what oil to use on charcuterie board

Charcuterie boards are important for presenting food beautifully and conveniently. However, like other wooden items, it is also susceptible to deterioration over time. Knowing what oil to use on charcuterie board and how to oil charcuterie board is crucial to maintaining their beauty, functionality, and longevity.

Why Should You Oil Your Charcuterie Board?

Oiling charcuterie board brings many benefits
Oiling wood charcuterie board brings a lot of benefits
Credit: ©pamela_d_mcadams on Canva

Charcuterie boards made from wood often face many problems, such as easily absorbing food waste and becoming targets for mold. Dry wood fibers can cause a board to splinter or trap excess moisture, which might lead to warping. These problems can all be solved by periodically applying oil to increase the life of the charcuterie board. Applying oil brings the following benefits:

  • Prevent cracking and warping: Wood, when exposed to moisture and water from food or cleaning, is forced to expand or contract, making it susceptible to cracking or warping. The added oil forms a protective barrier that keeps the wood from being penetrated by other liquids.
  • Enhance appearance: Oiling brings out the natural beauty of the wood grain, enriching the board's visual appeal. Additionally, oil boards help maintain their brightness after extended usage and lessen the apparent presence of any scratches or knife marks.
  • Protect from stains and odors: Oil creates a barrier that helps prevent food stains and lingering odors from setting in. It also helps keep bacteria from being absorbed by the wood.

What Oil to Use on Charcuterie Board?

Not all oils can be used for charcuterie boards. So “What kind of oil to use on a charcuterie board?”

Types of Oils to Use

Use coconut oil on a charcuterie board


What oil to use on a charcuterie board?
Credit: @pixelshot on Canva

  • Food-grade mineral oil: This is a clear, odorless, and tasteless oil readily available and safe for food contact. It's a popular choice for its effectiveness and affordability. This oil is easy to find at drugstores, big stores, and online. Remember to choose food-grade mineral oil because other oils are not safe for humans.
  • Cutting board oil: These are often blends of mineral oil and natural ingredients like beeswax or carnauba wax. They offer a bit more protection and a slight sheen compared to pure mineral oil. Choose a food-grade and FDA-approved cutting board oil for safe use.
  • Fractionated coconut oil: Fractionated coconut oil is made by heating coconut oil to extract lauric acid and long-chain fatty acids, both of which solidify at room temperature. This liquid coconut oil is a natural alternative to mineral oil. It's food-safe, ready-to-use, and has a mild coconut scent that fades over time.

Should Read: Crafting Perfection: Choosing the Best Finish for Charcuterie Board

Types of Oils to Avoid

Avoid using vegetable oil for charcuterie boards


Avoid using vegetable oil for oiling a charcuterie board
Credit: ©stevepb on Canva

  • Vegetable oil: These oils (like olive oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, and canola oil) can go rancid over time, leaving an unpleasant odor and potentially attracting bacteria.
  • Nut oils: Similar to vegetable oil, walnut oil and almond oil can also go rancid and may trigger allergies for some people.
  • Cooking oils: These oils, designed for high-heat cooking, can leave a sticky residue on your board and are not food-safe.
  • Varnish or paint: These products can ruin the taste and aesthetics of the dish. Besides, the substances in this oil can also be toxic to humans.

How to Oil a Charcuterie Board Correctly?

Apply oil to the wood charcuterie board

Apply a small amount of oil to the wood charcuterie board
Credit: ©Alina Kurianova on Canva

First of all, you need to prepare some items for oiling:

  • Oil or wax you choose
  • Soap
  • Clean lint-free cloth (microfiber cloths are ideal)
  • Sandpaper (optional, for very dry boards)

Now comes the most interesting part, the step-by-step guide "How to oil a charcuterie board".

  • Cleanse and dry: Thoroughly wash your charcuterie board with warm, soapy water and let it air dry completely. You can also lightly sand if your board is very dry or has rough spots. Remember to wipe away any dust with a clean cloth.
  • Apply and buff oil: Use your hand or a paper towel to apply a small amount of oil to the wood charcuterie board. Gently buff the oil in a circular motion, guaranteed to cover the entire surface. Don't forget to dry the edges.
  • Buff off excess: Leave the board to absorb the oil for a minimum of 30 minutes, or even overnight for a deeper treatment. After, use a clean cloth to buff off any excess oil that may be sitting on the surface.
  • Repeat (if necessary): For a new board or a very dry board, you may need to repeat the oiling process 2-4 times, allowing the oil to soak in completely.

Should Reads: How To Make A Charcuterie Board Out Of Wood 

Some Tips for Using Charcuterie Boards

In addition to knowing what oils you should and should not use, you also need to keep in mind the following factors:

  • Avoid submerging your charcuterie board in water. This can cause the wood to warp.
  • After each use, wash your board with warm, soapy water and rinse well. Let it air-dry completely before storing.
  • Depending on usage, re-oil your board every few weeks or months.
  • Store whatever oil or wax finishing products are in cool, dark places.

You already know what oil to use on charcuterie board most effectively and safely, as well as how to oil a charcuterie board. Now let's begin oiling your favorite board!

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