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Is red oak safe for end grain cutting boards

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Forum topic by KnifeLife posted 1169 days ago 6297 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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KnifeLife

14 posts in 1180 days


1169 days ago

I saw a coment that Red Oak is NOT safe for cutting boards (end grain or Long grain) anyone got an opinion on this. I have been using all kinds of oar red and white for years and have had no problems with it actually it seems hard to get it to take oil when your curing it
JD


10 replies so far

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2163 posts in 1452 days


#1 posted 1169 days ago

Red oak is so longitudinally porous that you can breathe through it. The indicates to me a wonderful warm place for bacteria to gather, well out of sight. I wouldn’t use it at all for a cutting board.

Stick to the accepted choices which include maple and cherry.

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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KnifeLife

14 posts in 1180 days


#2 posted 1169 days ago

I found this online so I am confused http://www.butcherblock.com/detail/end-grain-island-tops-79/
JD

View christopheralan's profile

christopheralan

1105 posts in 2322 days


#3 posted 1169 days ago

I wouldn’t use it; too porous. I think that many people who know little about woodwork hold red-oak as the “wood to end all woods.” I have met my fair share who say, ”...its solid red-oak, it must be great!”

There are far better woods out there that I would rather use. Good luck!

-- christopheralan http://www.projectwoodworks.com

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childress

841 posts in 2143 days


#4 posted 1169 days ago

Red oak is perfectly “safe” to use. Just not recommended by many because it’s open grain. Most don’t realize that there is a difference between “open grain” and “porous”. All hardwoods are porous by definition and some woods have bigger pores than others. White oak has large pores but is closed grained due to the tyloses in it (That’s why it’s used for whiskey and wine barrels). Red oak is “open grained” with large pores, which is why it’s frowned upon in the cutting board world. I don’t believe bacteria can survive long on any wood so I wouldn’t worry too much from that standpoint. My guess would be that the biggest problem is having juices and such get soaked in too deep causing stains and odors to linger. I would just make sure you seal the wood as best as possible and the most common way to do that is with beeswax. Beeswax is the most common wax with food prepping tools….

My $.02

-- Childress Woodworks

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KnifeLife

14 posts in 1180 days


#5 posted 1168 days ago

I dont use Red Oak for conventional cutting boards. I did want to use it for a butcherblock island top but I think I will use something like hickory bnecause the color is more like what I want
JD

View pvwoodcrafts's profile

pvwoodcrafts

222 posts in 2523 days


#6 posted 1168 days ago

My $.02 worth. we have been using a red oak cutting board for nearly 20 years. use it for meat , veg and anything else.To my knowledge none of the family has had as much as a belly ache because of it. Doesn’t mean it can’t happen , just hasn’t made us any problems.

-- mike & judy western md. www. pvwoodcrafts.com pvwccf1@verizon.net

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KnifeLife

14 posts in 1180 days


#7 posted 1168 days ago

I actually have access to some FREE solid 3X3X48 inch red Oak stock That I might use for the Island top it would make an awsome end grain Butcher block

View zindel's profile

zindel

256 posts in 1251 days


#8 posted 1168 days ago

My advice is that the wood shouldn’t matter as long as you pick the correct type of finish. I would say with red oak or any wood that is so open grained, don’t use things like wax or oil as your only finish, its just not enough to keep it water tight. I would suggest using a lot and i mean like 6 or 7 coats of salad bowl finish to make sure that it is fully water tight. I had a few cutting boards that the had a few holes in them due to not the best fit (my bad) but they filled in with some saw dust/glue/ and salad bowl finish and they are 100% water tight. Plus it adds a great finish to any wood.

-- If you can't fix it with a hammer, You've got an electrical problem.

View Jon Spelbring's profile

Jon Spelbring

199 posts in 2855 days


#9 posted 1168 days ago

Red Oak? Burns purty. That’s the only use I have for it.

-- To do is to be

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 2916 days


#10 posted 1167 days ago

Some times we think too much. The factory raised meat you buy is much more likely to kill you than a bit of Oak.
Oak is a wonderful wood. We’ve just seen so much of it in cheap crap that we forget it’s potential.

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