Prevent Splitting: Care Tips for Your Bamboo Cutting Board

Bamboo cutting boards are a popular choice for many home cooks and professional chefs alike. They are durable, eco-friendly, and aesthetically pleasing. However, like any other wooden cutting board, bamboo cutting boards are prone to splitting and cracking if not properly cared for.

In this article, we will discuss how to season your bamboo cutting board and provide tips for maintaining it to prevent splitting.

Why Seasoning is Important

Bamboo, similar to wood, is quite porous and can absorb as well as lose too much moisture, which may lead to warping or cracking. Seasoning your new cutting board and oiling it once in a while to maintain that protective finish can extend the life of your cutting board and improve its performance.

What You Will Need

To season your bamboo cutting board, you will need food-safe mineral oil or any other formulated board oil or cream. If you don't have any of those on hand, you can use coconut oil. However, this is the only cooking oil that is okay to use on cutting boards.

Other vegetable oils are a big no-no because they oxidize and develop a rancid smell, which you do not want on your boards or food.

How To Keep Bamboo Cutting Board From Splitting

Steps to Season Your Bamboo Cutting Board

  1. Wash Your Board: Start by giving your board a light hand wash with mild soap, then wipe with a kitchen towel and let it air-dry completely.
  2. Apply Oil: The first time you season your board, you should aim to really saturate it in oil. Pour on what looks like far too much, then rub it in with a clean cloth (do not use a paper towel for this - it will leave fibers clinging to the surface of your board).
  3. Let it Absorb: When you're done rubbing, it may look like you still have too much oil on the surface, but let your board rest for 5–10 minutes, and you will see that the oil will get absorbed. For a new board, you can repeat this process a few more times to ensure there are no thin or extra-thirsty spots.
  4. Work on One Side: Work on one side of your board at a time, letting it sit with the oiled side up overnight so that it absorbs the oil completely. A much more efficient way is to let your board sit upright in a rack or a pot lid holder.
  5. Maintain Your Board: After the initial seasoning, all you need to do is keep up the oil on the surface whenever you see it wearing thin - that's when you notice water getting easily absorbed into the cutting board. To maintain your cutting board, simply reapply a single layer of board oil and let it rest overnight. With everyday use, you'll need to do this once every 2-3 weeks.

Additional Tips for Preventing Splitting

  1. Avoid Excessive Moisture: Do not soak your bamboo cutting board in water or wash it in the dishwasher. Excessive moisture can cause the board to warp or crack.
  2. Use Both Sides: Alternate between using both sides of the cutting board to prevent uneven wear and reduce the risk of warping.
  3. Store Properly: Store your bamboo cutting board in a dry, cool place away from direct sunlight and heat sources.
  4. Avoid Sharp Objects: Avoid using sharp objects such as cleavers or serrated knives on your bamboo cutting board, as they can cause deep scratches that may lead to splitting.
  5. Regular Maintenance: Regularly inspect your bamboo cutting board for signs of wear, such as dryness or roughness. If you notice any of these signs, it's time to re-season your board.

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