I adore Butcher Block. In fact I have always loved butcher block, and lately I have been seeing it everywhere. It is absolutely trendy right now.
I love the way the natural wood warms up any space, but most of all, I love the functionality of butcher block. I mean, what else can you cut on, roll on, spill red wine on, and will then stand up to more use and abuse? Nothing, that’s what. Although butcher block can deal with a lot of abuse, there are a couple of things it is susceptible to. One is hot pots, I know this is common sense, but just judging by the amount of black rings I have seen on many a butcher block, I suppose some of us need a reminder. And the other is dehydration and neglect. I’m sure you have all seen this: a dull and almost dusty looking butcher block that hasn’t seen a drop of oil in it’s sad lonely existence. Why is that? Why is it so common to see used and abused butcher block? It is rare that I see well cared for butcher block, whether it be an entire countertop or island, or a simple cutting board.
So today I thought, with it’s surge in recent popularity, I would go over proper oiling of your butcher block so we can all do our part to reduce the number of abused and neglected boards. First off, supplies. Literally the only thing you need is Mineral Oil. I get mine from the local grocery store because it is about half the price than it is at CVS or Rite Aide. But, it is still very inexpensive at any of those national pharmacy chains. Do Not, I repeat, Do Not use any other type of oil. Other oils will go rancid and you will have rotten oil on your block – bad juju. You can use a rag or paper towel to spread the oil, but honestly I just use my hands. It is less cleanup and less waste of the oil. And seriously, I kinda like the way the oil feels – slimy, smooth, and soothing – weird I know.
Notice the dull quality that my butcherblock has. As soon as I start to notice it, I know it is time to give a good oil rub down to my island countertop.
Next, just spread the mineral oil generously over the butcher block. You can see about how much I use; you may need more or less depending on how dry your butcher block is. Rub on evenly with hands or rag that you have chosen.
Now let your butcher block sit with the oil on top overnight, and in the morning wipe away any excess oil. That is it. I do this about once a month to every other month. Seriously, just whenever I start to notice it getting a little dull. I included a picture above so that you can see the difference between wood that has never been oiled and the well oiled wood. Notice the difference in the color, the unoiled wood is almost white next to the oiled wood.
And there you have it, the secret to a well-kept butcher block. Always remember – Take care of your butcher block and it will take care of you!!