Ben Gives Advice On Butcher Block Care


Wood has one main enemy: water.  If you’ve ever lived in a historic home, you know just what water can do to wood if not properly treated.  Proper treatment when building a house usually means paint or polyurethane, but for items used in food preparation the rules are a little different.  I’ve put together this guide so that you can properly 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 item, it will have a light coating of a protective, food safe oil.  Each time you use the board, you should hand wash with dish soap and hot water, scrubbing to ensure any bits of food are washed off completely, then dry with a paper towel or clean dish towel.

NEVER USE A DISHWASHER.  Never.  It will ruin your boards and spoons. Period. Just don’t do it.


From time to time, you should refresh the protective coating on your boards.  If your board starts to look 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 too.  Simply use a clean paper towel to wipe on a generous coating, let it sit overnight, and buff off the excess with a dry towel.  This oil keeps your wood moisturized, preventing cracking or splitting, while keeping odors and liquids from your foods from penetrating the wood.


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 if you use them on your board it will eventually rot or stink.  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 a fine grit sandpaper and to 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 a protective oil, cutting raw chicken should be okay.  Be sure to immediately wash with hot, soapy water and let dry completely before the next use to avoid cross contamination.


4. How can I get scratches or knife marks out of my board?

If you cut too deep and your board is left with a mark, you can use a 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 an onion on my board, and now everything 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 to eliminate any odors.  Wash and dry properly, then apply a coating of protective oil to prevent this from happening again.