Teak wood is a classic in the marine industry as well as for outdoor furniture. It makes sense—it’s a durable wood that naturally resists moisture, insects, and warping, and it has a stunningly beautiful color and grain. The popularity of teak led to supply problems, as the world’s natural teak forests were over-harvested. Today, modern, sustainably-managed teak plantations are recreating the look and feel of old-growth teak in eco-friendly ways.
So, if teak is so great for boats and deck furniture, why is it showing up in cutting boards?
The very features that make teak ideal in those other applications also mean it’s a star performer in the kitchen. A cutting board should be durable, functional, moisture resistant, and it should look good as well. Sounds like a perfect job for teak. It’s also hard enough to withstand regular use, but soft enough to not dull knives. There’s a reason you see teak cutting boards in the kitchens of the world’s top chefs—it’s an ideal surface that looks as good as it performs.
There are two types of teak cutting boards—end grain (like a typical butcher’s block) and edge, or face grain. Edge-grain boards show off the colors and grain the best, and are perfect for breadboards, serving boards, and normal household cutting and chopping. End-grain boards, or butcher’s block style, keeps knives sharper longer, show fewer knife marks and will stand up to heavier use.
These stunning teak cutting boards are made from teak grown on an FSC-certified plantation that covers over 16,000 acres. On a daily basis, that forest is gobbling up the equivalent of 20,000 cars’ worth of carbon dioxide. The trees are harvested by thinning, rather than clear cutting, ensuring there is always adequate cover for local wildlife, while opening up the canopy to allow newer trees to mature.
Contrary to the popular misconception, wood cutting boards are easy to care for, and keep clean and sanitary. Before its first use, you should season your board to prevent stains and absorption of odors or bacteria. Simply wash the board with mild soap and water, allow it to air dry and then apply a thin layer of food-safe oil like coconut oil or mineral oil. Other vegetable and nut oils are not recommended because they can go rancid over time. You can also melt beeswax into the oil for a heavier finish. Oil your board, allow the oil to soak in and apply another coat. The first time, you will want to apply four to five coats. After the last coat, wait four to six hours, then buff off the excess oil with a soft cloth. Voila!
For regular cleaning, scrub the board with a natural-bristle brush and mild soap in hot water, rinse thoroughly, and wipe dry. If you need to disinfect your board, wipe or spray on plain white vinegar or 3% hydrogen peroxide. To remove odors, scrub your board with coarse salt, a lemon, or use the vinegar spray.
With proper care, your teak cutting board will last, and look stunning, for many years to come, making it an even more sustainable choice!