Finishing Question: Who has made their own "butcher block oil"?

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Forum topic by Jonathan posted 02-27-2011 05:48 PM 4102 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Jonathan's profile


2608 posts in 3015 days

02-27-2011 05:48 PM

Topic tags/keywords: block oil mineral oil butcher block butcher block finish cutting board cutting board finish end grain end grain finish end grain cutting board finish linseed oil raw linseed oil orange oil salad bowl finish sbf lemon oil boos mystery block oil

I know there are several different camps on what finish to apply to cutting boards and butcher blocks, ranging from mineral oil, mineral oil and wax, walnut oil, salad bowl finish, and others as well.

I just completed a pizza peel and was deciding what finish to apply. I thought I’d go with mineral oil. Someone had also suggested the Boos Block Mystery Oil, which is a combination of mineral oil, raw linseed oil, and orange oil. I thought that might be an interesting combination and a little bit different than straight mineral oil, and something that would not go rancid like vegetable oil, olive oil, etc. tend to do (which is why I never use them on wood items).

My question is, who here has made their own recipe of “butcher block oil” and what did you all put in it, as well as what proportions did you mix it at? Anybody made one including linseed like the one mentioned above? How about orange oil, lemon oil, etc.?

I ended up going with the straight mineral oil as I didn’t want to wait, or pay for the shipping of the mystery oil above, since I couldn’t find it locally. I’m asking for future alternative finishing possibilities though.

Thanks for sharing your recipes!

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

6 replies so far

View lew's profile


12017 posts in 3720 days

#1 posted 02-27-2011 09:40 PM

Is the peel going to be used in a “real”- read HOT- oven. If so, my opinion is to just use the wood as is and use a little corn meal as a “lubricant”. A very high heat exposure may not be good on the oils. If you are using it in a “home” oven, I’d probably stick with mineral oil.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Jonathan's profile


2608 posts in 3015 days

#2 posted 02-27-2011 09:44 PM

lew, This is for our regular home oven, nothing fancy, or ultra-hot. The oven will be set at 500-degrees F, or lower, with the peel obviously only touching the pizza stone in the oven at that temperature for a few seconds at a time.

I know that linseed oil is good for very high temperatures, and read an article a couple of months ago in one of the cooking magazines about seasoning a new cast iron skillet with linseed oil, rather than the traditional vegetable oil cycling.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3299 days

#3 posted 02-28-2011 01:55 AM

Hi Jonathan. I have heard that walnut oil is good, but I don’t know how it reacts with heat. Linseed oil has a strong smell and can get gooey. Oils don’t really do much for the wood anyway, except to keep it looking good, so your mineral oil is probably the best and easily renewable.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Gofor's profile


470 posts in 3751 days

#4 posted 02-28-2011 03:05 AM

Jonathan: I am assuming the linseed oil you are referring to is raw linseed oil (flax seed oil). Most commercial “Boiled Linseed Oil” (BLO) has metallic driers in it rather than having actually been boiled to make it cure, which I would be leery about using on a heated cooking surface. Using raw oil to season a skillet would achieve the curing effect that used to be part of the process for BLO.

I am under the impression that commercial BLO is considered inedible. The reason I bring up the question is that this is a woodworking forum, and most people think of BLO when the term “linseed oil” is used..


-- Go

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1519 posts in 4089 days

#5 posted 03-01-2011 01:58 AM

The problem I have with linseed oil is that as flax oil, unheated, it’s supposedly fairly healthy for you, but when it’s heated those essential fatty acids are supposed to break down into things that are pretty bad for you. So I avoid flax/linseed like a bad similé for anything that might get heated.

I use walnut oil on my cutting boards and wooden utensils, and I’m a total fan of that.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View ChefHDAN's profile


1057 posts in 2814 days

#6 posted 03-01-2011 03:24 AM

Gofor, you’re right on the money, BLO is NOT food safe and should not be use for food contact surfaces, thanks for bringing that up

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

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