The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Wooden Peel care

slaughlin's picture
slaughlin

Wooden Peel care

I finally bought a wooden peel this weekend and was wondering about its care. It seems to be a natural finish and I'm worried that if I wash it, it will crack or get dried out. I was thinking I should treat it with some linseed oil or something to protect it. Anyone have any suggestions? Thanks in advance

Steve, Spearfish SD

mkelly27's picture
mkelly27

Yes, it's a good idea to get a good coat of mineral oil on it before you go messing it up. A good cleaning with soap and water every once in a while along with a recoat of oil. Treat it as you would a wooden cutting board and it will last for years. I store mine either hung or standing on its end to prevent warping.

 

 

Two wrongs don't make a right. Three lefts make a right

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

I don't think linseed oil is food-safe, but mineral oil is, and easily available.

mse1152's picture
mse1152

Linseed is flaxseed, according to this article.  I was surprised!

Sue 

 

 

 

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

Interesting article, Sue!

One thing it mentions is that flaxseed/linseed oil used for wood finishes has been solvent processed to make it a drying oil. This is great for furniture and musical instruments, but probably not so great for food preparation surfaces.

Do health food stores sell linseed oil, like the kind in some supplement capsules? I don't know what kind of taste or flavor it might impart. If the oil is one that gets rancid (like say walnut oil or olive oil) then the wood could eventually develop an unpleasant odor.

The mineral oil is not a drying oil, which makes it a very poor furniture finish but a very nice shorter term wood finish, and totally safe for people - though I wouldn't recommend drinking it...

edh's picture
edh

Funny how the marketing people mess with names just to sell us stuff, isn't it? Linseed oil is, in fact, made from flax. It also is a hardening oil, but does so very slowly, so for furniture finish it generally has metal (also called japan) driers added. Certainly not something you want to eat! Even the linseed oil sold without driers would be dubious for food safe purposes; the FDA has very tight rules about that sort of stuff.

Health food stores also sell food-grade flaxseed oil (notice they don't call it linseed; who'd buy furniture finish for their cooking?) as a food supplement very high in omega-3 (don't quote me on that; maybe it's high in something else, I can't remember. I just don't like the taste.) It degrades very quickly, and must be kept refrigerated to avoid rancidity.

I'd have to agree that mineral oil is the best choice for food prep surface upkeep; any vegetable or nut oil will either go rancid, or leave a slightly sticky surface that just picks up yuck over time.

edh

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

It's been in use for thousands of years.  Rub it on let it soak in and wipe off any excess with a paper towel.  (If it's a salad bowl, rub the inside with garlic clove before making a salad.)  Never let wood soak but wash and dry it quickly.  --Mini Oven

mkelly27's picture
mkelly27

I am actually a big olive oil fan, but it does tend to get gummy over time (without regular use).  I just started sanding down and re-oiling all my wooden cooking surfaces and using mineral oil to re-season them. 

_______________________________________________________

Two wrongs don't make a right. Three lefts make a right

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I have made maybe 100 cutting boards over the years and all the wood working mags I have read and any health department advisory I have ever read says that Mineral oil is the oil to use. It does not ever gum up or go rancid. Vegetable oil, olive oil and many others will eventually develop an off smell.

The thing about a wooden peel is that if it gets damp or wet on one side it will cup. If you take a damp sponge to it to clean it, make sure you flip it over and dampen the reverse side also. If it gets permanently cupped, clamp it between two boards on edge and let it dry for a few days to flatten it out. Then apply Mineral oil to both sides equally until it will not absorb more in 5 minutes and dry the board. Let is sit on edge for a day or two and rub flour into the grain. You're good to go from there.

Eric