What is the Best Oil for Wood Cutting Boards?

What is the best oil for wood cutting boards? Food-grade mineral oil!

Wood has been used for cutting board creation for centuries. And for good reason – it’s durable, beautiful, and easy to clean. But not all wood is created equal. But what about the best cutting board oils?

Wood fibers in cutting boards, wooden spoons, and other wooden kitchen utensils demand a food safe oil; cooking oils and other vegetable oils simply won’t do!

Hardwoods like acacia, maple, walnut, and cherry are ideal for cutting boards because they’re strong and dense. Softer woods like bamboo are more prone to damage and scarring. However, whether it’s a new cutting board, some wooden kitchen tools, or one of the older wooden surfaces in your kitchen, you’re likely looking for a cutting board conditioner that will keep toxic chemicals from building up in your wood.

When it comes to oiling your cutting board, the best option is food-grade oil, particularly, mineral oil. This type of oil is odorless, colorless, and tasteless, so it won’t affect the flavor of your food. Plus, it’s easy to find and relatively inexpensive.

We believe the best oil for wood cutting boards is Wood Master’s Secret. This product is food-safe and can also be used on butcher blocks and wood counters.

In this post, we cover why you should use food-safe mineral oil for wooden cutting boards. We’ll also teach you how to oil a butcher block cutting board, discuss the best cutting board oils, and answer some of the most common questions about oiling wood.

Keep reading to learn all about cutting board care now.

Other Wood Cutting Board Oil Options

Food-safe mineral oil is the best oil for wood cutting boards. It’s odorless, colorless, and tasteless, so it won’t impact the flavor of your food. Plus, it’s easy to find and relatively inexpensive.

While some decide to use other oils like coconut or olive, we don’t recommend using these oils on cutting boards that will come into contact with food. Even though these oils are safe for human consumption, they tend to go bad and this can impact the durability of your cutting board.

This is why we recommend using food-safe mineral oil for wooden cutting boards. But what about coconut oil?

best cutting board oil boiled linseed oil

Coconut Oil for Your Cutting Board

When it comes to choosing the best oil for your cutting board, fractionated coconut oil stands out as an excellent option. Not only is it a natural and food-safe alternative, but it also offers various benefits that make it perfect for preserving and protecting your cutting board.

Unlike vegetable oils and regular coconut oil, this option involves distilling the oil to ensure the long-chain triglycerides are no longer present, leaving behind the medium-chain triglycerides (MCT oil). Thereby, this increases its shelf-life.

This oil is perfect for wooden utensils and any wooden cutting board. While vegetable oils tend to go rancid, this plant-based cutting board oil keeps wood and bamboo cutting boards looking beautiful.

  1. Food-Safe and Natural Cutting Board Oil

    Fortunately for wooden cutting board enthusiasts, this oil is entirely safe for food contact, making it an ideal choice for cutting boards. It contains no harmful chemicals or additives, ensuring that your kitchen remains free from any potential toxins.

  2. Antibacterial Properties

    One of the unique advantages of this oil is its natural antibacterial properties. It can help inhibit the growth of bacteria on the cutting board’s surface, keeping it hygienic and safe for food preparation.

  3. Moisture Retention

    Coconut oil is highly effective at moisturizing wood, preventing it from drying out and cracking. This is especially crucial for cutting boards, as they are exposed to constant moisture from food and cleaning.

  4. Pleasant Aroma

    Unlike some other cutting board oils, coconut oil leaves a delightful tropical scent on the cutting board, enhancing the overall kitchen experience.

  5. Easy Application

    Coconut oil has a relatively low melting point, making it easy to apply. Simply rub a small amount of coconut cutting board oil onto the clean and dry cutting board surface, and it will quickly absorb, forming a protective layer.

  6. Long Shelf Life

    Coconut oil has a long shelf life, so you can store it for an extended period without worrying about it going rancid. This ensures you always have a readily available supply for your cutting board maintenance.

Remember to reapply the coconut oil regularly to maintain the cutting board’s beauty and extend its lifespan. By using coconut oil as your cutting board oil, you can enjoy a natural, safe, and efficient solution for keeping your cutting board in top condition for years to come.

coconut oil for cutting board

Linseed Oil: The Best Cutting Board Oil?

While not the absolute best cutting board oil, raw linseed oil can be a viable option due to its beneficial features. Boiled linseed oil, derived from flaxseed, offers several advantages that make it suitable for cutting board maintenance:

Natural and Food-Safe

Linseed oil is natural and safe for food contact, ensuring it won’t introduce any harmful substances to your kitchen or food.

Enhances Wood Grain

When applied to the cutting board, linseed oil enhances the natural beauty of the wood, giving it a warm and attractive appearance.

Durable Finish

Linseed oil forms a reasonably durable finish on the wood surface, offering some protection against moisture and staining. This is especially good for protecting butcher blocks from long-term damage.

Affordable Option

Compared to some specialized cutting board oils, linseed oil is often more budget-friendly, making it accessible for those on a tight budget.

However, there are a few considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Drying Time: Linseed oil has a relatively slow drying time, which means it may take a few days for the oil to fully cure on the cutting board. During this period, the board may feel tacky.

  2. Potential Rancidity: If not applied and maintained correctly, linseed oil can become rancid over time, affecting the cutting board’s smell and potentially the taste of food.

  3. Not Suitable for Allergies: Individuals with allergies to flaxseed should avoid using linseed oil on cutting boards to prevent potential adverse reactions.

While linseed oil can be used as a cutting board oil, it may not offer the same level of water resistance and long-lasting protection as some other options like mineral oil or specialized cutting board oils. Ultimately, the choice of cutting board oil depends on personal preferences, budget constraints, and the desired level of protection for your cutting board.

Beeswax for Cutting Boards

Beeswax is a natural and time-tested option for maintaining and protecting cutting boards. When used in combination with other oils, it creates a powerful and food-safe finish that enhances the longevity of the board. Here’s why beeswax is a fantastic choice:

Natural Sealant

Beeswax acts as a natural sealant, forming a protective barrier on the wood’s surface. This helps to repel moisture, preventing it from seeping into the board and causing damage.

Enhanced Water Resistance

When combined with oils like coconut oil or mineral oil, beeswax significantly enhances the water-resistant properties of the cutting board. This is particularly advantageous in the kitchen, where cutting boards are frequently exposed to water and food juices.

Non-Toxic and Food-Safe

Beeswax is safe for food contact, as it is non-toxic and free from harmful chemicals. It won’t introduce any unwanted flavors or substances to your food, making it an excellent choice for kitchenware.

Natural Luster

Applying beeswax to a cutting board enhances its natural luster, giving the wood a beautiful, polished appearance. This can add an aesthetic touch to your kitchen while also keeping the board looking fresh and well-maintained.

Easy Application

Beeswax is easy to apply to the cutting board’s surface. It can be melted and mixed with oils to create a DIY cutting board oil or purchased as a pre-mixed product.


Beyond cutting boards, beeswax and oil mixtures can be used to maintain other wooden kitchen utensils, such as wooden spoons and bowls.

Remember that regular maintenance is essential when using beeswax on cutting boards. Reapply the mixture periodically to ensure the wood remains adequately protected and looking its best.

best oil for wood cutting board made from acacia wood

How to Oil a Butcher Block Cutting Board

To oil a butcher block cutting board, start by cleaning it with warm water and dish soap. Then, dry it thoroughly with a clean, dry towel.

Next, pour a small amount of food-grade mineral oil onto the board and use a clean cloth to spread it evenly. Be sure to cover the entire surface with crude oil, including the sides and edges.

Finally, allow the board to sit for at least an hour before using it. This will give the oil time to soak in and protect the wood.

If you’re using your cutting board regularly, we recommend oiling it once a month. However, if you don’t use it often, once every few months should suffice.

Using this post to find the best cutting board options? Make sure to read our other article about the best wood for cutting boards before you leave!

Oil for Cutting Board FAQ

What should I oil my cutting board with?

Food-safe mineral oil is the best oil for cutting boards. It’s also called liquid paraffin. While you’ll likely find this product under various other names and brands, keep in mind, that mineral oil is exactly what you need.

Can I use olive oil to treat my wood cutting board?

Keep your olive oil for cooking. While it will give your cutting board a nice shine, using cooking oil – including olive oil, coconut oil, and vegetable oil – is problematic because these tend to rot the wood.

What is the best oil to use on wooden chopping boards?

Mineral oil is by far the best wood to use for wooden chopping boards. This oil resists oxidation and is odorless, ensuring your board stays in excellent shape.

What do you use to seal a wooden cutting board?

Sealing wooden cutting boards requires monthly maintenance with oil. You’ll seal it monthly with mineral oil. However, you may also try using oils like linseed or tung oil to make the wood harder and seal it from the inside out. Mineral oil and walnut oil only focus on the surface of your wood cutting board.

What can I use instead of food-grade mineral oil?

Food-safe alternatives to mineral oil for cutting boards include coconut oil, beeswax-oil mixtures, walnut oil, grapeseed oil, and commercial mineral oil substitutes. Regularly apply these options to maintain and protect the cutting board’s surface.

What oil do you soak cutting boards in?

You can soak cutting boards in food-grade mineral oil or other food-safe alternatives like white mineral oil or liquid paraffin, linseed oil, natural wax-oil mixtures, or walnut oil. Soaking helps moisturize and protect the wood, extending the board’s life and maintaining its quality.

what is the best oil for wood cutting boards

So, What is the Best Oil for Wood Cutting Boards?

Oil your wooden cutting board, wooden spoons, and other wooden kitchen utensils with food-grade mineral oil to keep it in excellent condition. Be sure to clean it first with warm water and dish soap, then dry it thoroughly with a paper towel before applying the oil. And use a paper towel to remove any excess oil after oiling your butcher block cutting board.

Mineral oil is the best oil for wooden utensils and cutting boards. If possible, choose pure oil like mineral, coconut, linseed, or tung oil as this will protect your board while giving you an excellent shine. Other vegetable-based oils and cooking oils like corn oil or sunflower oil tend to go rancid when they soak into wood fibers, particularly on an older cutting board.

That’s all for now. Have any questions about cutting boards? Feel free to reach out!

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