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Keeping your cutting board clean

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hi all. Just purchased one of these:

http://www.architecproducts.com/ProductListing.aspx?CatId=d0e4cf16-2c0f-4ab9-97ff-940981b47c45#sthash.Sim5zpn5.dpbs

I called customer service, and asked about how it should be cleaned. "Use warm, soapy water" was the response. I asked if I can use a steel wool soap pad, like SOS, and "no - use warm, soapy water" was the response. I then asked, what if I was cutting raw chicken on the board... how can I ensure I am getting rid of all the bacteria. "Use warm, soapy water" was the response. Nice.

How do the rest of you ensure that your board stays clean and bacteria free?

Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 24

Use warm, soapy water... and vinegar.

Oil the board frequently cause oiling your board will help the wood to repel bacteria. Not to kill bacteria, but to repel bacteria.

Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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post #3 of 24

I wash mine lightly then wipe it down with cheap vodka and apply mineral oil when it needs it.  If I'm cutting up chicken, or fish I use a shield on the board.  

post #4 of 24
I use warm soapy water. If stuff dries on board or poultry juices sit too long I use a plastic bristle brush. SOS would be way to harsh and probably leave a very nasty taste to the board. I rarely oil boards unless the finish starts looking too "dry".
post #5 of 24
After using your board for raw and cooked meats, the best way to clean it is 1:1 vinegar to water. This is a way better killer of bacteria then warm soapy water. I will either spray on or pour on this mixture and let it sit for a few minutes then wipe it off.
post #6 of 24

Wash, rinse very well, set it on edge to dry thoroughly; oiling is essential - but always use USP mineral oil.  Every nut or vegetable oil smells nice at first but will become rancid eventually. Best place to buy is any pharmacy... or you can buy some for a fancy price from  a board company.

 

Mike

 

This comes up over and over again

travelling gourmand
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travelling gourmand
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post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks all!
post #8 of 24

I wash mine with a salt brine every few weeks. and depending on the boards use some get oiled with walnut oil once a month. 

post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 

Salt brine - there's an idea. How do you make it? Salt, hot water, what else? I wonder if throwing some freshly peeled/crushed garlic in there would be good, as it's highly antibacterial.

 

Others have recommended mineral oil - you say walnut. Any reason walnut is better?

 

Thanks!

post #10 of 24
Mineral oil doesn't go rancid like nut oils, which makes it better for wood applications.
post #11 of 24

I take paper towels put them on board then sprinkle bleach on them and leave overnight. In morning spotless, no stains.   Fool proof way to kill all bacteria. Then rinse

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #12 of 24

from what i was told and have gathered from research the walnut oil polymerizes among other complicated things when exposed to air and the salt brine, and doesn't go bad like an olive oil or vegetable oil would. creating a food safe layer over the wood. the salt also selects for beneficial bacteria on the surface rather than keeping a purely sterile board for anything to colonize. the brine is a normal brine i would make lacto fermented vegetables with, the beneficial bacteria are on the surface of pretty much everything and in the air.

 

mineral oil is a distillate of petroleum and i would rather keep that out of my food personally. Of course to each his own.

post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by soil View Post
 

from what i was told and have gathered from research the walnut oil polymerizes among other complicated things when exposed to air and the salt brine, and doesn't go bad like an olive oil or vegetable oil would. creating a food safe layer over the wood.

Yes, but the polymerization is of the sort that is prone to oxygen radicals. Not what you particularly want in food. And the polymerization IS the walnut oil going rancid. 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by soil View Post
 

from what i was told and have gathered from research the walnut oil polymerizes among other complicated things when exposed to air and the salt brine, and doesn't go bad like an olive oil or vegetable oil would. creating a food safe layer over the wood. the salt also selects for beneficial bacteria on the surface rather than keeping a purely sterile board for anything to colonize. the brine is a normal brine i would make lacto fermented vegetables with, the beneficial bacteria are on the surface of pretty much everything and in the air.

 

I'd really like to see a source for this. Salt doesn't select for safe bacteria per se. This strikes me as pseudo-science. 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #14 of 24

1. Use both sides. One side for clean (fruits and vegetables) and one side for dirty (meats).

 

2. Get a UV sanitizing light.

 

3. Pour boiling water to clean.

 

4. Get a wood worker's steel scraper to smooth surface.

 

dcarch

post #15 of 24
Quote:
 Yes, but the polymerization is of the sort that is prone to oxygen radicals. Not what you particularly want in food. And the polymerization IS the walnut oil going rancid. 

 

theres a lot more to it than polymerization,  this is from wikipedia, this only happens with certain oils, and most of them are not cooking oils. other oils go rancid and produce mild toxins.

 

"The "drying", hardening, or, more properly, curing of oils is the result of autoxidation, the addition of oxygen to an organic compound and the subsequent crosslinking. This process begins with an oxygen molecule (O2) in the air inserting into carbon-hydrogen (C-H) bondsadjacent to one of the double bonds within the unsaturated fatty acid. The resulting hydroperoxides are susceptible to crosslinking reactions. Bonds form between neighboring fatty acid chains, resulting in a polymer network, often visible by formation of a skin-like film on samples. This polymerization results in stable films that, while somewhat elastic, do not flow or deform readily. "

 

this "film" is what i was talking about earlier. making your board harder to colonize with harmful bacteria (along with the salt). I have made and used many cutting boards, dough tables and other wooden kitchen tools in the farms woodshop and have always come to the conclusion walnut oil works best in my opinion, it also gives the wood a beautiful golden honey color to hardwood maple and slightly darkens others.

 

 

Quote:

 I'd really like to see a source for this. Salt doesn't select for safe bacteria per se. This strikes me as pseudo-science. 

the most basic of this is using salt to ferment foods. which selects for lactic acid bacteria and in turn creating lactic acid. this makes other bacteria sad. salt also is not going to help anything nasty thats for sure. 

 

this is all personal choice from research, observation, and trial & error. someone else may like other methods. thats fine with me.

 

:)

post #16 of 24

Listeria, Clostridium are all happy in salt environments. Pickling is a closed controlled environment, A board is not. Pickling is about time, Keeping a board in brine would be very bad. Pickling brines range from 2-13 % depending on what you're pickling. Which strength brine for your board? Do you vary the brine depending what you most recently cut? 

 

Compare these two statments. 

 

Quote:
 Salt selects for the right kind of bacteria that will allow fermentation to proceed, helps to prevent the growth of pathogens, and draws moisture and sugar from the vegetable.  The level of salt in the fermentation brine is 2.25% for sauerkraut and 8% for dill pickles. Tested recipes call for canning and pickling salt. You will not get the same results, and the product may be unsafe, if you use table salt, kosher salt, salt substitutes, or anything other than canning and pickling salt.

http://fyi.uwex.edu/safepreserving/2014/09/02/safe-preserving-tips-for-safe-sauerkraut-and-genuine-dills/  This is kind of what you've been saying. But it's really a poorly worded thing and it's far from complete.

 

Quote:
 There have been no reports of pathogenic microorganisms associated with standard commercial pickle products prepared under ‘good manufacturing practices’ and having appropriate acid, salt, and sugar content (1). However, Listeria monocytogenes, a foodborne pathogen, has been isolated from various plant foods and fermented materials, and this fact, coupled with the bacterium’s ability to tolerate moderately low pH and high salt concentration, suggests that Listeria may pose a concern in vegetables that are not effectively fermented. Insufficient acid production and anaerobic fermentation conditions may also establish conditions under which Clostridium botulinum may grow and produce a harmful neurotoxin.  

 

http://www.foodsafety.wisc.edu/assets/pdf_Files/Fermented_Vegetables.pdf  Gee, it's not just about salt. And there are dangerous bacteria that can grow in these environments. Lacto bacteria convert the sugars in the food to acid creating the lower pH. There's no available sugar in your board for the beneficial bacteria to out compete the bad ones. And in food prep, there's often no time for the bacteria to grow. You wash it, then use it for the next thing.  

 

Washing boards isn't about anti-bacterial action. It's about washing the contaminants off. Surfactants (soap) are what make washing effective. The brine does not offer much if any of this action. 

 

And please, don't argue wood is anti-bacterial. It's not anti-bacterial enough to be food safe. 

 

Hardening oils is an interesting argument for a board. But it seems to really not matter considering the way boards are used. Oiling boards is more about preserving the wood than a protective surface. This is one of the big arguments against bamboo, The glues and silicas in the bamboo are hard, damaging the edge of the knife. The benefit of an end grain board is that it's very protective of the knife edge. The blade slips down between the fibers a bit rather than impacting a hard surface. The knife use and frequency of cut damage makes the infrequent oiling a moot point for a hardening oil. 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #17 of 24

I understand that all oils can get rancid, including mineral oils.

 

dcarch

post #18 of 24

I didn't think offering such a simple and harmless advice would lead to being picked clean, But i am willing to continue peacefully. and hopefully someone learns something in the end. this is my personal opinion and how i do it, no one has to join me unless they see it worthwhile.

 

First off before we go any further, i think its safe to say that the method of preservation for a cooking board depends on a few things. They might be what the board is used for. Is it general use? only for dough? meat only? veg only? no knives, etc.... and of course the type of cutting board and the wood used in its production. A board used to hack dead animal parts with a heavy cleaver needs much different care than a one used only for bread dough. make it end grain or not and that changes things too. we could argue for years talking about how one thing works for one situation but not the others. 

 

Listeria and Clostridium as your examples don't really prefer the type of environment a cutting board properly washed and cared for likes. the environment of a sealed or semi sealed pickling container are much different than a open air board. the salt has different effects on each. salt and desiccation are not bacteria or pathogen friendly places usually. your point of pathogens potentially living in some salty environments is valid. i didn't mean to assume nothing bad can ever grow in a salty place, just the boards surface. 

 

i honestly don't measure my brine accurately by percent for the wooden boards, usually a cup for a gallon of water which gives me somewhere around 7% brine. to me its just a regular thing, not rocket science. I do have boards for different uses, some don't even get the brine like my dough table. it gets just the oil.

 

​no where did i say wood is antibacterial. those are your words. 

 

as for the dulling of the knife on certain woods, everyone should be sharpening their knives regularly anyways imo. but once again that's my personal opinion and not for this topic.

post #19 of 24

Soap, Hot Water, Bleach.

post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefbuba View Post
 

Soap, Hot Water, Bleach.


That's the same way it gets done in my home

Every smoker quits smoking sooner or later!

Only the smart ones are doing it while they are still alive.

Wer den Pfennig nicht ehrt,

Ist des Talers nicht wehrt !

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Every smoker quits smoking sooner or later!

Only the smart ones are doing it while they are still alive.

Wer den Pfennig nicht ehrt,

Ist des Talers nicht wehrt !

Reply
post #21 of 24

Vodka tastes better than bleach.  Comes in handy too when you're (God forbid) out of hooch. 

post #22 of 24

I need to try vodka. I  mean, to drink vodka and pour to the Gods over the board.

When i really need to clean some greasy boards i use diluted caustic soda. But take care with it. Use gloves, etc.

Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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post #23 of 24

i dont like useing wood boards.....  I put everything i use though the dishwasher....

 

 

as for wood boards.... i use put antibacterial soap on the board sit it in the sink and wait for the water to boil.... then slowly pour it on.

 

oil the board. I use food grade butcher block oil with bees wax. Amazingly enough i get it at the home depot....

post #24 of 24
travelling gourmand
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travelling gourmand
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