Why You Should Absolutely Be Oiling Your Wood Cutting Boards Regularly

Make your board last longer while keeping your cooking station as sanitary as possible by never skipping this essential step.

When you're cooking dinner after a long day of work, it’s tempting to take just about every shortcut possible in the kitchen (like, does food really have to rest before being served?). Many culinary experts would probably shake their heads at this sentiment, but there is one step you really should never skip when it comes to preparing a meal: oiling your wooden cutting boards

If you’re not currently doing this with your wooden items, it’s a total game changer. Wooden cutting boards are an aesthetically pleasing alternative to plastic cutting board sheets that get beat up quickly. Plus, they’re easy to pair with the rest of your kitchen decor and complement any interior style. They look great propped up on your kitchen shelves next to colorful appliances or a vase of flowers, and they can double as serving boards or charcuterie boards when you’re hosting. 

Dark and light wood cutting boards

Kitthita Methakornthitiporn / Getty Images

But there’s nothing worse than serving delicious cheeses and veggies on a board that’s splitting, cracking, or has a noticeable white cast. Here’s how to make sure you never have to deal with a dry and dirty wooden cutting board ever again.

Why Should You Oil Your Cutting Board?

According to TikTok creator @jessica_tom, oiling your cutting board prevents the wood from drying out and splitting and helps make the wood less permeable. Basically, if you’re not oiling your cutting board, the wood becomes more porous and food particles and liquids get trapped beneath the surface. That provides a breeding ground for bacteria, which can get back into your food the next time you use it. 

How to Oil Your Cutting Board

It doesn’t matter how old your cutting board is or if you’ve never oiled it before—it’s never too late to add this conditioning step to your cooking process. 

First, make sure to wash your board with a gentle soap and let it completely dry. You can towel-dry your board or let it air dry for at least an hour. You can also wash your board with a lemon and a little bit of baking soda. 

Once your board is clean, grab your oil. Although you likely have it on-hand, you should never oil your wooden cutting board with olive oil or any vegetable oil, as it can cause contamination over time. This not only leads to an unpleasant smell, but it can also impact how the foods you cut or serve on it taste.

Use mineral oils or organic waxes like beeswax on your wooden cutting boards. You can find affordable mineral oil options that are made especially for cutting boards on Amazon or at most major retailers. To oil your board, simply drizzle some oil onto the entire surface, and rub it in using a dry paper towel. Let it sit for about an hour, then wipe off any excess oil with another paper towel. 

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