CARING FOR YOUR WOOD CUTTING BOARDS & WOODEN UTENSILS
In researching this topic, I have found that the number one issue seems to be the debate over wood cutting boards vs. plastic boards and that centers around contamination. Since I make wood cutting boards & wood kitchen utensils, this whole debate is a non-issue for me, BUY WOOD! With proper care and a little common sense, you can easily avoid any of the negative problems wood might present and in the process high-light the positive benefits. The following information is presented as suggestions on how best to care for wood cutting boards and wood kitchen utensils.
There are Three Major Steps to Caring for Your Wood Cutting Board
STEP #1: CLEAN IT
After using your board, take a dry paper towel and wipe off any excess debris. Next, using plain, unscented dish soap, scrub it down with a soapy sponge, making sure to use the “scrubby” side of the sponge. Rinse the board with hot water, rinse and dry thoroughly. NOTE: NEVER submerge cutting boards in a sink of water, or wash in a dishwasher! Wood is porous and will soak up water causing the cutting board to crack when it dries.
STEP #2: DISINFECT & STERALIZE IT
For this, I will mention two of the most popular products.
Vinegar: Using a spray bottle, put 4 parts water to 1 part white distilled vinegar. The acetic acid in the vinegar is a good disinfectant. Vinegar is especially good for people with chemical allergies. Spray the board liberally all over. Soak it thoroughly; making sure the board is completely covered. Leave it set for 5 minutes and then wipe dry.
Hydrogen Peroxide: 3% hydrogen peroxide can also be used as a bacteria-killer. To kill the germs on your cutting board, use a paper towel to wipe the board down with vinegar, and then use another paper towel to wipe it with the hydrogen peroxide.
STEP #3: SEAL THE BOARD
Sealing, oiling, or re-seasoning a cutting board is essential because detergents and soaps used for cleaning tend to dry out the wood, causing splits and an overall shorter useful lifespan. Oiling or re-seasoning the board also seals the grain against bacteria. Mineral oil, beeswax, almond or coconut oil will work. Re-oil the board depending on the frequency of washing, as the soaps will eventually remove the oils in the wood. If you want to use mineral oil, look for something called “food grade” mineral oil, which means there are no perfumes, or chemicals in it, just pure, light mineral oil. Using about 3 to 4 tablespoons, apply the oil liberally and let it soak in. The wood is porous and it will soak in the oil. You can also rub it into the wood, using a clean cloth, or a paper towel will also work. Stand the board on end, or prop it up for a few hours, re-oiling until the wood does not absorb any more oil. Wipe off and excess. If using mineral oil, warm it slightly before applying. Apply in the direction of the grain.
Here Are A Few Extra Tips You Might Find Useful
All cutting boards and other wooden utensils, should be kept dry when not in use. Resident bacteria survive no more than a few hours without moisture. Keep moisture of any type from standing on your board for long periods of time. Beware of moisture collection beneath the board, if you leave it on the counter. If you can, prop one end up when not using your board.
To eliminate garlic, onion, fish, or other smells from your cutting board, you might use: Coarse salt or baking soda. Rub the board with coarse salt or baking soda, let stand a few minutes and wipe off, then rinse. You may need to re-season after rinsing.
Lemon: Another very easy technique is to rub fresh lemon juice or rub a cut lemon over the surface of the cutting board to neutralize onion and garlic odors. You may need to re-season after rinsing your board.
To eliminate cross-contamination of food, the Meat & Poultry Hot Line recommends, that consumers using wooden cutting boards may do so, if used “exclusively” for raw meat and poultry. Use a different board for cutting other foods such as produce and bread. This will prevent bacteria from a meat or poultry from contaminating another food. Or, clean and sanitize cutting boards when switching between types of food products (e.g., from raw meats to produce, from raw foods to cooked.)
Once meat is cut, wash the board immediately in warm soapy water. The longer a dirty cutting board sits, the more time bacteria have to embed itself into the wood.
You should always store wooden kitchen implements in a dry place. Extreme cold or heat, not to mention humidity, will cause them to crack and warp. PLEASE NOTE: All my boards & kitchen utensils are “Pre-Seasoned”, by me, so it is not necessary for you to do that. I use a food-safe, non-toxic, product with bees wax as its base.
DO NOT use to serve heated foods!! DO NOT run through dish washer!!
PLEASE NOTE: I INCLUDE A COPY OF THIS INFORMATION WITH EACH CUTTING BOARD I SELL...........