5 Mistakes You’re Making With Your Cutting Board
By: Mussy Raitman, Lubicom Staff
I recently had to make a salad dressing that called for mincing up four garlic cloves. The salad was a winner, sharp and flavorsome, but my cutting board on the other hand, not so much.
Let’s be real, everyone uses cuttings boards regularly in the kitchen, yet unfortunately not too many people are aware of the fact that they are making the following five mistakes.
1. You’re cutting meat and vegetables on the same board.
If you’re like me you, you’re probably very cautious about washing your hands in between touching raw meat and other ingredients. If you think about it, your cutting board is way more likely to hold the bacteria longer than your hands. One of the biggest mistakes in the kitchen is cross-contamination. Cutting raw meat and poultry on the same cutting board as vegetables is a big no-no. Every kitchen needs a cutting board designated for the different food groups. Keeping kosher definitely helps on the meat and dairy front, but even vegetables need their own.
2. Your board is slipping.
One of the greatest tips I ever learned takes just five seconds and makes your chopping a thousand times easier. The power of a damp paper towel!
The easiest way to keep your cutting board steady is to take a paper towel, wet it and squeeze it out so it’s just damp, then position it out evenly on your counter before placing the cutting board on top of it. That’s all it takes. The damp paper towel will act as a grip, preventing your cutting board from moving around. Once your board is stable, you can slice away to your heart’s content.
3. You’re using the wrong size.
Between razor-sharp knives and moist produce, basic meal prep can be a disaster. Even the most proficient knife-wielders don’t stand a chance if they are working on the wrong cutting boards. Give yourself sufficient room while you're slicing and chopping to avoid any hiccups. An easy way to make sure your cutting board is large enough: place your knife slantways from corner to corner on the board. If the distance end to end of the knife is longer than the cutting board, you know it’s time to scale up. The board's surface area should always be bigger than the knife.
4. Your cleaning method is wrong.
Whether you’re a pro using a wooden board or simply using plastic, cutting boards should not go in the dishwasher. Being exposed to pressure from heat and water can cause warping and cracking which later attracts heaps more germs. Instead, scour your cutting board in hot soapy water. Personally, after dealing with raw meat I soak my boards with a little bit of vinegar for that extra caution.
5. You’re hoarding your old cutting boards.
Yes, hoarding also happens with kitchen utensils. I totally get it (guilty as charged) but at some point, scrubbing and sanitizing your cutting boards just won’t cut it. When your cutting board has accumulated a lot of deep grooves from repeated use, it’s time to replace it. Just think about it like this: the deeper the grooves the more bacteria. That should get you to a kitchen utensil store quite fast.