Wood Butter – not to eat but to maintain the tools you use to prepare foods. It restores a luster to your wooden cutting boards, wooden bowls and utensils, and protects them during continued use.
Often called Spoon Oil, this magical elixir has become know as Wood Butter in my home and I think that’s a much better fit. It’s perfect for the care of the wood items we use in the kitchen and does a great job of renewing wood utensils and bowls. A necessity but also a bit indulgent…yes, ‘butter’ is perfect! We need to take special care of our wood kitchen items in Denver due to the low humidity in our environment and I can be as lax as the next person.
Making your own ‘wood butter’ makes it simple and inexpensive too. I was reminded by a friend that she ‘hoped’ I would have some made in time for Christmas and decided that this very old post (first published in 2009) might be beneficial to some who have never seen it before so I resized the photos (I used to include much smaller photos in posts) and am publishing this again. It’s not just perfect for your kitchen but every friend I have is like the one mentioned…they look forward to their annual supply that I include in holiday gifts baskets for friends.
I was lucky to find a local resource for the beeswax but Amazon sells Beeswax Pellets online. The small pellets make for easier melting; I bought two pounds which is enough for (48) 4 oz containers…um, that should be enough for awhile don’t you think? Finding the food grade mineral oil was easy once I finally remembered to put it on my grocery list; it’s typically available in the pharmacy. I now know why that poor guy gave me such a funny look when I lamented that I wish they had more than four bottles. I’ve always used it for wood conditioning; I’m thinking he was wondering why I needed more than four bottles of a laxative. Who knew?
The process is easy but can be messy. Most ‘recipes’ include heating the wax in a mid size Ball jar in hot water and adding warmed mineral oil to the wax once it is melted. I preferred using a large glass measuring cup with a pour spout as I was going to be pouring the combined liquid into a whole bunch of small jars. I also used a funnel just for canning and it worked perfectly.
The only negative to this method is the removal of the wax from the measuring cup and funnel. I decided since I’ll be doing this again, I’ll just save those two utensils just for this process and candle making and not worry about the residue layer that remained inside each. A reader has mentioned that freezing the utensils used would make the was come off easily; I haven’t tried that yet but plan to.
What better way to show you the magic of Wood Butter than a Before and After photo. Totally untouched, promise. Everything in this photo has been treated with an application of wood butter including the bottom board. Simply apply a bit to a paper towel or a piece of cheesecloth and rub a dollop onto the surface until it’s rubbed in.
The bowl in front was an inexpensive one I purchased from World Market and it was apparently never supposed to touch water. It did, I thought it ruined but ‘the butter’ did the trick. I found the wooden rolling pin at a yard sale and can’t believe the difference myself. All of my cutting boards have a renewed luster; in fact they seem new again. It is not tasty like a sage compound butter but it is a miracle butter!
Wood Butter Truly is A Recipe for Your Utensils!
Wood Butter – A Recipe for Your Utensils!
A terrific homemade product to use for all of your wood kitchen products from wooden spoons to cutting boards.
- 8 ounces pure beeswax - measured dry. One package of the pellets that I purchased weighed 16 ounces and I used half a package at a time.
- 32 ounces of mineral oil - typically packaged with 16 liquid ounces per container so I used 2 containers.
- Bring a large saucepan filled with water to a gentle boil.
- Place your beeswax inside a 2 quart glass measuring cup or a 1 quart glass jar; set the glass into the gently boiling water.
- Place the container(s) of mineral oil inside another medium saucepan filled with water and heat to low.The mineral oil just needs to be warmed to mix with the beeswax; no need for a rolling boil.
- Once all the wax has melted, turn off the stove and carefully add the warmed mineral oil to the beeswax; stirring with a spoon to combine.
- Using a towel around the handle of the measuring cup, carefully pour the liquid into each jar fit with the canning funnel; filling them almost to the top.
- Finish filling all of the jars and wait for the product to cool and firm up before using.
I decided to use all of the pellets in a one pound container so this made quite a lot but it's easy to break down to smaller quantities. The ration is 1:4 Beeswax to Mineral Oil so to make half as much simply use 4 ounces of beeswax and 16 ounces of mineral oil.
Note: This post has had several people feel compelled to advise against the use of mineral oil as an ingredient as it is a by product of petroleum, however, it has been deemed safe by the FDA for use as a laxative so I see no need for the scare tactics. See the comments from a reader named Bob…what he says is the truth!