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Video:Clean and Care for a Butcher Block

with Chef John Mitzewich

There are three crucial steps to clean and preserve your wooden butcher block cutting board: cleaning, sanitizing, and sealing. See how to care for your butcher block, so it lasts for years.See Transcript

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Transcript:Clean and Care for a Butcher Block

Hello, I'm Chef John Mitzewich for About.com. Today I'm going to show you how to clean and care for a wooden butcher block cutting board.

Ah, my old friend the cutting board, the heavy, wooden butcher block cutting board. It's a pleasure to work on, so dense, so heavy, there's nothing like these. Mine's about 4 inches thick.

And there's very specific ways to care for and clean these. Let me take you though this.

Ways to Clean and Care for the Cutting Board

Step one is to clean it. We're going to use soapy water. Step two is to sanitize it. We're going to use vinegar water. Step three is to seal it using a mineral oil.

Scrub the Wooden Cutting Board

So here we go. I made some pastrami sandwiches, and I have a dirty, greasy cutting board. Step one, take a dry paper towel and wipe off any excess debris. That starts the cleaning process.

Then we're going to give it a little scrub with a soapy sponge, just use a plain, unscented dish soap. Make sure you scrub it good with the "scrubby" side of the sponge.

Rinse the Butcher Block With Hot Water

Then we're going to rinse it with plain hot water with the other side of the sponge. We're going to soak up all that soapy water.

I like to rinse it twice to make sure it's really clean. Then take a paper towel and thoroughly wipe it dry. Then on to step two.

Spray the Cutting Board With Vinegar Water

We're going to sanitize it with some vinegar water. So in a spray bottle, put 4 parts water and 1 part white distilled vinegar.

We're going to spray it liberally all over the cutting board. Soak it very thoroughly. Make sure the board is completely covered. Leave it for 5 minutes and then wipe it dry.

The big things with cutting boards are never put them in the dishwasher or soaking in the sink, or they will split. Let that air dry for 15 minutes, and we are on to the last step.

Seal the Butcher Block With Mineral Oil

Step three, we're going to seal it with some oil. We're going to use a mineral oil, about 3-4 tablespoons.

We're going to use something called food-grade mineral oil, which means there are no perfumes, or chemicals in it. Just pure, light mineral oil. They sell it wherever you buy the cutting boards.

Wipe Away Excess Mineral Oil

So really coat that well and let it soak in. The wood is porous and it will soak in that oil. So rub it in; 3-4 tablespoons should be plenty.

Let it sit for 15 minutes and then wipe off any excess oil, which there shouldn't be too much. Now your cutting board has been cared for properly.

And, if you repeat that after every use, these cutting boards will last decades. Anyway, I don't know if you have one of these, but if not, get one, and then clean and care for it properly. Enjoy!

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