HOW TO CARE FOR WOODEN CHOPPING BOARDS
Posted on September 01 2023,
Wooden chopping boards are preferred by many chefs for their natural appearance, durability, and gentle treatment of knives (if you don't own one yet, we highly recommend checking out Katto's Chopping Board right away).
Once you've taken the plunge and invested in a good quality chopping board, you'll want to ensure it's treated with the appropriate care - a well maintained board should last for life! Looking after your chopping board will not only extend its lifespan, but also ensure that it remains hygienic and scent free for food preparation, and looks great on display in your kitchen.
With this in mind, here are our key tips for how to properly care for and maintain your wooden chopping board so that it's happy for years to come.
1. REGULAR CLEANING
Daily Hand Washing: After use, rinse your chopping board with warm water and a mild detergent. Use a soft scrubbing brush to remove any food particles. For stubborn stains or odours, a paste of baking soda and water can be applied, left for a few minutes, and then rinsed off. Avoid soaking wooden boards in water, and never put them in the dishwasher, as this can cause them to warp or split. After washing, dry the board thoroughly with a clean cloth, and if you can, leave it standing upright to completely dry.
Deep Cleaning: Over time, especially if your board picks up an odour or looks grimy, it will need a more intense cleaning. To do this, sprinkle coarse salt over the board’s surface, then using a half lemon with the cut side down, scrub the board in a circular motion. This will not only clean the board but also help to disinfect it. Rinse with warm water and dry.
2. SEASONING YOUR BOARD
Wood can dry out, becoming brittle and more prone to cracks. Rubbing your board down with a little oil, also known as "seasoning" your board, will keep the wood moisturised, maintain its integrity, and give it a rejuvenated appearance.
Choosing the right oil: Opt for food-grade mineral oil or specific chopping board oil. If you can, avoid using cooking oils like olive or vegetable oil as they can become rancid.
How to oil a chopping board: First, ensure the board is clean and dry. Using a clean cloth, apply a generous amount of oil, rubbing in the direction of the grain. Let the board sit for several hours (or overnight) to absorb the oil, then wipe off any excess. Depending on usage, oiling can be done once a month or whenever the board appears dry.
3. ADDRESSING SCRATCHES AND CUTS
Regular use will inevitably lead to knife marks on your chopping board, and you may want to consider sanding your board down if it's looking a little worse for wear. Use a fine-grit sandpaper to sand the board gently, following the wood grain. Once sanded, rinse the board to remove any wood dust and then proceed to oil it, per above.
4. PREVENTING WARPING
Exposure to water is the primary cause of a warped chopping board. To prevent this:
- Never soak the board or leave it in a damp environment.
- Store it in a dry place, preferably upright, which allows air circulation on both sides.
- When washing, avoid exposing one side to water for too long. Turn and rinse the board to ensure even moisture exposure.
5. AVOIDING CROSS CONTAMINATION
Consider having separate boards for different tasks. For instance, one for raw meats and another for fruits and vegetables. This reduces the risk of bacterial cross-contamination. If using a single board, always chop vegetables before raw meat and clean thoroughly in between.
6. STORING PROPERLY
Store your wooden chopping board in a cool, dry place. If you have the space, standing the board on its side ensures equal air circulation on both surfaces, preventing moisture buildup and warping. Katto's Chopping Boards come with a fitted stand to take care of this for you.
7. TACKLING CRACKS AND SPLITS IN YOUR CHOPPING BOARD
A cracked chopping board can become a breeding ground for bacteria, which can get lodged within the cracks. You may be able to fill small cracks in your board with a wood glue (apply using a syringe and sand down any overfill when dry), however if a crack becomes too significant, it might be time to retire the board to ensure full safety during food prep. To avoid cracks in your board in future, oil your board regularly and ensure it is properly dried between washes.
A well-maintained wooden chopping board is not just a functional kitchen tool - it can also be a beautiful feature within your home. With the correct care, wooden chopping boards can last you a lifetime, offering a safe and efficient surface for food preparation. The key to longevity is a combination of regular cleaning, periodic deep maintenance, and proper storage. By investing a little time and effort, your wooden board will remain beautiful, hygienic, and durable long into the future.
KATTO'S CHOPPING BOARD
Hand cut and made from finest quality walnut, our latest wooden chopping board features a juice groove outlining its surface to keep runaway liquids contained, and a grooved bread board on its reverse for achieving the perfect slice whilst keeping your counter crumb-free. We truly believe it to be the best chopping board on the market, and with proper care it'll last you a lifetime.
Each chopping board comes with a stand to hold the board in, which can also be used whilst cooking to hold recipe books, iPads, kitchen scribbles, the lot. Treat yourself and your knives by picking one up here.