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Wood bench care - This strikes me as just wrong

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Today in the little bakery/cafe that I am soon to leave I overheard the owner telling a summer employee (read:unskilled) that she oils the prep bench after she wipes it down so that any water she spills on it afterward doesn't get absorbed.

Mind you this 10' x 3' wood bakery slab top has seen everything from bread dough to raw bacon. On a pretty much daily basis.

I just want a reality check here.

I've never heard of oiling a wood bench. I never thought about it at length but common sense would say all the nasties that have accumulated over the day would be trapped in the wood.

My personal use wood cutting board gets cleaned and left out in the sun for hours to dry it out and kill the leftover bugs. I'd never think of oiling it.

Hmmmm...what say you all? <I'm just scratching my head at the idea of it>

April
post #2 of 10
Yup. Oil it with natural mineral oil or beeswax.

Wood is a natual substance. It expands when hot and humid and contracts when dry and cool, and it absorbs moisture (and stains...) if a some kind of a barrier is not applied. Varnish and all that other stuff just flakes off after a while, best thing is daily or weekly application of mineral oil(a.k.a "laxitive" found in most drug stores.

A wood table is ideal for thumping around large amounts of dough,it is rock-steady and steady. It is NOT, REPEAT NOT a cutting board. Any cutting that needs to be done gets done on a cutting board that can be sanitized in the d/washer.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #3 of 10
yes i was shocked when i heard u said it you were cutting up raw bacon on it. if its for bread and dough then thats all its for, leaving a cutting board in the sun will not kill the bacteria it will let them breed with the heat. boards must be washed rinsed and sanitized
post #4 of 10
2nd... i use bees wax on all wood boards.
post #5 of 10
Although I agree.....for years at work I've worked on a tongue and groove
large chopping block....even have one at home.....weighs about 900 pounds.
As a rule all the meat was cut on this butchers block.....when done...it was
washed with mild soap and water, then wiped clean, then covered in kosher salt for about 20 or 30 minutes.....we then scraped it down with a butcher knife and brushed the remaining salt off.....I truly prefer wood, especially in regard to the edges of my knives......from what I have heard.....plastic cutting boards may be more of a risk than wood......would love to know how different members of this site care for large wooden butcher blocks and there thoughts on cleaning them....
post #6 of 10
Inexpensive, drug-store, mineral oil. You're ruining your board by not oiling it. If the table has not been oiled in more than a year, it should be oiled as follows (as should your board):.
First week, first month: First day, Second day, Fifth day. .
Second week, first month: First day.
Third week, first month: Third day
First week, second month: First day
Third week, second month: First day
First week, third month: First day
Then, once every other month.

BDL
post #7 of 10
Salting the chopping block. I didn't realize anyone did that anymore. I tried showing my staff that in a couple places that had wood boards and they all looked at me like I had 6 heads.:crazy: Nice to see someone else still does.

Seen and done the mineral oil process done as well. Probably the most common in todays kitchens.
post #8 of 10
Urban legend. One study done in the early nineties at Arizona State showed wood was safer because of its self-healing and "natural" biocidal properties. However, subsequent better studies showed that this isn't true. With proper hygiene, the substances are equally safe.

Presumably you've already seen the standard oiling schedule I posted. I oil my boards at home every third month. In a restaurant, I'd oil every month or every other month depending on how much liquid the board sees. Liquid is the enemy, especially cleaners. bleach.

My wife likes to use some sort of "food surface" commercial prep. I use 10:1 water:bleach solution in a sprayer. I disinfect after raw poultry, or very juicy meat; and my wife disinfects as part of after-cooking cleanup.

BDL
post #9 of 10
rubbing it with salt, and then with lemon helps as well and scrubbed really really well
i wont use wooden boards if i can help it, over here its illegal to use wooden boards in a commercial premise any more, and wooden knife blocks as well
when life hands you lemons, make lemon gelee, lemon meringue pie, or any other dessert your heart desires

www.theunknownchef.com
www.theunknownchef.co.nz
www.shoebridge.co.nz
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when life hands you lemons, make lemon gelee, lemon meringue pie, or any other dessert your heart desires

www.theunknownchef.com
www.theunknownchef.co.nz
www.shoebridge.co.nz
Reply
post #10 of 10
Oil after cleaning every week or month, depending on usage.
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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