Cutting Board Care

A cutting board is your culinary history.  You’re going to use it every time you prepare anything that requires a knife.  You’ll leave behind the scars of every knife stoke that you’ve ever made.  It’s the history of every wonderful, memorable meal you’ll prepare.  You need a good board.  I prefer to use wood or bamboo.  Either is easier on knives (which we never, ever put in the dishwasher, do we?), but you need to, every now and then, give a little TLC to your favorite chopping board.  By the way, I do use the plastic boards when I’m working with meat, especially chicken or pork.  When I finish it goes in the dishwasher (your wooden board will never experience the dishwasher, right?).302We use mineral oil because it’s tasteless and never will become rancid.  Other oils can and do, and that’s just nasty. So squeeze on a couple tablespoons of oil for a board that’s about 14 X 18 inches.  300Using you fingertips, rub the oil into the board, going with the grain.  Rub it in, but the board won’t absorb all the oil.  I’m probably a little heavier handed than I need to be, but it’s been awhile.  301Then, I let it sit overnight.  You can wipe it off after the oil has been on for 30 minutes, if you prefer.  304Generally, the oil will be completely absorbed by morning.  From now on, repeat this process about every 6 months.  In between cleanings, simply run nice warm water (no soap) over the board to rinse it off.  NEVER put a board in the dishwasher or soak a board; it will probably split and at the very least, warp like crazy.  Just dry it off with a tea towel and let it air dry.

Spot or Stain Removal:  Strawberries and beets do a number on chopping boards.  If you need to remove a spot from your board, make a paste of baking soda, salt and water.  Use a clean dish cloth or tea towel to spot-scrub the area.  When it’s gone, wipe the board down with clear water.

Removing Odors:  If you want to remove any unpleasant “aromas” from the board, spritz it with white vinegar.  You don’t need to do anything else, because the vinegar will evaporate.  Remember, deodorizing cutting boards and scrubbing floors is the perfect use for white vinegar.  Don’t use it to cook with.  You can also run half a lemon, cut side down, over the board.  Let it stand for 10 minutes, then wipe it down and you’re good to go.  Now, grab a good, sharp knife and have at that mango.

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