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Butcher Block in the Kitchen

Tips & Tricks

Adding a touch of butcher block to your kitchen is something you may want to consider. This is because of its natural ability to provide outstanding performance in a bustling kitchen, all while looking good. Here are some things to consider if you want to add a touch of wood to your kitchen. 

Butcher Block in the Kitchen Blog by Superior Cabinets Saskatoon, Regina, Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg. Author – Shahan Fancy

BUILT-IN WOOD COUNTERTOPS

Choosing a built-in wood countertop is a great option, budget permitting. If it fits the budget, one thing to consider is, do you want this for fashion or function? This important distinction can help you make this tough decision. This is because some wood or timber countertops may be better served for visual benefits only and aren’t the best for cutting on because of how they are finished or top coated.  

For Looks:  If you plan of cutting on your butcher block countertops, expect to have cutting marks, wear, and patina. If you don’t want it to look used, do not cut on it and use a cutting board.

For Use:  If you want to use it, be prepared for your butcher block countertop to show wear with use. This patina or imperfect look is very appealing to many homeowners that want things to evolve in their home, much like choosing a natural leather sofa that will get better with age.

Butcher Block in the Kitchen Blog by Superior Cabinets Saskatoon, Regina, Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg. Author – Shahan Fancy

Do you want an undermount sink in your butcher block countertop? There can be limitations with cutting the required sink hole for an undermount sink, which is typically done with a CNC. Not every cabinet or countertop firm has the capability to provide this service, which is why it is important to discuss this in advance with your team before you make purchasing decisions.

Butcher Block in the Kitchen Blog by Superior Cabinets Saskatoon, Regina, Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg. Author – Shahan Fancy

WOOD CUTTING BOARDS

If you still want a touch of wood, choosing a freestanding or smaller wood cutting board for your kitchen is an easy and cost-effective option. Wood cutting boards are fantastic to protect your fancy knives and are great for keeping them sharper. They are made for daily usage and perfect for the chef at home. Their portability is nice, as you are not dedicated to cutting in one fixed zone.

Always End Grain

Knife experts and chefs often recommend choosing a proper End Grain Wood Cutting Board. These are made by cutting the wood into smaller pieces or blocks and assembling them with the end grain facing up. The end grain of the wood has improved resistance to gouges from sharp knives.

Artisan End Grain Cutting Board by George Duimel Woodworks – Calgary, Alberta
Artisan End Grain Cutting Board by George Duimel Woodworks – Calgary, Alberta

Experts say that the end grain is self-healing because the wood fibers close after they have been cut. If you are looking for a wood cutting board that will last almost forever, looks great, and is sustainable, consider a Larch Wood Cutting Board.   

Premium handcrafted professional Large Cutting Board in Larch Wood by Larch Wood Canada, Cape Breton Island. Photo Credit – Shahan Fancy
Premium Large Cutting Board by Larch Wood Canada

Care Tips

Caring for your wood cutting board is vital to ensure it lasts for many years, limits moisture penetration, and prevents bacterial growth.

  • Do not put your wood cutting board in the dishwasher.
  • Never submerge your wood cutting board when cleaning.  
  • Be careful of moisture beneath the cutting board, when sitting on countertops. If your wood cutting board doesn’t have feet on it, ensure you prop it up or keep it elevated after cleaning.
  • Keep it moisturized with food grade mineral oil or cutting board beeswax. 

Cleaning Tips

  • Clean after each use.
  • Scrub with hot water and soap, rinse and always dry thoroughly. Don’t use scolding hot water.
  • Always dry thoroughly… Yes, this needs to be said twice.
  • Disinfect with Vinegar if you cut chicken or fish. You can use a 1 to 1 dilution of vinegar and water. Spray it on and leave it for several minutes and then wipe it off.   

Odour Elimination and Deep Cleaning Tips

  • If you are bothered by odours transferring into your wood cutting board or butcher block countertop, consider not using it to cut smelly items such as garlic and onions.
  • Deep clean by using coarse salt. Rub into board, let stand for several minutes and wipe off. You can also cut half a lemon and rub the salt with this this into the board, which will help neutralize odours. 

SUMMARY

 Butcher Block in the Kitchen Blog by Superior Cabinets Saskatoon, Regina, Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg. Author – Shahan Fancy

Choosing the right solution for your home, either a built-in butcher block countertop or a freestanding wood cutting board, is a very important decision. Historically wood countertops are more expensive than quartz or granite and have some complexity with relation to undermount sinks, capability, and installation. Don’t forget that proper care of either will ensure they last for almost a lifetime. When in doubt, always discuss the options with your professional kitchen designer. Happy chopping!

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