5 Best Cutting Board Tips

Ask any cook and she’ll tell you the two workhorses in the kitchen are her knives and her cutting boards. Experienced cooks have come up with tried and true ways to get the most out of both. Tips for how to treat knives get a lot of attention. But you need to round those out by following best practices for your cutting board too.

Here are five tips that will help you get the most out of your kitchen cutting board.

#1. Avoid slipping and sliding.

Accidents in the kitchen account for over 300,000 trips to the hospital emergency room every year. Most of them are the direct result of knife injuries. You can reduce your risk by cutting on a stable surface.

Put a damp towel beneath your cutting board to stop it from moving around while you slice and dice. This adds extra traction on your countertop or table.

#2. Use the right size and shape for the job.

A small cutting surface is fine for cutting a lemon or mincing garlic. But it won’t work if you are trying to do an expert job of carving a roast or slicing a watermelon. You need plenty of room if you want to do an effective job of cutting.

Don’t use oddly shaped boards for big cutting jobs. A cutting board shaped like a moose or a rooster is a great conversation starter. It works fine for cutting cheese or preparing a garnish. And it’s an attractive addition to your kitchen’s décor. However, it is not the best cutting board for slicing an onion with precision or doing a good job cutting up a roast chicken.

#3. Use wood.

Plastic is hard to clean effectively and bamboo is hard on knife edges. Glass, stone and ceramic will leave nicks on your favorite knife and dull the blade quickly.

Wood makes the best cutting boards. The material gives as you cut, making it kind to knife blades. Wood has natural properties that kill bacteria and prevent it from growing. Wood provides a very stable platform for cutting.

#4. Clean it right.

Rinse a board right after using it. This helps to get rid of bacteria clinging to the surface and reduces the chance of staining.

Disinfect it with a solution of 3% hydrogen peroxide or a mix of two cups of water and one tablespoon of chlorine bleach. Spray or pour over the board, let it sit for 10 minutes and then rinse clean.

#5. Keep it looking nice.

Wood is porous and soaks up liquid. This means your cutting board can get stained. But you can get rid of them using baking soda or coarse salt.

Sprinkle baking soda right out of the box, or coarse salt out of the bag, onto the board. Scrub it gently with a brush or a wet sponge. You might need to do this several times if the stain is set.

Use these tips to stay safe in the kitchen and to keep your knives and boards in good working condition for years.