Kathy Maister's Start Cooking

How to Choose and Use Cutting Boards

posted in General by Kathy Maister

I use several different cutting boards when I’m cooking dinner.

I have one that I use just to cut raw meat, chicken or fish. It’s made of some type of acrylic material that is safe to put in the dishwasher. Keeping a dedicated cutting board just for this purpose means that I don’t have to worry about inadvertently spreading the germs that raw meat, chicken and fish contain.

Wooden boards are fabulous and the best choice to look after your knives. Glass boards look fabulous, but they are nasty to knives — your knives will dull quickly. Most acrylic boards are OK for knives, but wood is best.

Wooden cutting boards should only be washed by hand with hot soapy water and dried immediately. They should never be left to soak in water. Minor stains and odors can be removed with lemon juice and by rubbing the stain with salt.

Every so often you will want to sanitize both wood and plastic cutting boards with a diluted chlorine bleach or vinegar solution consisting of one teaspoon of liquid chlorine bleach in one quart of water or a one to five dilution of vinegar. Flood the surface with a sanitizing solution and allow it to stand for several minutes, then rinse and air dry or pat dry with paper towels.

Occasionally, you need to rub mineral oil on your wooden boards, or else they may dry out and age very quickly.

You can buy mineral oil at some grocery stores, usually in the non-food aisles. Or you could just get some at the hardware store.

Cooking oils, like vegetable, corn, or olive oils are NEVER used to oil wooden cutting boards. These oils will turn rancid in time and ruin your good cutting boards.

Before I use any of my cutting boards I put a wet paper towel under the board.

This stops the cutting board from sliding all over the countertop. (Sharp knives and slippery boards are not a safe combination!)

Cheers!

Kathy

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3 Comments

Cutting Boards said:

I’ve heard that not only are glass cutting boards tough on knives but that the same is true with bamboo cutting boards. It looks like you are using bamboo in your photo Perhaps I was misinformed

Kathy Maister said:

I think you might be right! I seem to be sharpening my knives a lot more often than ever before.There is so much beautiful bamboo around I couldn’t resist. Thanks for the warning!

Michelle said:

Hi,

Safety first is a very good thing to have mentioned here with the slippery board and sharp knife, this has happened to me in the past when i was a learner.