How to Care for Your Wood Cutting Boards

bamboo-cutting-boardIn the previous post, “Dangerous Equipment Lurking in Your Camp Kitchen—Cutting Boards,” I talked about how wood, specifically bamboo, cutting boards are best because of their strength and natural antibacterial properties. They are also easy on your knives and won’t dull them like glass, stone, marble or porcelain. See my blog post, “Now that’s a Knife,” for more information on the use and care of knives.

Caring for your wood cutting boards is pretty simple, and I like keeping it simple.

Wash boards after each use in warm, soapy water. If you have chunks of food stuck on the surface, use a knife or kitchen scraper to remove most of it before washing. Do not leave boards to soak! Do not wash wooden cutting boards in the dishwasher. They will absorb water, and this could trash your cutting board. Dry thoroughly before storing. I prefer air drying in the dish rack.

To remove odors, rub down with half a lemon or spritz with some vinegar. This will also help sanitize the board.

Wood cutting boards should be regularly seasoned with a good quality cutting board oil. You can find them in most hardware stores. Mineral oil is typically used, since it does not go rancid. Do not use vegetable oil or olive oil. To season, start with a clean, dry cutting board. Coat entire surface with a layer of oil and rub it in. Set the oiled board in a warm, dry area for 12 to 24 hours to fully absorb the oil. Buff to remove any oil that may not have been absorbed. Repeat as needed any time your board starts looking dull.

Keep your knives sharp. Dull knives mean that you have to press harder to cut, which will mark up your board.

And that’s really all there is to keeping your wood or bamboo cutting boards in good condition.

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