You've undoubtedly got some wooden surfaces and tools in your kitchen that could use a little TLC. It’s time to give them the royal treatment with our homemade spoon butter! Our mineral oil-free version is made from just two ingredients, and it comes together right in the mason jar in which it’s stored.
Best of all, the golden-yellow salve smells like creamy, dreamy honey, and it’ll moisturize your hands as well as your spoons!
Homemade spoon butter (also known as butcher block or cutting board cream) is a great thing to keep around. Once applied, it moisturizes and protects butcher blocks, cutting boards, salad bowls, and of course, spatulas and spoons. Our homemade version is made with sunflower oil, as opposed to mineral oil, so it's all-natural and petroleum-free.
The Right Wax to Use
Beeswax is simply the melted, filtered wax from honeycombs. It's sold in small pellets, one-ounce bars, and larger-sized molded shapes as well. Make sure to purchase a "natural" variety of beeswax, labeled as food and/or cosmetic-grade. It’ll give your spoon butter its lovely yellow color and lend a natural honey fragrance.
Where to Buy Beeswax
The Best Oil to Use
In addition to beeswax, you’ll need a neutral vegetable oil, one that's liquid at room temperature and fairly odorless. I like to use cold-pressed sunflower seed oil — it's inexpensive and easy to find (I got mine at Trader Joe's), and comes recommended by one of our readers who fashions wooden kitchen wares of her own.
Another option is linseed (a.k.a. flaxseed) oil, which you can find at most health-food stores.
To make the spoon butter, all that's required is just a little gentle heat and some vigorous stirring. Placed in a pot of barely-simmering water, a mason jar acts as a double-boiler and storage vessel all in one, allowing the wax and oil to melt together. There’s no need to heat the beeswax and oil separately, as some tutorials recommend.
Stirred together as they cool, the wax and oil set up into a creamy, buttery paste. Wooden chopsticks make for easy, non-sloshy stirring, and their pointy tips help to break up the bars of wax as they melt into the oil. A couple bamboo skewers or the stick-end of a spoon would also work well.
And that's it, really! Procure beeswax and oil, then heat and stir. Now you're ready to give all of your wooden kitchenwares a dose of much-needed moisture, adding a lovely sheen and extending their life for years to come.
Use Your Spoon Butter!
Have you made a batch of spoon butter and are now wondering how to go about using it on your cutting boards and wooden spoons? Here's how!
How To Make Spoon Butter
Makes about 3/4 of a pint
What You Need
1 quart water
2 ounces natural beeswax
8 ounces cold-pressed sunflower oil (or other neutral vegetable oil)
Pint mason jar
Pair of wooden or bamboo chopsticks
- Combine the beeswax and oil: Place the bars of beeswax in the mason jar, and pour in the sunflower oil.
- Heat water: Heat a quart of water in a small (2-quart) saucepan over medium heat.
- Submerge the mason jar into the water: When the water begins to simmer, turn the heat down to low. Gently lower the mason jar into the water, taking care not to splash any water into the jar.
- Let the wax melt: After ten minutes, turn off the heat but leave the pot on the stove. Let the jar sit in the water for ten more minutes. As the wax melts, use the chopsticks to break up the large pieces, helping them to melt more quickly.
- Remove the jar: Remove the jar from the water. All of the wax should have melted into the oil, combining into a golden, translucent liquid. If there are still pieces of solid wax, give the mixture a good stir with the chopsticks until thoroughly melted.
- Let the mixture sit, then stir: Let the jar sit for 20 minutes. The liquid will have begun to cloud over a bit. Give it a stir, let sit for another 20 minutes, then stir a final time to ensure an evenly mixed, creamy spoon butter.
- Cool at room temperature: Leave to cool to room temperature, then cover and store for up to 6 months.
- In place of sunflower seed oil, you may use soybean, safflower, flaxseed, or another neutral vegetable oil.
- Wondering how to use your spoon butter? Here's the scoop: How To Oil and Maintain Wood Cutting Boards in 5 Minutes a Month.
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