Wooden cutting boards are resistant to most stains, made from a renewable resource, and gentle on knife blades. But without proper care, your trusty go-to can start to smell like your famous garlic chicken-permanently. Alas, you can’t just stick a wooden board in the dishwasher; it could warp and crack. Here are the best ways to keep it in business for life:
1. Rub down a new board with food-grade mineral oil to condition the wood; do this weekly for a month, then once a month going forward.
2. After general use, wash well with hot, soapy water, rinse, and pat dry.
3. After a particularly messy job (like peeling beets), do a deep-cleaning: Sprinkle the board with coarse salt (such as kosher); massage the salt in with the cut side of half a lemon. The acid in the juice will disinfect and deodorize; the salt will act as an abrasive, sloughing off bits of food and small stains. Rinse the board with hot water, towel-dry, and set it upright to dry completely.