Wooden cutting boards are a joy to work with. They keep your knife sharper and, if properly cared for, last for years. Unlike a plastic variety, wooden boards require a little more maintenance. Here are a few easy steps to clean and protect your wooden cutting board: 1. Season: Just like a cast iron pan, wooden cutting boards need to be seasoned. Mineral oils, beeswax, and special butcher block sealing solutions are good choices-make sure it's food grade though! Oiling the cutting board prevents the wood from drying out, splitting, and cracking.
2. Sanitize: You should always use separate cutting boards for raw animal and vegetable products. Although it's not recommended to cut raw meat on wooden surfaces, the Meat and Poultry Hotline approves boards used exclusively for raw meats. Cleaning the cutting board after prep work is still essential to prevent cross-contamination and illness. A thorough soap and water scrub is a solid first step, but not sufficient. Vinegar and hydrogen peroxide are effective bacteria-killers, but the best way to sanitize the board is with a weak bleach solution.
3. Deodorize: Foods like garlic and onion can make your wooden cutting board smelly. To remove unwanted odors, spread salt or baking soda on the board. Then, rub lemon or vinegar on the board before rinsing.
4. Storage: Store your board at room temperatures in a low-humidity environment. Otherwise, your board can warp or crack.
Practice your knife skills on that new cutting board with this Shanghainese stir-fry recipe.