Can You Use Coconut Oil on a Bamboo Cutting Board?

Coconut oil can be used on a bamboo cutting board for oiling if you don’t have food-grade mineral oil. But, not every coconut oil. It has to be of a certain type, i.e., fractioned coconut oil.

Generally speaking, cooking oils aren’t good for cutting boards, both wooden and bamboo.

This is because they can go rancid and a bad smell will begin to come out of the board.

Bamboo is similar to wood. Both are natural materials and are porous to a certain extent. This means that they can absorb liquids and odors so this is a no-go.

Regular oiling with the right oil protects the cutting boards. It creates a protective layer and closes their pores. This decreases the risk of warps and cracks and prolongs the lifespan of the board.

Below, learn the best tips for using fractioned coconut oil on bamboo cutting boards!

Can You Use Coconut Oil on a Bamboo Cutting Board?

If you don’t have a food-grade mineral oil designed for bamboo cutting boards, you can use fractioned coconut oil. This is the only type of coconut oil that can be used for oil cutting boards.

Fractioned coconut oil is what’s left after the removal of fat from regular coconut oil. It’s a popular wood and bamboo preservative and it’s safe for use.

Unlike regular coconut oil, the fractioned one can’t go rancid because i’s free of fat. So, it’s food-safe and shelf-stable.

On the other hand, you should never use unrefined coconut oil intended for culinary use to oil bamboo boards. This oil contains fat and will go rancid. As a result, your board will start to release a bad odor.

Avoid other vegetable oils too. Namely, they oxidize and then develop an odd smell that you don’t want coming from your boards!

Similar to food-safe mineral oil, fractioned coconut oil will fill the bamboo pores and create a protective barrier. When this is done, there’s no absorption of bacteria or the creation of cracks.

To season your board with coconut oil, lightly wash it with dish soap and wipe it with a clean towel. Leave it to air dry entirely. If this is the first treatment of the board, make sure you really saturate it in the oil.

Rub it into the board using a clean cloth. Avoid using a paper towel because the fibers will cling to the board’s surface.

Once you’ve rubbed the oil everywhere equally, leave the board aside. It will absorb the oil after five or ten minutes. Repeat the oiling with new boards if necessary (the board absorbed the oil fast or it still looks dry).

Leave the board to dry overnight. Place it upright on a rack.

After the first oiling, oil the board when you notice it started to absorb liquids or water faster. Reapply one layer of the oil and dry it overnight. There’s no need to oversoak it.

If you use the board daily, make sure you repeat the oiling every two or three weeks.

Why Are Oiling Bamboo Cutting Boards Important?

Bamboo, similar to wood, is an organic and porous material that’s prone to change caused by time. Namely, bamboo isn’t immune to drying, stains, and cracks.

This is why we need to oil bamboo cutting boards so that they remain glossy, beautiful, and strong. The bamboo will soak up the oil and become smoother. Also, the oiling creates mild, water resistance, which is great for the prevention of mold and bacteria.

When you oil bamboo boards regularly, you prolong the board’s lifespan and ensure the board doesn’t absorb unpleasant odors and doesn’t develop stains.

In addition to the first oiling, once you purchase the board, you should keep up the oiling by checking its condition regularly.

If the board looks dry or lighter and duller, oil it. If you notice that the board absorbs water and liquids fast, it’s time for oiling!

What Are the Best Oils for Bamboo Cutting Boards?

Mineral, food-safe oil is the most commonly used oil for wood and bamboo utensils. It has a long shelf life and it can easily be found in stores or online. This oil is a by-product of refining crude oil.

In addition to this oil, there are also other options that you can rely on. One of them is fractioned coconut oil. Other options are the following:

  • Tung oil

This oil creates a satin look and a golden tint. But, some people are allergic to it as it’s made from a nut tree.

If you’re not allergic to it, always choose a 100% pure tung oil.

  • Linseed oil

This oil is acquired from the flax plant. The boiled linseed oil contains chemicals and it’s not safe for human consumption.

This oil is praised for water-repelling characteristics and provides a glow. But, this is an organic oil so there’s a risk of rancidification.

But this doesn’t happen as fast as with some other oils and some say it doesn’t go rancid at all.

  • Walnut oil

This oil is extracted from English walnuts. It has pros and cons.

One con is allergies and the high price. And, it eventually goes rancid, the same as linseed oil. But, on the positive side, it does smell amazing!

Vegetable oils like sunflower, olive, and corn oils aren’t recommendable. They must never be used for the maintenance of wood or bamboo.

They’re prone to rancidification. This process results in a strong and unpleasant smell.

Other substances that shouldn’t be used for a board that comes into contact with food are varnish and rubbing alcohol.

Final Thoughts

You can use coconut oil on a bamboo cutting board for maintenance; however, this needs to be the right type.

This oil is known as fractioned coconut oil. It’s processed and derived from fat. This is important because it’s not prone to rancidification which results in a bad odor.

On the other hand, using unrefined coconut oil or any other vegetable oil intended for culinary purposes isn’t recommendable for oiling bamboo cutting boards!

The application of fractioned coconut oil is easy and it provides excellent results. It adds a shine to the board, closes the pores, and creates a protective barrier.

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