A butcher’s block can effectively complete any kitchen. Rich wooden blocks can add a little something to a work top to make it look homely, even if you rarely cook in there. It can also be practical because who would want to prepare meat on their work surfaces if you do cook? However, the maintenance of a wood butcher’s block can be a worry if you don’t know how to properly treat it. So read on to find out!
Regularity Of Maintenance
A wood butcher’s block should be maintained in relation to how often you use it. It should be thoroughly cleaned after every use, but generally cleaned once a week. Deep maintenance of your wood butcher’s block should occur at least once a month.
By following the advice outlined below, you can extend the life of your butcher’s block by between five and ten years. Therefore, it is more of an investment than another item for your kitchen.
Maintenance After Every Use
Cleaning after every use is important in prolonging the life of and keeping up your wood butcher’s block maintenance. As it is wooden, it will expand and soften if moisture is allowed to seep into the board so as soon as meat preparation is finished you must wipe it down.
Use a damp cloth to remove any blood and brine stains, but do not concentrate this in one area, and follow that with a dry cloth to remove any excess moisture still remaining on the block. For reasons outlined below, you should never used chemicals on the board to clean it.
Daily maintenance is similar to that performed after every use but with slight differences. Use a steel scraper on the surface of the butcher’s block to remove dust, excess moisture and bacteria. The scraper will remove approximately 80% of any remaining moisture without damaging the surface as well as ensuring that it is thoroughly clean.
If you don’t have a scraper, a spatula or similar will do, but never use anything that has harsh metal edges or teeth as that will chip the block and provide a haven for bacteria as well as weakening the wood. After scraping, you should run it vigorously with a towel. The towel should be quite fluffy to buff the surface of the block in readiness for its next use. Wood butcher’s block maintenance has to be handled with care.
Wooden butcher’s block maintenance should see it treated once a month with mineral oil. It should be administered with a dry rag, which can then also be used to buff it. Boos Mystery Oil works wonders for this purpose, but any natural mineral wood oil will do as long as the excess is removed. This process should take you at least fifteen minutes if it is carried out correctly.
General Care Tips
There are some rules as far as maintaining your wood butcher’s block is concerned. The golden rule is that you must never use cleaning solutions on it. This will only serve to degrade the wood, cause soaking and ultimately expansion. The nature of the wood would also mean that harsh detergents would most likely transfer onto your food.
You are also best to keep your butcher’s block away from any possible source of moisture, which means that it shouldn’t be kept by a window or a sink or over a dishwasher or washing machine. This is not a major point, so don’t feel as though you can’t put it in one of those locations if you have little space, but it may prolong its lifespan.
Also make sure that the block is turned every couple of months to ensure that use is evenly distributed. If one side remains in constant use then that side will degrade and develop weak spots, which regular wood butcher’s block maintenance can prevent.
As long as you look after your wood butcher’s block it will serve you well. Just be sure to keep it in good condition and maintain it regularly and you will definitely get your money’s worth.
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