Wood cutting boards come in a variety of shapes, sizes and styles. Larger cutting boards let you prepare more foods at once, and you only have to clean one cutting surface. Smaller cutting boards are convenient when you need to cut up fine foods like garnish or small vegetables. To keep your cutting board from absorbing odors and bacteria as well as to prevent staining, you need to season your wooden board with oil before preparing foods on its surface.
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Beeswax/Mineral Oil Mixture
A beeswax and mineral oil mixture is one type of oil you can use to season your wooden cutting board. Beeswax not only seals the cutting board from odors but also makes the wood water and bacteria resistant. The mixture leaves the cutting board smooth, with a fragrant odor. Place 1/2 tsp. of beeswax and 1 cup of mineral oil in a plastic container and heat the mixture in your microwave oven on “High” for 45 seconds. Use a soft cloth or towel to apply the warm mixture to your wooden cutting board. Dispose of any remaining mixture. You can also apply pure beeswax to your cutting board without adding mineral oil. Apply 1 to 2 tbsp. of beeswax to a soft cloth or towel and rub it onto the cutting board. Let the beeswax stand until it is dry, then buff the cutting board with a clean cloth or towel. Beeswax is available at health food, hardware, home improvement and certain grocery/retail superstores as well as online.
Food-Grade Mineral Oil
Food-grade mineral oil is the second type of oil you can use to season your wooden cutting board. Mineral oil will not turn rancid like vegetable or olive oil and absorbs quickly into your wooden cutting board’s surface. Pour 2 to 3 tbsp. of mineral oil onto a clean cloth or towel and rub the oil into the cutting board. The more oil you use, the better. Mineral oil is available at hardware, home improvement and certain grocery/retail superstores as well as online.
Available at grocery and retail superstores, almond oil is another type of oil you can use to season your wooden cutting board. You can also use walnut oil. Do not use almond or walnut oil if anyone in your family is allergic to almonds or walnuts. Pour 2 to 3 tbsp. of almond or walnut oil onto a clean cloth or towel and rub the oil into the cutting board.
Food-Grade Coconut Oil
Similar to almond and walnut oil, coconut oil is resistant to rancidity and is easily applied with a soft cloth or towel. The oil has a long shelf life and is also available at grocery and retail superstores.
Before applying any of the oils, warm the oil in your microwave oven on “High” for 45 seconds. Rub the oil onto your wooden cutting board in the direction of the grain and allow it to soak into the board before applying another coating. Apply four to six coats of the oil, then wipe off any excess oil after 4 to 6 hours. Reapply oil monthly or whenever the board is looking dry. Do not season your wooden cutting board with vegetable, canola, olive oil or another cooking oil. These oils will turn rancid and bacteria will begin to grow on your cutting board.