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Catskill Craftsman Cutting Blocks

8 January 2010 1 views Add a Comment


Since I began cooking, I’ve graduated from hand-me-down wooden cutting boards to commercial boards of high-density polypropylene. But the idea of a massive butcher block in my work space has always been appealing to me.

Joy befell me when I finally got my hands on a big, end-grain hardwood block from Catskills Craftsmen. This thing is big (17”x17”x3”) and heavy (20+ lbs), and is now parked squarely front and center on my counter. Two weeks in, and I’m still looking for opportunities to hear that great “thunk” from my 10” Henckel’s hitting the board.

Wood is an incredible, durable cutting surface that’s easy on your knives, but it does require some unique care. The biggest difference from the poly boards is that you can’t just throw them in the dishwasher – not like this thing would fit… You can wash them, you just have to use gentle soaps and let them dry completely before re-oiling.

Block with Oil

Oiling the board is the important part of care. Oiling keeps the block from drying out and cracking, and also seals the wood against liquids and staining. Use mineral oil, as it being, well, mineral, won’t go rancid. You can find mineral oil in the pharmacy, appealingly labeled as “intestinal lubricant”. You can also get Butcher Block Oil– this is simply mineral oil, occasionally with other oils added (rosemary, lemon, etc.). As I said, I’ve had my block for two weeks and I’m still oiling it pretty much every day – end-grain wood just sucks the oil up. I’m about to begin oiling it once a week for the next month, then I should be able to slow to oiling once a month.

Keep your board clean, dry and well oiled and it should last for years…

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Submitted by: BuHi

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