Taking care of your butchers block
Eagle Butchers Blocks are made from real wood, a natural material that responds to changes in temperature and humidity. These changes can set up tremendous internal forces in the block and their shape and dimensions may change with the seasons. If warping or edge cracking appears it is related to uneven changes in temperature or humidity. Keep your block dry, away from heat and allow it to dry evenly. Regular oiling helps to prevent these problems because it keeps water from entering the block.
By following a few easy usage rules and maintenance steps, the life of a butcher block is almost unlimited:
- Wash your butcher block by hand using a scouring pad or stiff nylon brush using anti-bacterial dish soap and a small amount of warm water. Add a small amount of bleach or vinegar to the water for extra bacteria killing power after chopping bacteria carrying foods such as raw chicken. You can also rub the block with a half a lemon to kill bacteria. Thoroughly dry the block after washing.
- Periodically oil the butchers block with butcher block oil or mineral oil. Letting the butchers block dry out because of a lack of oil is the number one cause of problems with the block. Oiling will help keep that beautiful sheen. I find raw linseed oil is the best liberally applied with a paint brush. DO NOT USE BOILED LINSEED OIL!
- Do not allow liquid to stand on the butcher block for a long period of time, it will stain the block and cause the wood to expand, causing glue joint failure and warp.
- Use a steel scraper or sandpaper as needed to keep the top smooth and free of deep cuts and food buildup, then re-oil the top.
- Work with different areas of the block to help it wear evenly. Do not use a razor sharpened edge on your cleaver it will chip out the wood.
- Do not expose tops to excessive heat, cold or moisture! Never place near a stove or burner. Rayburns and Agas are generally ok as the sides do not generate a lot of heat.
|Edge Cracks and Splits||Excessive dryness from lack of oil or exposure to heat||Small splits in the end grain can be expected. Most of the time this is only a cosmetic condition and needs no attention. But if you want to fill the splits, use a good wood filler,(Ronseal multi purpose wood filler-Medium Mahogany colour). After filling the split, let the filler dry, then sand off any excess and re-oil.|
|Stains||Allowing food to remain on the top too long||Use lightweight sandpaper on stain and re-oil. Stain will dissipate in wood grain over time. Work only with grain, not against it.|
|Gouges, Dents||External influences||Simply sand out imperfections and re-oil.|
|Dark Streaks in Wood||Natural coloring of wood||No repair is needed - adds to the individuality of your butcher block.|
|Oil Residue||Build-up of excess oil||Clean excess oil with mineral spirits and then wash with soapy water. Dry.|