5 Little Tricks Everyone Who Owns a Cutting Board Should Know

updated Dec 1, 2020
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Chopped cherry tomoatoes, onions, green pepper, and garlic on cutting board
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell

Raise your hand if you own a cutting board! Keep it up if you own more than one. Okay, we’re being a little cheeky here because pretty much every home cook we know has a decent stack of cutting boards (plastic ones, wood ones, even gel ones; but please don’t use glass, as that material will ruin your knives!). But not everyone knows these little tips and tricks for getting the most out of said stack. Let’s take a look!

1. Turn it into extra counter space.

Small kitchen or limited counter space? No worries! Just open up a drawer (any drawer!) and rest your cutting board on it for instant bonus counter space. Try not to put too much weight on the drawer mechanism (do your cutting and chopping on the sturdier surfaces beforehand and use this as a holding zone or serving space). Depending on the size of your cutting board, you can do the same thing over your sink. You can even get crafty and turn one into a burner cover for your stovetop!

Credit: Joe Lingeman

2. Stabilize it while you’re working.

No matter what you’re chopping, you definitely don’t want your cutting board slipping around on your counter while you do it. Keep the board in place while you work by putting a damp paper towel under it beforehand. You can also put two large rubber bands on either side of the board to keep it from slipping!

Credit: Ana Kamin

3. File all of them together like books.

Most people have more than one cutting board, which can make storage tricky. Instead of stacking your boards vertically, try filing all of them together like books on a shelf (or even with books!). Put something heavy at the end to keep the cutting boards from toppling and to add some visual appeal if you’re storing them on a visible shelf!

Credit: Joe Lingeman

4. Repurpose some under a counter appliance.

Without something underneath, the rubber feet on small appliances (like toasters, stand mixers, blenders, etc!) skid along countertops when you’re trying to pull things out or push them back. Solve that problem by rehoming old plastic cutting boards beneath your counter appliances like this genius reader! Automatic storage and functionality.

Credit: Erika Tracy

5. Use pantry ingredients when it’s time to clean them.

There are lots of great ways to clean cutting boards, but none beat using items you already have in your pantry. Here’s one trick we especially like for keeping a wooden cutting board looking (and smelling!) fresh: Once a month or so (depending how often you use your board, of course), sprinkle your board with coarse salt and rub with half of an already-spent lemon, squeezing slightly to release the juice as you work. The citrus will help stave off germs, and the salt will scour deep in the cracks for a much-needed spa treatment. Afterward, let the board sit for five or so minutes before using a bench scraper to scrape up the board. Then, rinse away!