Why use a wooden cutting board?
Wooden cutting boards should be your everyday kitchen workhorse. You have a few alternatives for cutting board material choices, and the tougher materials such as marble or glass do have their place for heavy duty cooking processes. Wood is the superior choice for an every day cutting board, for a variety of reasons. Bacteria has a proven lower survival rate on wooden cutting boards than on plastic. Your knives will stay sharper if you don't use commonly use them on harsh surfaces such as marble, plastic, or even glass which all dull the edge of your blade over time. On top of all those great qualities, wooden cutting boards are an aesthetically beautiful addition to your kitchen. If you learn how to maintain your board properly through this post, you should go over to our Ultimate Guide to Naturally Cleaning Your Kitchen to learn more ways to upkeep your culinary haven.
How to Maintain your Wooden Cutting Board
Wood is naturally a porous material, so you have to put a bit of effort into making sure that a sufficient protective finish is present on your new board. The easiest way to do this is with food-safe mineral oil, you can easily find this on Amazon, or any big box store.
- Seasoning your cutting board is fundamentally similar to the process involved in seasoning a cast iron pan. Before you use your cutting board for the first time, you want to cover it in a thick layer of mineral oil and rub it in thoroughly with a clean dish towel. It'll probably look like you poured way too much on the surface, but just give it an additional 5 minutes or so and it'll soak right in.
- Repeat this process about 3 more times, and your board will perform better than any other material you've ever used. When you build up this protective layer, you ensure that the aromatic herbs, the onions, and even the pungent garlic you chop are not becoming part of this originally porous material.
- Maintain your board's protective layer by repeating this process every 3-4 months, or once you notice that the exterior is drying out or appearing thin in a negative manner. If you're someone who cooks every day, multiple times a day - you might need to address this issue on a more frequent basis.
How to Treat a Scratched up Cutting Board
You may find that the wood you chose for their daily cutting board is a little softer than ideal, or perhaps you work with intensely sharp knives. If either one of those potentials apply to you, you may want to consider re-sanding the surface of your cutting board every few months. I would personally only do this if it was effecting the actual cutting experience. If it's just a visual problem, that's up to the reader's discretion.
You want to give the cutting board a light sanding. You'll find that the higher the grit number, the smoother your finish will be. I'd recommend starting out in the 200-300 bracket, and moving that number upward if a smoother finish is desired. After you sand down the surface, just repeat the seasoning process from earlier and you'll be ready to start using it again.
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