How to keep your wooden cutting board in tip top shape

Everyone knows that proper seasoning is the key to great cast iron, but what you might not realize is that the same holds true for wooden cutting boards. Over at indexed website Serious Eats, J. Kenji López-Alt gives us great advice on how to season a new cutting board, and how to keep it working (and looking) good for years. 

cutting board

The process is similar to seasoning cast iron, as it turns out. You need to start out with multiple coats of a food-grade mineral oil. Most major big box stores, as well as specialty kitchen stores, carry this product. I've found it in my local grocery store, although the price was a bit higher than other places. You can also order it online. Use more than you think you will need, says Kenji, because the board will absorb it. 

Once you have it well seasoned, periodically reapply oil so the board doesn't get dried out. If you do a lot of cooking, this could be a monthly process, but for most people a few times a year will suffice. If your board has a lot of knife marks on it, you can sand it smooth again and start over.

2 Comments

  • eliza  on  9/9/2018 at 3:56 PM

    Interesting article...I love good cutting boards! However, I just use olive oil to season mine (I drain the last little bit out of each bottle so as not to waste it), and my boards are doing fine after over 35 yrs of chopping. Also my Mum has a cutting board that she's had since the late 50's that I'm sure she never oils. It's in great shape! So maybe the getting a good quality board and cleaning it off and drying it quickly is more important than oiling it...

  • Rinshin  on  9/9/2018 at 7:55 PM

    I have a fairly large rolling butcher block that was gifted to me 43 years ago. Continuous use. I used to use mineral oil twice a year the first 20 years. And before that when it was fairly new, it was oiled heavily once a month. Now it is more like once a year. It now has a gorgeous patina from all the food that it camein contact with.

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