We’ve all been there haven’t we? One day you plan on hosting your friends for a dinner party, and what’s more you decide to cook the turkey yourself. Cutting and cooking the turkey is tedious as it is, but cleaning the wooden cutting board afterwards is a pain…
I, for one, absolutely dread even looking at the wooden board after cutting raw meat upon it. How do we even begin to clean a wood cutting board after preparing raw meat? No need to worry though, because below we’ll share some hacks to make your wooden cutting board squeaky clean.
Not that any of you sensible folk need reminding this, but just to err on the side of caution, here’s a disclaimer. Always use a clean wooden cutting board to prepare your food. And always wash it with clean running water once you’re done with it. It’s a blessing that we can’t see on a microscopic level, trust me. Otherwise, the bacterial horrors that can germinate on the surface of an uncleaned wooden board would have sent us into a coma! So if you don’t clean your wooden board regularly, it only takes a day or two at max for bacteria to start thriving. Therefore, always remember to rinse your wooden board after it has been used.
And while you’re at it. Here’s another public service message for you: never soak your wooden boards in water. Yes, you read that correctly. Water is your wooden board’s best friend when running, standing still in a bucket or dishwasher, it’s your board’s absolute worst enemy. This is because when wood absorbs water it swells, and while drying it shrinks. This causes it to split and crack. Drastically reducing the life of your wooden cutting board. So if you’re one of us thrifty folks, steer well clear of still water for your wooden boards.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way. Let’s find out how to clean our wooden cutting boards properly, especially after preparing raw meat. Moreover, cutting raw meat often leaves behind a ghastly odor. We’ve got how to get rid of it covered as well. So keep reading on to find out how some of the top chefs around the world keep their wooden cutting boards clean.
Before I tell you how to clean your wooden boards after cutting raw meat. Here’s a quick life-hack to avoid getting those dreaded stains on your wooden board. All the ingredients you’ll need are most likely already a part of your kitchen arsenal. These include: a sponge; baking soda; lemon; salt; and vinegar.
After you’re done with the board, sprinkle some baking soda on the surface. Work it hard into the surface with a lemon. Yes you read that right, a lemon! Lemons are acidic in nature, and combine well with baking soda to remove even the most stubborn of stains. And as an added bonus, your wood cutting board will smell fresh and terrific! After you’re done, just rinse the board under running water and let it stand to air dry.
Okay so moving on to the ‘meaty’ part of our article. Cleaning the wooden board after cutting raw meat can be a little tedious as compared to cleaning it after preparing veggies for instance. Raw meat can often contain traces of blood and these can stick to your wooden board. So before you start cleaning the board, it is important to disinfect it with a strong disinfectant.
You’ll need to visit the local mart or pharmacy and buy a 3% solution of Hydrogen Peroxide. It is readily available to buy over the counter. Mix one tablespoon of it in one cup of warm water. Then, dab a cotton swab or a piece of cotton cloth in the solution and wipe the stained area. Be careful not to touch it with your bare hands, as it can sting. Again just like before, let it air dry and then rinse it off.
Remember the 3 % Hydrogen Peroxide solution will sizzle and fizzle atop the surface of the board. This is perfectly fine, and isn’t detrimental at all for the surface of the board. This just means that the solution is fighting to kill the bacteria. I cannot stress enough the importance of doing this every time you cut meat on your wooden boards.
If buying one is out of the equation, you can prepare one yourself at home. Simply mix 2 teaspoons of chlorine bleach in approximately half-gallon of clear, warm water. Next, using a sponge, douse it in the solution and wipe clean the surface of the wooden board. Remember to use circular motions while using the sponge, as it will ensure an even distribution throughout the surface area. Let it air dry for while, and then rinse it thoroughly below tap water.
Next step is to prepare a soapy detergent. Personally speaking, I just use a bit of soap and mix it in some water till it lathers. Then taking a piece of cloth and dampening it in it, clean the wooden cutting board. This will completely clean the surface of the wooden board, and then you can just let it air-dry till further use.
As far as the odor of raw-meat is concerned, simply wash your wooden board with a little white vinegar on both sides. White vinegar is strong enough to get rid of even the filthiest of stenches. And the best part is that once it dries, its own smell completely evaporates away.
And finally, always remember to let the wooden board air dry while standing. Else, moisture can become trapped beneath its surface. There, all done. Now that you know this stuff, it’s pretty simple right? Onto the next culinary adventure for you! And now you’ll never have to worry about properly cleaning your wooden cutting board after preparing raw meat.