White Oak for cutting boards?

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Forum topic by TrevorR posted 04-04-2016 05:23 PM 910 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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33 posts in 750 days

04-04-2016 05:23 PM

Is it really not a good choice because of it’s porous nature? I have read that it’s not that big of a deal but certainly it seems their are more against it than for it.

15 replies so far

View conifur's profile


955 posts in 1117 days

#1 posted 04-04-2016 05:38 PM

White Oak is much tighter grained/pored then Red Oak, and WO if very rot resistant. I never made it from it, but then again I never made a cutting board.

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

View RibsBrisket4me's profile


1554 posts in 2471 days

#2 posted 04-04-2016 06:29 PM

I’m against using it for cutting boards. Yes the grain is tighter in white oak than red oak, but why take a chance of having bacteria getting in the grain?

If you give the cutting board as a gift, or your family uses it, you’d hate for someone to get sick or to have a rancid smelling board. That reflect poorly on the artisan.

Maple, cherry and walnut are much better choices.

View MadMark's profile


979 posts in 1419 days

#3 posted 04-04-2016 08:56 PM

I’ve got a 3/4” piece of red oak that you can both see thru and blow thru like a harmonica. It is not recommended for any form of wet cooperage. White oak is used extensively in coopering.


-- Madmark -

View AandCstyle's profile


3027 posts in 2223 days

#4 posted 04-04-2016 09:56 PM

Trevor, WO has tyloses that block off the tubes thereby preventing bacteria from getting deeply into the wood. Also, the tannins in oak have been shown to kill bacteria either through a chemical or a drying process. I have made CBs using WO for family members and, so far, nobody has reported any illness. However, like most great CBs, I don’t think they are actually used for their intended purpose very often. Also, one needs to use a bit of common sense and not cut raw chicken on their board, then slice bread on it without, at least, washing it in between. I usually suggest using one side for meat and the opposite side for everything else. FWIW

-- Art

View pintodeluxe's profile


5620 posts in 2779 days

#5 posted 04-04-2016 09:59 PM

Wood has been shown to grow less bacteria than plastic in some situations.

And the last time I checked bacteria are smaller than the grain on any type of lumber.

People say don’t use walnut on cutting boards either. I do, and it’s fine. I use white oak too, and it’s fine.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View TrevorR's profile


33 posts in 750 days

#6 posted 04-04-2016 10:03 PM

Alright WO is a go then!

This past Christmas I made several cutting boards from walnut, cherry & maple and have some cherry leftover from a hutch I built as well as QSWO from my current speaker stands build.

View cabmaker's profile


1720 posts in 2775 days

#7 posted 04-04-2016 10:04 PM

I have been chopping brisket on white oak for a good while

View sepeck's profile


342 posts in 2107 days

#8 posted 04-04-2016 10:06 PM

If it’s pretty, use it. As long as you don’t leave food to rot on it, it should be fine.

-- -Steven Peck,

View conifur's profile


955 posts in 1117 days

#9 posted 04-04-2016 10:24 PM

A little bit of bad bacterial is good for your immune system, that is how you become immune to bacteria. Ask any health/food inspector, DR, Bacteriologist, ect.
The way everyone worries about cutting boards here, I hope you only eat at home and never go out to eat.
OBTW, stay away from Sushi as well.

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

View bruc101's profile


1200 posts in 3508 days

#10 posted 04-05-2016 01:56 AM

There is nothing wrong with using oak for cutting boards. I bet there’s at least a 100 of them in this valley that’s at least 75 to a 100 years old and no one has ever gotten sick from one of them. My wife has several with oak in them and one old old old and if anyone ever got sick from it, it was because they ate to many homemade biscuits that had been rolled out on it.

Oak cutting boards

-- Bruce Free Plans

View conifur's profile


955 posts in 1117 days

#11 posted 04-05-2016 02:55 AM

In the old meat shops, my friend is an old school “journeyman”’ meat cutter, 2 years apprenticeship, 1 day a week at a 2 year college, on food safety, processing, clean room/butcher room safety/cleaning/maintenance, ect
Wood cutting blocks board, can be bleached, but kills the natural enzimyzes in the wood that fights bacterial.
Here is what he was taught, end of day, scrape off any meat/fat ect, rub in fresh cut lemon juice, sprinkle with course grain salt, rub in, sprinkle with fresh lemon juice, sit over night, next morning scrape off, take a lemon cut in half, rub in, wipe clean and proceed with the days cutting.

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

View conifur's profile


955 posts in 1117 days

#12 posted 04-05-2016 03:44 AM

All right all LISTEN UP, my nephew is a food chemist with a PHD, he has worked for Kellogs, Danon, the major micro wave pop corn guy, cant think of it, and Smugglers, now he is the head of the R&D department at the food company he works for, I will not mention it but he pulls 125K a year plus bonus.
Bacterial needs starches and sugars to grow, that is why milk cottage cheese ect turns sour, the bacterial eats up the starch/sugars that gave it a sweet taste and then is gone and a sour taste. Because it is PH based on non acid side, I cant think of the word other then base.
So why does your Ketchup, Mustard, Sour Cream, anything with vinegar in it or salty, bacon, smoked meats, ham last so much longer? It is acidic, not sugar based, nothing for bacterial to eat.
Fish, the bacteria that loves fish is stinky and grows exponential, that is why 2 day old fresh fish in your frig smells like fish, wash it b4 cooking, chicken is next and then ground meat, each one of those curly cues of meat has an exposed surface, then whole meats just 2 sides, and bacteria does not like pork and beef as much as fish and fowl.

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

View conifur's profile


955 posts in 1117 days

#13 posted 04-05-2016 05:38 AM

Opinions and experience is nice but facts are facts that is what put men on the moon with a slide rule, not a computer!!! Not opinions or guess work or experience!!!! It was facts and math

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

View Aj2's profile


1360 posts in 1764 days

#14 posted 04-05-2016 07:03 PM

I use alot of salt and garlic on my cutting boards.And some light washing if they sit overnight with food buggers on them. I believe the salt is the reason we don’t get sick from bacteria..
I do have a nice lemon tree I don’t mind adding some lemon.

-- Aj

View TrevorR's profile


33 posts in 750 days

#15 posted 04-05-2016 07:30 PM

I use distilled white vinegar to clean my cutting boards, and occasionally sea salt & lemon to remove fruit stains.

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