Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Kitchen Tips: Maintaining your wooden cutting boards and spoons

Cutting boards come in all shapes and sizes; it is easy to find a board (or three) that is perfect for your needs in the kitchen. In order to keep your wooden and bamboo boards and utensils in tip-top shape, a bit of maintenance is required. Don't worry; this is easy stuff!

Just like our own skin, wooden and bamboo boards and utensils can dry out. If the board gets very dry, it is at risk of cracking. The simple fix? A regular slathering of mineral oil.



Oiled boards and spoons on left, board waiting to be oiled on right
 





Mineral oil is a petroleum based product that won't spoil. It can be found at fancy kitchen stores such as Williams-Sonoma. It can also be found at your local pharmacy; there it will be labeled as a laxative, but it is the same exact stuff.

What do you not want to use? Vegetable oils. The same unsaturated bonds that make canola and olive oils heart healthy also make them fragile. With time and exposure to oxygen, these oils will go rancid and ruin your boards!



See how dry it looks?
When you first purchase a new board, you want to oil it often; daily for the first week. Pending how often you use your boards, monthly or so for the next year. Whenever your boards looks dull and dry, time to reapply more oil!

This board wasn't oiled enough and so it cracked; this is a great place for bacteria to live
Other tips? Never put wooden items into your dishwasher; this will quickly pull oils from the wood and risk cracking them. Simply hand wash and towel dry.

2 comments:

  1. Would this be true of my wood-handled knife set as well?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes! This applies to knives too. Just make sure that the oil is well absorbed (wipe off any excess) to ensure that your hand doesn't slip next time you use the knife.

    ReplyDelete

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