.
Before we list the best best food oils, here’s how to clean and care for your board:
You only need to oil your board about once a month. First ensure it is clean. Every time you use the chopping board you should scrub it with soapy water, and dry it at once (don’t allow any water to soak into the board as it will cause it to warp). Just before you oil your board do a scrub with a paste made from baking soda, salt and water – the baking soda will remove any residual food smells and stains. Then rinse the paste off and dry.
When the board is completely dry, put a small amount of mineral oil on the board and rub it in. Leave it overnight and then wipe off the excess oil with a kitchen towel.
This works for all wooden kitchen utensils and wooden bowls.
Here are the best food grade mineral oils available:
Howards Butchers block Conditioner
In this blend, food grade mineral oil is mixed with beeswax and carnauba wax.
The was is there to make the board water resistant, and it also has anti-bacterial properties.
This oil is unscented and is safe for use on wooden cutting boards, wooden salad bowls and wooden spoons and other utensils. You can use it on bamboo kitchen utensils too. You may need to warm it up by standing it in the sun in order to make it easier to apply.
Joyce Chen Bamboo and Wood Oil
This mineral oil product is suitable for bamboo and other hard woods (maple, walnut etc).
Simply apply a small amount to a clean dry board and then leave to soak over night before wiping the excess off. It is thinner than the oil above (due to lack of wax).
John Boos MYS-12 Cutting Board Mystery Oil
This “mystery oil” is made from mineral oil with a bit of linseed oil and orange oil. The orange oil gives it a very slight orange scent.
The bottle contains 16 ounces,which should last about a year. It’s thin and easy to apply.