Summertime Care For Butcher Block With An Oil Finish

Summertime Care For Butcher Block With An 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.

Summertime temperature and humidity changes could cause your natural oil finish butcher block to dry and crack.

With a little TLC now, you can protect your investment for the future.

summertime care TLC

For summertime care, apply John Boos Mystery Oil now, to help moisturize and restore your butcher block.

Mystery Oil is an all-natural blend of white mineral oil, carnauba wax and beeswax that restores wood by replenishing moisture lost through repeated washings and simple evaporation.

Summertime care Oil

Apply Mystery Oil liberally to the surfaces of your butcher block. Spread the oil using a clean, dry cloth. Wait several hours, or even overnight, for it to soak in. Wipe off any excess oil with a paper towel.

Repeat every 3 to 4 weeks to keep your butcher blocks in tip-top condition and to extend their useful lives.

For extra summertime care, apply Boos Beeswax Board Cream after the Mystery Oil treatment to help seal in the moisture.

Why Is My Butcher Block Cutting Board Warping?

Why Is My Butcher Block Cutting Board Warping?

Is your cutting board warping? Properly maintaining, caring for, and storing cutting boards made of wood are the keys to prolonging their lives.

Sandra, the newest member of our team of customer care experts, recognized that warping cutting boards is a common concern from our customers.  In this blog, she will share her knowledge of the subject, answer common questions and address warping cutting board concerns you may have…

Cutting boards can be found in a wide variety of materials other than wood, like bamboo, glass, rubber, composite, and plastic. While each material has its pros and cons, we are partial to wood cutting boards because they have been proven, throughout time, to be an excellent choice for durability, functionality, anti-microbial efficacy, and of course, aesthetics. But wood does require a bit more tender loving care given it is natural… sourced from a living, breathing tree. Even after it is cut down, wood will still react to its environment; it will expand and contract to changes in temperature and humidity. Without proper TLC, butcher block can experience drying, cracking, and warping.

DRYING/CRACKING
If you allow your board to get excessively dry it can lead to splitting and cracking. It is of the utmost importance that you clean and oil your board regularly. An average user should moisturize their board monthly with mineral oil to prevent excessive dryness. If your butcher block undergoes frequent/heavy use, you should oil it every two weeks. Also, it is just as important to NOT over oil your board! Excessive oiling will over-saturate the wood, causing a breakdown of the fibers and construction. We recommend John Boos Mystery Oil.

mineral oil
WARPING

Warping of wood is a result of a moisture imbalance between the top and bottom surfaces. There are 3 common causes of warping in butcher block cutting boards:

  1. Inadequate oiling – The most common cause of cutting board warping is from oiling one surface of the cutting board, and neglecting the rest of the board. You must oil all six sides of the board to prevent warping.
  2. Insufficient drying – Another common cause of cutting board warping is insufficient drying after cleansing. After scraping, washing and rinsing, you must towel-dry the cutting board and set it on its edge to air dry. This will allow air flow around the entire board. Never submerge a cutting board in water or put in the dishwasher.
  3. Improper storing – Where and how you store your wood cutting boards can have an impact on warping. While a cutting board made of plastic, glass, or composite can be stored lying flat in a drawer, cabinet or countertop without worry, this is not true for wood cutting boards. The best way to store a wood cutting board is on its edge and never in direct sunlight. When left on a cold, stone countertop, the wood is not allowed to breathe and a moisture imbalance can occur. If you love the beauty of your cutting board and want to show it off in your kitchen, you can safely display it flat on the countertop… with a little added help. You just need to make sure you store it in a way that will still promote air flow to the bottom surface. You can choose to add rubber feet/pads to each of the bottom corners; or for a reversible board, you can place it on top of a mesh rubber mat that will lift it up off the counter to allow air circulation.
cutting board storage

REMEDY FOR WARPING BOARDS
If you have a warped cutting board, it may not be too late to attempt to remedy the warp. The concave side (inward curving surface) is the dry side, and the convex side (hump side) is the side that has more moisture. The key is to moisturize the dry side while leaving the opposite side exposed to air.
Step 1: Generously oil the concave side of the board with mineral oil.
Step 2: Tape plastic on the entire concave side to lock in moisture, using something like dry cleaning bags or plastic food wrap.
Step 3: On a flat surface (preferably not cold granite or concrete), flip the board over so the concave surface faces down. Place a cookie sheet on top of the hump, then place some weight on the cookie sheet (try a bag of sugar or flour, not to exceed 5 lbs).
Step 4: Let it set for about 1 week to allow the board to slowly correct itself.
Step 5: Unwrap, lightly oil the entire board, wipe dry, and store on edge.

cutting board warping explained

Love your butcher block cutting board. For more ways to show you care, visit our Help Center for Butcher Block Care & Repair Tips, FAQs, Guides and more.

Mineral Oil Applicator Makes It Easy to Care For Your Butcher Block

Mineral Oil Applicator Makes It Easy to Care For Your Butcher Block

Our customers love their butcher blocks. Many folks invest a great deal of money in their cutting board, butcher block table, or countertop, so it goes without saying that they will want to protect their investment with proper butcher block care. And proper care means oiling your natural finish butcher block once a month!

Butcher block is a natural, “living” product that responds to the environment around it. It will lose moisture through repeated use, washings and simple evaporation. On top of that, temperature and humidity fluctuations brought about by seasonal weather changes can increase the risk for an untreated butcher block to dry out and possibly crack!  Don’t let that happen. Here is what you need to do:  Watch our short video – How To Care For Your Butcher Block

An especially effective maintenance regimen involves the use of both block oil and board cream using an easy-to-use mineral oil applicator:

  • MOISTURIZE butcher block with a food-grade mineral oil once a month to keep it from drying and cracking. We recommend you first apply a coat of John Boos Mystery Oil . This mineral oil based product will penetrate deep into the block, moisturizing the wood.
  • PROTECT butcher block by applying a beeswax board cream to lock in the moisture and provide a protective barrier. After the mineral oil application, apply John Boos Beeswax Board Cream to lock in the moisture and leave a silky, wax barrier on the surface of the wood.

This one-two punch, using both oil and cream, is an especially effective maintenance regimen.

Now, it is even easier than ever to extend the beauty and life of any butcher block with this no-mess mineral oil applicator. Use it to apply both block oil and cream to your butcher block every 4 weeks.Mineral Oil Applicator

Visit our Butcher Block Co. Help Center for more information on care and repair of butcher block.

Summertime Care for Your Butcher Block Starts with Mineral Oil!

Summertime Care for Your Butcher Block Starts with Mineral Oil!

Whether you have a traditional end-grain butcher block, a butcher block countertop, or a cutting board version, it is critical this summer that you apply mineral oil to your butcher block.

Moisturize – Butcher Block with an oil finish needs to be re-oiled with mineral oil to keep it from drying and cracking.

Summertime is here!  Temperature and humidity changes could cause your butcher block to dry and crack. Exposure to extremes in humidity can swell and shrink a butcher block enough to cause checks in its surface. And high temperatures certainly can dry out the wood and cause cracks. What is the remedy? Oil your butcher block with food-grade mineral oil!

You can extend the beauty and life of any butcher block with a natural oil finish by reapplying butcher block mineral oil NOW and every 4 weeks.

If you use your block every day, moisturize more often. This will help prevent it from drying out and cracking.

Apply a generous amount of mineral oil to the butcher block surface then spread it evenly using a plastic grocery bag. (This is preferred to using a cloth, which will absorb too much oil). Smooth it over the entire top and sides of the block. Allow it to stand overnight. In the morning, remove any excess oil with a paper towel.

Protect – Reapply a board cream to lock in moisture and provide a protective barrier.

An especially effective maintenance regimen involves the use of both block oil and board cream. We recommend you first apply a coat of John Boos Mystery Oil (their proprietary mineral oil based product) following the instructions above. The mineral oil will penetrate deep into the block moisturizing the wood. Then apply John Boos Beeswax Board Cream to lock in the moisture and leave a silky, wax barrier on the surface of the wood.Mineral Oil and Cream


Avoid Sun and Water – Store your butcher block and cutting boards out of direct sunlight and keep them away from standing water.

Direct sunlight on wood is a no-no. When possible, move your wood blocks, cutting boards, and even wooden utensils out of direct sunlight.  And always wipe up spills on butcher block right away. Any standing water on a butcher block, especially one that is not moisturized and sealed, can cause damage.

Given the cost of butcher block can be significant, caring for your butcher block will protect your investment down the road. 

More Butcher Block Care

These helpful tips are applicable any time of year, not just summertime. So, remember to keep your butcher block healthy and protect your investment with a little tender loving mineral oil care.  If you seek more information, reference our Complete Butcher Block Care and Repair Guide.