We love slate serving boards because they’re beautiful, made from natural materials, and easy to clean. From kitchen tables to restaurant dining rooms, cheese served on slate always looks delicious—but there are few things to know about maintaining your slate plates and boards. Here’s how to oil your slate cheese boards so they’ll look great and last for years to come.
Why Slate Is Good for Cheese and Charcuterie Boards
With its dark color and rustic texture, slate makes just about any food look enticing. Incorporating slate into your next cheese-centric tablescape offers a dramatic contrast to the lighter, warmer tones of wood or bamboo boards. Even better, you can write directly on slate with dust-free soapstone chalk to label your cheeses and accompaniments.
There are plenty of non-aesthetic benefits to serving cheese on slate, too. Thick, well-made slate is sturdy and durable with proper handling—just avoid bumping or dropping slates, which can cause them to chip or shatter. Slate serving boards are easy to clean and non-porous, meaning they won’t absorb flavors, colors, or bacteria from food.
The Best Oil to Use on Slate Serving Boards
With the proper care and maintenance, slate serving boards can last for years. The folks at Brooklyn Slate, who make the elegant Circular Serving Slate Set we sell in our online store, treat and seal their slates with mineral oil before they arrive at your door. They recommend treating clean, dry slates with food-grade mineral oil every six months or so to keep them in good condition.
Be sure to use food-grade mineral oil, as other types aren’t safe to come into contact with food. You can find food-grade mineral oil at drugstores, kitchenware stores, and online.
How to Season a Slate Cheese Board
Before you season your slate board, make sure it’s clean and completely dry. Apply just a few drops of food-grade mineral oil to the surface, then wipe it down with a soft, lint-free cloth so a very thin layer of oil is evenly distributed all over the board.
Allow the slate to absorb the oil for a day or two or at least overnight before using. Buff away any excess, then store your slate in a safe place (if possible, avoid any high shelves or cupboards where the risk of dropping and breaking the board is higher).
With just a couple of applications of mineral oil each year, your slate serving board will have a lustrous finish and longer life. It’s the best way to keep slate cheese servers and charcuterie boards looking great for years to come.
What kind of oil do you like to use on your slate cheese boards? Tag us @cheesegrotto on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and let us know!