Wooden cutting boards are unique when compared to other materials, and not just because they’re constructed from higher quality products. Just like any good hardwood surface, extra care and maintenance must be given to a wooden cutting board to keep it working in your kitchen or many more years.
The idea of seasoning cutting board stems from the same care methods which must be taken with hardwood floors, and this simple task can make your board brand new again. All you’ll need is a few simple household items and a day or two for drying time.
To season a cutting board is a fairly simple process, but one that has numerous benefits. When done correctly, this easy task will help to add years of life to your wood, help to protect from harmful bacteria, and give the surface of the board a rejuvenating finish that restores it back to its original appearance.
What Does It Mean to Season Cutting Boards
Many people are fooled by the name of this process, as it sounds as though you’re going to apply herbs and spices to the cutting board. However, seasoning wood cutting boards simply means applying oil to the surface to help prolong its life.
Treating wood cutting boards with oil is something that needs to be performed regularly if you own one of these unique kitchen items. Some people like to do it once a month, or you might choose to do it whenever you feel that your board is lacking its original lustre.
The type of oil you use to season your board is just as crucial as the steps you take to do it, so always pick one that is labelled as food grade. This means it’s safe for human consumption, so safe to put on the surface of something you prepare food with. Opt for a mineral based oil that doesn’t contain any fats, as these will turn rancid and affect the odour and look of your board.
The thought of extra maintenance needed for your wooden cutting board may not be appealing to some, but the process will only take a few minutes each month. Considering all of the amazing qualities that hardwood has over the other varieties, it’s certainly worth your while to season cutting board.
How Will It Extend the Life of the Board
A cutting board or butcher block treatment performed regularly, along with cleaning after each use, acts in a few different ways to help lengthen the life of this unique kitchen item. For just a few minutes work each month you can add years to your wood cutting board and help it look brand new again.
Specialised oils used for seasoning a cutting board work their way into the small cuts and scratches that have been inflicted on the surface, helping to fill the spaces to prevent further cracking. This oil provides a natural moisture to the grain that stops it from drying out and breaking further.
Not only does seasoning the board help to stop these cracks, but it can also help to increase the natural antibacterial qualities of wood. By entering these small spaces, the mineral oil prevents bacteria from spreading deep into the surface and improves the already hygienic nature of this product.
Another useful effect of seasoning your cutting boards is its ability to remove stains and odours from the board. As wood is quite porous and absorbs most liquids into it, a good mineral oil applied to the surface can make it more resistant to water and such.
How to Season Wood Cutting Board
Seasoning your cutting board is as simple as a few steps, and with drying time in between, it should only take a day or two. The actual manual work will only take a few minutes as we are allowing for time to dry in between.
Clean Your Board
Before seasoning cutting board, it’s essential to clean it thoroughly first. After each use, you should be washing your board with warm, soapy water to keep it hygienic. For a deeper clean before seasoning, rub the board with some pure white vinegar to kill any odours or bacteria. Let it sit out overnight to dry completely.
Season the Board
Using a dry, clean rag or paper towel, soak this into your mineral oil. If it’s the first time you’re seasoning the board, you can be a bit more generous with the oil. Otherwise, a simple layer on the surface is all you need. Make sure the oil has penetrated any visible cracks or cuts on the board.
Allow the Oil to Dry
Once the oil is rubbed in, leave it to soak so that it achieves the full effect. Let it set for at least 8 hours or overnight if possible so that it reaches the cracks and dries completely.
Remove Any Excess Oil
The following morning, run your finger along the surface of the board to check that it has dried. If it feels a little sticky, grab a new cloth and wipe down the surface to remove any excess oil.
If you’ve invested your money into purchasing a unique kitchen utensil such as a wooden butcher’s block or cutting board, it makes sense that you should treat it as the quality product it is. When cared for correctly and seasoned regularly, a wooden chopping block can be one of the longest lasting items in your kitchen.
Anything worth owning deserves a little extra of your time and attention, and investing a few minutes each month to season cutting boards will reward your kitchen with years of quality use. Guests to your home will marvel at the elegance and rustic charm that can come from one simple household item cared for correctly.