Olive wood is an excellent exotic wood native to the Mediterranean region. It’s a slow, stunted grower that barely exceeds 25 feet in height. Also, olive wood is solid and workable, making it a favorite for wood carvings and furniture.
But is it a good wood for a cutting board?
Absolutely. Olive wood cutting boards are hard, stain-resistant, and durable pieces with a unique grain pattern, making them an excellent addition to the kitchen. You’ll never find two olive cutting boards that are precisely the same.
If you’re using glass, plastic, bamboo, or maple cutting boards and are wondering whether you should jump ship to olive wood cutting boards, I’ve got you covered.
Today’s article looks into the good and the bad of olive wood cutting boards to help you make an informed decision.
Why Choose Olive Wood Cutting Boards?
The universal acceptance of olive wood cutting boards has been slow due to a lack of public awareness of the quality of the wood. This section will look briefly into why an olive wood cutting board suits you.
Here are the pros of olive wood cutting boards
Unlike bamboo boards made up of several bamboo parts, most olive wood cutting boards are cut from single pieces of wood. It’s very durable and can take up hard cutting with ease.
However, you can damage it if you don’t follow the proper care and treatment routine. Otherwise, the board will serve you for a long time, even with daily usage.
Its hardness contributes to its longevity since knife blades don’t penetrate deeply into the wood. But, just like any cutting board, you should avoid cutting on one spot or side as it will wear out faster than the rest of the board.
We all want cutting boards that will be functional and add to the aesthetics of our kitchens. And you won’t find a more naturally colorful wood than olive wood.
Olive wood has contrasting brown and yellow lines, forming beautiful patterns on your board. Its appearance means that you can interchangeably use the cutting boards as a serving board.
Olive wood cutting boards are also less porous and, with proper maintenance, retain their smoothness and olive smell for some years.
Easy to Clean
Olive wood cutting boards are easier to clean than some softer hardwood cutting boards due to their tiny pores and smooth surface.
Also, as the wood is highly resistant to deep knife grooves, you won’t need to scrub hard to clean it. Wiping it on the surface with a soap-soaked towel is enough.
Reasons To Avoid Olive Wood Cutting Boards
Olive Wood Is Very Hard
Olive wood has a 2,700 pounds of force rating on the Janka scale.
That’s relatively high considering cherry (995), bamboo (1,180), and maple (1,450) have ratings that are approximately one-half or one-third of Olive wood’s rating.
Harder woods don’t absorb the force on your knife while cutting. Instead, the knife bounces slightly off the surface of olive wood boards, dulling its blade.
Olive wood cutting boards may not suit you if you’re not religious about sharpening knives. However, if you’re smooth with your cutting, olive wood cutting boards are some of the best.
How To Care for Olive Wood Cutting Boards?
Olive wood cutting boards need constant care and treatment to prolong their lifespans.
If you’ve left your cutting board to sit unused for some time or you feel that its surface is drying up, you should treat it.
A straightforward way to treat your board is by softly applying a layer of mineral oil. But first, you’ll need to ensure that your board is completely dry.
Let it dry naturally till you can tell that there isn’t any moisture or water in the olive wood. Apply a tiny amount of olive oil on the board or the towel.
Rub the towel to apply the olive oil uniformly around the board and in the direction of the grain.
Afterward, let the mineral oil settle in, and you can use a second coat if you so wish or if you feel that your board needs more oil.
The frequency of mineral oil treatment varies and depends on how often you use your olive wood cutting board. If you use it daily, then weekly treatment will suit you. If you use it less often, you can treat it when you feel that it is getting dry.
You can also disinfect your olive wood cutting board by microwaving it for 3 to 5 minutes.
Can I Wash My Olive Wood Cutting Board in a Dishwasher?
Like all wooden cutting boards, you should never put olive wood in a dishwasher. Woodcutting boards warp or crack when you soak them in a dishwasher for long periods.
The reason is that dishwashers use hot water that isn’t good for your cutting board. Olive wood swells when you soak it in water; drying it leads to shrinking, eventually cracking.
In a dishwasher, the soaking and drying occur at a very unnatural drying pace that stresses the olive wood leading to its cracking.
So How Do You Clean Your Olive Wood Cutting Board?
It’s simple, soak a sponge in hot water and apply some soap. After that, scrub your board while rinsing it with clean water.
It’s that simple, but it gets a little bit complicated when dealing with an olive wood cutting board you’ve used to cut up some raw meat.
In such a case, sanitize your cutting board using a mixture of bleach and water. Four pints of water and one teaspoon of bleach is enough.
Run the board through clean water and then hang it to dry.
How Long Will an Olive Wood Cutting Board Last?
With proper care and maintenance, olive wood cutting boards last a lifetime.
Routine care involves:
- Coat the cutting board with a layer of mineral oil and periodically disinfect it.
- Use two different olive wood cutting boards for raw meat and vegetables. Uncooked meat can have bacteria that may remain in the cutting board, causing illness.
- Clean your board immediately after use. Don’t let the food remnants dry before cleaning it. Afterward, dry with a towel and hang it to dry further.
However, most cutting boards aren’t made to last a lifetime. Change your olive wood cutting board if you notice that it’s no longer aesthetically pleasing or has sufficient knife cuts to harbor bacteria.
Olive wood cutting boards are better than most wood, plastic, ceramic, glass, and stainless steel boards.
Its hygienic and easy-to-use nature means that several family members can use the board without experiencing any difficulty.
Remember that olive wood needs regular mineral oil treatment to last longer.
Handle your olive wood cutting board well as mineral oil is not waterproof and appears dry and rusty if not maintained.