Wood Cutting Board Seasoning and Care
One of Howard's cutting boards
Your wood cutting board needs regular attention to maintain the beauty and keep it from warping or splitting. They need to be seasoned before use, and repeated periodically after regular use. To prepare, wash with a mild dish detergent and remove any stuck food with a scrubbing sponge (nylon no-scratch type like Scotch-Brite or Dobie pad) set it to drain or pat it dry. Periodically treat it with a wax or oil. Several have been recommended by listeners. If water doesn't bead up on the board, but soaks in, it is probably time to re-wax or re-oil it. This can be applied to wooden utensils as well. (This applies to wood and bamboo.)
Use a food-grade mineral oil or other wood treatment product (interestingly, but totally unrelated, one of those products is called Howard Cutting Board Oil) https://www.howardproducts.com/product/cutting-board-oil/
For cleaning tips (for all sorts of cutting boards) visit our topic Cutting Board - Cleaning.
Listener Carl sent this tip: Awhile back you were talking about how to season wooden bowls, cutting boards and utensils. There is a product called "Spoon butter" that has no mineral oil and works excellent. You can buy it online or make it yourself. It's 4 parts coconut oil and one part beeswax. Hope this information helps.
Listener Gloria Stewart offered a history of her favorite cutting board: My son-in-law cut down a dying native persimmon on our property (plenty left to produce...) He saved the wood and made me, and others, cutting boards. They're beautiful and very hardy. He broke his chain saw cutting the tree down, that's when I learned it's known as American Ebony. As I look out my loft window, the big tree is loaded with fruit despite the drought - too high to pick, a friend told me her grandfather put a can on a tall stick to push up and collect them. I may try that this weekend. They're wonderful in jelly or candy. Also, we have wood countertops so I use a food safe mineral oil, I buy by the gallon as some parts get wet often. I coat the countertops and cutting boards at night before heading to bed, then buff in the morning. You can see where the wood absorbs the oil. They're so beautiful once buffed.
Gloria Sargent's persimmon cutting board
For a comprehensive article on the topic, visit https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/guides/how-to-clean-wood-cutting-boards/ or https://www.cooksillustrated.com/articles/1575-how-to-care-for-your-wood-or-bamboo-cutting-board