The Real Reason Old Kitchens Have Pull-Out Cutting Boards will Surprise You

It's not a cutting board at all!

Cutting Board in Kitchen with Avocado
BUY IT: John Boos Mystery Butcher Block Oil, Cutting boards endure a lot of wear and tear throughout the year—so, give them a little extra TLC by sprinkling them with baking soda or kosher salt and rubbing them down with the cut side of a lemon. Afterwards, wipe wooden boards down with cutting board oil; this will help keep your boards free of warping and cracks for years to come. Photo: Amazon

You know that handy wooden board that slides out from under the counter in some old kitchens? The one you've been using for all kinds of slicing and dicing? Yes, that one. What if we told you that it's actually not a cutting board, and that it was originally intended for a different purpose entirely?

As it turns out, what you've been using as a pull-out cutting board is actually a breadboard: an old-world counter extension for kneading and slicing bread. Cool, right? As time passed, and less and less people found themselves making their own bread every day, the boards eventually took on a new use: built-in cutting board.

If you've been using yours for slicing and dicing , you're not alone. And don't worry, it's up to you how you choose to use your extra hidden workspace, just keep in mind that frequent contact with water and sharp knives can damage the original wood, and it's not always easy to find a replacements.

A few more things: It's never a good idea to use it for cutting meat, and if you do wash it with water, let it dry thoroughly before sliding it back into its home—prolonged dampness can cause bacteria to grow and the wood to warp. Thinking of replacing yours? Consider one made out of maple , which is naturally anti-microbial and resistant to knife scarring.

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