I bought myself a cutting board for Christmas. I wanted a thicker board, because my counter tops are low for someone my height (6’ 3”). I needed to raise my cutting surface. I bought an extra thick Boos block - 2 ¼ inches - and I love it.
I didn’t oil the board regularly. It got dry, and started to absorb flavors. Now everything I cut on it picks up an onion and garlic smell.
Sure, that seems like a good thing. Who wouldn’t like some extra flavor? Until I carved a pineapple on the board. Ick.
How do you get rid of that smell? There are countless home remedies, most using salt and lemon. Sprinkle the board with salt and scrub the salt into the board with the cut side of a half a lemon. The salt acts as an abrasive, scraping the surface clean; the acidic lemon juice soaks into the board, acting as a disinfectant and cleaner.
How to Clean a Cutting Board
Adapted from: Cutting Board Care & Maintenance [JohnBoos.com]
- Salt (I use kosher salt, because it’s easy to sprinkle by hand)
- 1 lemon, halved
- Paper towels
- Mineral oil (or other food safe cutting board oil. I use Boos Mystery Oil )
- Sprinkle the board with salt
- Scrub the salt into the board with the cut half of the lemon, squeezing the juice out of the lemon and onto the board as you go.
- Flip the board and repeat on the other side
- Let the salt and lemon sit on the board for 5 minutes
- Rinse with hot water, then wipe the board dry with paper towels.
- Rub the entire board with mineral oil, working the oil into the board. Keep adding oil until the entire surface of the board looks glossy.
- Let the board rest overnight, and add another coat of oil if the wood looks dry.
- Remember to oil the board more often.
- Step 8 is the important one - keep ahead of the smell by oiling the board more often. (Or at all…shame on me.) Rubbing the board with mineral oil once a month - or whenever the wood looks thirsty - means I won’t need the lemon-salt scrub. But, since I’m a lazy cook, I have a feeling I’ll be re-reading this post down the road.
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