For one reason and another I’ve ended up with nine wooden chopping boards, which works out at four-and-a-half chopping boards per member of my household. I only went out and bought one of them (the first one) but I’m a kitchenware geek – and the people who buy me presents know the way to my heart.
I doubt I’ll ever need to buy another chopping board as long as I live, because all my boards are in tip-top condition. This is what I have learned:
- Don’t buy those boards that are made up of compressed and glued sections of smaller pieces of wood. They may look good, but they are more likely to crack. A board cut from a single piece of wood is far sturdier. It’s probably cheaper, too.
- Go as thick as you can. Yes, the thinner boards are more economical – but they’re flimsier, too. The blocky ones are better value for money, in the long run.
- Never put your chopping board in the dishwasher, or leave it submerged in soapy water. Not that you’d do this anyway; as a reader of this blog you are evidently blessed with the highest quality brain cells. I’m just sayin’.
- Okay, this is an important one. Oil your board on a regular basis: every four weeks should do. Boards crack because over time, they dry out. Keep them moisturised, and they’ll go on and on and on. Just spill a little bit on, and rub it over and into the board with kitchen paper or a clean cloth.
- Don’t do this with cooking oil, though. It may cost next to nothing, but those vegetable oils go rancid over time. IKEA does a chopping board oil for £4.99, but I’d avoid that too. It’s mostly made up of linseed (i.e. vegetable) oil. I love linseed oil because you can use it for loads of things – like keeping leather sofas soft – but sloshing it around food preparation surfaces isn’t one of them. You want food grade mineral oil, also known as butcher’s block oil. The bottles that I have found all come in around the £4-£5 mark: you can pick them up at any hardware store, or order online.