Isn’t there a stereotype that amateur and professional chefs use “wooden cutting board”?
Despite the longing for wood cutting boards, many people may hesitate to use it because it seems difficult to maintain. (So do I.)
Wood cutting board isn’t just beautiful but also functional as a great kitchen tool for daily use.
To keep your wood cutting board in good shape long, I am going to tell you benefits uses and how to maintenance especially Japanese wooden cutting boards.
To begin, I am going to tell you the attractive points of using wood cutting boards.
I talk about “Phytoncide”, the substance trees and plants contain to protect themselves from bacteria and insects.
Due to the effect of “Phytoncide”, wood cutting board has high antibacterial property.
Gentle To Knife
Since the wooden cutting board such as Hinoki is made of natural softwood, it is gentle to the blade of the kitchen knife, then it keeps knife sharp.
Especially, Japanese cuisine chef, “Itamae”,(板前), prefer using wood cutting board because Japanese cuisine is required how aesthetically and how emphasizing the natural taste as it is so it is very important to use the set of knife and wood cutting board which keep professional chef-quality.
One of the most noticeable benefits of wood cutting boards is their durability.
With proper maintenance, wood cutting board can last for decades.
Using a wooden cutting board also has an attractive point that the food on the cutting board is not slippery.
The wood absorbs excess water from the food, so there is less concern that the food will slip on the cutting board.
Best Japanese Wood Cutting Board
There are various Japanese wooden materials such as “Ginkgo”, “Hinoki cypress”, “Cherry blossoms tree”, “Empress Tree”, and “Hiba Tree”.
Among them, Ginkgo and Hinoki cypress are recommended for beginners.
Ginkgo biloba, commonly known as ginkgo or gingko is a very common tree in Japan.
Ginkgo tree contains rich oil, thus the cutting board made of Ginkgo has excellent drainage and smell resistance.
It is also moderately soft and has excellent elasticity and resilience, it is gentle to knives.
Since knife marks are less likely to remain, the cutting board will last longer.
Because cutting boards made of ginkgo have various advantages, it has been preferred by professional chefs, and many Japanese chefs say that the “ginkgo cutting board” could be the best.
- Gentle to Knives
- Excellent drainage and easy-dry
- Smell resistance
- Less distortion or crack due to temperature change
- It has excellent elasticity and resilience, it doesn’t dull your knife.
- Rich natural tree oil contains, drain well, and less decayed.
- Made of Japan domestic wood, made in Japan
- Dry it well after used
- A prepolymer coating is applied to the sides to prevent moisture.
- Do not use a dishwasher
The grain of the wood is fine, beautiful, and the perfect softness for elasticity. The cutting-touch is very nice and feels good when used.
Besides, the cutting board has the natural power to restore knife marks on to some extent by absorbing water.
A Hinoki cypress cutting board may have a wood tar that emerges from the surface or the cross-section, this is not a defective item.
Moreover, it is proof that wood is a healthy and natural product.
The wood tar has an antibacterial effect that prevents the growth of various bacteria, becomes stronger against water, and keep the original natural color.
If you get excess wood tar, rinse it off with warm water.
- Beautiful color
- Gentle to knife
- Excellent drainage and easy-dry
- Rich wood tar
- Nice woody scent
- Made in Japan
- Hinoki cypress grew in Kiso regions are well-known as the top 3 of Japan beautiful woods
- High antibacterial
- Softwoods, gentle to knife
- Nice Hinoki scent
- Most common wood cutting board in Japan
Wet the cutting board
Always wet the cutting board and wipe excess water before using.
By moistening the surface, make water vail on the surface which prevents transfer color, and odor from food.
This small step reduces damage chances to a cutting board and will extend the life.
The Cutting Order
Consider the food preparation order. Vegetables – colorful, smelly vegetables – garnishes – raw meat, poultry,and fish.
Well, it is not a special note for wood cutting board only, but consider the cutting order when cutting multiple ingredients.
For example, if you cut vegetables with vivid colors or strong smells first and then continue using the board without a rinse, the colors and smells will be transferred to the cutting board.
Cut the vegetable with less juice, color, and smell first. Raw fish, poultry, and meat afterward.
Rinse it or wipe with wet towels each time before switching ingredients to keep the cutting board last long.
Wash immediately, drain thoroughly and dry
After cutting vegetables with vivid colors or strong smell, raw meat, poultry, or fish, always wash your cutting board with warm water and soap or salt.
The protein gets firm and difficult to remove, do not use warm water to rinse the cutting board used for raw meat, poultry, and fish before washing it off with soap.
To remove bacteria, wash the cutting board thoroughly with a detergent.
The wood cutting board has its high antibacterial property so it should be OK to just wash and dry.
But if you want further to clean and sanitize it more, use salt and lemon or baking soda once a while.
Cut a lemon half, and rub the board with salt.
Make a baking soda paste, scrub all over the board.
Hot water can cause the distortion or the crack, better not use it for sanitizing the cutting board.
If you use a dishwasher on a wooden cutting board, the cutting board may be deformed or cracked due to drying in a water-containing state.
There are dishwasher-safe wooden cutting board products.
Make sure a dishwasher compatible product if you like to consider purchasing the wooden cutting board.
After washing the wood cutting board, wipe it with dry towel.
Put a wooden cutting board upright in a well-ventilated place, it naturally drains water.
The point is to put it vertically along the grain. The water comes out along the fibers. As it goes, it drains better.
Although you want to dry it well and faster, do not put the wood cutting board under direct sunlight.
Over-drying may cause cracking.
Also, better use the cutting board standto dry the bottom completely.
It’s a good idea to use a cutting board for preparing each ingredient, vegetables, meat, fish, and bread, but it will be a pain to do so considering limited storage space and maintenance.
When you use both sides for “vegetables” and “meat and fish”, you do not have to worry about getting contaminated.
How about having two cutting boards and use them alternately.
The wooden cutting board has natural maintenance power, so if the cutting board gets wet or dry, knife marks will be recovered. Therefore, it is good to leave dried well for a day.
If It stinks
If you still feel the cutting board is stinky after cleaning, use salt and lemon.
Salt penetrates the scratches on the cutting board and removes dirt. Also, salt has the function of repairing woods.
When It Gets Too Dry
A wood cutting board is made of natural trees so should be avoid over-dry.
If the surface becomes whitish, apply a thin layer of mineral oil such as olive oil, vegetable oil, canola oil for a wooden cutting board.
For slight stains, sand the spots carefully.
If it seems mold, it is important to deal with them as soon as you find them.
After sanding, apply mineral oil to the cutting board for maintenance.
Also, you can order the special treatment for the professional store.
After all, the best daily kitchen tools can be used without stress.
It seems hard to take care of wood cutting boards, but it will be easy once you get used to it.
Wooden cutting boards are known for their aesthetically and extreme durability to last their life for decades with proper maintenance.
If you particularly take care of your favorite sharpen knives, you should choose a certain cutting board, like a wood cutting board!
Also, the wood cutting board will be charming on the kitchen counter with its beauty.