Caring for a cutting board
Cutting boards or chopping boards need constant care and maintenance. They need to be washed, dried, and sometimes oiled. This is highly important as your food goes on them, and if you do not maintain your cutting board, you are at risk of getting your food contaminated by harmful microbes. Maintaining your cutting boards helps to prolong their lifespan. So how do you take care of a wood cutting board? First we would need to know what wood cutting boards are made of and what make maintenance is needed on that material.
So what are Wood Cutting Boards?
Wood cutting boards are very attractive, and they have features that make them different from other cutting boards. They vary in shape, size, and even color. They have their strengths and weaknesses.
Wood cutting boards are mostly made of hardwood such as teak, walnut, berry, birch, maple, etc. Hardwoods that have small pores and tight grain are the best choice used to make a wooden cutting board. This attribute helps to diminish scars on the board and also prevent it from absorbing dirt and liquids.
Hardwood with large pores like red oak is not a good choice for making a cutting board because the board would have absorbed liquid and dirt even after cleaning.
Furthermore, wood cutting boards are naturally antiseptic, and this helps to hinder microbial growth and germs on the board and also prevents food poisoning.
Wood boards are durable and have a soft surface that helps to keep knives sharp and prevent frequent sharpening. They also have a self-healing ability that prevents the board from having scratches by closing up shallow cuts on the board.
Just like other cutting boards, wood cutting boards have their flaws that you must consider if you want to get one. They are expensive and are not easy to clean and maintain.
Although wood cutting boards are not easy to clean and maintain, you can learn how to care for them. In this article, we would teach you ways by which you can care for your board.
How to Maintain your Wood Cutting Board
The following steps are essential to maintaining a wooden cutting board:
Step 1: Wash the board
Wood cutting boards should be washed immediately after use so that germs would not sink into them. They should be hand-washed with soap and hot water. After washing, rinse the board with hot water only and clean it with a dry and clean towel then, let the board stand on its edges for proper drying.
Wood cutting boards should never be put in the dishwasher because they would absorb a large quantity of water which can cause damage to the board. They should not also be immersed in water or left in the sink to be washed later to prevent them from bending out of shape.
Step 2: Disinfect the board
Many people use one cutting board to cut raw meat and other food types. If you do this, you would need to disinfect your board regularly because the blood from the meat can seep into the board, causing harmful bacteria and germs to get into the board.
Disinfecting can be done by applying a mixture of liquid chlorine bleach and water. White vinegar, also known as acetic acid, also serves as a good disinfectant for any bacteria or germs on the board. Cutting vegetables on your board without disinfecting immediately after cutting raw meat should never be done.
Better still, you should have a board for different food types.
Step 3: Remove stains and odour
A mixture of hot water, salt, and baking soda help to remove tough stains and deodorize the board. Apply the paste all over the board and scrub the board thoroughly then, rinse the board with hot water and wipe it with a dry towel.
Using lime, white vinegar, and coarse salt is another method you can use to remove tough stains and odor from your board.
First, you squeeze the lime juice all over the board then you add the white vinegar and lastly, you add the coarse salt. Secondly, rub the three substances all over the board and leave it for about fifteen to twenty-five minutes so that the board can absorb these cleansing agents very well. Lastly, rinse the board very well with warm water and clean the board with either a paper towel or a soft cloth.
Step 4: Oil the board
Before oiling your board, you should make sure the board is dry so that it can absorb the oil very fast. Food grade mineral oil is an excellent material used for lubricating your wood cutting board. Apply a sizeable amount of mineral oil on the board and rub it on all parts of the board with a clean, soft towel.
Leave the board for about three to four hours so it can absorb the oil well. Repeat this process until the board can no longer absorb any more oil. Use a dry towel to clean any excess oil on the board so that it would not be sticky.
Wood cutting boards should be lubricated as frequently as you use them. An easy way to know when it is time to do so is by putting a few drops of water on the board. If the water remains the same after a few minutes, then there is no need to lubricate, but if the water is absorbed by the board, then you need to lubricate your board.
Step 5: Renovating the board
After an extended period, it would be difficult to avoid marks on the board. Fortunately, you can make your board look as good as new when it gets to this stage. There are three different grits of sandpaper that can be used, the 100, 180 and 240 grits of sandpaper.
First, cover the board with sand and use the 100 grit since it is coarse, then the 180 grit which is less rough and lastly the fine 240 grit. Rinse the board thoroughly with warm water and dry appropriately.
We’ve been able to look at how you’d care for your cutting board. Ensure that you follow these steps so your boards can last long. Although wood cutting boards are not easy to maintain, they are worth the effort.
If properly maintained, you’d have your highly durable, antiseptic, hygienic wood cutting board serve you for an extended period. They are expensive, so a few minutes of maintenance wouldn’t hurt.