Caring for Your NW Cutting Board
We appreciate wood cutting boards because it’s the best choice for maintaining a knife edge and you can’t beat the look of exotic grain. They only get more beautiful with time, especially if well cared for and you can often serve food right on the cutting board for a homey, rustic look. They do take some maintenance, the opportunity to tend to and take care of your kitchen tools can bring some inner joy.
How To Maintain, and How Often
Wooden cutting boards need to be kept clean and daily maintenance is often a good scrub with hot soapy water after using. Do not soak your boards or they’ll crack and warp! Some people use a very weak bleach solution or hydrogen peroxide to clean their boards after they’ve been used for cutting raw meat as a precaution against bacterial contamination.
Depending on how often you use your boards, you should also oil them to help maintain their surface and keep them from drying out. In our house, this happens about once a week for the first six months of the life of the board, and then about once a month after that.
Oiling with NW Butter
The oil you use for your wooden cutting boards and utensils should be food grade and not prone to rancidity. Mineral oil is an inexpensive and popular choice, however I find that it can dull the vibrance of the board over time. Personally, I like to use a homemade mixture of beeswax and walnut oil. There are also brand-name cutting board creams and oils available in Lowe’s Home Supply stores. If you don’t mind making your own feel free to follow our recipe:
In a large sauce pan of boiling water, we placed a quart mason jar with our beeswax (a quarter of a pound) cut into small chunks. Once the wax was melted, we placed another jar with the 16 ounces of walnut oil in the water to gently heat. Then we poured the walnut oil in with the beeswax and allowed them to continue to heat and emulsify, gently stirring until smooth and even. Take your jar out of the water bath, allow to cool and it’s ready to use. The recipe yields about a quart jar of butter.
Before you start, be sure your boards are very clean. We like to give them a scrub with lemon and salt just before. The boards should also be dry before oiling, so be sure to build that into your timing. The oil should be left to soak in as long as possible. We apply the butter in the evening before bed and then just give them a quick wipe the next morning to take off any excess oil.’
Maintaining Your NW Cutting Board
What You Need
Your Noble Woodsman Wooden cutting board
Clean, soft cloth or paper towel
Walnut oil or other food-grade oil or NW Butter
- Start with a clean board and utensils. Be sure your cutting board is as clean as possible and thoroughly dry.
- Apply the oil. Using a clean, soft cloth or paper towel, apply the oil in an even layer over the wood.
- Let it soak in. Leave the oil to soak in, overnight if possible, or for at least a few hours.
- Remove the excess. If the board or your spoons feel oily or sticky, buff off any remaining oil with a clean dry cloth or paper towel.
Cutting Board DO’S & DON’TS
- Do scrub it clean with mild soap and warm water. Dry it thoroughly with a dish towel or cloth. Set it upright to dry thoroughly.
- Don’t leave the board out for a long period of time dirty. It’s best to clean it directly after using it. If too much moisture sits on the board, it could become damaged.
- Do keep the cutting surface clean by scraping off food residue with a steel scraper.
- Don’t use it to cut raw fish and poultry. Err on the safe side and cut fish and fowl on plastic or glass boards.
- Don’t soak the board, wash it with harsh detergents, or stick it in the dishwasher.
- Don’t always cut in the same place on the board. Distribute the cutting over the entire work surface so it wears evenly.
- Do a deep-cleaning by sprinkling the board with coarse salt and massaging it in with the cut side of a lemon. The lemon juice disinfects and neutralizes any odors, while the salt sloughs off any scraps and stains.