Protect the wood
The wooden Front Folding Bench and Cutting Board are an un-treated bamboo material. Depending on how the front folding bench is stored (covered or not) and the humidity of the location the board can be treated with food grade wax/oil or stronger varnish/oil.
Humid Locations = Varnish
In humid environments, especially if the cover is often on, the front folding bench may become mouldy. For these locations it is recommended to coat the wood with outdoor furniture varnish/oil.
Z Grills owners have reported great results using the Feast Watson Outdoor Furniture Oil which is widely available in Australia.
Please note that such varnishes/oils are not food grade, so do not place food directly on the front folding bench once treated.
If the wooden board has already developed mould, see these instructions to clean.
Dry Areas = Wax/Oil
If you live in less humid parts of Australia (such as Melbourne) and don’t store the grill under the cover all the time, then the wood is far less prone to developing mould. In this case varnish is not required, and instead a food grade wooden board wax or oil will work great. Regularly wax/oil the board to protect against mould and bacteria growth as well as prevent drying out and cracking.
A great local Aussie made option is LA Sawdust Board Goop which we use on our boards and love. Click here to visit their page.
Many brands of wooden board oils and waxes are available, but ensure they are food grade if planning to put food on the board.
Do NOT use cooking oils such as olive or canola that will go rancid over time and actually encourage the growth of mould and bacteria.
Make sure the board is dry before oiling or waxing. Sit out in the sun for a few hours if required.
If using a thin oil, apply to the board and then wipe dry with paper towel so there are no drips.
For thicker oils and waxes, apply a thin even layer.
Place the board in a warm sunny location. Sunlight kills any bacteria and the warmth will help thin the oil allowing it to soak into the wood even better.
For best results complete monthly, especially if the board is regularly wet.
Clean the wood
After using the wooden cutting board, scrub and rinse clean, especially after cutting raw meat on it. After rinsing, stand in draining rack to dry. Do not soak the board in water as will absorb moisture potentially causing it to warp and encouraging bacteria and mould growth.
After heavy use, and just as a good regular cleaning habit, scrub the board with some coarse salt and half a lemon. This will effectively clean off any food scraps, kill bacteria and leave it smelling lemony too!
Let the board dry overnight before oiling, or even place out in the sun for an hour or two.
Cleaning off mould
If a board gets moist (common in very humid climates) it can grow mould and bacteria. If this happens prepare a mix of 1 part bleach, 4 parts water.
Spray the board, leave for 2-3 minutes and then wipe off with a paper towel.
If surface mould is still visible, use very fine 600 grit sandpaper to take a fine layer off the wood.
Once thoroughly dry (sit in the sun for a while if required) consider varnishing with an outdoor wooden furniture varnish for better protection than oil/wax in humid locations.
No! Do not wash a wooden cutting board in the dish washer.
Cleaning a wooden board in a dishwasher can cause it to warp. Also, soaking in water for that long will cause it to absorb moisture increasing the chances of mould and bacteria growth.