Cutting boards and cutting mats are of the most used kitchen appliances.
Well they are not really appliances, more like kitchen essentials. Kitchen cutting boards or mats are often made of wood or plastic and come in various widths and sizes. There are also cutting boards made of glass, steel, or marble, which are easier to clean, but tend to damage knives due to their hardness.
Rough cutting edges—such as serrated knives—abrade and damage a cutting surface more rapidly than do smooth cutting implements.
Preventing Cross Contamination of Food
Bacteria or allergens can easily be transmitted from one part of the kitchen to another or from one food to another via knives, hands, or surfaces such as chopping boards. To reduce the chance of this it is advised to use separate boards for different types of food such as raw meat, cooked meat, dairy and vegetables.
What kind of Cutting Board or Mat do you Prefer?
What is your favourite kind of cutting board? Are you a traditionalist who likes wooden cutting boards or do you prefer the more hi-tech glass or stone boards?
Maybe you prefer the new inexpensive colour coded sets of plastic cutting mats that allow you to use a specific colour for a specific product category?
Regardless of the material, regular maintenance of a cutting board or mat is important.
Cleaning and Caring for cutting Boards
Best way to clean and care for Cutting Boards:
Wooden Cutting Boards
Common sense tells us that if you wash a wooden board and leave it out, it will eventually warp, especially if you only get the one side wet.
So don’t ever soak a wooden cutting board in water or put it in the dishwasher! It can cause it to warp, split, and/or crack.
You can use lemon, salt, vinegar, baking soda and water to clean your board. Wash wooden boards both sides, rinse in hot water, wipe clean, and towel dry the board. Then store it upright. For board maintenance: every few weeks generously sprinkle coarse salt over the surface of the board, rub it with a sliced lemon, and then rinse well with hot water.
Plastic Cutting Boards
Unlike wood, most plastic boards or mats are non-porous, which means that bacteria can’t enter below the surface. It is still equally as important to clean the boards thoroughly after each us. Bacteria can lie and grow in any imperfections on the surfac
Most boards are dishwasher safe, however when heavily or deeply scored, boards need to be resurfaced or discarded as scoring can harbour mildew and bacteria.
There are several methods you can use to clean plastic chopping boards or cutting mats. Mix one tablespoon of bi-carb soda, one tablespoon of salt and one tablespoon of water to form a paste.
Give your chopping board a good scrub with the paste, then rinse thoroughly with hot water and dry. This will also help you remove any surface stains on the board and is especially helpful for cleaning white cutting boards.
If the stain is persistent use a nylon scrubbing sponge or an old toothbrush to scrub the paste on the stained area.
Bamboo Cutting Boards
Many of us love bamboo in the kitchen with its reported natural anti-bacterial properties, but we are reluctant to use it because we aren’t sure how to clean it. Most bamboo cutting boards are not dishwasher safe and shouldn’t be soaked in water. Watch the video below.
So, whether you use a wooden chopping board or a flexible plastic cutting mat, make sure you keep them clean and dry. And replace them when they get scored and scratched.