I just made a sauerkraut stomper from an old tulip tree branch - nice and dry, seasoned but not rotten.
I was wondering how to treat it. My primary concern is the action end which is still porous. I like the feel of the wood as it is, making tools like this is a very tactile process. My initial thought was to rub it with walnut oil as I did with my wooden kitchen boards and bowls. What if I dipped the end in melted beeswax to seal it? What about tung oil?
Walnut oil, flaxseed oil (just food grade linseed), rub it with beeswax (I think melting the beeswax and dipping is overkill, but just my opinion), spoon butter - a cream/paste made by blending the polymerizing oil of your choice with beeswax, or nothing at all.
I put a finish on spoons and treen that I'm putting up for sale because people like the look of finished pieces better. Once you start using it, and washing it, well, either you're re-applying finish quite frequently or it's an unfinished piece again before very long at all ;)
Jeff Wesolowski wrote:I've never treated mine just let air dry and have had for twenty years. I just clean it water. Mine is just a firewood round with a broomstick in it.
Considering that with sauerkraut we're looking for a biological reaction, I wonder if leaving it natural wood would be an asset? Would it transfer the helpful microbes? Possibly not, since at the stomping stage, it isn't kraut yet.
Very nice stomper - making kraut is on my todo list and I could use a nice stomper! No time to put making a stomper onto my list as well!
People have been making 'kraut since forever. I doubt that sourcing walnut oil was much of a concern. There was work to do. Just get mashing.
Aside: at my old place there were a couple of kraut stones in the basement; it took me a while to figure out what they were. Perhaps they had some unique dormant bacteria embedded in their pores. They were a century old, and I left them there -- what was I thinking!