cutting board... start :)

Discussion in 'Kitchen Cutlery & Tools' started by nidixigi, Dec 24, 2020.

  1. nidixigi


    Dec 24, 2020
    Hey I'm looking for cutting board recommendations.
    After years of abusing my knives with bamboo I'm ready for the next step. Ideally not wood, because it traps alot of bacteria imo and something really gentle on the blades.
  2. Tony_A


    Sep 14, 2004
    ?? Wood is the ideal material.

    Wood dries out quickly and kills the bacteria.

    Plastic stays wet, used/scratched plastic boards trap food and are basically a perfect petri dish for breeding bacteria. The only reason it is used is it's cheap, you can bleach it and even machine wash/sanitize some types. However it is inferior to wood.

    Glass is also not ideal as it dulls your knives.
  3. CWL


    Sep 15, 2002
    Most gentle material and something gaining popularity are hard rubber cutting boards. Started with Japanese sushi chefs as something very forgiving on blades and when all scuffed-up, can be sanded down to smooth layer.

    I have one that I use for general & meat prep, seems easiest to clean & keep clean.
    Korean Hog likes this.
  4. farmboy


    Aug 31, 1999
    The best of the best is Boos. Make sure you follow the instructions for care and maintenance to a “T”, and it’ll be the last board or block you’ll ever own.
    Icky Thump likes this.
  5. Icky Thump

    Icky Thump Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 8, 2011
    Wood. End grain. Over 1.5" thick
    sabre cat likes this.
  6. sabre cat

    sabre cat Basic Member Basic Member

    Jul 4, 2014
    Do some research. IIRC, one of the universities here in California did some testing a few years back (2006 or so). I think it was UC Davis.

    They figured out basically the same thing as posted above in post #2.

    I also would recommend end grain like in post #5.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2020
  7. jc57


    Nov 28, 2012
    For rubber, look at Notrax Sani-Tuff, Asahi, and Hi-Soft (which is actually the material, not the maker - Tenryo and Yoshihiro make some good ones.) For wood, I like hinoki (Japanese cypress wood) and end-grain wood, though decent edge-grain wood (maple is my choice) is fine too.

    I most often use a small or medium Shun brand hinoki board. Lightweight, easy to just wash off and towel dry after use. The wood is very gentle on blades. I have several of these, in a couple of sizes. There are others from different brand names, I just happen to have those.

    For end-grain, I actually have a kitchen table from Boos where the entire top is an end-grain 4" thick maple butcher block. I don't do that much chopping per se, but I like the look of the table at least. :D
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2020
    3fifty7 likes this.
  8. midnight flyer

    midnight flyer Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    There really isn't an answer that is a " one-size-fits-all". Both wood and poly have their advantages and disadvantages. I found that out when I was doing some catering at a hospital and long care facility for the Wounded Warriors. For the first time on the military base cooking (and using their facility as required) they made me go to a sanitation class!

    On base and at the hospital you're only allowed to use poly boards. Nothing else, no discussion, and no negotiation. The reason for that is that all cutting boards and all utensils must be run through their sanitizing protocols which includes in some cases the use of their professional dishwashing equipment. Wood won't work in a dishwasher. The professional models used on base use water that is nearly boiling along with specialized cleaning fluids. No organic materials including wood survive the cleaning protocols they require.

    Also, wood boards lose their efficacy as bacterial deterrents over a period of time. Wood's disinfecting qualities are generally based on the amount of tannins remaining in the wood itself. Over many periods of washing, treatment of the boards with different oils to preserve them and simple exposure to air, the tannins will leach out and reduce the amount of residual tannins in the wood. Without the tannins, it greatly reduces the amount a benefit from using a wood cutting board.

    That being said, I use wood at home as my preference. I cook a lot for family and friends and that means endless chopping, mincing, slicing and anything else you can do with your kitchen cutlery. I like the way the wood feels under the knife and certainly like the look of a wood cutting board over poly. Both are easy enough to keep clean, but when catering and I have seven or eight dirty boards I certainly appreciate being able to put them in the dishwasher and walk away.

    There is plenty of empirical evidence and good research easily available on Google to help you make your decisions between the two.

    Last edited: Dec 25, 2020
    robgmn, sabre cat, Lodd and 1 other person like this.
  9. sabre cat

    sabre cat Basic Member Basic Member

    Jul 4, 2014
    Years ago I worked in a store that specialized in unfinished wood furniture. We carried Boos free standing butcher blocks and some other cutting boards. I have to say that Boos products were a step above the other brands we carried.

    Of course they were priced accordingly.
    jc57 likes this.
  10. ndmiller

    ndmiller Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Nov 30, 2015
    I've been a recent fans of Epicurian boards and tools as they come in multiple sizes (HUGE for BBQ cutting down to small for vegetables) and are dishwasher safe.

    My favorite is a large BOOQ, but it's hardly user friendly (large, thick & heavy to get out) for regular use so now it's been reduced to a Charcuterie board when the family has a hankering.
  11. kamagong

    kamagong Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 13, 2001
    I adore the solid, round wooden chopping block that I picked up at a local Asian grocery store.

    robgmn likes this.
  12. robgmn


    Oct 30, 2015
    If nothing else, good for photographing knives on :)

    I'll grab some popcorn for the flaming I'm about to get, but my cutting boards are sheet plastic ones bought at Dollar Tree in packs of two, on top of my regular wood board. They last a long time (used 4-5x a week and last 1-2 months) and are stupid cheap to toss when they start to cut through or crack.
    My knife is wicked sharp (adjective, not sharpened on a Wicked Sharp).

    drail likes this.
  13. Liquidm1980


    Jun 26, 2005
    I went with Larchwood Canada . The random is a beautiful board.
  14. Phydeaux


    Mar 4, 2006
    I've been using a bamboo board for many years too. I probably going to make a maple cutting board some time soon. I like the thicker wood boards because they feel more stable when using. They also absorb the impact better when I smash garlic or occasionally baton a frozen chub of hamburger.

    Plastic boards that I've used seem to get cut lines in them from the knives. They're also thin (3/8" or less) and tended to warp.

    The UC Davis Food Science department are the folks who published the article. Thanks Saber Cat.
    sabre cat likes this.
  15. sabre cat

    sabre cat Basic Member Basic Member

    Jul 4, 2014
    So, my mind is not completely gone.:)

    I hope the article was of some help.
  16. drail


    Feb 23, 2008
    robgmn, THAT is a beautiful piece of cutlery and I'm sure it is a joy to use. Nice photo too.
  17. KenHash


    Sep 11, 2014
    Nobody in Asia uses Bamboo as a cutting board. Bamboo is not wood, it is a grass. It is extremely hard and used for tons of things other than cutting boards. Bamboo because of size and shape can not be made from a single piece, it must be put together. In some cases the adhesives used are even harder than the bamboo. Bamboo boards dull your knife. They are a marketing concept by western companies because Bamboo has an Asian image. Wood does not trap bacteria. Plastic does. Which is why plastic boards are often not recommended. Wood naturally kills or resists bacteria. That is why wood has been used in Japanese cuisine for ages. There is no better board material for your knife and hygienic purposes than wood.
  18. Logan09


    Jun 19, 2008
    I'm still using my birdseye/cherry long grain cutting board I made in shop class some 14 years ago. I use it everyday, and have cut pretty much everything on it(and still do). I'm still alive btw.

    I also have plastic ones I use for bigger cuts of meat/fish. My knives clearly leave cuts in them and they're not my preferred choice.

    A few years ago there was an uproar about the FDA trying to ban the use of wooden boards to age cheese. Saying it was unsanitary etc... Didn't matter that they have been used for centuries without issues.

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