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Cleaning and Maintaining Wood Cutting Boards

cleaning and maintaining wood cutting boards

Cleaning and Maintaining Wood Cutting Boards clean and care for wood cutting boards. This is so liquids, food residue, and odors don’t penetrate the wood. Have you ever sliced an apple only to discover locked-in garlic from the soup you made the day before has ruined your perfect fruit? Frequently wiping the board as you use it will keep this from happening. Wash with dish soap. After discarding any food scraps on the board, rinse the board with hot water.

Apply dish soap and scrub with a sponge or dish brush. If you notice any knife marks, scratches, or inconsistencies in the wood, scrub those areas well, as bacteria tends to lurk in cracks and crevices in wooden boards. Wooden cutting boards might require a bit of maintenance, but once you know how to clean and care for them, they’ll provide you with a sturdy and strong chopping base for years to come. All you need to do to care for this kitchen workhorse is scrub the board with warm water and soap, treat stains with white vinegar, oil the surfaces, and sand the board smooth every year or so.

Another cleaning solution suitable for cutting boards is vinegar and baking soda. Apply a good amount of vinegar over the wooden board, and sprinkle baking soda all over the surface. Use a brush or lemon rind to scrub the board clean, and the grime should come right out. Rinse it thoroughly to remove any remaining residue.

Wash your cutting board

Wash your cutting board with soap and warm water and scrub well. The volume of water and mechanical scrubbing is more important than soap in flushing bacteria and other food particles off the board. After washing the cutting board, dry immediately with a towel and let it air dry standing up or on a raised rack with airflow. Use an abrasive sponge and hot, soapy water to scrub the board. “Make sure to get every inch of the board,” says Perez, adding you want a sponge that’s “going to get into the grain, but not deep enough to tear it apart.” Be sure to clean any crevices where bacteria may form.

Select the right wood cutting board

Cutting boards and knives go hand in hand as the ultimate kitchen duo and just like with knives, it’s best to give some serious thought to the type of cutting board to invest with. It’s more than just protective barriers for your countertops, and in determining which type suits your taste you would have to consider its perks and nuances. All this upkeep too much?

It’s cool! If you don’t think you’ll take care of a wooden cutting board, try an Epicurean cutting board. They’re made from reused cardboard, paper, and wood fiber—so they’re gentle on knives. You also don’t need to oil them. They have a handsome look, and—best of all—they are dishwasher-safe. The world of cutting boards can be a surprisingly complex place — there are, of course, many types of wood in the world. Some of them make for an excellent choice to cut on, while others are not ideal.

Choosing the right wood is important for a number of reasons, including keeping your knives sharp, optimizing your cutting ability, and keeping your kitchen hygienic. Now that you’ve read the pros, cons, and most importantly the hygienic protocols of each type of cutting board. This can help in choosing what’s suitable for your kitchen needs. However keep in mind that in whatever type of cutting board you choose, cross-contamination is best countered by having several boards assigned separately and solely for a specific purpose.

There’s a lot to love about wood cutting boards: They’re a pleasure to chop on and gentler on knife edges. And they’re far more beautiful than plastic ones. The only downside to wood is that it’s prone to warping and so requires more babying than plastic—wood must be hand-washed and oiled regularly. A warped board is a true tragedy in the kitchen. But by properly caring for your wood cutting board, you can help it avoid this fate so that it lasts for many years.

Eventually, plastic boards need to be tossed in the garbage bin, whereas I’ve had some of my wooden cutting boards for more than 10 years. They only get more beautiful with time, especially if well cared for and I often serve food right on my cutting board for a homey, rustic look. On top of the list is the most popular cutting board which is wood. This kind of cutting board is deemed a timeless kitchen piece.

Not only by reason of its classic look, but because with proper attention and maintenance, it can last for years. One of the most noticeable benefits of wood cutting boards is their durability. It is known to be able to withstand heavy daily use. This longevity not only makes a wood cutting board a smart financial investment but also makes it a safe tool. When preparing food, especially raw meat, you want a sturdy, reliable surface. This is important to prevent injuries. A wood cutting board provides this stability.

Apply wood cutting board oil

Generously apply food-safe mineral oil—such as Howard Cutting Board Oil or Lamson Tree Spirit Mineral Oil—to the wood, and use a paper towel to rub it evenly over the entire surface and sides of the board. The pros recommend using mineral oil (or a blend, like Boos Block Mystery Oil) because it’s flavorless and odorless, and it won’t go rancid on your board like olive or vegetable oils tend to do. Mineral oil is also inexpensive and easy to find at most hardware stores. Now to start oiling. Pour a healthy dose of mineral oil evenly over one side of the wood cutting board.

Don’t worry about being exact — you can continue adding oil as you work around the board. Using a clean, soft dish cloth or paper towel, rub the oil into the wood in the direction of the grain or in a circular motion. Oil the board once a month after disinfecting. Only use food-grade mineral oil—any other types of fats, such as olive oil or animal-based fats, can spoil and cause your board to have an unpleasant odor and attract bacteria. Apply a thin coat of oil to the entire surface of the board (front, back, and sides).

Use a soft cloth or paper towel 

To buff the oil into the wood cutting board, using a circular motion. Allow the oil to soak in for a few hours. Let the wood board rest overnight to absorb the oil. The oil will seep deep into the porous surface of the wood cutting board, softening the wood fibers, and moisturizing the wood. The wood should take on a deeper, more vibrant color, and a softer, smoother finish. Once your cutting board is thoroughly dry, apply the oil directly onto the surface of the board.

Be generous with the application, especially if the wood is dry or you just purchased the cutting board or butcher block. You want the surface to be dripping wet on all sides and we recommend using a small bar towel or a new paintbrush to spread the oil (try not to soak up the oil), as using your hands may lead to accidental splinters. Most importantly, let the oil soak into the cutting board for as long as possible; at least a few hours or overnight if possible.

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