How Long do Wood Cutting Boards Last - uBaaHaus

How Long do Wood Cutting Boards Last

A how to guide on getting longevity from your wooden cutting board

It depends! An End Grain Cutting Board that is of high quality and crafted from an appropriate wood species has the potential to endure the test of time, provided that it is properly maintained and cared for. Conversely, a run-of-the-mill chopping board has a lifespan of approximately 5 to 10 years prior to its eventual deterioration and need for replacement.

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I'm ready to invest in Premium Wood Cutting Board

That's great! We have no doubt you'll get a lot of joy from your new wood cutting board. End Grain is the gold standard, but the upfront cost may be prohibitive for some. The alternative is the Edge Grain for those who still want the superior cutting feel and don't want to damage their expensive knives, but at a more affordable price point. This article covers the main factors that affect a wooden chopping board's lifespan, from the types of wood to look out for to maintenance and best practices. By the end, you should have a roadmap in your head of how to take a premium board brand new and nurture it into an heirloom-quality board

How Do I Know I'm Buying Quality

When shopping for a cutting board, it's important to make sure you're investing in quality. So how do you know you're buying something that will last? Here are a few key characteristics of high-quality cutting boards:

1. Durability -  Look for hardwoods not just any wood type though, hardwoods with the correct characteristics. Common materials include Maple, Walnut, Teak and Olive wood.

2. Construction - A well made wooden cutting board is thick with no visible glue lines. 

3. Thickness & Weight - It should have some heft to it, the weight is a sign of wood density and thickness which screams quality, if it isn't at least 40mm thick keep looking. 

Maintenance Do's & Don'ts

The Do's

1. Clean with diluted warm soapy water and dry immediately. This can be done from the kitchen counter top with a sponge. Do not submerge in the sink. lightly spray diluted white vinegar and wipe across the board to disinfect and remove food smells and dry with clean towel. 

2. Don't let liquids or oils sit on its surface as they can cause warping and cracks over time.

3. Store the board in a well-ventilated area so that it doesn't become damp or mouldy.

4. Periodically treat with oil or wax to keep the wood hydrated and looking and performing at its best. We recommend food-grade mineral oil and board conditioner.

5. Purchase a board with rubber feet. This is a point of contention because some advocate for flipping wood boards over. Why we don't is multifaceted but the main reason is simple. I want a convenient solid place to slice and dice from. Rubber feet firmly plant the board in place. If you buy without you will find yourself putting silicone matts or tea-towels underneath the board every-time you cut on it. Which is a hassle. 

6. Avoid using serrated knives as it will leave knife scarring on the surface. It's best to cut bread on a plastic board where possible. 

Following these tips will help ensure your wood cutting board stays in perfect condition for years to come! Happy chopping!

The Don't

1. Use to carve meat. Why? Wood will react to sudden and extreme changes in temperature it might not be noticeable at first but its likely to have a compounding effect over time and will help to prematurely age your prized possession by warping, cracking or discolouring. Instead cut raw meat and piping hot meat a-like on large dedicated plastic cutting boards. Never, and we mean never chop anything on glass stone or bamboo cutting boards, it's a cardinal sin your knife edge will never forgive you for. 

2. Similar hot pans belong on a trivet after use not your wood cutting board.

3. Put in direct sun. Sun ages wood so its best practice to avoid leaving wooden boards in direct sunlight for consistent and prolonged periods of time. Consider moving to an alternative spot in the kitchen or storing it away in a cupboard or drawer.

4. Avoid using harsh chemicals such as bleach, as they can damage the wood and strip away its colour over time.

5. You cannot treat a wood cutting board like a plastic board. Cleaning using a dishwasher is a no go and will render your board unusable. If you have a family it's a good idea to mention it to them also. 

6. Use oils that can become rancid, such as olive oil. 

7. Leave in a pool of water or food juices for long periods of time, instead mop up residue with a paper towel to avoid after use as a habit.

Help! My Cutting Board is Showing Signs of Warp. Can it be Salvaged?

If you have made a wise investment in a sturdy and thick end or edge-grain chopping board, you may want to consult with a local woodshop to have it re-flattened. There are several machines that can accomplish this task, including a planer-thicknesser, drum sander, or a CNC that runs a flattening operation. The cost for this service is typically in the range of £20 to £40. Once worked on, your board will look as good as new. However, it is important to identify the cause of warping and take measures to prevent it from happening again in the future.

Can A Premium Wood Cutting Board Last a Lifetime?

Sure, if cared for properly. To ensure that your board lasts the test of time, it's important to understand the differences between end grain and edge grain boards.

End grain boards are constructed by gluing small pieces of wood on end, forming a cutting surface with several benefits. Besides the pleasing appearance, they provide protection against deep scratches from knife blades. End grain construction requires an extra gluing process, which doubles the manufacturing time, making them substantially more expensive than edge grain. A thick end grain board or butcher's block can last for generations, becoming an heirloom piece. We have little doubt that you'll love the performance you get fro your favourite kitchen knife on an end grain cutting board for kitchen prep work.

On the other hand, edge grain boards are made up of a larger wood planks, which are glued together so that their edges form the cutting surface. Edge grain is very stable construction method and far superior to face grain, but both types can eventually suffer from deep score marks that can only be removed with machinery. Unlike end grain boards, blade marks on edge grain boards do not heal over time but remain and build up. It is more likely that you will need to replace or service an edge grain board.

When To Give Up

If you've bought a cheap imitation board made from softwood or woods not suitable for cutting on. Then the gig is up and it's probably easier to start anew. Although not technically a wood bamboo boards would fall into this category.

If theirs been a lack of care knowingly or unknowingly and the board has warped beyond recognition or a massive crack has formed. Other than that you should be able to service your cutting board and get it looking like new.

That about covers this topic, I'll sign off by saying preparing food with dull knives is a frustrating task and your newly sharpened knife blade edge will be a butter knife in very quickly if you chose to cut on a glass cutting boards. 

Looking Premium: Look no Further

Almost all top chefs prefer cutting on wood while cooking at home. If they are doing it, you should consider it too.

We offer two premium chopping board varieties, Maple and Walnut, which are unique in the market. These cutting boards perform excellently, look great, and keep your knives sharp for longer. We stock end grain and edge grain options. Check out the unique and elegant Fancy Feet End Grain Cutting Board or the Stealth Edge Grain Chopping Board.

Shop our collection premium wood chopping boards.


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