Buy the best wood cutting board you can afford, take care of it, and it is likely that your grandchildren will be using it. Even as cutting boards age, or especially as they age, good wooden cutting boards become more and more attractive. End-Grain Cutting Boards are the best cutting boards to be found and will meet the needs of the most discerning customer. I’m not criticizing any of those products, but for the purposes of this article I’m referring to pure tung oil with no additives. Maintaining the Original Oil finish is very important to the long term life of the wood surface, as well as keeping the surface protected from water. Once the oil mixture is the same temperature as the melted bees wax, measure and pour the beeswax into the oil.
However, there are two reasons to be cautious: 1) some people are terribly allergic to tung oil as it is made from a nut tree. Wood is tougher to sanitize, but it’s also (often) tougher in general – you won’t find as many deep scratches in the surface. In the USA approx 6.9 million citizens have a nut allergy and in the UK about 1 in 100 people will have the allergy. Most people are surprised to hear that a wood cutting board may be more resistant to bacterial buildup than plastic ones. Soy, Nut or Rice Bran Oils are non-drying but are unlikely to go rancid like olive oil. However, boiled linseed oil is heated and treated with chemicals that make it toxic for humans.
Let cutting boards dry completely; do not stack together or with other kitchen gear so that they remain wet. Turn the board upside down and lay the treated surface over wood or plastic supports on the 4 sides, and repeat the previous step for the back of the board. Aspiration hazard.” Compare those two warnings and then consider how long mineral oil has been a standard for butcher blocks.
And catalysts, which can be toxic in their liquid state, become so fully reacted with the finish that there is no evidence of a problem. Natural tung oil is slow curing, and does not cure very hard, so it is best used when a thin matt varnish film is desired and the surface is not subject to heavy wear – it’s great for pine walls and ceilings. I’ve a feeling it is probably not canola oil, but we kinda trust them because they are for putting food in. So I probably wouldn’t get too worried about what finish I used as long as you let it cure for a month or so you should be fine! I’m not sure how people who are allergic to nuts would be affected by this oil finish, though.
Instead of crushing against the wood fibers the blade goes between them much like cutting into a firm brush. It’s a shame, but many woodworkers worry about which finish to use on objects that will come into contact with food or children’s mouths. For best results and to create a silky smooth wood surface, rub lightly with No.5 Extra Fine Steel Wool between each Wood Finishing Oil application. I kept expecting the bleed through to stop – which never did using diluted finish.
There are many sources available, both at hardware stores and on the internet, that have lots of information regarding the issue of what is food safe and what is not. Generally the older the wood the more it will darken it. This will vary based on the type of wood and the age of the wood. Mineral oil will not turn rancid after time as many vegetable oils eventually do. It appears to be the non drying oil of choice for this reason. As with any finish of this type, however, you will need to maintain it and reapply often to give decent moisture protection.
No, you don’t, especially if you own a board made from high density wood such as maple, cherry or birch, which are naturally highly resistant to marking. In more modern times, Tung oil is also offered up in polymerized form to expedite drying. Its properties prevent water absorption, which makes food-grade mineral oil (as determined by the Federal Drug Administration) a popular choice for wooden kitchen items such as wooden spoons, bowls, and, of course, cutting boards and butcher blocks.
Do not chop salad, vegetables or other ready-to-eat foods on an unwashed cutting board that’s been used to trim raw meat, poultry or seafood. Bob Flexner says that applying oil is simple, wipe, wait, sand, repeat.” Apply the oil liberally with a soft cloth or brush and then wipe it off like you mean it. Check after an hour or two, and if extra oil has beaded on the surface, wipe it away.
I often play around with the ratio of beeswax to olive oil depending on the project I am doing. Oil boards once a week (bowls get additional oiling every time you use them from the salad dressing. I also found some references to using tung oil for medicinal purposes in ancient history. The chances of allergy to tung oil are remote, and tung oil has several other advantages over linseed oil.
Ditto for raw (but not boiled) flaxseed oil (also called linseed oil), and mineral oil, which is the only one of the three that will not dry (it stays liquid forever). You simply wipe on a thick coat of mineral oil and allow it to absorb into the wood. The results were incredible actually, well incredible compared to only using bees wax and mineral oil. The first time you season your board, you should aim to really saturate it in oil. Oils have a tendency to ooze a bit from wood pores even after wiping, so be sure to periodically check the piece. Sorry to dredge up an old topic, but I seem to be having a problem with the finish that no one has mentioned….
Put about four fluid ounces (1/2 cup) of flax seed oil in a glass jar along with about 1/2 ounce (by weight) of beeswax (about the size of a one inch cube). Recommended for use in a wide variety of food processing and packaging operations where lubricating oil is used as a processing aid, food packaging materials and where direct contact between the lubricating oil and food or packaging materials may occur. If I wouldn’t eat/drink it right out of the bottle, I wouldn’t use it on the wood. If the board has been properly and freshly seasoned, water will bead up on its surface.
Product Details:John Taylor Butcher Block Conditioner Food Grade Mineral Oil and Natural Waxes, John Taylor Butcher Block Conditioner is approved by the FDA for direct contact with food. I got my hands on several products labelled tung oil that actually contained solvents, and/or metal compounds that speed up polymerization (or drying), and/or other mystery ingredients. The beeswax sits on the surface of the wood in contrast to the oil that soaks into the wood.
If you are using it as a wood sealant and stand alone stain it works best to use it while still warm. Open grain woods like Oak, Ash, Locust may not make the best food containers like salad bowls because of the point you make. It won’t offer as much protection as the varnishing method but is certainly a good alternative for those those who don’t want to use varnish, but don’t want the mess of applying an oil that never cures. When using a cloth, use a circular or figure of eight pattern to work into the wood, and apply until the wood stops absorbing.
Since the ultimate goal here is to protect the wood but NOT create a film, the sheen really doesn’t matter. Tung Oil Finishing: For a total of 4 coats (recommended) on a medium sized cutting board, mix 30ml (1 fl oz. or 2 tbsp) of Tung Oil and the same quantity of solvent in a clean recipient. In fact after 18 months of that type of abuse you would probably expect the finish to start flaking off or exhibit more physical damage than what you see. Even more important if you have a wood cookstove , like I do. Wood burning fireplaces dry out wooden utensils, like they do wooden furniture and musical instruments.
I have not tried the wax yet but I expect that it will not seal the board as well as the salad bowl finish and will seal better than the oil only system. Application of non drying oils is simple, although you do need to periodically reapply them in order to maintain the finish. To apply it, sand and clean the surface before using a small cloth (torn from an old t-shirt) to saturate it with the first coat of oil. One thing I do know is that there are tannins in the wood and I don’t want them leaching out when you make a tea or coffee. Tung oil isn’t pure unless the can says pure” or 100%.” It’s also food-safe; each coat needs several days to dry.