Many people are intimidated to own a wooden cutting board because caring for them seems daunting. It’s true, you can’t just toss them in the dishwasher and forget about it, but it’s not an arduous process to care for them either. If you follow these steps, you should have no problem getting your wooden cutting board to last for years to come.
- Buy a quality wooden cutting board to start. If you cheap out here, you will have problems later, as it just wasn’t built to last. While you’re buying your cutting board, you’ll want to pick up some cutting board oil or wax as well. If you’re buying your cutting board from a reputable source, oil should be available from the same source as your cutting board. If not, you don’t want to be buying your cutting board there. And if you don’t already have some white vinegar at home, you’ll want to pick that up as well for cleaning your wooden cutting board (just from your local grocery store is fine).
- Before first use, “wash” your cutting board. This wash is going to look differently to your other dishes. Do not let your cutting board soak in water. Quickly rinse the outside to get the surface wet, then use a soapy sponge to run over the entire surface of the cutting board. Rinse and dry immediately. This will likely be the only time your cutting board will be near your sink or touched with soap.
- Next, set out a layer of paper towels on your counter big enough for your cutting board to lay on. Place your cutting board on top and drizzle a small amount of cutting board oil on it. Using a dry paper towel (or this fancy tool which makes oiling a breeze), distribute the oil over the entire surface of your cutting board. Let this sit overnight before flipping your cutting board over and repeating to the other side. Do this whether or not you plan on using both sides of your cutting board to cut on. This is a 5 minute process. Most of the work is done by time – not you.
- After both sides have sat with oil on them overnight, use a clean, dry paper towel to wipe off any excess oil from the board and you’re done! Your cutting board is ready to be used.
- From this point on, you’re going to clean your cutting board after each use by spraying a 1:1 mixture of water and white vinegar and wiping dry with a dish towel or paper towel. Look, even easier than washing your other dishes! Vinegar is a natural disinfectant due to its acidity and can actually be used to clean anything in your home. You can add natural scents to it as well like orange or grapefruit peel if the smell of vinegar doesn’t do it for you.
- You’ll want to re-oil your cutting board every so often as it starts to look dry. The frequency will vary widely depending on use, so just keep an eye on it, and if it’s looking dull or dry, give it another round of oiling. We cook once a week and usually re-oil our wooden board once every 3 months or so. It’s not an exact science, just don’t let it dry out to the point where it will crack.
Hopefully reading this article has demystified the care needed for a wooden cutting board. It really will be the most used item in your kitchen once you understand that it’s not something to be afraid of. Have any worries or hesitating for a reason we didn’t cover above? Let us know in the comments below or at [email protected].