Grilling foods can be an expensive hobby, so it’s essential to care for your cooking equipment to keep them lasting longer. Cutting boards are used daily when you’re cutting chicken, steak, etc. Most people think seasoning a cutting board means adding spice and herbs to a cutting board. But, it actually means applying oil to the surface to help prolong its life and save money.
What Does Seasoning A Cutting Board Mean?
Seasoning a cutting board means taking a cutting board and adding a protective oil to prolong its life. It’s important to use a natural oiling wax that won’t rub off on your foods, cause the foods to soak into the wood and prevents the board from drying out and fading before it’s time.
If your teak cutting boards are starting to look bad, it’s time to take a look at making them new again by seasoning them.
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This video will show you how to season and restore your cutting board back to life. It will make your board look brand new or at least semi-brand new, considering how many stains and cuts it had before seasoning it.
In the video, he’s using sandpaper to sand the cutting board. However, most people won’t need to do that as long as you season your board regularly.
Why Do You Season Your Cutting Board?
Seasoning a cutting board gives it that protective layer, as mentioned above. It keeps juices from soaking into the board, so bacteria is less likely to sink into it. It also keeps the juices from staining the board.
Seasoning a cutting board also helps keep the board cleaner. Since nothing soaks into the board, you won’t have leftover juices contaminating your foods. The cutting board still needs to be washed in between uses.
Also, seasoning a cutting board prolongs its overall lifespan. Since it is a protective layer, not only does it protect from stains, but it also helps keep the wood from scarring.
Scarring happens when you use a knife, and the blade cuts into the board. It happens a lot with plastic cutting boards. That’s why you need to replace your plastic cutting board often.
While you can’t season a plastic one like a wooden one, plastic cutting boards can be sanded and made to look new again.
Scarring shortens the lifespan of cutting boards and can allow bacteria to fester. The seasoning will help protect from that, but it will also help prevent stains, and it will keep the board from drying out. A dried out board can crack and even start to smell as it absorbs more odors.
What Do You Use To Season A Cutting Board?
The biggest thing to remember when deciding what to season your cutting board with is that whatever you use will touch your food, which will touch your mouth. For this reason, you want to stay away from anything that contains any chemicals.
The most popular recommendation is coconut oil. Coconut oil is perfectly harmless when eaten and is very good for you. It is virtually tasteless as well, so you won’t even taste it on your food.
We use this 100% plant-based and vegan cutting board wax. It is free of petroleum chemicals, unlike mineral oil. The food-grade coconut oil is entirely safe, and the wax will penetrate the wood prolonging the life.
Stay away from mineral oils and oils that are high in unsaturated fats. Oils that are high in unsaturated fats can oxidize and leave your cutting board stinky and sticky.
Mineral oils generally have a chemical in them which you don’t necessarily want to ingest. They also form a layer over the cutting board, which can harbor bacteria and allow it to grow.
How Do You Season A Cutting Board?
This is the easy part. Take the oil of choice and make sure it is nice and runny. You may need to heat it up slightly, especially if you are using coconut oil because it can solidify.
You don’t need very much oil at all since cutting boards aren’t huge and you’re doing a very thin layer. Use a very soft cloth. Pour the oil directly onto the board and pour in the direction of the grain, taking care to spread the oil evenly over the board while you pour.
If you’re using a wax product, use the included applicator, put a small amount of wax, and then rub the board in a circular motion. Ensure you coat the entire board. Just apply a light coat of wax to the board.
Use the cloth and gently rub it into the board in the same direction as the grain so that it can soak into the fibers of the wood. You will need to do this a couple of times until you see that no more oil is being absorbed.
Ensure you let the board air dry before you use it again.
Then you’re finished!
What Kind of Cutting Board Should Be Seasoned?
For starters, it is essential to note what kind of cutting boards need seasoning. There are glass cutting boards, wood cutting boards, and plastic cutting boards.
Glass and plastic cutting boards do not need seasoning. These cutting boards have smooth surfaces. Anything you put onto them will be washed right off when you rinse them in the sink or run them through the dishwasher. If cutting raw meat with your plastic cutting board, ensure you clean and sanitize it properly.
These cutting boards do not need the extra layer of protection that seasoning adds.
That leaves wooden cutting boards. These are the boards that you want to season. Whether you have maple, teak, bamboo, walnut, cherry, or beech cutting board, they need to be seasoned.
Because wood is porous and comes from nature, it needs to be maintained at a higher level.
Once the wood has been turned into a cutting board, it starts to lose its moisture and will dry out over time. If it dries out, it is more susceptible to cracking and warping, among other things. As soon as you get a new cutting board and pull the wrapper off, it starts to dry out.
As the air gets dryer and there’s less humidity, such as in the fall and winter, it will cause your boards to dry out.
It is important to season it right away for its protection and to increase its lifespan.
How do You Know When to Reseason a Cutting Board?
You should repeat the process of seasoning your wooden cutting board at least once a month. It will keep your board looking new and keep it protected from harmful bacteria.
There are a couple of other ways to tell if you need to season your cutting board again.
First, if the color of the board itself is patchy, it is probably time. If there are lighter or darker spots than the rest of the board, you should season it again.
Second, you can put some water on the board. If it sits on top without soaking into the wood, your seasoning is still good. If the cutting board absorbs the water, it is time to season it again.
Lastly, if there are stains with different colors and/or an odor, it is time to season the board for sure. Your board also may need to be disinfected or even replaced to get the stains out.
Should You Season Your Cutting Board?
This is, of course, a personal preference when it comes to wooden cutting boards. If you would like the board to last a long time, the answer is yes.
If you would like the board to stay as clean and safe for you as possible, the answer is still probably yes.
There are so many reasons to season the cutting board, and since it only takes a few minutes now and again, there is no harm in doing it. It lowers the chance of consuming harmful bacteria, and it prolongs the lifespan of your cutting board.
Before using your wooden cutting board, grab your favorite oil you’re going to use to season the board. Taking care of your cutting boards will not only help preserve it, but it will prevent cross-contamination when you’re grilling.
If you use a wooden cutting board, it’s essential to take care of your cutting boards, so they take care of you!