FAQ about Cutting Boards
How should I wash my cutting board?
WASH shortly after use. Wash board with mild dish soap, scrubbing sponge or rag, and warm water.
DRY board with towel or set in rack to drip dry.
DO NOT lay damp board flat on counter before it has fully dried.
DO NOT put cutting board in dishwasher.
DO NOT soak in water for prolonged periods.
How do I oil my cutting boards?
Apply Board Oil:
Once per month, treat board with mineral or board oil.
START with clean and completely dry board.
SPREAD a heavy layer of oil evenly over the entire board - front, back, & all edges.
WAIT 3hrs to overnight for oil soak into board.
WIPE off any oil that did not soak in with a paper towel.
Your cutting board is ready for use. For additional protection, apply board cream.
Apply Board Cream:
Board cream can provide additional protection for your board.
START with a clean and completely dry board.
SPREAD a layer of cream evenly over the entire board.
WAIT overnight or longer for cream to soak into board.
WIPE off any cream that did not soak in with a paper towel
BUFF board with clean paper towel.
Your cutting board is ready for use.
What oils can I use to maintain my cutting boards or spatulas?
Oils to avoid:
Olive oil, coconut oil, vegetable oil, pumpkin seed oil- because these and other similar oils can go rancid and cause your board to smell after enough exposer to oxygen and light.
Any oil that is toxic, such as boiled linseed oil.
Can I oil my board too frequently?
Can I fix deep cuts and scratches in my boards?
Yes, deep cuts and scratches can be sanded out using sand paper.
How to sand my cutting boards?
After prolonged use your cutting boards will develop scratches. Sanding out any deep scratches will make it easier to keep your cutting boards clean.
Starting with a cutting board that is in need of oil can make sanding easier. The oil in the board will mix with the saw dust to clog the sand paper quickly. Also start with a clean and completely dry board is mandatory.
How scratched your board is will determine what grit paper to start with. In my experience 120 grit sand paper is a good place to start. For edge grain boards, hand sand back and forth in the direction of the grain. For end grain boards, there is no grain direction on the face of the boards so sand in any direction. This is likely all you will need to do. Just a little sanding with made a big difference. If you desire, you may want to do the same sanding again with 220 grit sand paper. Once you are satisfied with the surface, brush as much of the saw dust off with a dry towel. Your board must be oiled after sanding. Follow regular maintenance procedure for oiling your board.
Sanding is needed very rarely. I sand my boards once every 3-5 years, but this all depends on use.
What kinds of knives can I use on my cutting boards?
Plain edged knives are the preferred blade for use on any cutting board.
Heavy chopping knives such as cleavers can be used on your board, but with restrain. If you swing hard enough you will damage the board.
Serrated blades can be used, but they will lead to premature ware of the cutting board.
How long will my cutting boards last?
Short answer - decades.
This is all dependent on proper maintenance and cleaning, as well as how aggressively your board is used. With standard home use and proper maintenance your boards can last you the rest of your life.
Can I cut raw meats on wood cutting boards?
“The (USDA) Meat and Poultry Hotline says that consumers may use wood or a nonporous surface for cutting raw meat and poultry” www.fsis.usda.gov
Do I need separate cutting boards for raw meat vs. vegetables?
I don’t have any formal training, but in my home use I have several wooden cutting boards, and I don’t designate one for raw meat and others for vegetables. The only rule I use is that after raw meat is cut on a board it must be washed and completely dried before it can be used to prepare ready to eat foods like vegetables. As long as the board is properly maintained it will be sanitary.
More expert opinion:
“The (USDA) Meat and Poultry Hotline says that consumers may use wood or a nonporous surface for cutting raw meat and poultry. However, consider using one cutting board for fresh produce and bread and a separate one for raw meat, poultry, and seafood.” www.fsis.usda.gov
"Ideally, if you're washing them properly, it shouldn't matter much if you have dedicated meat and vegetable boards," she says (Jolie Kerr, author and cleaning advice columnist). That said, "if you have the space and the financial resources to have multiple boards, by all means designate one for meat and poultry, another for fish, and one for vegetables." www.epicurious.com
What woods do you use to make cutting boards?
Maple, Cherry, and or Walnut
What is the difference between “End Grain” and “Edge Grain” cutting boards?
End grain cutting boards are a more refined, delicate, and require greater attention to maintenance, but can be more visibly appealing and a more pleasant surface to cut on.
Edge grain cutting boards are more robust and forgiving to poor maintenance, but will develop knife cutting marks more quickly.
Edge grain, also sometime called “long grain”, or “side grain”, cutting boards are made by gluing long stick of wood together. The grain of the wood will run along the cutting surface and look similar to the side of a 2x4. End grain, sometimes called “short grain”, cutting boards are made by gluing shorter sticks of wood together so that the wood fiber run in the direction of the thickness of the cutting boards rather than the width. The cutting surface of an end grain cutting board may have a checker board appearance because the surface is made of many small squares.
Both end grain and edge grain cutting boards have both end and edge grain surfaces. The name simply indicates the grain orientation of the cutting surface and therefore the majority surface area of the cutting board. Moisture and oil soak into and leach out of the end grain of wood at a much faster rate than edge grain. End gain cutting boards require a more strict regiment of oiling compared the edge grain boards, but both will not crack or warp with proper maintenance.
Ware from use:
Edge grain cutting boards have the wood fiber lying along the cutting surface, so when you cut on it you knife will sever the top layer of fibers. After this happens enough times scratches will appear on the board and grow in size with repeated cutting. End grain cutting boards are better at resisting ware from repeated cutting because the fibers run into the board. A knife cuts on an end grain board the knife slides between the fibers on the surface. When the knife is removed, the fibers spring back into place without being severed. Because of the fiber orientation, end grain cutting boards resist scratching from cutting better than edge grain boards. With enough use, even end grain boards will show signs of knife marks and need to be sanded.
Edge grain cutting boards, with their long fibers, will stand up to aggressive chopping, such as aggressive use of a meat clever, better than and end grain cutting boards, which might split in under such misuse.
End grain and edge grain cutting boards have distinct appearances and it is a matter of personal preference which one looks better to you.
Why do I need to oil my cutting board?
Guardian Cutting Board Oil is a mix of food grade mineral oil and waxes. When you put oil onto your cutting board the oil soaks into the wood and reduces the amount of moister the wood can absorb. A board that is well treated with oil will expand and contract less from moister in the air and washing. The expansion and contraction of a cutting board that has not been properly maintained may lead to warping and cracking.
Both the oils and the wax sit on the surface of the board where they fill pores and some very minor scratches. This wax and oil on the surface act as a barrier to prevent microbes from making their way into the wood, and make washing your cutting board easier. An added befit to the oil and wax on the surface is that your cutting boards will resist developing stains and odors.
What are the differences between wood options?
Guardian Cutting Boards are made of one or a mix of three species of wood: maple, cherry, and walnut. The differences are primarily aesthetic. The trees that go into making these boards are all are grown and sustainably harvested from the north eastern US (MI, OH, PA, NY, and WV). All make for long lasting boards.
This is the hardest of the 3 woods. Many people consider it the industry standard for quality cutting board material. It is soft enough to not ruin your knife blade but hard enough to stand up to daily use. The light color does make it more prone to staining. Its fine grain and small defuse pores make for a great wood for cutting boards.
Hardness falls some ware in the middle. Its color can vary from light like maple to pink or even red. This is my personal favorite. Its fine grain and small defuse pores make for a great wood for cutting boards.
This is the softest of the three options. Although it is still hard enough to stand up to your cutting it will show knife marks sooner than the other two options. Walnuts color ranges from dark brown to almost black. The raw lumber is considerably more expensive than the other 2 option and that is reflected in the price of the cutting board. If you are looking to have a show piece cutting board, walnut is a great option. Like all others its fine grain and small defuse pores make for a great wood for cutting boards.
What do I need to do keep my cutting boards clean and maintained?
Hand wash your cutting board after every use. Let the board dry completely and evenly on all sides. Keep your cutting board well oiled. Depending on how frequently you use your board, you should oil your cutting board about once a month.
What is the difference between cutting board oil and cutting board cream?
Guardian Cutting Board Oil and Guardian Cutting Board Cream are both made of food grade mineral oils and waxes. Guardian Cutting Board Cream has a higher percentage of wax so it is better at creating a thin barrier on the surface of your board, while Guardia Cutting Board Oil can more easily soak deep into your cutting board to keep it from warping and cracking.
Oiling your cutting board is a mandatory part of maintaining a wooden cutting board, while cream can add an additional layer of protection to better prevent staining and overall improve appearance.