4 Essential Tips For Caring For Your Wooden Cutting Boards

Posted on: 16 April 2019

Along with your knives and your cookware, your wooden cutting boards are one of your most important kitchen items. And like quality knives and cookware, your wooden cutting boards, when properly taken care of, can last throughout your culinary life. Here are four tips for caring for your wooden cutting boards.

Keep Your Wooden Cutting Boards Out of the Water

Wooden cutting boards cannot be soaked in the sink. They cannot be put through the dishwasher either. Wood can handle a lot, but when it becomes saturated with water, its fibers weaken. It also swells and eventually contracts as it unevenly dries. This will lead to cracks and separated layers of wood.

Wash Your Wooden Cutting Board by Hand

When you use your wooden cutting board for things like slicing bread or chopping broccoli, your cutting board may not need much more than a brushing off of a few crumbs. When you use it for things like cutting garlic, onions, and peppers, however, their oils and juices will be left behind. These oils will stay in your wooden cutting board if you don't wash them off, which could lead to garlic-flavored pears or another unpleasant flavor transfer in the future. A single drop of liquid dish soap on a wet sponge will take care of this problem. Swiftly wipe the wooden cutting board down, and then give it a quick rinse in cool water. If your cutting board still smells of garlic after washing it, wipe it down with a cut lemon half before propping it in the dish drainer to dry. 

Disinfect Your Wooden Cutting Board  

A good kitchen goal is to eventually have three wooden cutting boards. One can be used for bread, cheeses, and fresh produce; one can be used only for poultry, fish, and seafood; and one can be used just for other meats. This reduces the risk of cross-contamination. Regardless of whether you currently have one or three, your wooden cutting board can easily be disinfected from food-borne pathogens, such as salmonella, simply by using bleach. Mix one teaspoon of regular household bleach with one quart of water, wet your sponge, and thoroughly wipe the board with the bleach solution. Allow it to sit for five minutes, rinse, and then set it in the strainer to dry.

Oil Your Wooden Cutting Board

Wood dries out over time, especially if they are used often or require frequent disinfecting. To keep your wooden cutting board in good shape, it should be oiled regularly and conditioned occasionally. You don't want to use just any old cooking oil, however. Unlike cast iron pans, where the oil is baked onto the pan, cutting board oil and conditioner is absorbed. This means that if you use cooking oil, it will eventually turn rancid. Use a commercial cutting-board oil preparation made specifically for the job; these are usually made from food-grade mineral oil or beeswax. Never use an oil or wood conditioner made for furniture. To learn more, talk to companies like Walrus Oil.