A good Chopping Board can quickly become a kitchen essential, and brings character and style to your kitchen. Chopping boards also have a lot of practical value - they are ideal for conjuring up your favourite dishes and can even be used to serve shared food on.
However, often chopping boards can often start to look a little tired and old before their time due to accidental negligence from their owners. To learn how to care properly for your chopping board, take a look at our top tips below…
How To Clean Your Chopping Board
Sometimes it can be tempting to leave your chopping board in water to soak when it’s dirty, but this is not recommended. When you leave wood in water for too long it soaks up the water and swell which can weaken the wood and cause it to soften.
If your wooden chopping board soaks up excess water, it becomes more vulnerable to cracks and mould. To avoid this happening don’t leave your chopping board in water for too long, and ensure that it is completely dry before storing.
Instead of soaking, wash your chopping board gently with a cloth and a mild detergent for a perfect finish. Warm water will do the trick, and instead of leaving it to soak, focus on brushing it down and cleaning it with a gentle detergent.
For an extra clean, once a month you can rub your wooden chopping board down with coarse salt and lemon which acts as a natural sanitiser.
How To Avoid Damaging Your Chopping Board
Most chopping boards use a hardwood, however even with a hardwood board you don’t want to use a scourer as it can damage the wood. In the worst cases a scourer can cause your chopping board to breakdown and fall about as you brush it down - not good when cooking.
A ultra-lightweight wood such as Paulownia is slightly softer and so will be even more susceptible to the kind of damage caused by damp. Be gentle with your chopping board and avoid using a scourer, no matter what wood it’s made from to ensure that it stays healthy for longer.
It will also pay to keep your wooden chopping board out of the dishwasher as the water is too hot and the detergent is too strong. This will cause your chopping board to age quickly, so opt for a softer clean by hand instead. A dishwasher also strips off any protective oils.
How To Oil Your Wooden Chopping Boards
It can be tempting to extend the life of your wooden board by rubbing in some olive oil. Yes, it will soak in and leave the board looking better... but only in the short term! Most cooking oils will start to go rancid, and so the board will not smell at its best.
Instead it's much better to oil a board with a food-grade mineral oil or food-grade beeswax.
How To Store Your Wooden Chopping Boards
Putting your chopping board away too quickly is a classic error that can cause the wood to soften, crack and mould over time. Leaving your chopping board to dry is essential if you want it to remain in good condition.
Wipe it down gently, and then leave it to air dry for as long as possible before storing it in a clean, dry place. In fact a wooden chopping board can be a great item to leave out on the side where you like to prepare your food - then you’re always ready to start cooking.
Which Wooden Chopping Boards Do You Recommend?
The Paulownia chopping board is a favourite in Japan, and is so popular that very few are available for export. It is unusually lightweight and so is easy to manoevre, and the surface is the perfect combination of hard and soft for a fantastic cutting surface that keeps knives sharp as long as possible. No more worrying about lugging your heavy chopping board to the sink for a clean, you'll barely even notice that you're carrying this one when moving it about.
Every carnivore needs a good sized carving board for serving large joints of meat. And you always want it to have a good sized indent around the edge to catch any juices. This ash board blends excellent German cookware quality with a great price.
This beech wood chopping board is a great everyday kitchen staple. In elegant light wood, it will look like a classic in almost any kitchen. And the cut-away indents at either end give an easy handhold for moving it about. You can also buy a slightly larger 50cm board if you need more chopping surface.
Alternatively, if you need some more cooking inspiration, head over to our inspiration page to fuel your cooking mojo.
Nicola is co-founder and CEO at Sous Chef. She has worked in food for over ten years.
Nicola first explored cooking as a career when training at Leiths, before spending the next decade in Finance. However... after a stage as a chef at a London Michelin-starred restaurant, Nicola saw the incredible ingredients available only to chefs. And wanted access to them herself. So Sous Chef was born.
Today, Nicola is ingredients buyer and a recipe writer at Sous Chef. She frequently travels internationally to food fairs, and to meet producers. Her cookbook library is vast, and her knowledge of the storecupboard is unrivalled. She tastes thousands of ingredients every year, to select only the best to stock at Sous Chef.
Nicola shares her knowledge of ingredients and writes recipes to showcase those products. Learning from Sous Chef's suppliers and her travels, Nicola writes many of the recipes on the Sous Chef website. Nicola's recipes are big on flavour, where the ingredients truly shine (although that's from someone who cooks for hours each day - so they're rarely tray-bakes!).