What’s the one item you use almost every day in your kitchen?
Your butcher block and cutting board.
If it isn’t the most-used item, it’s likely high up on your list. If you have a wood cutting board or butcher block, you likely know how much damage they can sustain. However, when cared for properly, these wooden pieces can last a lifetime or longer. Wood surfaces show dirt and blemishes much quicker than the plastic variety. To keep your wood surfaces intact, start by knowing when to use them. Avoid using your wood block to cut raw meat or poultry. Keep a few plastic cutting boards in your kitchen for these types of projects. Use your wood block for cutting cooked meats, fruit and vegetables.
The best way to prevent stains is to regularly clean the wood. Mildly scrubbing with soap and water should do the trick, but won’t completely sanitize the surface. Vinegar works as a powerful disinfectant and it’s a product you likely already have in your kitchen. After you’ve washed the wood surface, spray it with a bit of vinegar. Another trick to try is regularly scraping your butcher block with a metal spatula or steel scraper. This also helps to remove excess liquid. Lastly, treat your butcher block weekly with a natural food-grade mineral oil. This will keep the wood moist and help prevent cracking.
Don’t overdo it if washing with soap and water. It can damage the wood over time, causing the surface grain to swell and become rough, and over time split the board all the way through.