Butcher Block Care
If you've ever lived in a historic home, you know that water is wood's ultimate enemy if the wood is not adequately protected. When building a house, this usually means paint or polyurethane, but for items used in food preparation, the rules are a bit different. I've put together this guide so that you can adequately care for your Scotsman Co. wooden kitchen items, ensuring they last a lifetime. Trust me, it's not as difficult as it sounds.
When you first receive your butcher block, it will have a light coating of protective, food-grade oil. Hand wash your butcher block after every use with dish soap and hot water, scrubbing throughly to ensure every tiny bit of food is washed off, then dry with a paper towel or clean dish towel.
Remember: Never use a dishwasher, and never soak your board. It will ruin your boards and spoons!
Proper maintenance requires you to refresh the oil finish on your board from time to time. If your board looks a little white or dried out, it's time to oil. While a wood butter containing beeswax provides optimal protection, regular old mineral oil works just fine too. Use a clean paper towel to wipe on a generous coating, let it sit overnight, then buff off the excess the next day with a dry towel. This oil keeps your wood moisturized, preventing cracking or splitting while keeping odors and liquids from your foods from seeping into the wood. I give all my boards a quick oiling about once a month, even if not in regular use.
Some common questions we get and their answers are listed below:
1. Can I use olive/vegetable/avocado oil instead of mineral oil?
NOPE. These oils do expire and eventually go rancid, so they will eventually rot or stink if you use them on your board. Food-grade wood butter and mineral oil are the only products we recommend.
2. I cut something on my board that left a stain. How can I fix this?
Certain foods (like beets) will stain. You can sand lightly with fine-grit sandpaper and soak with lemon juice to lighten the stain, but we recommend saving those foods prone to staining for a plastic board.
3. Is it okay to cut raw chicken on my board?
Yes, as long as your board is properly maintained with protective oil, cutting raw chicken should be okay. Be sure to immediately wash with hot, soapy water and let dry completely before the subsequent use to avoid cross-contamination.
4. How can I get scratches or knife marks from my board?
If you cut too deep and your board is left with a mark, you can use fine-grit sandpaper to buff out the scratches. Sand in the direction of the grain, wipe off the dust and apply a protective oil before using the board again.
5. I cut onions on my board, and now everything I cut on it tastes like onions. What do I do?
Keeping your board properly sealed and washing immediately after use will prevent this problem. However, you can use a lemon cut in half dipped in salt to scrub the board and eliminate odors. Wash and dry properly, then apply a protective oil coating to prevent this from happening again.