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Cutting Boards

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Wood, Plastic, Glass, Marble. I have a glass cutting board with an ocean scene that I like but I think it’s dulling my knives. I hear Wood or Plastic is better on your knives so which do you like best and is there a better name brand to buy? I’m sure both are maintain differently so how do you do that? Marble I hear is best for rolling dough on, is this true?
post #2 of 16
keep a non-porous surface one - for meat / fish, etc. Would suggest plastic.

Glass and marble are definitely way too hard for the blade.

regarding wood, here's something that helped me - got a nice one piece teak wood board. got it custom cut to fit right on my sink (home depot usually does it for under 10 bucks with the wood).

got some strategically placed buffers for flat surfaces and so that the board doesn't move over the sink

and it goes a long way.
post #3 of 16
I just got a bamboo board and the jury's still out on it.

However, I love my old maple laminate board which (ahem!) I made myself, but I get a lot of use out of the plastic boards. You can get plastic ones color-coded to easily avoid cross-contamination or odor. Sometimes you can buy them in sets- green for veggies, yellow for poultry, blue for fish, red for meat.

DO NOT use stone or glass unless you want to ruin your knives. :eek:
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post #4 of 16
I had a nice wood board for a while. Got some new plastic boards and retired the wood one. Actually sanded, painted and made it into a cribbage board. hehe

I have a nice marble one, but never used it for cutting, I use it strictly for chocolates.

I have a nice glass one with Starry Night on the backside, but would rather frame it, than cut on it.

So that leaves me with plastic ones. They work great, clean up great and are well worth the price.
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post #5 of 16

boards

If you can get a super hard wood board/chopping block, ironwood or the like then I would use that for really hacking and chopping, just make sure the wood is hard enough not to splinter when you chop or use french knives/mezzaluna for quick mincing. Most of the time is use the plastic ones b/c they are soapable, scrubable, bleachable and I can put them in the dishwasher to sanitize.
post #6 of 16
How are you cleaning the plastic boards? The ones I have to wash at work are very heavily scored (e.g. by Chef hacking at half a lamb on one with a meat cleaver) and they're stained dark brown in the cuts. I scrub them with a metal scourer and liquid soap, then bleach them, then put them through the dishwasher. They're 'clean' but don't look great.
Any other material is out of the question in France, only plastic is now 'legal' for professional kitchens (throughout Europe, in fact) despite the evidence that wood harbours less germs etc.

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post #7 of 16

plastic board

plounger,

one neat trick to work a plastic board that has been heavily damaged is to use a sander (or sand-paper / emory paper - in some parts of the world) of different grades.

you can remove a decent amount of plastic with a coarse one and get the board to be smooth again using a fine one.

I understand bleach is useful for cleaning and sanitizing, but it corodes the plastic also - the one that was used at the restaurant I worked at (plastics differ - I was told).

it will really help to get the board that new look and feel back.

caution: make sure you go over the entire length and breadth of the board with a particular sander - else you are going to have peaks and valleys and will render the board useless
post #8 of 16
Thanks for that. Not sure Chef is going to appreciate me going at his boards with a belt sander, although I'm up for it. He wants to attack them with the acid we use to clean the ovens first, so I'll see how that goes.
Cheers.

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Chris Ward
 
http://eatsleepcookschool.wordpress.com - The true story of the year I spent learning how to be a professional cook at catering school in Avignon, Provence, while working as a dishwasher.
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Chris Ward
 
http://eatsleepcookschool.wordpress.com - The true story of the year I spent learning how to be a professional cook at catering school in Avignon, Provence, while working as a dishwasher.
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post #9 of 16

careful

in my experience, its always been difficult to control the 'burn' with an acid bath / sponge.

also it results in a surface that's like the surface of a sponge (want to use the word porous here) - restaurant I worked at - this was considered an even bigger health risk

we actually had to order new boards because of that
that's when the person who delivered it told us about the 'trade-secret' of sanding.
actually he asked if he could take the old ones back for re-cycling and I ended up asking him why?

he said after sanding, they could sell them back to small time restaurants and deli places.
post #10 of 16
I use a wood one for vegis (nice butcher block), and two plastic ones for meats (one chicken and one all others...). I always oil (olive oil / the cheapest one I can find) the wood one... the plastic ones are washed with a Chlorox/water combo... :eek: :eek: :eek:

Plongeur... where are you in France? I lived in Coulommiers for 18 years... Glion Sur Montreux (Switzerland/Culinary School) for 3 years... just curious...

Be well...

Ara
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post #11 of 16
Granite is suppose to be the best for rolling out dough.
post #12 of 16
I'm in Avignon, as in the song 'Sous/Sur le Pont d'Avignon/On y danse...'

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Chris Ward
 
http://eatsleepcookschool.wordpress.com - The true story of the year I spent learning how to be a professional cook at catering school in Avignon, Provence, while working as a dishwasher.
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post #13 of 16
My son made a lot of cutting boards from bowling-alley grade Maple. Most were flat grain; the really good ones were end-grain. Turns out that the TiteBond line of wood glues are approved for such food-related applications, if you want to do your own. I don't think the polyurethane glues have that approval.

His investigation turned up a couple of research papers from the Commercial Food school at the University of Wisconsin demonstrating that wood boards were more sanitary than plastic, since the bugs penetrated slightly into the wood and died. It also said that mineral oil was the preferred treatment, applied from time to time. They can of course be touched up with a sander anytime they look battered, and then re-oiled.

That said, I usually use my plastic boards (Cuisinart, with turned-up edges) because I can just throw them in the dishwasher. Have a couple flat plastic ones, too.

Mike
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post #14 of 16
definately not glass or marble for chopping as you have probably guessed from the previous replies, at my work we have the big colour coded plastic boards which are great for prep and service, which get soaked in diluted bleach over night, then we have a wooden one which i oil bout once a month, and a couple of those white ones with the lip around the sides so juices dont flow over and onto the bench the only problem with these ones i find is that they tend to get a bend in them.
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post #15 of 16

Butcher Block Specialist

Hi all,

I purchased a custom made work table 3' x 5' with a bottom shelf and a 3" thick end grain maple top with a 1 sq. foot juice groove on the left side, and aluminum rods inlaid into grooves in the wood on the right side so that I can rest a hot pot or pan on it without damaging the surface. I have had it for 4 years now, and it is amazing. It is my prized kitchen piece. I oil it with mineral oil regularly. I do not cut raw chicken on it, but everything else for me is fair game.(Maybe no beets as not to stain it). It was pretty reasonably priced, and hand made. End grain is better for your knives than edge grain. It takes better care, but I think that the look of it and aid to your knives makes the price well worth it as opposed to edge grain. They do custom made pieces, boards, and countertops of all sizes and shapes with a lot of custom options. I suggest maple because it has natural bacteria fighting enzymes. The place is called butcher block specialist. They are in washington state, but ship anywhere. Check them out online. If you call speak with Terry.
post #16 of 16
I perfer hard rock Maple, thick and about 18X24 inches. Boos makes some quality boards.
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