Old & New Cutting Board Seasoning
Soooo, you've got this BEAUTIFUL new wooden cutting board and you cant wait to start chop-chop-chopping away...but WAIT!!! You've got to season it first! I know, we thought we only had to season cast iron skillets right? Afraid not. Cutting boards need a little seasoning as well to keep them from absorbing germs, to reduce staining, and drying out and cracking due to water absorption. So grab all your boards and let's get to work!
First off, if you're seasoning old boards, let's clean them up first! If you have any big gashes in your boards you can sand them out with some fine gauge sand paper. Next rinse off and take half a lemon with a generous portion of salt and scrub the surface of your board thoroughly. Use the cut lemon as your scrubber. Rinse and allow to dry completely.
Now for 'seasoning' materials - you will need a cloth and some food safe cutting board oil. There are several brands out there to choose from, you can find some at places like Lowe's or specialty cookware stores or online - and I will hyperlink some below so you can check them out.
I used Howard BBC012 Butcher Block Conditioner, (highlighted in blue below) 12-Ounce ($8.87) It comes in two formulas, a slick oil version or this more waxy one. As I don't love sopping up big oil spills on my counters when working with awkward boards (call me Grace) I opt for waxy or butter versions over oil. BTW...This post is not sponsored in any way, just happens to be the product I used this cycle. I don't have a big preference in brand personally, just make sure it's food grade and safe!
My version & more options here:
Here we have a dry cutting board that needs to be re-seasoned. It gets washed out looking and pale and looses its luster. You can also note that water doesn't bead on dry boards which is not good. If you are an avid cook, you can watch for these signs or simply re-season monthly. If you don't use boards a lot? Work on a 3 month rotation. To do all my boards can take about half a bottle - so in my suggestions above are singles but they have bulk sets available and you can find some brands locally of course. (@ Lowe's near paint)
I think warm oil/waxes are absorbed better by boards, so I gently warm them in a bowl of hot water
for about 5 minutes and that seems to be just about right. I microwaved the water 5 min also. After loosened pour some wax on your board and begin rubbing in with a soft cloth. Don't forget to get the sides and back. Allow to soak in for 30 minutes and then rub in further with dry portion of cloth.
Before and after same board...isn't that pretty?
Repeat process 2 - 3 times for new boards to season.
Another example below is where I happen to have two of the same boards,
so I seasoned one and not the other, stark difference. isn't it?
Finally that first board gets some love and is seasoned properly. All the boards are good to go now. For maintaining my boards I assess moisture need of each board and apply 1 - 2 coats where needed - using the water drop test. If water soaks in? Needs another coat.
The first 24 hours after seasoning your board may feel a bit slick, and that's ok, just let it sit overnight
to continue absorbing that good stuff! I usually a budget a non-cooking day for this process.
Hoping this has been helpful for you and your kitchen! Happy Seasoning!