Sanitizing, cleaning and sealing are the three basic rules in taking care of your wooden cutting board
. It is interesting how we have certain items in the home that we provide regular maintenance for, yet other items are ignored, or taken for granted. Cutting boards, an essential item we use every day, seem to be in this category of items. Generally it gets wiped clean after use, but have we taken the necessary foresight to guarantee that it be functional and safe for a long period of time?
The golden rules of cutting board care: Clean, sanitize and seal!
- First you need to thoroughly clean the board with soapy, warm water
- Sanitize the board by spraying it with water and white vinegar
- Seal the board with either cutting board oil or mineral oil.
Always clean the board after using. For example, you have just made chicken cordon bleu. Now your cutting board is littered with Swiss cheese and bread crumbs! Hopefully you used a separate board for the chicken and ham. First you need to remove the crumbs and liquids with a paper towel. Then use a scrubbing side of sponge and warm soapy water to clean board. Finish with hot water to rinse off the cutting board and dry with clean towel. Air drying is preferred as it allows objects to dry without becoming contaminated by your towels.
Regular sanitizing. Aside from regular cleaning of your board with sponge and soapy water, it is vitally important that you sanitize the board often, especially if used to cut raw meat. Use one part white vinegar to four parts water in a clean spray bottle, completely spray the cutting board. The let it set for about 5 minutes, before wiping the excess off. Let board stand to air dry.
Sealing the cutting board. Use either mineral oil or cutting board oil (about 3-4 tablespoons). You simply apply to the board with even strokes, until coated. Then let the board sit for roughly 30 minutes, until the oil is absorbed into the board. Remove any excess with a paper towel. That’s how little it takes to seal your board! Olive oil is often used in this process, but it can go rancid, which makes your board downright nasty.
For long lasting performance seal your board every few months, depending on how often you use your wood cutting board
. This helps to prevent the wood board from drying out and cracking. You can judge when to seal again, as the wood on the board starts to get lighter when the sealing starts to wear off.
Make sure to clean your wood cutting board as soon as you finish using it, it will be easy to keep in great shape for years to come!