Proper Care of Unfinished Wood Chopping Bowls

Thank you for all the wonderful feed back on the Big Beautiful Chopped Salad video. I hope many of you are now making your own chopped salads. We recieved some questions regarding the care of unfinished chopping bowls. Hubby Tom was kind enough to demonstrate how he oils our bowl and the proper way to care for it. We have had our bowl for about a year now and we use it all the time – twice a day usually! It has held up really well – no cracking and that is because Tom oils it on a regular basis.

Wood Chopping Bowl Nutmeg Notebook

Wood Chopping Bowl
Nutmeg Notebook

When the unfinished wood bowl arrives this is what it looks like – pictured above and below.

Unfinished Wood Bowl Nutmeg Notebook

Unfinished Wood Bowl
Nutmeg Notebook


Tom shows you exactly how to oil the bowl and talks about the initial care instructions and proper care there after. In the video you can see what our bowl looks like after a year of daily use.

To recap the instructions in the video when the 15 inch Unfinished Solid Beech Wood Bowl arrives you will need to oil it before using it. You can go to your local drug store and purchase a bottle of mineral oil. Pour some in a small sauce pan and heat it up. Using a paper towel dipped in the warm oil start spreading the oil over the inside and outside of the bowl. The wood will soak up the oil and this prevents it from cracking. The bowl should be oiled once a week for the first month. Once a month for the next 6 months and as needed after that. My friend Sharon McRae told me about a vegan product called Bartow & Son’s Vegan Cutting Board Oil that is available on Amazon.

To wash the bowl after using it for chopping do not immerse it in water – use a clean soapy dish cloth to wipe out the bowl, rinse the bowl and then dry it immediately. You do not want water to stand in the bowl.

Happy Chopping!


A Little Nutmeg Nugget: When I started this blog in January of 2010 I followed what I understood to be a healthy version of the standard American diet, ironically also known as the “SAD” diet. As interest in my own health and how it was affected by the food I ate evolved, I transitioned to a whole food plant based diet also known as “WFPB” diet. I have wrestled with the fact that this blog still contains all those posts and recipes from the SAD way of eating I have left behind. I no longer advocate for anyone to eat that way. At this time I am leaving those recipes and posts here. It is a record of my journey and how I came to follow a WFPB way of eating. It is my hope that those who still come here for those old recipes will be curious about what I am doing now. Perhaps they will dip their toes across the line as I did and try some plant based recipes and learn more about the health benefits.

Please feel free to leave a comment or ask a question.


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  1. Michelle says:

    Thanks for sharing this. Is it safe to put food back in the bowl right after you oil it? Or do you have to let it soak in for a bit?

    1. Tami says:

      The first time he oiled it we let it sit over night before using it. Now Tom dries the bowl out with a clean paper towel after oiling it and then we go ahead and use it right away!

  2. Nancy Mathews says:

    Loved the video Tom and Tami! I’ve had a bowl similar to this for many years. I’ve stopped using it because I’m concerned the finish, (red stain) may be coming off when I chop. I’ve had my eye on the 15″ Birch bowl that you have linked above. The problem is every time I go to buy it (when I think about it or see your chopped salad video) it’s out of stock on amazon. Last night I found a 15″ hardwood bowl on etsy. The cost is almost the same.

    Keep these video’s coming you two are helping change the health desitny of many people!

    Big HUGS! Can’t wait for you to come up to a Plant Based Chico meeting someday soon and do a demo on your big beautiful salad preparation.


    1. Tami says:

      Hi Nancy,

      Thank you so much for your words of encouragement! I know that bowl sells out all the time! I am so glad you found one that will work – I wouldn’t use one that was stained just for the reasons you mentioned. It is important to oil the bowl to keep it from cracking. I admire what you and Nick are doing for your community with your WFPB group and your new adventure into providing meals. Tom and I would be happy to come up and demonstrate how to make our big beautiful salads! That would be fun! We will need to get that on our schedule as the holidays are approaching and life is getting busy!

      Happy Healthy Cooking!


  3. Jeannie says:

    I did the research on the Bowl once I saw it was not available on Amazon. It is actually made by Holland Bowl Mill in Holland, Michigan. You can call and order directly from them. They also sell 2nds for a reduced cost. They dip the bowl for you and engrave the bottom if you’d like. I just ordered a 2nd of the 15 inch birch which included the engraving, dipping in B’s oil, shipping, and 2 ounce bottle of B’s oil for out the door price of $100. This was $25 off of the original, but the gentleman on the phone handpicked it for me and was very nice and helpful. My bowl will arrive by UPS ground this next week.

    1. Tami says:


      Thank you for sharing – that is great news! What a great deal you got! Thank you so much for letting us know.
      I am very excited for you – it’s a great bowl!

      Happy Healthy Cooking,


  4. Heidi says:

    Hi Tami and Tom! This great video was my reminder/wake up call to do something about my new bamboo bowl. I purchased it a few weeks ago from Amazon and have been using it but forgot all about treating it with oil! Since you two are experts on this, I thought I’d check with you to see if bamboo should be treated the same way as birch or other hardwoods. Thanks so much!!
    Heidi Zee (from the UWL Mastery group 🙂

    1. Tami says:

      Hi Heidi,

      Yes you do need to oil your bamboo bowl to keep it from cracking. I recently learned about a vegan product from Sharon McRae that she uses for her bowls. I will be updating our links to reflect this product for those who don’t want to use mineral oil. You can purchase food grade mineral oil at drug stores, Amazon and home goods stores. Here is a link to the vegan product that is on Amazon http://amzn.to/2icMDf9 you will extend the life of your bowl by keeping it oiled. Sharon said she didn’t oil one of her bowls and it indeed did crack.

      Happy Healthy Cooking!


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