Cutting Boards?

Discussion in 'Kitchen Cutlery & Tools' started by Lord_Balkan, Mar 5, 2017.

  1. Lord_Balkan


    Aug 25, 2016
    I don't know if this is the best place to post this... but what are your opinions on cutting boards? Which ones would you get and which ones would you avoid?
  2. Kevin McGovern

    Kevin McGovern

    Jul 31, 2015
    Part of my kitchen counter has a built in glass cutting board. It is the worst. My wife still uses it from time to time and it infuriates me.
    bigsurbob likes this.
  3. jdm61

    jdm61 itinerant metal pounder

    Aug 12, 2005
    That's easy. Avoid anything other than end grain wood or Sani-tuff rubber. Kevin, break glass board. ;)
  4. gdpolk


    Sep 19, 2011
    I buy the cheap plastic ones that can go in the dishwasher and when they get cut up too much to keep from staining after cooking with normal dishwasher cycling I toss them and buy another.
  5. CrufflerJJ

    CrufflerJJ Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 27, 2006
    We also use plastic boards here at home. Very easy to toss them in the dishwasher after use.
  6. colecp


    Mar 2, 2017
    Epicurean makes a nice composite board that really holds up. Super knife friendly. Love it.
  7. Sharp Steel

    Sharp Steel

    Aug 10, 2009
    Are the Bamboo cutting boards any good?
  8. Barman1

    Barman1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 21, 2013
    I've been using the same bamboo board daily now for the better part of ten years and it wears like iron.
    I just wash it after each use and it's just now developing a small crack (probably due to the scalding water I use) that has no real bearing on its usefulness.
    Not too shabby for the pittance I paid for it.
    rhuxoll and bigsurbob like this.
  9. Danke42


    Feb 10, 2015
    If he breaks the glass board (part of the counter) that will be grounds for a kitchen reno with new appliances and then the living room furniture will have to go also. Not a road to go down!!
    bigsurbob likes this.
  10. stevewest


    Nov 25, 2006
    Boos cutting boards. You will find them in most fine restaurants.
    angileri likes this.
  11. jdm61

    jdm61 itinerant metal pounder

    Aug 12, 2005
    Very gritty and the glue they use to make them supposedly does not play well with knife edges.
  12. Danke42


    Feb 10, 2015
    They say bamboo boards are very inconsistent. Seems like that's why you can get a rave review and no problems from one person and nothing but hassle from others.

    The inconsistency is due to the nature of bamboo and how they make a board with it so it's not a brand issue.
  13. jc57

    jc57 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 28, 2012
    End-grain cutting boards are considered to be the best, but tend to be heavy, thick, and more expensive. The Boardsmith, Brooklyn Butcher Blocks, and John Boos are a few quality brands to look at. There are others. Maple, walnut, and cherry are the most common woods used.

    Hard rubber boards like Sani-Tuff, Hi-Soft, Asahi are recommended on several web sites frequented by pro cooks/chefs. I don't have any personal experience with them. They are said to be easy on your knife edges. Not dishwasher-safe.

    Edge-grain (also called long grain) wood cutting boards are a little harder on the knife edge but are still better than most everything else.

    Poly boards (high-density polyethylene) are those (usually) white plastic cutting boards you see everywhere. Dishwasher safe, and inexpensive. They work. Consider them disposable once the surface has a lot of knife marks in it.

    I've seen discussions on both sides about Epicurean boards. No personal experience with them. Dishwasher safe. Some people only use them for specific tasks (like meat prep). Do further research if you are interested.

    A cutting board serves two purposes - protecting your knife edges, and protecting your counter tops. Harder boards that hold up well are by their nature tougher on blade edges. Glass, ceramic, marble should never be used, because they will dull your blade edges very quickly.

    Teak and bamboo are also rather hard, and hard on knife edges because they both have a lot of natural silicates in them which are abrasive (and therefore dulling) to knife blades. Some people like them. I don't have experience with either, just repeating what I have read on other sites.

    What I personally use most often is edge-grain hinoki-wood boards (a Japanese cypress). The wood is soft and easy on knife edges, and they are very lightweight. I have several in a couple of sizes. I have other wood cutting boards, but I find the hinoki boards to be very convenient to use due to their weight. I don't know how well they will hold up over time or under heavy usage, but then I am just a casual home user and don't need something that stands up to pro kitchen use.

    All wood cutting boards require maintenance and cleaning. Wood boards should not be put into the dishwasher, nor soaked or left wet after use. They can warp, stain, and the heat from the washer can loosen the glue holding them together.

    Treat wood boards when new with a food grade white mineral oil (usually several applications, allowed to soak in overnight) and optionally a "board butter" product that contains mineral oil and wax (like Howard Butcher Block Conditioner or Boos Board Cream). Wash off with warm soapy water after use and rinse, dry off with a towel before putting away, and re-treat with oil on a regular basis. (I do that with the hinoki boards too.)

    If you Google around you will find a number of discussions about cutting boards. What you should get for yourself depends a lot on how much you use it, what kind of knives you have, your cutting style, budget, and level of interest in maintaining the boards and your knives.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
    JSutter, PirateSeulb, Ken H> and 3 others like this.
  14. BMCGear

    BMCGear Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 4, 2014
    Very detailed.

    Invest in a good board. I bought a large butcher block and really enjoy using it much more than the plastic ones I used to use.
    Brian77 likes this.
  15. mete


    Jun 10, 2003
    Either a good HD polyethylene or hard maple .[I had my sawmill owner friend make to my specs !!]
    Don't let food sit on the board .A quick rinse with hot water will remove most of the food .I wet just a bit [never soak wood !! ] to start to reduce wood absorbing flavors especially onion. When finished for the meal scrub with hot water and detergent and rinse with hot water.
  16. Chefget

    Chefget Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 2, 1998
    The rubber sani-tuff board is all I'll use in the restaurant AND home. The load 'clack' sound from the hard plastic cutting boards make the skin say nothing of the knife edge. Sani-tuff boards can be hard to find and can be costly. That said it is my very strong preference. I am constantly amazed by the quantity of fellow chefs who do not know about/use the rubber boards....

    Bamboo is a grass, albeit an 'in-vogue natural' product. Shredded grass held together by glue might not be everyone's first choice to cut on...

    End grain wooden board can be great, but still prefer the edge-wear and clean-up with the sani-tuff boards. And they are completely dishwasher safe...I've had a board for ten year go through a restaurant dishwasher 2-3 times a day.

    The board on the right is about 10 years old, on the left about a year; they age like ivory micarta :D

    JSutter and marchone like this.
  17. pyreaux

    pyreaux Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 9, 2015
    Old Yankee is a nice option for edge grain board.
  18. Rhinoknives1

    Rhinoknives1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 1, 2013
    Plastic cutting boards are very hard on the edges and are not more sanitary than wood and Bamboo is the worse, the reason they wear like iron as one poster said, is that they are filled with plastic and have up to 4 percent silica sand in them. You want natural wood, no composites at all! Wood has natural anti microbial properties to them. Ash, Maple. Walnut or maple, just like Grandma had work the best!
  19. Maggot Brain

    Maggot Brain Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 11, 2012
    If you want the longest edge retention, end grain is where it's at... never heard of the rubber you speak of though. That being said, I find that most of the cutting of veggies I do end up ruining the edge regardless of the fact I use an acacia wood cutting board (not end grain though). I think it's because there is inevitably some bits of sand/dirt on the veggies and it just impacts the edge.

    I really think the ideal cutting board for me personally these days would be a round block chunk sawed from a whole log or something like maple or ash, would last forever and there is no need for glue of any kind... which to me is something I'd rather not be eating if it can be avoided. I've noted bluntcut using something like this in his videos, been meaning to get around to making one for myself by now.
  20. jdm61

    jdm61 itinerant metal pounder

    Aug 12, 2005
    The sani-tuff boards are for kitchens where the health department didn't get the memo that wood boards are just as sanitary once the rubber boards get some dings them. There is actually a study from UC-Davis where they found that bacteria cannot thrive in a properly maintained high quality wood cutting board.
    Ken H> likes this.

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