Can You Season a Cutting Board with Olive Oil?

You can season a cutting board with olive oil, but it’s not recommendable!

Although oiling wooden cutting boards is beneficial, this must never be done with any type of cooking oil, including olive oil.

Any edible oil can go rancid and this could affect the food being prepped on that board.

The best oil for taking care of your wooden cutting boards is food-grade mineral oil.

It’s water repellent and it contains waxes. It won’t affect the food you’re prepping on the board in any way, yet it will nourish the wood.

In addition to mineral oil, you can also use beeswax as part of your wooden board maintenance, as well as some other ingredients.

Continue reading and learn more about optimal care for your wooden cutting boards. And, read more about the importance of food-grade mineral oil.

Can You Season a Cutting Board with Olive Oil?

Many people oil their wooden boards with edible oils like olive oil or coconut oil.

However, this practice should be avoided. You should also bypass other vegetable oils like sunflower and cornflower oil. This is because these oils are prone to rancidification.

This process results in an unpleasant smell and taste. Since cutting boards touch the food we consume, the rancid substances can mess up the food’s taste and smell.

Which Oils Are Suitable for Oiling Wooden Cutting Boards?

Vegetable oils shouldn’t be used for oiling wooden cutting boards and other wooden utensils. But there are plenty of other options you can use! Here are some of them:

  • Food-grade mineral oil (liquid paraffin)

Non-toxic and non-drying, this oil is derived from petroleum and it’s flavorless, odorless, and colorless.

It has the ability to avert the absorption of water.

It’s used for seasoning wooden kitchen utensils, including wooden cutting boards.

Always choose the ones labeled food-safe because there are mineral oils that aren’t safe for human consumption.

This oil will lower the dryness and cracks on the board and also prevent any liquids, that are the source of bacteria, to enter the pores.

  • Beeswax

Being a natural substance, beeswax is water-resistant and food-safe.

It happens to be an excellent moisturizer and shiner for wooden cutting boards and wooden utensils. By using it for your wooden kitchen items, they’ll look new.

Yet, as beeswax is solid, the wood has a harder time absorbing it.

So, it’s best to mix it with oil to ease the application.

Combine it with mineral oil and this won’t just better the texture, but increase the water resistance. Warm the beeswax and oil. If you add mineral oil, use twice as much as beeswax.

Apply two tablespoons of the blend and rub it into the board. Apply more if needed.

  • Linseed oil

This food-based oil is extracted from mashed flaxseed.

The raw linseed oil is free of toxins. It betters the appearance of wood grain and adds a touch of life to worn-out cutting boards.

But, it’s not entirely waterproof and it takes a longer time to set in so the drying will be longer (it dries somewhere on the third day).

However, it may also need around 2 months to cure all the way through. Reapply it frequently as it stays shorter than other oils.

  • Baking soda & lemon juice

Although these cleaning products aren’t oils, they’re used for the same purpose.

And, they can be used together. This combo cleans unpleasant smells and stubborn stains from wooden cutting boards.

Pour a few drops of lemon juice onto the board and sprinkle baking soda. Rub it in using a sponge or a wet cloth.

Wash it well and dry it. You can add these two ingredients to other food-safe oils to optimize the board’s smell.

Why Should You Oil Your Wooden Boards Regularly?

Wooden kitchen tools, including wooden cutting boards, have natural pores.

And, these pores may absorb bad bacteria and become an ideal breeding ground for mold. The fibers of wood may also dry out and cause splinters.

These splinters may harbor surplus moisture that can result in warping.

This is where oiling comes into the picture. When you apply quality oil, either quarterly or monthly, you help the wooden board last longer and perform optimally.

How to Oil Your Wooden Cutting Boards?

Oiling your wooden boards helps maintain them in good shape for years.

Despite being known as more demanding in terms of care and effort, wooden boards for cutting are a lovely and practical addition to any kitchen.

They keep your knives in top shape and can also be used as serving platters. Wooden cutting boards can also be custom-made to meet the user’s preferences.

Follow these steps for optimal oiling of your wooden cutting boards:

  • Choose the right oil

Although food-grade mineral oil is the preferred and most popular option, there are many other safe bets.

Some of them are beeswax and linseed oil.

  • Spread the oil

Cover the board with the oil.

Pour several tablespoons and rub it into it using a paper towel or a clean and soft cloth. Make sure all surfaces are covered, especially the end grains.

  • Remove surplus oil

Never leave running oil on the board. Any surplus oil should be wiped away.

  • Repeat once more

Repeat the application and rubbing of the oil, especially if you have a new wooden board that hasn’t been treated before.

  • Leave it to dry

Place the board onto a dish rack and leave it overnight to dry. The next day, wipe it once more. If it still feels wet, it needs to dry more. When it’s dry, it’s ready for use.

Extra Tips to Consider

If you want to maximize your wooden board oiling method, check out these tips:

  • Use quality oil like food-grade mineral oil or linseed oil; avoid veggie oils like olive or sunflower oil due to the rancid odor they can develop
  • Wooden boards are the only ones that need oiling
  • Keep wooden boards away from the dishwasher
  • Don’t bleach your wooden boards, but always opt for soapy water
  • White vinegar (diluted) is a great alternative to bleach

Final Thoughts

Seasoning cutting boards with olive oil is a common practice; but, it’s not the right way to do it.

Vegetable oils, including olive oil, are prone to rancidification. So, the bad smell they’ll release can affect the foods prepped on the board.

This is why it’s essential to pick the right oil for the job. Food-grade mineral oil, but also beeswax and linseed oil, can do wonders for your wooden boards and utensils.

Oiling is an important maintenance aspect for your wooden cutting boards. It offers plenty of benefits, including a shinier surface and reduced pores.

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