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    Tips for Treating a Hardwood Cutting Board

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    Despite the fact that a fine chef’s knife is the most popular answer when individuals are asked to select their favorite kitchen tool, the reality is that a decent knife is useless without a good cutting board. One of the best and most useful kitchen tools is the cutting board.

    Cutting boards are essential for properly cooking meat, poultry, vegetables, and other foods in addition to maintaining your countertop in excellent condition. For the same reason, having a high-quality cutting board is crucial.  

    Types of Cutting Board

    There are variations in the quality of each individual cutting board. Plastic boards, for instance, are a choice that is both cost-effective and long-lasting. Granite, glass, and other types of stone-made cutting boards aren’t the best for everyday usage, but they definitely are good for creating cheese and charcuterie platters that look good on Instagram.

    And hardwood cutting boards, which are both functional and attractive, are the most traditional and popular kind. A high-quality hardwood cutting board may be a necessary and attractive kitchen centerpiece, but there is a caveat: since it is made of wood, the technique for cleaning it is different from how you care for other culinary tools. 

    Hardwood Cutting Board

    Wood cutting boards have several positive attributes, including the fact that they make chopping more enjoyable and are easier on knife blades. They are also far more stunning than the plastic ones.

    Wood is a product of nature. This indicates that wood that has been transformed into a cutting board is still “alive”. The wood responds to variations in temperature and humidity by contracting and expanding. As a result, wood may fracture and develop cracks. These holes may quickly become bacterial hotspots, which is the last thing you want on a cutting board.

    Why Do You Need to Clean Your Hardwood Cutting Boards?

    a man washing a wooden cutting board

    Cleaning your wooden cutting boards on a regular basis is recommended for a number of different reasons. Cleaning helps prevent damage to your cutting boards and extends their longevity. In the kitchen, the whole aesthetic might be ruined by one broken or worn-looking utensil.

    Cleaning also gets rid of any leftover germs, food, or other things from cooking. Eliminating these contaminants helps prevent food poisoning and cross-contamination.

    What is the most effective method for cleaning a wooden cutting board? How can you prevent its fracture? Wooden cutting boards do need some upkeep, but the effort is worthwhile. Here are some tips for keeping a wooden cutting board in good shape so that it lasts for years!

    1. Clean The Cutting Board

    When you’re done cutting, you should wash the chopping board right away. This would help get rid of the bacteria that was making the board smell bad. Applying soap and water is the first step in cleaning wood cutting boards, just as you would when cleaning other dishes and kitchenware. Use a clean sponge to scrub the whole surface of the wood, then thoroughly rinse off both sides. Be careful to get rid of any leftover food or soap suds. Then use a clean towel to dry it. It must be stored in a dry area.

    2. Cut Anything with Ease

    This is one of the most significant components in maintaining the optimal condition of your cutting board. The only need is a sharp knife with a sharp point. This protects your wooden board from large gashes that might cripple it and allows you to use the least amount of effort while slicing something.

    3. Get Rid of Tough Stains

    Wooden cutting boards are prone to stains throughout the food preparation process. Cutting boards may easily get stained, so if you see stain on yours, act quickly. Over time, stains get tougher to remove. 

    Start by putting a lot of salt or baking soda on the surface of the cutting board. Then, soak a sponge or brush in hot water and scrub the spot until the stain is gone. To add a special touch and a pleasant citrus scent, cut a lemon in half, sprinkle the flat side with salt, and clean the stained area.

    Rinse your hardwood cutting board with lukewarm water for a few minutes after removing a stain. To eliminate any extra moisture, pat dry with a towel.

    4. Remove Odors with Vinegar

    When food particles become lodged and begin to ferment in the cuts of an old cutting board, the board takes on an unpleasant odor. You can get rid of this smell by putting white vinegar on the board. If the smell is mild to moderate, put vinegar in a spray bottle and give your board a good spraying. After allowing the material to settle for a few minutes, rinse the cutting board with water.

    You may soak the whole board in a sink or container of white vinegar if the smell is on the verge of becoming toxic. Simply submerging it for a minute or two is enough; any longer could result in your board splitting or cracking. When the time is up, rinse the board with water and allow it to dry naturally.

    5. Condition Your Cutting Board 

    Conditioning cutting boards is a must if you want them to maintain their luster and shine. Water and food scents are not as easily absorbed by a conditioned wood cutting board. A board that has been treated may also guard against microorganisms and prevent cracking and warping. If your cutting board warps or splits, it will become unstable when you use it for chopping, and the cracks will collect germs from spills and food debris.

    Cutting boards made of wood are especially sensitive to drying out. Mineral and other oils of food-grade quality may be used as a preventative measure. Why would you use a specialty oil instead of something you already have in your kitchen? A cutting board is not the same as a skillet or a bowl of lettuce. You shouldn’t condition your cutting boards with cooking oil.

    What’s the reason? Rancidity. Even the most stable oils, such as coconut oil, can grow rancid with time. The smell is the main drawback. If you use mineral oil or a combination of beeswax and mineral oil, you won’t have any problems.

    Mineral Oil and Beeswax Board Cream. 

    Food-grade mineral oil is highly recommended by several makers of cutting boards and chefs. Mineral oils are utilized to keep the board in its original condition while also nourishing the wood’s grain. In addition to this, mineral oils are one of the methods that may help to keep a healthy appearance while also being one of the most cost-effective alternatives. By applying oils to the cutting board, you may prevent it from losing its size and form, as well as give it a look that is both natural and refined.

    When applied to a wooden cutting board, beeswax is more effective than mineral oil in bringing out the board’s natural shine and protecting it from moisture. Because it is difficult to massage your cutting board with a chunk of hard wax, it is recommended that you use a board cream that contains mineral oil and beeswax instead.

    Although there is no predetermined standard for how often it needs oiling, many individuals used to do it before each usage. When cuts and kicks on the cutting board are noticeable and the color of the board may start to fade, these are some of the few warning signs that should prompt you to oil it right away.

    Errors To Avoid 

    chopping board

    It is possible to harm hardwood cutting boards if inappropriate processes or cleaning methods are used. Here are some frequent errors to avoid:

    • Do not place a damp cutting board on its flat surface. Placing anything flat may trap and lock in excess moisture, which can cause bacteria to grow.
    • Stains should not be ignored. Over time, stains get tougher to remove.
    • Avoid placing your cutting board in the dishwasher. Excessive contact with water will cause wood to expand, resulting in fiber separation and cracking.

    Wrapping Up: 

    One of the most useful items in the kitchen is a cutting board. It is used on a daily basis for food preparation. You now understand that in order to keep your wooden board in pristine shape, you must maintain its cleanliness and lubricate it to retain its organic form. If you can effortlessly do both of these duties, you will be able to keep them for years. 

    If you witness warping, cracking, and bacteria begins to mix up on your board then it’s the correct time to seek for a new hardwood cutting board. However, if you are able to handle these problems on your own, then treat it properly and restore it.

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