Walnut Butcher Block – Bring the Trend Home

Walnut Butcher Block – Bring the Trend Home

Over the last several months, we have seen a substantial increase in orders of Walnut butcher block products. The popularity of Walnut butcher block has been growing steadily for years, but the recent sales indicate this trend has really taken off! So, what’s got people so excited about Walnut? To put it simply: it’s gorgeous! Walnut butcher block has the ability to look both modern and rustic, making it a versatile material that can be used in just about any room of your home.

Whether you lean toward traditional country, sleek minimalism, or ornate details, Walnut butcher block can fit in beautifully with your style.

Let’s start small with countertop cutting boards. A Walnut butcher block cutting board is not only functional, it adds a pop of color and style to your kitchen. Because of their good looks, Walnut cutting boards and chopping blocks also double nicely as serving boards. Can’t you just picture an array of fabulous cheeses laid out on one of these beauties?

Walnut Butcher Block

If you are looking for more prep space than a cutting board will provide, consider adding a stunning Walnut butcher block island or cart to your kitchen. This is a great way to bring in some warmth and usable space if you’re not quite ready to remodel the whole kitchen. A Walnut butcher block island, table, or cart will add a fine furniture look to your home.

Walnut Butcher Block

If you are ready to remodel the whole kitchen, or if you just want to update an existing island or countertop, we have Walnut butcher block countertops available in a wide variety of sizes, and can customize to your specific size or shape if needed. Available in End, Edge, and Blended Grains, you are sure to find a look that fits your personal style. With its rich beauty, Walnut butcher block also stuns in other rooms of your home, from the office to the laundry room.

Walnut Butcher Block

If you would like to squeeze a little Walnut into your life, check out our selection of beautiful products, or give us a call and let us know what you’re looking for. We are thrilled to offer such a gorgeous collection of Walnut butcher block pieces for your home. This is one trend that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, so jump on board with us!

Outfit Your Restaurant or Commercial Kitchen with Butcher Block Co.

Outfit Your Restaurant or Commercial Kitchen with Butcher Block Co.

Do you run a restaurant or commercial kitchen? Let Butcher Block Co. help outfit your space with the beautiful and high quality products of John Boos & Co. Butcher Block Co. has grown into the leading online distributor of John Boos products, and while we love our residential clients, we are also experts at catering to commercial operations like restaurants and bakeries. You may be surprised at the variety of products offered to keep your commercial kitchen or restaurant running smoothly!

One of the most important areas in your commercial kitchen is your prep space. Depending on the product you’re putting out, you may need several smaller prep tables, a long and narrow work table, a huge and hefty baker’s table, or a combination of all of the above. We’ve got you covered with Boos Maple-top work tables ranging from 24” X 36” up to 60” X 168”, available in a variety of standard sizes or customized to your specific needs. You can upgrade your standard steel base by adding casters, shelves, drawers, and bin stops. Poly-top tables are perfect for particularly messy jobs, as the lighter weight, removable tops are easy to clean and sanitize. You will most likely need some stainless steel prep tables in your arsenal as well. Stainless steel adds low-maintenance function that is perfect for plating or packing. Just like the Maple-top tables, these can be customized with shelves, drawers, even cabinets, to accommodate your needs. And don’t forget your cutting boards and chopping blocks! With a variety of NSF certified boards to choose from, there is a chopping block for every job in your kitchen.

REstaurant Commercial Kitchen

Once you have all that delicious food made, it’s time to clean up! Having the right equipment for cleanup is essential for efficiency. John Boos stainless steel sinks are available with one to four bowls depending on your needs. Drainboards are available on neither, either, or both ends. Whether you run a bakery, a restaurant, or a commercial production kitchen, we have the John Boos NSF certified sink to meet your needs.

Restaurant Commercial Kitchen

If you’re running a restaurant, it is essential that your dining area is comfortable and inviting. With Boos butcher block dining tables, you get the versatility to create a classic, modern, or rustic space that fits perfectly with the aesthetic of your food. With our residential clients, we have seen butcher block implemented in high-end modern homes, cozy mountain escapes, in-home taverns, and as the centerpiece of every variation of the standard family home. It is no different in a restaurant dining room – butcher block is a gorgeous and functional addition that is appreciated by all. Boos dining tables are available in a variety of wood types with the option of staining to your specifications. Our Boos dining tops come in a variety of shapes, as well, allowing you to utilize your dining space to its fullest potential. Contact us for custom sizing or shapes. Traditional black metal bases are also available.

Restaurant Commercial Kitchen

 

If you have any questions about any of our commercial grade John Boos products, feel free to give us a call at 1-877-845-5597 or send an email to [email protected] We’re here to help you set up your commercial space with the best available products.

The Butcher Block Experts Are on the Lookout for Breakout Artisans in the Southwestern U.S.

Butcher Block Co. Looks to Expand Its Supplier Lineup

Online retailer Butcher Block Co., a leading direct-to-consumer distributor of butcher block countertops, kitchen islands, kitchen carts and cutting boards, announced today that it added two new artisanal woodcrafters to its vendor portfolio during this year’s second quarter, and it continues to search for makers of differentiated, handcrafted kitchen furniture and accessories who are based in the southwestern U.S.

Company president, Mark Shook, proclaimed that the E-commerce company “now distributes on the Butcher Block Co. website (https://butcherblockco.com) the full line of distinctive Cotton and Dust cutting boards and butcher blocks handcrafted by Matthew Harper in his West Texas design studio; as well as the innovative Scrapesation wooden grill scraper, designed and handmade by Sean Ung, based in Central Arizona.”

According to Company Vice President, Kathleen Grodsky, “Cotton and Dust artisan cutting boards and blocks are distinguished by Harper’s unusual designs, combinations of woods, and extensive use of tropical tigerwood that’s native to South America. Adding to their distinctiveness, Harper delivers his boards fully-wrapped and ready to gift, and will custom-engrave any boards, making it an even more sentimental and memorable gift.”

Grodsky described Sean Ung’s Scrapesation grill scraper as “100% maple wood and designed to compete head-to-head with steel wire grill brushes, about which the Center for Disease Control has previously issued warnings.” Specifically, in 2012, the CDC warned consumers who grill they should “be aware of the risk for ingestion of wire bristles from grill-cleaning brushes.”

“This is a great opportunity for talented artisans to get their creations in front of tens of thousands of online shoppers each month,” Shook continued. “Visitors to ButcherBlockCo.com tend to be cooking enthusiasts and at-home entertainers who appreciate fine woodworking,” he concluded.

According to Grodsky, who oversees Operations and Marketing for Butcher Block Co., “I invite Southwest-based craftsmen of distinctive kitchenware to contact me for private and confidential discussions.”

About Butcher Block Co: The Butcher Block Experts at Butcher Block Co. are the number one resource for helpful information on kitchen furniture and accessories, and one of the premier sources of butcher block countertops, kitchen islands, kitchen carts and cutting boards. They continue to offer market leading service standards, and are fortunate and thankful to have sharp, dedicated employees who share a passion for all things butcher block and a commitment to superior customer service. For more information please visit: https://butcherblockco.com

Contact:
Kathleen Grodsky
website: https://butcherblockco.com
phone: (877)845-5597

Repairing Butcher Block

Repairing Butcher Block

As a natural product, butcher block may occasionally remind you of its wild roots by showing off a small crack, wind shake, or split. Your knowledge of repairing butcher block doesn’t need to be vast in order to take care of the most common issues.

In fact, repairing butcher block is pretty simple as long as you have the right information available. Lucky for you, we’ve got just what you need!

infographic. Splits and Cracks No Worries.

 

Not so bad, right? Repairing butcher block is often a much better alternative to replacing it, saving you time and money. And remember, we’re the experts in all things butcher block, so if you’ve got a problem, we’re here to help!

Butcher Block Finish: Natural Oil vs Varnique

Butcher Block Finish: Natural Oil vs Varnique

When ordering butcher block countertops you have the option to choose a Natural Oil Finish or a Varnique Semi-Gloss Finish. The most commonly asked question we get from consumers is “What is the difference between a natural oil and a Varnique finish?” This is a great question and an easy one to answer. All you have to do is think about how you intend to use your butcher block and how much maintenance you are willing to sign up for.

NATURAL OIL FINISH

Most butcher blocks come pre-treated with a food-safe, natural oil finish that moisturizes and protects the wood and makes it safe for food preparation, including cutting. All cutting boards and chopping blocks come with a natural oil finish. This finish must be renewed through the reapplication of butcher block oil or board cream about once a month. A stained or discolored natural-oil board can be restored fairly easily by simply sanding the stained area lightly then re-oiling the board.

A natural oil finish does require monthly maintenance.

  • Oil it every 3 to 4 weeks depending upon usage. When it looks dry or lighter in color it is time to oil.
  • Boos Block ® Mystery Oil and the Boos Block ® Board Cream are recommended to be used together.
  • First apply Mystery Oil. The oil and minerals penetrate through the wood surface to increase its longevity. Let dry.
  • Then wipe on Block Cream to seal the top coating of the wood to provide a thick surface protection.
  • Tip – use a plastic grocery bag instead of a cloth to spread the Mystery Oil over a large butcher block surface. This avoids oil absorbing into a cloth or getting on your hands.

VARNIQUE SEMI-GLOSS FINISH

Varnique is a branded, varnish-like product developed by John Boos & Co. Although Varnique provides a fine-furniture look and is perfect for general kitchen chores, it is not to be cut upon, since nicks in this hard-shell coating could leave unprotected the wood beneath. Varnique provides a virtually maintenance-free semi-gloss finish that seals and protects wood. It is the finish of choice among bakers in particular, since it provides a hard, smooth, non-stick surface on which to roll dough. Although not impermeable, a surface finished with Varnique is more resistant to spotting and staining.

Varnique finish is virtually maintenance-free. It is easily cleaned with mild soap and warm water, followed by a towel dry.

Which butcher block finish is best for you?  If you want to cut on your butcher block, you must choose a natural oil finish.

Oil vs Varnique white

Oil vs Varnique.xlsx

How Butcher Block Is Made

How Butcher Block Is Made

A few years ago, when I started working for ButcherBlockCo., I had the privilege of touring the John Boos & Co. butcher block manufacturing facility in Effingham, Illinois. Seeing the process of how butcher block is made from start to finish was enlightening.  It felt a lot like making furniture by hand in a workshop, but on a much larger scale.

The process seems to be a wonderful balance of technology and science with craftsmanship and artistry, all working together to make these beautiful pieces of butcher block furniture come to life.

Here is my summary of How Butcher Block Is Made:

Harvesting Wood
Before the wood ever arrives at the manufacturing plant, individual trees are selected for harvest, encouraging forests to renew and regenerate themselves naturally. At the lumber mill, trees are cut into lumber for purchase and distribution. John Boos only buys wood from suppliers who are members of the National Hardwood Lumber Association, guaranteeing they practice responsible reforestation.
Drying Wood
When lumber arrives at the John Boos facility it is staged in their lumber yard.  Lumber is sorted, piece by piece, to gauge its grade using a “grader’s stick” to approve each board for processing. After lumber is inspected and graded it “rests” in an outdoor staging area for a few weeks as part of the first steps in the drying process.  Step two of the drying process is to transfer the lumber to gigantic, wood-fired kilns where it is dried for 18 to 28 days. The enormous kilns used to dry the lumber are heated by a boiler, which is fueled by sawdust and wood scraps generated during the process of making butcher block. After nearly a month of drying in the kiln, the cured lumber enters the start of the production process.
Production Process
All the lumber coming into the manufacturing plant is first planed and sanded to get a very flat and smooth work surface. Then it is immediately run through a glue line rip saw cutting the wood into 1.75 inch rails. Each wood rail is inspected and marked for defects using fluorescent markers, which are read by a computer to eliminate defective sections. Final rails are then sorted by grade, separating the premium rails to be used for kitchen countertops and high quality butcher block surfaces from the lower grade rails to be used for industrial countertops.
To make blended-grain butcher blocks, rails of varying length are finger jointed together, then laminated and glued side by side, hiding all finger joints. To make edge-grain butcher blocks, rails of the same length are laminated and glued together side by side, forming what then looks like a solid piece of butcher block wood. End-grain butcher block is characterized by its checkerboard appearance. This block starts with laminated edge-grain boards, that are glued and stacked on top of each other, then placed in a gigantic vice called a screw press, squeezing the wood and glue together. After drying, the block is set on end and the “ends” of the rails become the butcher block cutting surface, hence the term “end-grain.”
Finishing
All butcher block, be it blended, edge or end-grain, is then sanded down with 200 grit to provide a silky smooth cutting surface. It is then made into Boos Blocks, cutting boards, butcher block table tops, standard and custom countertops, etc.  Finally, all butcher block is finished with a treatment of food-safe mineral oil or board cream before it is allowed to leave the plant. It is packaged with care and shipped to consumers, restaurants and retailers all across the US.
Having seen how butcher block is made makes me appreciate all of the effort that has gone into what appears to be a relatively simple piece of wood.  I know I take great pride in displaying and using my John Boos butcher block every day!
Caring for Your Butcher Block

Caring for Your Butcher Block

Although my family in the Midwest would beg to differ, according to the calendar, spring has sprung.  Given I like to stick to a schedule, it IS time to at least talk about spring cleaning tips. Maybe it will even help the weather get on board!

Whether you have a traditional end-grain butcher block, a butcher block countertop, or the more portable cutting board version, caring for your butcher block is critical. Because butcher block is used in food preparation, maintaining a clean and sanitized block will help to keep your family healthy.

Given the cost of butcher block can be significant, caring for your butcher block now will protect your investment for years to come.

EVERYDAY MAINTENANCE:

  • Scrape – Remove any remaining food particles with a scraper or spatula.
  • Wash – Wipe the surface clean with a washcloth dipped in hot water and mild soap (do not soak wood in water). Rinse washcloth and wipe again.
  • Dry – Using a paper towel or dish towel, dry surface thoroughly between uses. Store cutting boards on edge to dry completely and save counter space.

BEST PRACTICES:

  • Separate your food – To avoid cross-contamination, designate one cutting board to be used for fresh produce and a second board for raw meats.
  • Wipe up spills – Always wipe up liquid spills immediately to avoid penetrating board or leaving stains.
  • Remove odors – Sprinkle table salt on board, quarter a lemon and rub the lemon into the salt across the board, squeezing the juice out as you rub. Let stand for 2-3 minutes. Wipe clean with warm water.
  • Sanitize – As frequently as required, clean your butcher block using a 1:3 ratio of vinegar to water. Wipe clean and dry.
  • Oil – Once a month apply a food-safe mineral oil (never vegetable oil) like Boos Mystery Oil to penetrate and moisturize the wood. Then apply Boos Beeswax Board Cream to help seal in the moisture.

caring for butcher block with oil

caring for your butcher block with cream

Do you have any butcher block that has been neglected? All will be forgiven after a nice oily massage!

How to Remove Stains and Scratches from Butcher Block

How to Remove Stains and Scratches from Butcher Block

One of my favorite cutting boards is the John Boos Round Herb Cutting Board that came with a nifty mezzaluna rocker knife. Not only is this board superb for chopping herbs, I use it every day to hold an unruly fruit or vegetable. The concave bowl just seems perfect for hugging that last lemon, a spare onion, or a shiny apple just waiting to be eaten. Unfortunately, I did not notice my onion went bad one day and it left a really nasty stain on the board. I wiped it up, but it had penetrated pretty deeply. Then I procrastinated about 6 months before doing anything about it! Maybe this sounds familiar. But don’t fret; there is hope.
Unsightly stains and deep scratches can be removed from butcher block to help restore their appearance. Stains can result when liquid spills are allowed to dry on the block. If addressed soon after, they can be removed pretty easily by wiping with a damp, soapy sponge, drying with paper towel, then applying some Boos Bees Wax Board Cream.

Penetrating stains, older stains, and knife gouges in butcher block will require some “muscle” but they usually can be removed!

How to remove Stubborn Stains and Scratches:

Remove stains with salt

  1. The first step is to try and remove the stain by sprinkling kosher/table salt on the stained area and rubbing with a damp sponge for a few minutes. Always rub in the direction of the wood grain to avoid further scratch damage. If the stain is still present, continue to step 2; otherwise, wipe clean and move on to step 5 to finish up.
  2. Stubborn stains or deep scratches will require sanding. There is no set “grit” or coarseness of sandpaper to use.sand 300w You will want to experiment, starting with a finer grit and working to a coarser one, until you find the grit that works.I can’t say this enough – always rub in the direction of the wood grain (not against it). Trust me, you will be tempted to do so, but please don’t, or risk further scratching the board.Once you see the stain or scratch is being removed, stick with that sandpaper. Remember: the higher the number, the finer the grit.Given butcher block is a very hard wood, it makes sense that you will need to use a coarse grit in the range of 80 to 100Stains removed to correct the problem.
  3. I would start with 150 grit and if that does not work, move to the 100 grit or 80 grit.
  4. When the stain is removed, be sure to use a couple different grit papers to sand the area to a smooth finish again. Use the 150 grit first, then finish with a 220 grit paper to restore the smoothness.
  5. Wipe the butcher block with a damp, soapy wash cloth to remove sanding dust and dry thoroughly.
  6. You must treat the exposed surfaces with a food safe mineral oil to protect and moisturize the wood. The best cure is to apply Boos Mystery Oil to penetrate the cutting board and restore the moisture. Then follow with an application of  Boos Block Board Cream to put a protective seal on the block and reduce the chances of future spills  penetrating the wood.
  7. Remember, you should apply oil or cream to your butcher block once a month to keep your board healthy.
Given my Round Herb Board is Hard Rock Maple it took me a while to find the right grit to remove the stain. I was surprised that I had to go down to a 60 grit and sand for about 15 minutes. But it was worth it! Then I used the 100, 150 and finally 220 grit, respectively, which left it feeling silky smooth again.
My beloved Herb Board looks like new. Herb is happy too!
stains removed butcher block like new
Get Organized and Stay That Way!

Get Organized and Stay That Way!

Now that you’re used to the idea of it being 2014 (I’m just assuming you’re not still writing “2013” on everything like I am), it’s time to start making good on those resolutions!

Now is a great time to get your kitchen organized in a way that makes sense for your life.

While the aesthetic of an organized kitchen is highly desirable, don’t just focus on putting things away to make the space look nicer – the key to staying organized is to set up a system that is logical, one that will be easy to maintain and will help your kitchen be more functional. We’ve been keeping track of our top sellers and best storage solutions to help you get your kitchen in tip-top shape.
Our best-selling butcher block table of the year is the John Boos Classic Country Work Table. This customizable table ranges in sizes from 36”x24” up to 60”x36”, comes in a variety of colors, and offers optional drawers, baskets, and shelves to meet your needs. This is a beautiful solution to the everyday cook’s organizational dilemmas. No wonder it was our top seller!

classic-country-kitchen-island-white organized

So many options to cater to your tastes

If you love to bake as much as you love to cook, check out the Pro Chef Prep Station, which comes with a granite inset for rolling out dough. This unique work center comes with wire baskets for stowing produce or towels, a slatted shelf for your mixing bowls and canisters, and a side rack for spices and utensils. A stainless steel pan is placed under a cut-out in the butcher block surface to catch scraps, juices, and waste for easy clean-up. This versatile workstation also features a large utility drawer with built-in knife storage.

Organized Pro Chef Prep Station

Look at all that storage!

Are you always trying out new recipes and staying on the cutting edge of technology? Well, John Boos has created the perfect addition for your kitchen: the iBlock. Available in Maple, Walnut, and Cherry, this handy little guy doubles as a cutting board and tablet holder. The iBlock comes with protective sleeves so you don’t get your tablet messy while you whisk and watch cooking shows at the same time!

iblock-cutting-board-with-stand

Keep your tablet handy without worrying about the mess

If entertaining or wine-and-cheese nights are more your style, Catskill Craftsmen has created the ultimate kitchen helper for you – the Portable Wine Island. This lovely cart can store 15 bottles of the good stuff and has a stemware rack for glasses up to 8” tall. This hardwood island also features an enclosed cabinet with an adjustable shelf, ample storage in a utility drawer, and two towel bars. The best part may just be the locking casters, though. You can prep all your hors d’oeuvres in the kitchen then roll the whole cart out for service in the dining room or on the patio.

Organized Wine Island

Entertain with ease with the Portable Wine Island

Now that we’ve introduced you to some of our most popular and helpful products, it’s time to get into gear and get your kitchen ready for a new year full of cooking, baking, experimenting, and entertaining! What has been the best addition to your kitchen? Do you have plans to get organized for the new year?

Turkey Carving Tips from a Pro

Turkey Carving Tips from a Pro

chef jSo, you read last week’s blog and are all prepped to make a delicious Thanksgiving turkey, right? Now you just need to know how to get that bird from roasting pan to table! Chef J is back with some turkey carving tips to teach you how to do it the right way.

That lovely carving set you got as a wedding gift (you know, the one with the two-prong fork and thin knife), is pretty useless for turkey carving and will do more harm than good here. Sorry about that… You should have a very sharp carving or chef’s knife for this, along with a pair of tongs, and some good old fashioned fingers. Some vinyl food service gloves will help keep things clean and prevent your hands from getting too hot.

Turkey Carving:

  • Position your beautiful birdy on a carving board so that the ends of the drumsticks are pointing toward you, breast-side up.
  • Pull the leg up and out to expose the joint. Using the tip of your knife, cut through the joint and socket. Gently pull the drumstick away from the body while “following” with your knife; the leg should cleanly separate from the body with you doing minimal cutting. You know what a drumstick looks like! Now do that again on the other side. You can serve these whole to two lucky guests or slice them up to share the love. To carve the leg, simply hold the small end upright with the fat end on your board. Slice straight down through the meat and rotate, leaving behind the bone and connective tissue.
  • To get at the white meat, rotate the turkey, or your board, so that the wings and breasts are pointed toward you and the (now missing) legs are facing away. There is a ridge bone running down the center of the breast; start about half an inch to the side of center, slicing parallel to the ridge. Cut gently, letting the rib cage guide your knife as you slice all the way through toward your cutting board while pulling the meat away in one large piece. Repeat for the other side. You will have two breast pieces and a relatively clean rib cage (don’t worry if there is a bit of meat left behind). Now you can slice the breast meat against the grain into ¼ to ½ inch pieces.
  • Flip the turkey over, breast side down, and position it so that the leg-end is facing you. Pull the wings away from the body to expose the joint. Cut through the joint and socket just like you did with the leg.
  • Starting just below where the wing was, slice toward you, separating the thigh from the body. You will have a large piece, about half the size of the breast, with one bone running through the center. Place the thigh skin-side-down on your cutting board. Using the tip of your knife, cut parallel to the bone, separating it from the meat. You should be able to gently tear the bone out with your fingers without losing any meat. Flip it over so that it is skin-side up and cut against the grain (perpendicular to where the bone was) into ¼ to ½ inch slices.

You now have a fairly clean carcass. The remaining meat can be removed by hand, picking the good stuff out from in between the bones and hard to reach places. This makes great leftovers! To get all the goodness out of your turkey, use the carcass to make some delicious turkey stock.

Turkey carving doesn’t sound so bad, does it?

It seems we all have a turkey carving horror story – follow these steps and this year it won’t be about you!

Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog to receive updates of new posts. Next week Chef J will be sharing some ideas for all that leftover turkey!