Cutting Boards


I am going to make several cutting boards out of 3/4" red oak and give away as Christmas gifts. Any suggestions as to how to finish them would be appreciated. I think I read somewhere that mineral oil works well and if so how many coats and how often should it be done e mail works great for me
TIA Andy Franklin, t
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A search of this news group revealed this document:
http://groups.google.com/group/rec.woodworking/browse_thread/thread/a5b532cc2d8d58f2/197d27438c2d96f8?lnk=st&q=cutting+board+finish&rnum=3&hl=en#197d27438c2d96f8
Jim www.woodblog.com
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andy anderson wrote:

I can't seem to find it just now, but I do remember someone saying that anything which tends to waterproof the boards also inhibits the bacteria-absorbing action of wooden cutting boards.
Chris
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andy anderson writes:

Red oak is porous.
Don't think it is a good choice for a cutting board.
Might want to use maple.
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

Yes, maple is a good choice. Also beech may be available.
--

FF


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Terrible choice of wood for a cutting board BTW. A tight-grained wood such as maple is a better choice.
My family has used naked wood cutting boards for a couple of generations and has yet to loose a member. No finish is necessary.
-Steve

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Maybe you're just lucky. Several members of the previous two generations of my family have died. How old is your grandfather?
Stephen M wrote:

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Stephen M Wrote: >

> generations and

I agree. But I also understand that we now live in a different time, different bacteria, some immune to the antibiotics livestock are given. Also reference other critters like mad cow disease, something our relatives of past never had to content with. My relatives used to slaughter their own animals, some would drink the blood warm which was common at the time, but dont even think about doing that today. Nope, were in a different world now.
I thought about the cutting board thing, too. There are two kinds of cutting boards, those you use and those you hang on the wall and look at. For a board intended to be used, perhaps a really nice, heavy wood board with a large recessed area that a thin plastic cutting board can drop into. You can make the wood base out of any wood, any finish since it wont be in contact with any food, only food juices that get tossed. And the plastic part can be tossed into a dishwasher. Cutting board plastic is available in diferent colors and thichnesses at places like Tap Plastic.
--
joe2


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Luigi wrote:
<<Has anybody actually ever had a cutting board go rancid on them? IME,
with normal wiping & washing, the oil comes off before it gets a chance to go rancid. I've used Canola & olive oil with no ill effects.

Me, too. Been doing it now for years. On cutting boards that I use constantly (frustrated chef here) to the spoons, stirrers, dippers, ladles, spatulas, and salad tongs that I make to sell and give away.
I am thinking that some people leave their used boards and utensils in the sink in dishwater or something like that.
Never, ever, not once have I had a problem with olive oil or canola oil going bad. Not since I started making utensils and cutting boards almost 35 years ago. (35?...yikes!)
I soak them for a couple of days in warm oil, them dry them off, and re - oil as needed with a quick coat and paper towel about every 6 months or so.
Robert
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Incomplete oxidation is what rancid means. If the entire surface is exposed to the open air, no rancid. If you lay it on the counter top for a few days, don't flip it over unless you're prepared to wash it.
Best to go bare, and make distinctive boards for food to be consumed raw and food to be cooked.
If you must oil, use something like walnut oil, because it cures. Uncured finishes provide a haven for oil-soluble dirt and bacteria with hydrophobic layers exposed to the environment. To get them off, you have to wash away the oil. Seems a silly way to do things. Same with porous woods, where there are more physical hiding spots. In order to root the gunk out, you have to scrape it out of the pores.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com Wrote:

I went over to AmericasTestKitchen.com and looked up cutting boards in their science section. They conducted a laboratory test growing food bacteria on both plastic and wood cutting boards. Both surfaces grow about the same amount of bacteria. Both prove similar surfaces the bacteria can cling to/hold on to. The bacteria stay alive for close to 60hrs on either surface. After cleaning each surface with 1/4 cup bleach to 1 gal water, both surfaces had similar bacteria residue still alive and able to grow in a petri dish, the plastic cutting board had a little less bacteria but not enough of a difference that it matters. Bottom line, its not what material your cutting board is made of, it is how it is cleaned. Plastic can be tossed into a dishwasher/sanitized. There was no mention of the type of oil to use on a wooden cutting board, tho I recall seeing it mentioned in a back issue of Cooks magazine (the publication of Americas Test Kitchen). I believe it was vegetable oil/salad oil. Ill see if I can find it and post back here.
--
joe2

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Joe2:
I believe it was indeed salad oil. But you will never, ever win this or make your point to the satisfaction of some.
My red oak (there... I said it.... I admit it) cutting board has been wonderfully resilient over the years, but I do not use it for meats of any type. It has literally seen hundreds of pounds of veggies, homemade bread, etc. on its top over the years. As advised by my "real" chef friend, it is washed with bath tub cleanser and a stainless scrub pad after each use.
For meats, my cutting board is some kind of nasty hard birch that shone when it came out of the planer, and my carving/serving board is maple.
On something as silly as cutting boards wood stuff in the kitchen, I say use what you like if it doesn't make you sick. I am sure that many of the old bowls, cutting boards and kitchen utensils that were in use for a few hundred years before the turn of century developed their patina from them animal and vegetable fats that were absorbed into the wood.
Think about a wooden ladle soup into a wooden soup bowl eaten with a wooden spoon. Yet these folks didn't have antibacterial soaps, chlorine cleanser, Mahoney's special curing walnut oils, and sadly many didn't have the luxury of choosing all their woods. Seems like they did alright in retrospect.
I am wondering why this thread hasn't started a flame war as it has in the past...
Robert
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Your comment got me to thinking (a dangerous thing indeed...) - look at all of the wooden salad bowels in use that see gallons of vegetable oil soaked into them, and only really see a casual washing. It's not like housewives all across America spend any extra attention really super scrubbing their salad bowls to get the veggie oil residue out. Yet - it's been quite a while since I've read of an outbreak of rancid veggie oil related illness. Not that I discount the notion, but I have to wonder how much is being made of the issue. Sometimes these things take on lives of their own in forums like this - become "facts" in spite of themselves.
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
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Mike Marlow wrote:

I've smelled "rancid" cutting boards. You haven't been getting out enough, Mike. :) Rancid bowls and boards is NOT a figment of the public's imagination. Proper care prevents it, though.
http://www.hollandbowlmill.com/faq.htm - just one of many hits on the topic.
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Fiber in salad does help the bowels, and indigestible oils lubricate them.
As to salad bowls and oils - or popcorn bowls, for that matter - storing them stacked for any length of time will bring up the rancid reek. Fortunately, since it's incomplete oxidative process at cause, a wipe with bleach seems all they need
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On 1 Nov 2005 22:14:26 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

my mom has a pine cutting board that was her mom's. it has a dip in the middle of maybe 1/4" from use. I have eaten plenty of food cut on it and (tm joat) I at'nt dead
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wrote:

not really. same bacteria but acclimated to antibiotics. what does that have to do with cutting boards? are your cutting boards made out of commercial drug company antibiotics?

sure they did. they just didn't have that name for it. and they didn't have factory farming practices to spread it around so fast.
besides, wood cutting boards would probably resist Creutzfeldt-Jakob better than plastic anyway.

neither would I, but for different reasons.
I bet your ancestors weren't factory farmers, eh?
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Masai.
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andy anderson wrote:

save the red oak for something else
maple is the de facto standard, for good reason.
Dave
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If you really want to use red oak, use a salad bowl varnish. It is non toxic when properly cured and should fill pours if coated enough. Actually its really a great finish to work with. I know my local woodcraft carries it, but I'm not sure who else does and I can't remember the maker at this moment.
don
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