We love creating bountiful, delicious cheese boards to share with our favorite people—but what happens after the last morsel of cheese disappears is just as important.
After you give your bamboo cheese server a good cleaning, you’ll want to oil it every so often to extend its life and keep it looking beautiful. Here’s a rundown of the different oils available for bamboo cutting boards and cheese boards, plus how to use them.
Why You Should Oil Your Bamboo Cheese Board
It’s a good idea to oil your bamboo cheese boards, cutting boards, and butcher blocks for a few reasons. Oiling your boards will keep them from drying out and cracking, extending their life and durability.
Oil can also help boards keep their luster after long periods of use and minimize the appearance of any knife marks or scratches. The oil also acts as a barrier to outside moisture, which can keep stains and bacteria from being absorbed by the bamboo.
What Kind of Oil Should You Use on a Bamboo Cheese Board?
The most important thing a cheese board oil should do is protect the board from excess moisture on its surface and help seal in the wood’s natural moisture. Here’s a breakdown of the three main oils available for treating bamboo boards.
The most commonly used oil for cheese boards is food-grade mineral oil. This colorless, odorless oil is easy to find at drugstores, big box stores, and online. In fact, it’s what we use on our Cheese Grottos—we include a complimentary bottle of mineral oil with the purchase of each Mezzo, Fresco, and Classico so you can keep your Grotto shelves in good condition.
Mineral oil is also the most affordable of these three options, and you can buy it in bulk for even more savings—it has many household uses, including maintaining wooden furniture and countertops and treating skin issues. Be sure to seek out food-grade mineral oil, as other varieties are not safe for human consumption.
Fractionated Coconut Oil
Fractionated coconut oil is coconut oil that has been heated and processed to remove long-chain fatty acids and lauric acid, which are solid at room temperature. The result is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless product that remains liquid, even at refrigerator temperature.
These qualities make fractionated coconut oil great for oiling cheese boards. It’s also used as a dietary supplement, on hair and skin, and as cooking oil, making it a great multitasker. You can buy it in big box stores, supplement stores, or online.
Board Balm, Spoon Butter, or Butcher Block Conditioner
While it’s known by many names, this soft yet solid substance is used for maintaining boards, countertops, and other wooden tools and surfaces that come into contact with food. It’s typically a combination of beeswax and mineral oil, coconut oil, or another neutral oil.
The wax in board balm may help to minimize the appearance of cut marks on boards and make the water-resistant finish more durable. You can buy it ready-made or make your own.
How to Oil a Bamboo Cheese Board or Cutting Board
Once you’ve decided which oil to use, it’s time to apply it to your board. It’s a good idea to oil your cheese boards at least once per month to keep them in good condition.
Only apply oil to a clean cutting board that’s completely dry. After all, the point of oiling the board is to help seal it so it can resist moisture. Get the full instructions for oiling a bamboo cheese server in our post about bamboo board care and cleaning.
What kind of oil do you use to maintain your bamboo cheese boards? Tag us @cheesegrotto on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and let us know!
My fave oil to use on my wood spoons and cutting boards, as well as my cast iron pans, is a neutral oil like sunflower oil or safflower oil.
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