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How to Care for a Wood Charcuterie or Cutting Board

Updated: Oct 31, 2022

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How to Clean | How to Maintain | What Not to Do

Wood charcuterie boards are beautiful and easy to care for.

Charcuterie has been a staple for every French home since the 15th century. Initially used for cured meats, the charcuterie board is now adorned with meats, cheeses, pieces of bread, fruits, and even cookies. Whether you love to prepare a Charcuterie board for the holidays or just a night with the girls having the perfect board makes it worth the time and effort it takes to make your charcuterie perfect.

With anything made of wood, it is essential to care for your charcuterie or cutting board properly. Remember, even after being made into something, wood is a “living” thing. If not treated well, it can expand, contrast, absorb liquid, and even warp. If you follow a few fundamental rules, then your board can last for years to come.

How to Clean

  • You will need to clean your board after every use, even if it looks clean. Food can leave oils on the board, turning rancid if not cleaned.

  • Keep it simple. Mild dish soap and warm water is the best way to clean a wood board.

  • If you have stuck-on food, you can also use a plastic scraper on the wood without damaging it.

  • Dry the board immediately with a dry dishtowel after washing.

  • If you have something on your board that may leave an odor, you can rub your board down with lemon halves or clean your board with kosher salt and baking soda or vinegar.

How to Maintain

  • It is recommended to use a food-safe cutting board, hemp, flaxseed, or mineral oil on your charcuterie board a couple of times a year to maintain the beauty of the wood.

  • If you want added protection, you can also use a food-safe board wax on your board after applying a new layer of board oil.

  • If your board is feeling a little rough, you can lightly rub fine sandpaper (220 grit or higher) across the board. Remember to only go with the grain of the wood when using sandpaper. After sanding your board, you will need to oil it. You can also add wax if you want added protection.

  • Store your board in a dry place, preferably with a bit of air circulation. This will keep your board from absorbing moisture in the air. You will find that many people display their wood boards on a wall or a countertop to keep them in an open space and free from moisture.

What Not to Do with a Wooden Board

  • Do not use vegetable oil or olive oil to seal your board. These oils can turn rancid and contaminate your food. Instead, use a cutting board, hemp, flaxseed, or mineral oil to seal your board.

  • Do not soak your board. Yes, you should use warm water and mild dish soap to clean your board, but if you soak your board, even a well-sealed board will absorb water and warp.

  • Do not use an abrasive cleaner or cleaning tool like steel wool on your board. If you have something stuck to your board, a plastic scraper, mild dish soap, and warm water will work well.

  • Do not use sandpaper going against the grain. If your charcuterie or cutting board gets a little rough or beat up from use, you can take a 220 grit or higher sandpaper and lightly sand out the rough areas, but ONLY go with the grain. If you go against the grain, it will become very apparent when you oil the board.

  • Do not put any wood boards of any kind in the dishwasher. It will warp the board.

Following these guidelines will ensure your board remains beautiful for years to come.

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