James Martin: Chef shares top tips on how to clean wooden chopping boards

James Martin provides advice on cleaning chopping boards

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James Martin starts his ITV show each week by demonstrating how to make a specific meal or snack. Yesterday, the chef made a delicious rhubarb crumble cake, before going on to answer callers’ questions.

The first caller was a dentist from the Wirral who, instead of being in his home like the usual callers, was sitting in his dental surgery as he asked James his question.

The caller said that he has been even more “germ-aware” than usual since the start of the pandemic, so he wanted to know how to properly clean his chopping boards.

James noticed that the caller had two chopping boards behind him: a wooden and a plastic one.

Therefore, James went on to show viewers how he would go about keeping his wooden chopping board as good as new.

James noted that plastic chopping boards are “slightly different” because you can “soak them”.

“You can soak plastic chopping boards, as you know, in hot soapy water,” James said.

The chef explained that to make wooden chopping boards last as long as possible, you need to oil them.

But before oiling, you need to clean them.

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James said: “The way I clean mine really is I stay away from anything that’s going to acquire flavourings or smells onto the board because that’s going to translate onto your food.”

The chef warned against soaking wooden boards or putting them into the dishwasher.

This will cause damage to the wood.

The best thing to do, James explained, is to scrub them with “hot soapy water”.

Alternatively, the chef recommended using “an abrasion of lemon and salt”.

He said: “I go over the top [with the lemon and salt].

“Stay away from things like vinegar,” the chef added.

“So, lemon and salt, go over the top to keep them clean. When they’re clean, let them air dry before you seal them.”

Lemon and salt can be scrubbed onto your board using a soft brush.

Then, when it is completely dry, you can use the brush again to oil the board.

James advised using mineral oil or beeswax – or a mixture of both.

After applying the oil, leave the board to soak it in as long as possible before giving the board a quick wipe to remove any excess oil.

James showed viewers how immediately after applying the oil to a wooden board, you can start seeing the patterns in the wood more clearly.

This demonstrates that oiling wooden boards will make them last longer and keep them looking as good as new.

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