What Kind Of Oil Can You Use With A Wood Cutting Board – The Best Wood Finishes For Wooden Cutting Boards

If you wonder what oil you can use with a wood cutting board, this review is for you!

While a good cutting board is a wonderful addition to your kitchen, proper care and handling of your board prolong its lifespan.

Everyday use of your cutting board will have its toll on it. Cutting and chopping food will cause some wear and tear.

 And while cleaning is essential, oiling your board prevents bacteria, makes cleaning easier, and prevents warping and cracking.

Seasoning your board with high-quality cutting board oil is an effective way to ensure it remains in quality shape for a long time. 

 What oil can you use with wood cutting boards to extend its lifespan? Read on to find out!

Why You Should Season Your Board With a Food-safe Cutting Board Finish

Coating your wood cutting board with a good wood finish is an important practice ensuring prolonged use of your cutting board.

As important as finishing your wood cutting board is, what’s even more important is ensuring that you choose a food-safe finishing oil for this purpose.

Why is a food-safe finish important? – The major purpose of cutting boards is chopping and dicing food and ingredients during meal preparation.

If you use a toxic wood finish to coat the surface of your cutting board, the food ingredients will become contaminated when they come in contact with the board.

 This makes the food unsafe for consumption.

A good wood finish penetrates through the wood saturating the fiber. This prevents other unnecessary liquids from getting in. 

This way, it will protect your cutting board from warping or cracking that can occur from uncontrolled expansion and contraction ( This occurs as a result of the in and out movement of water through the fiber of the board ) 

In addition to maintaining the shape of the cutting board, coating the board with a wood finish also prevents it from harboring bacteria in the tiny spaces of the wood grain. 

Seasoned wood 

Seasoned wood 

The Best Finishes For Wooden Cutting Boards

Now that you know the importance of choosing a food-safe finish for your cutting board, let’s examine the best wood finishes for your cutting board.

Mineral Oil

The first on our list is mineral oil. Mineral oil is an ideal oil for cutting boards. 

It penetrates deeply into the wood grain and prevents wood from absorbing unwanted moisture. 

A good choice of mineral oil should be either food-safe or food-grade. Mineral oil is also odorless, colorless, and without taste. 

This makes it even more suitable for your meal-prepping surface. It is easily the longest-lasting wood finish you will find.


Next is beeswax. Beeswax is another food-safe wood finish you should probably consider. It is non-toxic and also keeps unwanted moisture out. 

Because of Its thickness, it does not easily penetrate the wood grain. 

To resolve this, you may need to mix it with any of the recommended oils for quicker absorption. 

Coconut Oil

Not your regular cooking coconut oil. Fractionated coconut oil is another good choice of wood finish that will seal off the fibers of your wood-cutting board from moisture.

 Fractionated coconut oil is easily absorbed into the wood grains, providing prolonged protection to your cutting surface.

Carnauba Wax

The Carnauba wax is very thick and will give your cutting board a long-lasting glossy finish. 

Carnauba wax is too thick; therefore, you can’t use it alone. 

To get the best result from carnauba wax, use it with beeswax.

 Finishing your wood cutting board with carnauba wax mixed with a little beeswax will protect it from moisture and give it a nice shiny appearance. 

Hemp Oil

Lastly is the drying oil. Hemp oil is a drying oil that gets hard when exposed to air.

 After coating your cutting board surface with hemp oil, it forms a solid film that protects the cutting surface from knife cuts. 

Though this solid film effectively protects the wood surface, it also requires you to regularly reapply the wood finish because knife cuts wear it away easily.

Man-oiling a wood surface.

Man-oiling a wood surface.

Now that you know the right wood finish for your wooden cutting board, let’s examine some ways to keep your board in excellent condition.

How To Tell Your Cutting Board is Due For Oiling

While oiling your board once should be your monthly maintenance routine, it might still be necessary to be able to recognize a dry cutting board and reapply oil when the board needs it.

The first sign of a dry cutting board is discoloration. When you start noticing some dull or lighter parts on the board surface, it is a sign that your cutting board needs oiling.

Another way of recognizing a dry board is by sprinkling water on it. If it absorbs the water or spreads around the board, you have to reapply the oil immediately.

When you notice any of these signs, do not waste time before seasoning your wooden board. 

After oiling, leave the board for about 4 to 6 hours to absorb as much oil as possible. 

Afterward, wipe down with a cloth to clean up any remaining excess oil, and your seasoned wooden cutting board is ready for use again. 

Furthermore, Regarding a new cutting board, you should consider oiling it once a week for the first month of buying it. 

This way, the oil would have penetrated deep enough into the wood fiber. After this, you can continue with the regular monthly routine.

Wood finish cans and brushes on wood 

Wood finish cans and brushes on wood 

What To Avoid Using On a Cutting Board 

Do not use your cooking oils like olive, vegetable, or regular coconut oil on your cutting board.

 This is because cooking oils contain a lot of fat and may promote bacterial growth or become rancid.

Also, remember not to soak your cutting board in water. Just wash it in water when it is dirty and put it out to dry before storing it away.

Soaking your cutting board reduces the seasoning oil. And when the oil washes away, it begins to absorb water, reducing the cutting board’s lifespan. 


Regularly seasoning your cutting board with a wood finish cannot be overemphasized. 

It ensures prolonged use of your cutting board. Also, remember that the best wood finish on a cutting board should not be toxic in case of consumption.

 It should be a food safe or a food-grade oil. 

Using any non-toxic wood finishes recommended in this review will ensure your wooden board is healthy enough for meal preparation.