How to look after your wood chopping board

I t’s simple to consider given things that are always there for you. As much as this uses to the important individuals in your life (paging Carolyn Hax!), what I’m talking about here remains in the kitchen– the products you use every day, such as knives, skillets, dish towels and cutting boards.

You can make a case that all those tools are regularly put through the wringer, however I think the cutting board truly takes one of the most abuse day in, and day out. And I ‘d wager it’s the one that a lot of us, me consisted of, don’t provide sufficient attention to in terms of upkeep.

” It’s important to understand the ‘why’ of taking care of the board,” says Evelyn Helminen, who with her husband, TJ Jordon, owns custom-made woodwork company Tudo Azul, which specialises in cutting boards. Knowing what you must and should not is very important to keep the board in great shape. In theory, a well-cared-for board needs to last “forever”, she states.

If that seems like a deserving goal, here’s what you need to understand about wood cutting board upkeep.

The essentials.

” Wood lives,” states Jordon, the woodworker of the couple. “Even after you cut it, it moves.” So, like the trees they come from, wood cutting boards are vulnerable to the aspects– water, temperature level, ambient humidity. They can warp, fracture and lose their smooth surface area if not correctly maintained.

Caring for wood cutting boards is primarily the exact same despite the type of wood or kind of board. It does help to comprehend what design of board you own, however. End-grain boards are formed by utilizing pieces of wood cut parallel to the ground, like a cross-section. Usually, Helminen says, end-grain boards are thought about more high-end and tend to “heal” themselves better from knife cuts as the fibres close back up. They are more conscious moisture, Jordon states (consider the orientation of the fibres in the trees, which take in wetness from the ground up). End-grain boards are also made from more, shorter pieces, needing more glue, with more opportunity for cracking. So be attentive to the actions below to ensure they do not get too wet.

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Edge-grain boards are made from pieces of wood cut perpendicular to the ground. They are made of couple of, longer planks, in which the grains of wood run parallel to the counter when in use.

To lower the risk of cross-contamination, even with proper washing and upkeep, you need to utilize separate cutting boards for meat and fruits/vegetables/bread. You may even think about a different board for slicing alliums (onions, garlic, etc) to prevent other foods from picking up those smells.

Washing and drying.

Do not overthink this. All you require to clean your wood board is mild dish soap and hot water. If you stress that’s not adequate to exterminate germs, take comfort in a test performed by Cook’s Illustrated, which had a laboratory colonise boards with salmonella. The boards were cleaned up with among three approaches: cleaned with hot, soapy water, sprayed with bleach option or sprayed with undiluted vinegar. There was no distinction in the reduction of germs among the techniques– all were similarly reliable. If you feel obliged to use bleach, the United States Farming Department recommends a solution of 1tbsp of bleach per gallon of water. “Flood the surface with the bleach solution and permit it to stand for numerous minutes,” it encourages, then rinse and pat dry.

No matter approach, don’t just push the board in your meal rack to drip dry. Use a meal towel to get rid of as much surface moisture as you can, as the water can trigger the board to split or warp. Never, ever put your wood board in the dishwashing machine. EVER.

Likewise, make sure not to let your board rest on a wet counter.

Routine maintenance.

If you’re using the board every day, Helminen recommends treating it with food-grade mineral oil a minimum of as soon as a month. However have a look at it. If the board is looking dull, dry or thirsty (absorbing lots of water), especially if you reside in a low-humidity climate, you may require to do it more often. Cook’s Illustrated advises applying a generous quantity of oil, letting it sit for a minute and rubbing out excess, redistributing as needed to a few of the drier spots. Excessive oil can actually start to damage the glue. After 24 hours, buff out any more oil that remains on the surface. Don’t give in to the temptation to utilize olive or vegetable oil, which can go rancid and impart off-flavours to your food.

You can likewise utilize wood conditioners, which incorporate components other than oil, such as beeswax. Helminen says the beeswax and oil work in tandem, with the beeswax assisting ward off surface water and the oil offering additional insurance against the water penetrating the wood. Helminen and Jordon work carefully with Bumblechutes brand. Howard is another they like.

Jordon suggests scrubbing the board every three months with salt and a cut lemon, which can assist get rid of smells.

When things are looking fuzzy.

Ultimately, even a board attentively cared for can handle a somewhat fuzzy texture, where the wood fibres have been lifted from the surface area. The fix is simple enough. Jordon suggests utilizing sandpaper with a grit of 220 or higher to rub down the board and smooth it back out.

Other things not to do.

Don’t utilize your wood cutting board as a trivet. Heat can melt the glue that holds it together, Jordon says. (If your board occurs to be one solid piece of wood, you might be OK placing warm meals on it.) Even keeping the board next to the oven threats harming the glue or contorting the wood as moisture is drawn out of it.

You can keep the board flush on the counter or standing on its side, either on the counter or in a cabinet. Prevent stacking other items on top of it.

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