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oiled kitchen worktops


Gyn_Paul

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A friend's new Ikea kitchen arrived - much to his suprise - with solid beech worktops. There's bound to be a special Ikea oil (called something like 'Visgolum' or 'Vlatt' or something), but short of that (and given that we are 250 miles from the nearest Ikea) what else would people use ?

Someone suggested Danish Oil, which I have never seen here in France, at least not called that. Suitable ???
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You can use any oil literally, linseed oil is good for all wood, wheat oil might be a good choice for a kitchen, but it does have an aroma, pleasant, but maybe not for everyone, unfortuanately wood worktops are not particularly practical,( thats why wood blocks are illegal in kitchens) they are damaged easily by knives and foodstuff bacteria sets into the grain, notoriously difficult to clean properly, so you should consider at least a couple of coats of varnish, matt / satin maybe, to give the you and the surface protection from use. 
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Not particularly practical, illegal in kitchens - Poubelle!

Our ancestors knew a lot  more than the current hygiene obsessed generation,  beech has strong natural antiseptic qualities and was proved in tests retrospectively to be more effective than the soi disant anti-bacterial replacements that everyone was forced to buy.

Yes it gets damaged by knives, it is supposed to! Butchers would not want to resharpen their knife each time if they were to cut on a harder surface.

Varnish may well look good and give minimal protection to the surface from knives but it wont protect you from bacteria, quite the opposite.

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I'm With JR on this, wood work tops are hygienic if left untreated and washed with hot soapy water after use, if "varnished" (Horrible) they are like any other damagable work surface  melamine etc. The worst has to be tiles with all that nasty food trapping grout. There is a stupid regulation on wood items (Not just boards) in professional kitchens but that is likely to be redressed as proof is available that if used correctly they are hygenic.

Normaly a cutting block/board/surface is end grain and is much more forgiving when cut as the grains squish (technical term!) back together when a new cut is mad into them to use a surface which is side grain wood be quite distructive very quicky, but you may like that used look, Jamie Oliver has a chestnut work surface to use exactly how he pleases not for looks!!

If you do wish to treat you wooden work surface and keep it attractive as lets face it we don't all want a beat up mistreated kitchen apperance Danish oil is very good and no it is not the same as teak oil or even raw linsead. Its has got boiled linsead oil in it as part of the make up.  Becareful of using food based oils ie: Peanut, sunflower, wheat as these go rancid after a while and also risk of food allegies come into play. Oil your worksurface everyday for 1 week then 1 a month for 3 months and then idealy every 6 months.

There also some hardwax oils available which offer some heat protection also ( not for hot casseroles or coffee perculators!!) but as yet I cant find them in France and resort for spead to get them from the UK as I know where to get them and a friend brings them over as and when them come, as these products are not allowed by aircraft postage due to flammable nature.

Baby oil is not recommend because of the high perfume it contains that wil transfer to food stuffs there are better things to do with that ..... like puttng on babies!

 

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I applied Danish oil initially and then after about a month when it had lost its "lustre" (I hope that is the correct word) and then thought "life is too short".

After 2 years of total neglect other than wiping over with the dishcloth I have a lovely patinated (read stained) farmhouse table look complete with accidental knife scratches pan burns etc, I am not even overly concerned to find that several of the glued joints between the pieces of beech have opened up, ultimately I will repair them to avoid hygiene problems but for now they add to the look.

I am very glad to have given up chasing lifestyle catalogue photo perfection.

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