Wooden cutting boards are easily overlooked when considering kitchen must-haves, but they are one of my most frequently used tools. They can take a lot of abuse and deserve a little love, so this week we're going to talk about how to restore them with one household item!
When I first moved out on my own, I started with a couple plastic cutting boards. None of them lasted very long before they would end up scratched and would become hard to get clean. Finally I ordered a set of 3 wooden cutting boards. Unlike the plastic ones, they are NOT dishwasher safe. We learned the hard way that you really can't put them in the dishwasher or the wood will separate and crack. To break us of the habit, I bought a huge wooden cutting board. It's too large to throw in the dishwasher, but perfect for carving a big bird, large melons, and more. Now, I have the huge one and a new set of 3 to work with!
With such an investment, I had to do a little research to find the best way to care for it. After every use, I scrub the cutting board with soapy water, dry it, and put it away. I learned you should oil it regulary, but the price of the speciality oils made my thrifty mind cringe. I couldn't imagine paying $20 or more for a small bottle of oil that could only be used for one thing. After looking around, I realized some people use olive or vegetable oil but they can both go rancid. Who wants to be cutting fruits & veggies on a rancid board?!?
We ended up deciding on coconut oil, because we always have it on hand, it has a very long shelf life, and has antifungal/antimicrobial properties you can't find in other oils. If you don't have coconut oil already, order some NOW! It's great for cooking, using around the house, and for your skin and hair.
Okay, now that you've cleaned & dried your cutting board and have your coconut oil ready, let's get started! Scoop a little out of your jar onto some cling wrap or into a plastic baggie. Throw it in the freezer for about 20 minutes so it's easy to handle. If you don't want to freeze it, you can just use a spatula to help rub it in. We're going to cover the entire board (top, bottom, sides, cutouts, juice catch, everything) with coconut oil. Make sure to rub it in really well and then wipe the excess oil off with a towel. Let it sit overnight to let the remaining oil soak in.
I like to do this every month and once a year I sand them first.
What's your favorite money-saving kitchen tip?
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