There is a lot to love about wooden cutting boards.
Yes, they’re beautiful, but they have a lot of additional benefits over their plastic and glass counterparts as well. They have natural antimicrobial properties that make them the safest material for cutting boards when it comes to protecting your food from harmful bacteria like E.Coli and Salmonella.
|Wood Cutting Board
Wooden boards are also the most knife-friendly. The semi-porous grained surface of wood – particularly hardwood species like acacia, walnut, teak and maple – give you a surface that can best absorb the impact of your knife cuts and keep your chef knife blade sharp and cutting for years to come.
To enjoy all these benefits that your wooden board can provide, however, it needs a little tender loving care itself. Today, we’ll walk through the process of seasoning so that your board stays healthy and usable for years to come.
How to Season Your Cutting Board
After wood from a tree is converted into a cutting board, it is removed from a constant hydration and nutrient supply that keeps trees durable and resilient in the natural world for decades. The act of seasoning your cutting board is, therefore, to use some form of oil to rehydrate and revive wooden fibers that may otherwise dry out.
|Most of the common mineral oils for seasoning wood cutting boards do pass the FDA’s rules for food safety, but as byproducts of petroleum and other similar substances, they are hardly natural to the wood fibers and what they may have come to expect. Coconut oil, on the other hand, is a 100% all natural food safe option that has an antimicrobial profile that complements your wooden board nicely. Therefore, coconut oil is the best option for oiling and seasoning your cutting board, although if you add in a little bit of all natural beeswax as a buffer, that’s an added bonus too.
First, Pour Your Oil
To season, start by taking your oil and pouring a small amount over one section of your board. Seasoning is best done in an iterative process, so just start with a small section of your board with a little bit of oil, and you’ll soon see it will be more than plenty.
Then, Rub the Oil In a Circular Motion
As the oil starts to spread on the board and soak in, take a non-pilling cloth like a handkerchief and rub the oil in a circular motion into your board. It’s best to move your circular motion in the direction of the grain and with a little bit of oomph, so that you know the oil will move downward into the wooden grains with as little resistance as possible.
Like we said, the process of treating your board is best done one bit at a time, so the final step is simply to repeat steps 1 and 2 until your board has been fully seasoned! Don’t worry, though, it only takes a few minutes from start to finish.
When the board has been fully seasoned, wipe away any excess oil with your cloth, and then let the board rest for at least a few hours before using it again. When you do use it again, though, you’ll notice a huge difference in how healthy and functional your board feels. Enjoy!
When It’s Time To Season
As with any dynamic material like wood, a singular seasoning won’t be enough. Rather, you can expect to need to season your board on at least a bimonthly basis. For heavier users of the board, it might even be a good idea to season your board every month.
Thankfully, there’s a handy trick to tell when your board is in need of a seasoning. Sprinkle some water over your board and watch what happens. A well-hydrated board will keep the water droplets on the surface, and they will start to bead together. A wood cutting board in need of a treatment, however, will absorb the water almost straightaway. If you see that, break out the coconut oil and start rubbing.
And that’s all there is to it! Enjoy your wood cutting board, and enjoy the seasoning process too!