What does "end grain" mean?
“End grain” refers to the orientation of the wood fibers in the cutting board. Wooden cutting boards can have the wood fibers oriented in 1 of 2 directions. The fibers can either run along the length or width of the cutting board (known as “face” or “edge” grain), or they can be arranged so that the fibers run vertically through the thickness of the cutting board, known as end grain.
What are the benefits of an end grain board?
Using an end grain cutting board helps to keep a razor sharp edge on your knife as the knife edge will actually slice between the wood fibers, creating a sort of cushion for your blades edge. Thanks to the density and arrangement of the hardwood fibers, the surface of the board will squeeze itself back together as the knife is withdrawn. This helps give end grain cutting boards a sort of naturally occurring antibacterial quality. Any bacteria or foreign material that may have made its way into the cutting surface during use gets pushed back out as the board surface self-restores, making cleaning the board much easier. This also has the huge benefit of helping to maintain the smooth and sanitary cutting surface as the knife edge will only leave the faintest mark. The combination of all of these benefits make end grain cutting boards a far more durable and superior choice when it comes to kitchen cutting surfaces. With a little care and maintenance these end grain cutting boards have the potential to last for generations.
How do I clean my end grain board?
Thanks to the naturally occuring anti bacterial properties of an end grain board, cleaning is a simple task. Using a warm, damp, soapy cloth wipe all surfaces of your board clean. It is crucial that all sides of the cutting board get the same treatment whether they have been used or not! This helps keep the moisture level constant throughout your cutting and reduces the risk of it cupping or warping. Rinse the cloth clean and give your board another wipe using the clean cloth to remove any left over soap residue. Dry your cutting board with a dish towel or stand it on edge on your counter top and lean it against the wall to air dry. By standing the board up to dry you allow air to flow evenly over both sides of your board, this further ensures an even moisture content throughout the piece.
I've prepared raw meat on my cutting board, how do I sanitize it?
Simply follow the first step for cleaning your board as mentioned above. Before you re-wipe the surface with the clean damp cloth you will want to begin sanitizing it. I recommend a diluted solution of vinegar and water at a ratio of about 1:4 for sanitizing cookware. Let the vinegar solution sit on the surface for a couple of minutes before wiping it with a clean damp cloth. Follow the drying instructions mentioned above and your board is ready for the next job!
My board feels rough, what should I do?
Chances are your board needs to be conditioned again. Our CHOPD Board Conditioner is made from a blend of food safe Mineral Oil and high grade local Alberta beeswax. Simply apply a small amount of paste to all surfaces of your cutting board with a soft cloth and leave it to sit for 5 minutes. This gives the mineral oil time to penetrate into the wood fibers and restore your board. Using the same soft cloth, buff the beeswax into all surfaces to give your board a moisture resistant coating. If CHOPD Board conditioner is not available, use a soft cloth and apply pure heavy mineral oil to all surfaces of your cutting board and leave it to sit until it is dry.
How often should I condition my end grain cutting boards?
Regularly conditioning your cutting board is the key to increasing its longevity. When you first receive your new cutting board, it is recommend that you condition it once a week for the first month. This will help the wood acclimate to the humidity and climate of your home. After the first month, your board will typically only need to be treated once a month. However, if your board looks dry or is rough to the touch, it likely needs more conditioning. Do not be worried about over conditioning your cutting board
What not to do.
- Never put wooden cookware through the dishwasher
- Do not set hot pots and pans on cutting boards
- Do not use bread knives on end grain cutting boards. Bread knife = Saw
- Do not stab at cutting surface with knives or forks
- Do not soak or submerge cutting boards in water
- Do not use scrubbing brushes or scouring pads to clean cutting boards
- Never use vegetable based oils to condition your cutting board (Olive oil, Canola oil, ect.) Over time these will go rancid and rot your cutting board and contaminate food.