Cleaning Your Slate Board
Removing cheesy oil residue and bread crumbs can be done without filling your kitchen sink with soapy water. In fact, we recommend that you dont submerge your board. Water that is too hot or too cold could harm the slate, while rough movements from the dishwasher could crack it or cause flakes.
To clean your slate, use a nonabrasive sponge or washcloth and gently scrub soapy warm water against the board. Take a separate cloth and wet it with cool water to wipe away any soapy suds. You could also rinse the board under cold waterso long as you trust yourself not to drop it.If you find an oily stain that wont go away, you can make a natural cleaning solution of lemon juice and baking soda, or even a mixture of vinegar and water to help remove it. We suggest not using bleach or other harsh chemicals on your slate as it can deteriorate any sealants that protect the stone.
How To Make The Best Cheese Board
By Rena | Published on April 1, 2020| Updated on June 23, 2020
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST CHEESE BOARD Tips and Tricks on how to make the ULTIMATE Cheese Board with a few easy Steps. Super easy to put together and just a beautiful setup to wow your guests with a beautiful wooden cheese board set up.
A Cheese Board is one of the most popular party foods or dessert options. It can be a real crowd-pleaser if you get it right, or a sad and lonely platter, if you miss the mark! Below are my top tips on how to pull together the Best Cheese Board!
Storing Your Slate Board
Store your cheeseboard in a cool, dry location where you know it wont fall to its demise. While placing it protectively in a kitchen cabinet can assure itll last until your next party, dont be afraid to showcase your slate on your dining room table. After all, seeing your slate board out in the open might tempt you to use it a little more.
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Applying Simple Homemade Wood Conditioner
As the mixture cools it will thicken. So its easiest for me to dip a clean cotton cloth into the mixture while its still warm but not hot. That way its soft enough to scoop up what I need and slather it on my wooden items without being too hot to burn me.
But if the mixture has cooled and solidified too much for my liking I just firmly press my thumbs into the hardened mixture to break it up. It breaks up easily. And when its not a hardened surface then my wood conditioner is much easier to dip out a small amount of my wood conditioner with a cotton cloth.
So dont worry if it cools and hardens too much. Its easy to make it scoopable again.
Ill rub my wood conditioner mixture along the entire surface of my cutting board and wood utensils until they are fully coated.
Then I just allow it to sit. Most times Ill go ahead and allow it stay on the wood surfaces overnight.
Then in the morning I take another clean cotton cloth and polish everything up. That removes any extra conditioner that might make the surface feel somewhat sticky.
Woodburning Your Cheese Board
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What About Warped Or Cracked Boards
In most cases, once a board is warped or cracked, its better to get a new one. If you really want to repair your board, the pros recommend taking it to a professional woodworker rather than attempting to do it yourself. A woodworker will be able to take a cracked board apart, sand it down, remove the damaged area, and reassemble and refinish it. Certain wood fillers can be used to fill minor cracks. But LaRue told us that if a crack isnt properly cleaned and disinfected prior to filling, bacteria can migrate through the filler and/or wood back to the surface of the board. And for someone whos unfamiliar with fillers, they can be messy and tricky to use.
There are plenty of DIY YouTube demos on repairing warped boards , but ultimately we found them to be very hit or miss. There really are no guaranteed methods to get everything flat once again, Cox said. A professional can run a warped board through a wood planer, but there’s going to have to be some modification. Its going to become smaller either in thickness, or width, or length to remove whatever issue is present. Repairs can also be costly, so it may make more sense to just buy a new board. In our guide to the best cutting boards, we recommend boards that are at least 1½ inches thick because theyre far more resistant to warping than thinner boards.
When To Oil Your Cutting Board
Theres no magic formula for how often to condition your board. Look at your board and youll know when its time. Itll look dry and grayish, with a light-colored patch in the center.
If you absolutely must have a magic formula, do it twice a seasoneight times a year. I probably oil my boards once a month. They get a lot of use, and the more you wash your board, the more often you need to oil it.
Climate is another factor. I need to oil my cutting boards more often in the winter, when the house is dry and were running the heater more often.
If the board is badly splitting anywhere, its time to get another one. Food and moisture can get into those parts and become bacteria farms.
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Spritz It With Vinegar To Remove Odors
Cutting boards, especially older cutting boards with lots of knicks and cuts on the surface, can become stinky when food particles get stuck and fester in said cuts.
You can combat this stench by treating your board with white vinegar. If the odor is mild to moderate, fill up a spray bottle with vinegar and give your board a generous spritzing. Let the substance sit for a couple minutes, and then rinse off the board with water.
If the odor is borderline toxic, you can fill up a sink or bin with white vinegar and dunk your entire board. You dont want to submerge it for too longjust a minute or two will do any longer could put your board at risk for cracking or splitting. When bath time is up, rinse off the board with water and let it air dry per the instructions above.
What About Sanitizing Your Board
In most cases, soap and hot water are sufficient for cleaning your board. You dont need to disinfect it unless youre using it to prepare raw meat. But wed recommend that you use a separate plastic board for meat, poultry, or seafood, and a wood board for everything else. Plastic boards can be easily sanitized with a chlorine bleach solution or washed in the dishwasher without damaging them. Using a separate board also helps eliminate the risk of cross-contamination.
The USDA does suggest using a dilute solution of chlorine bleach and water to sanitize boards. However, this method dried out and discolored the wood boards in our tests, so we dont recommend it.
You may also have read about cleaning your board using distilled white vinegar. Its not registered as a disinfectant with the Environmental Protection Agency, though, so vinegar will only remove dirt and debris, but it wont sanitize the surface . A vinegar solution can, however, help remove strong odors from your board, as mentioned above.
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Oil A Wooden Cutting Board
Besides keeping a wooden cutting board clean, it is also important to keep the wood in top notch condition. We need not go to a running track, a little oil goes a long way. If the wood is saturated with oil, it closes and forms a protective layer on the wood. For oiling a wooden cutting board is best to use an odor-and flavorless oil. Almond or grapeseed oil are good choices. White mineral oil is also suitable, but we recommend the use of cutting board oil. Do not use olive oil because this will become sticky and gross. Of course, that is not what you want.
Maintaining Your Cutting Board
A well-maintained board can last years.
Maintaining a cutting board is crucial to ensuring the longevity of your board. Fortunately, doing so doesn’t require a huge amount of effort just the right kind of effort.
Wood naturally makes its own oils when it’s part of a tree. When it’s not, the oils eventually break down and dissipate. This means you’ll need to add oil to your board occasionally. If you’re using an edge-grain board like Misen’s, you’ll need to oil the board once or twice per year.
Oil serves a few important purposes:
- It prevents the board from cracking and warping.
- It stops water, which may contain contaminants, from entering the board.
- It keeps the board looking and feeling nice.
Mineral oil is one of a cutting board’s best friends. Food-grade mineral oil is readily available online or in kitchen supply stores.
In addition to mineral oil, some people add beeswax. Beeswax is not necessary mineral oil does the job just fine. However, beeswax isnt harmful. It’s all-natural, food-safe, and well trusted. You can often find products that combine mineral oil and beeswax.
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Dont Ever Put Your Board In The Dishwasher
This may sound obvious, but it needs to be said. Well get calls from people saying their boards split because they put them in the dishwasher, says Trifiro. Please dont do thisno matter how tired or unmotivated you are to wash it by hand. The prolonged exposure to heat and water could cause your board to warp, crack, or split. Plus, doing so will void most manufacturer warranties.
Can I Use Olive Canola Or Coconut Oil Instead
Some cooking oils go rancid over time, including olive and canola oil, and also regular coconut oil. But theres one form of coconut oil thats a safe substitute. Refractionated coconut oil is steam-distilled to remove the long-chain triglycerides. This process keeps it from going rancid, so its a good substitute if you dont want to use mineral oil on your wood cutting board.
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Temperature And Your Slate Board
Being made from volcanic ash, its safe to say slate can handle the heat, but surprisingly, it thrives in polar temperatures too. A big bonus to using slate is its ability to hold in temperature.
Store your slate in the fridge or freezer prior to serving to keep your fruit chilled and your prosciutto cold before the party begins and through the entire evening. You can also place hot food or pots on your slate for a steady tray of warmth throughout the night.
While slate is a conductor of heat and is essentially fireproof, we recommend not cooking food on it. Thicker slates may be able to take the heat from a backyard BBQ, but thinner cuts used for cheeseboards can crack or break under intense heat. Similarly, large fluctuations in temperature could also permanently damage your slate by creating large flakes or cracks. If you plan on heating or chilling your slate, make sure it has a chance to come back to room temperature before washing or using it again.
Cleaning And Storing Your Cheese Board
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Making My Own Wood Conditioner
There are all manner of wood-conditioning products you can buy of course. But Im always looking to make things myself instead of buying them. Plus, who knows what chemicals may be in those types of products??
So to keep my wood cutting boards and wooden utensils properly conditioned I use a very simple, very gentle and all-natural mixture.
And it includes only TWO ingredients: Natural beeswax and coconut oil. You dont get any simpler than that!
Making my wood cutting board conditioner mixture is super simple too.
For my conditioner I use 1 part natural beeswax from our own apiary and 3 parts organic coconut oil.
Here in our area of NE Texas, during those hot summer months my coconut oil is liquid. But in the cooler months its often solid. No worries liquid or solid, heres what I do.
I pull out my *Digital Scale that I use for so many things in my kitchen. That scale has been game-changing in this Bread-Making Shortcut, yall! But today Ill be using it for measuring my beeswax and coconut oil.
How much wood conditioner you decide to make is up to you. I dont really want to make more than I need today. I only want enough to treat my two large wooden cutting boards and all my wooden utensils.
So today Im making just under an ounce. But you can adjust the measurements below based on how much wood conditioner youll need.
Afterwards I add coconut oil until it reaches .80 oz. This will give me .2 oz of beeswax and .6 oz of coconut oil for a total of .8 oz.
Consider Regular Oiling And Conditioning
Beyond these simple cleaning hacks, regularly oiling your board will keep the wood in a really good condition, explains Trifiro. The oil soaks into the grain of the wood and helps nourish it and preserve its natural state. This can prevent the wood from cracking or changing shape over time.
How often is regular? Every two weeks to a month, says Trifiro, depending on how often you use your board. If you have a maple cutting board, it will get lighter in color when its ready for an oiling. Other boards will feel dry to the touch.
When your board is due for an oil up, dont just slather any old substance on top. Any kind of food oil is probably going to get rancid over time and cause the board to smell, says Trifiro. Instead, use a highly refined mineral oil or a highly refined coconut oil . We like John Taylors Butcher Block Food-Grade Mineral Oil .
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How To Disinfect Your Wood Cutting Board
You should always disinfect your wood cutting board after using it with raw meat. There are other times you might want to disinfect it for your peace of mind. Wash it first to remove some of the germs then pick one of the easy disinfection methods below.