‘Tis the season for baking all of our holiday favorites – from apple pie to sugar cookies and more. While preparing to bake for the holidays it is easy to overlook the most important ingredient… the surface used to prepare! The best surface to prepare cookies on? Wood of course! Today we are discussing the perks of holiday baking with wood countertops.
Because of the way that wood countertops are crafted, you can chop directly on the surface – no cutting board needed! You can roll dough, cut and decorate cookies, pies, muffins and more directly on a wood countertop. In addition, this makes for easy clean up since you don’t have to get as many items out.
Countertops can be crafted in three different construction styles. The best construction style for baking is end grain. Counters crafted in end grain construction style are called butcher blocks. End Grain Construction is the preferred chopping surface by chefs, as this construction style is the kindest to knives and keeps them sharp. In addition, butcher block tend to be self-healing and most knife marks disappear after cleaning. After years of use, the butcher block can be sanded and re-oiled to look like new again.
After cleaning up, wood countertops and butcher blocks serve as a pretty surface to display and serve your baked goods for guests.
Grothouse Original Oil keeps custom solid wood countertops properly moisturized and ensures your countertops look as beautiful as the day you got them. This oil can be used on wood countertops, butcher blocks, soapstone, salad bowls, wooden utensils and more.
Grothouse Original Oil™ is a fragrance-free, heavy weight pure mineral oil. It does not contain nut oils, making it food safe and hypoallergenic.
The oil applying process is simple and easy. All you need is a paper towel or cotton cloth to spread a thin coat of oil over the surface. Be sure to oil the sides and the exposed bottoms of the wood countertop. For best results, allow the oil to soak in overnight. If you need to use your countertop or butcher block top right away, then remove any excess oil with a dry cloth and your piece will be ready to use.
Grothouse Original Oil™ should be applied once a week for the first month after receiving your wood surface. Thereafter, the piece should be oiled at a minimum of once per month or if the surface appears visually dry.
Purchase Grothouse Original Oil to keep your solid wood surfaces properly moisturized to last a lifetime. Please contact us if you have any questions by giving us a call at 610-767-6515 or emailing email@example.com.
Cutting boards at their core are designed for food preparation; which includes cutting, smashing, even pulverizing. It’s important to keep them up to the task by making sure they’re properly cleaned and sanitized. Continue reading to learn the proper way to clean cutting boards to keep them looking like new, while preventing cross-contamination in your kitchen.
Butcher block cutting boards are made up of end grains, meaning the board’s surface consists of exposed wood fibers. Butcher block cutting boards are resistant to nicks and scratches and even self-heal over time, as the fibers will push back into place.
Techniques to Clean Cutting Boards
Always wash your cutting board by hand only. Use anti-bacterial dish soap and warm water. If the cutting board is small enough, it is recommended to wash both sides.
You can add a small amount of bleach or vinegar (a teaspoon per gallon of water) to the water for extra bacteria killing power. You can also rub the block with a half a lemon to kill bacteria.
Never put a wood cutting board into the dishwasher. Wood is porous and moisture will seep in to it and damage the board.
After washing, thoroughly dry the cutting board. If possible, allow the block to dry standing up on edge to help the block dry properly and prevent warping.
Butcher block knife slots are a popular feature selected for kitchen counters. Knife slots are built-in knife storage custom crafted into a wood butcher block countertop.
The term “butcher block” is used by Grothouse when referring to wood countertops built in end grain construction style. End grain is the premium construction style and our recommended surface for food preparation. Knives stay sharper longer when used on butcher blocks because the knife blades slide between the wood fibers, much like cutting into a firm brush. An additional benefit is that butcher blocks don’t show knife marks as readily as wood countertops crafted in edge grain or flat grain construction. Knife slots can be integrated into a butcher block crafted out of any wood specie available at Grothouse.
Knife slots free counter space by eliminating the need for a knife block. They are designed so that knives are easily accessible, but also safely tucked away so that young children cannot reach them.
Knife slots take many different forms, from a single slot to a series of slots that fit different size knives. Knife slots designed to be one long singular slot are more universal, as they fit different size knives. Designing butcher blocks with knife slots of different sizes may be a problem if you change your knife set in the future. Removable knife slots are also available and can be replaced with another piece when you update your knife set.
Designs with Butcher Block Knife Slots
Cabinets Plus designed a Random Mix Walnut with Sapwood butcher block to include knife slots. The knife slots were cleverly placed behind the sink, making the knives easily accessible but also out of the way as to not interrupt the food prep space.
Preparing Valentines Day Dinner can be stressful, but with the right food preparation surface and advice your meal can be a success.
The first step in preparing Valentine’s day dinner is to select the recipes you want to make as an appetizer, entree and dessert. Choose something that you and your date will both enjoy and that you have confidence to make to ease stress.
Allrecipes provides plenty of appetizer inspiration, from crab-stuffed mushrooms to brie cheese fondue. Country Living offers over 40 romantic dinner recipe ideas like butternut squash ravioli, bucatini with winter pesto, pancetta and brussel sprouts linguine and more. The Food Network made a list of decadent chocolate desserts perfect for the holiday, like chocolate raspberry mousse candy cake and chocolate cheesecake.
Once you have selected the recipes you are going to make and purchase all of the ingredients, it is best to ensure that you have all of the tools you need for preparation. The most important tool is the surface that you will be using to prepare the food.
Grothouse solid wood butcher blocks are the surface preferred by top chefs at home and in restaurants. Butcher blocks are very hard surfaces and knives keep their edge far better because the blade slides between the wood fibers much like cutting into a firm brush. Grothouse Original Oil™ Finish is a heavy weight pure mineral oil used for lasting protection that is food safe and hypoallergenic. It does not contain any Tung oils. You can prepare your meal with no concerns if your date has any nut allergies.
One of the best ways to prepare Valentines day dinner is by cooking together! It is a fun and romantic way to start the evening and enjoy each other’s company. Together, you can start the night by preparing a delicious meal and end it by enjoying it together!
Butcher block stations are custom crafted to turn any kitchen into a veritable work horse. The best stations function as both mobile food preparation spaces and storage centers.
The surface area is a butcher block countertop crafted out of solid wood in end grain construction style. End grain construction style is preferred by chefs because it keeps knives sharp and can be sanded down and oiled to look like new. Butcher block countertops are finished with Grothouse Original Oil™.
The ultimate butcher block station was designed by Tyler Florence for Kitchen of the Year 2011. Crafted in all solid wood construction, the station features custom laser engraving on the front face of the butcher block. The butcher block also features one long integrated knife slot, keeping knives out of the way but easily accessible.
The base of the station includes five drawers for convenient storage, each 150 lb rated undermount drawer slides with soft close. 500 lb rated casters for heavy duty use were installed to enable the station to be mobile.
Placed in front of a handy message board, this movable kitchen island station designed by TRK Design Company has a 6″ solid Lyptus wood butcher block engraved with the name of the farm estate.
While butcher block stations are often designed to be mobile, they can also be built into a kitchen island or perimeter kitchen countertops. The Walnut butcher block pictured above was designed by Blue Bell Kitchens. The butcher block is rabbeted into the granite countertop and features a waste hole, enabling food scraps to be easily thrown away by removing the stainless steel lid.
Follow @grothouseinc on Instagram for weekly kitchen design inspiration. Visit the Countertop Image Library to view more butcher block stations.
Parker explains that what sets one space apart from another is often not a big, grand gesture, but rather a small, thoughtful addition that stays with you even after you’ve left the room.
Chopping stations create the ultimate food preparation area and are often located near the range. End grain butcher block countertops are the chef-preferred surface material for chopping stations. This construction style is the kindest to knives and keeps their blades sharp. In addition, butcher blocks tend to be self-healing and most knife marks disappear after cleaning and re-oiling.
Kitchen Designs with Chopping Stations
Stonington Cabinetry & Designs selected a Walnut butcher block for the chopping station in this bright, white transitional kitchen. Matching the Walnut wood kitchen island, this chopping block is conveniently located across from the sink and near the range.
Kate Connolly of Homestead Kitchens cleverly designed a Wenge butcher block chopping station to be located parallel to the range. Kate explained, “The Wenge butcher block is not only practical, but adds another layer of texture and interest to this mostly monotone kitchen.”
Pine Street Carpenters, Inc. designed a Random Mix Walnut with Sapwood butcher block for a food prep station in between the sink and the cooktop. The butcher block adds warmth and ties in the flooring and floating shelves.
Designing a chopping station for your kitchen can make the space one-of-a-kind. To learn more about end grain butcher blocks, click here. Be sure to follow Grothouse on Instagram for daily design inspiration.
Our Custom Wood Countertops Blog features the industry’s most talented and innovative designers throughout the United States and abroad. This featured kitchen includes a Wenge Butcher Block designed by Kate Connolly of Homestead Kitchens.
About the Designer: Kate Connolly is an interior designer, mother of 2 little girls, aspiring yogi and art lover. She has been designing kitchens professionally for 20 years, collaborating with clients in suburban New England. Kate loves piecing together client’s wish lists into functional spaces making their everyday life easier; playing with colors and textures creating a cohesive space that her clients feel at home in. Kate and her husband, Kevin, opened their business, Homestead Kitchens, twelve years ago. They work together with wonderful employees in a beautiful 1904 house where every room is filled with inspirational kitchens.
A Tip from Kate: Think about how you want the room to feel whether it’s formal/fancy, clean/uncluttered, fresh/modern/trendy or warm/comfortable. Then create a focal point by letting one or two items stand out (in this kitchen it is the tile backsplash and the Wenge butcher block).
Additional Comments and Advice: The clients wanted to omit the kitchen table and have a large island with seating for informal family meals and entertaining. To avoid a seam on the island, we opted for a gorgeous Grothouse Wenge butcher block top at one end. It was not only practical (the perfect spot for food prep), but adds another layer of texture and interest to this mostly monotone kitchen.
Cutting boards crafted by Grothouse make the perfect unique personalized gifts for anyone – including family, friends, and even clients – because they can be customized for anyone’s taste and budget.
Designing Cutting Boards for Unique Personalized Gifts
Designing cutting boards is easy when they are crafted by Grothouse because they can include a multitude of features – including laser engraving, edge profiles, and more.
Anything can be engraved into a cutting board crafted by Grothouse. This is a major reason as to why they are such great gifts for clients. A company logo can be engraved as well as the client’s name if desired. Showcase Kitchens designed this cutting board to feature their company logo.
The Fisher Group designed the cutting board featured below to include their company logo in the upper left hand corner and “Habitable Art” in a different font style in the bottom right hand corner. This design is clever because it is not only personal, but also leaves plenty of space on the surface for food preparation.
A special quote or design can be engraved on the cutting board for a family member or friend. The design does not have to be engraved on the top of the board. Designs can be engraved on the sides or even the back of the cutting board. One client had a cutting board custom crafted for their sister with engraving of their sister’s name on the front side.
Custom cutting boards make for great event giveaway gifts as well. Cutting boards can be purchased in bulk and prepared for your event. Engrave the cutting board with event information or add a ribbon with a nice tag to each board that is given away. Grothouse has crafted cutting boards for events by House Beautiful magazine, Lehigh Valley Style magazine, and many more.
Juice grooves can also be engraved into any cutting board. Juice grooves are a great feature because they collect fluids from cutting meat, vegetables and fruits to avoid drippings onto the floor or countertop. Juice grooves can be added in a simple design, like along the edges of the cutting board, or they can be added as a more complex design like the tree pictured below.
Cutting boards can be custom crafted out of any wood specie. By choosing a cutting board crafted by Grothouse, you know you are receiving a board built out of the finest quality wood, no matter the specie.
To keep the overall appearance of the wood cutting board simple, choose a classic edge profile like the Roundover. For a more dramatic appearance choose an edge profile like the Roman Notch or the Perlen.
Per request, Grothouse can add feet to the bottom of the cutting board to sit on so that it does not scratch the surface it is placed on and so that the board itself does not scratch.
Wood Cutting Board Finish
Compliment the cutting board with a bottle of Grothouse Original Oil™. Our oil is the best wood cutting board finish for keeping the wood properly maintained. The finish is hypoallergenic and contains no Tung oils, permitting the entertainment of guests with no worries of nut allergies. It is also fragrance free and color free. When applied to the board, the wood may appear darker at first. Over time the color will appear lighter, as it looked before the oil was applied. Cutting boards should be oiled on a regular basis, depending on the amount of use and the environment it is typically stored in. Cutting boards need to be oiled when they appear visually dry.
If you are interested in designing Unique Personalized Gifts crafted by Grothouse, request a quote by clicking here. Please contact us if you have any questions about our custom cutting boards!
At Grothouse, we refer to wood surfaces crafted in End Grain construction as Butcher Blocks. According to Wikipedia, Butcher block, or butcher’s block, is a style of assembled wood used as heavy duty chopping blocks, table tops, and cutting boards.
The Evolution of Butcher Blocks
The history of wood butcher blocks is not defined. Some say the use of a butcher block first originated in China. Others say that wood has been used in the preparation of food since the prehistoric ages. Butchers used tree rounds to carve meat on. The rounds were often too soft and they rapidly became unsanitary.
Throughout the centuries, mankind evolved and started creating machines. When the circular saw was invented, nicer, cleaner slabs of wood were cut and used as cutting boards. Since soft wood was the most available type of wood at the time, it was the material of choice to be used for cutting boards.
The boards were made smaller since the slab of wood could now be cut to any desired size. Since they were made smaller, they were also used to eat off of and some people referred to them as trenchers. Trenchers were originally pieces of stale hard bread that were used as substitute plates. Wood trenchers quickly became the replacements of the eatable dinnerware.
Hard wood butcher blocks were the preferred choice of the butcher industry. They were made to be extremely thick and durable, so durable in fact, that a butcher could use the same block for almost his entire career.
One fact remains true, butcher blocks have been used in butcher shops for centuries, and still are in many European countries today, as well as in homes for the use of food preparation.