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Bamboo

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I just bought a beautiful 2" (or so) thick, round bamboo cutting board. (Which I love by the way!) Anyhow, I was just curious about it's care. Do I need to take any special precautions with it or treat it in any special way?
Is there such a thing as Queen
of the Grill? Why do men only
get a royal title over the
barbeque? I should be queen.
Girls like to play with fire too.
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Is there such a thing as Queen
of the Grill? Why do men only
get a royal title over the
barbeque? I should be queen.
Girls like to play with fire too.
Reply
post #2 of 15
That's a good question, I wish I could help you. I post just to commiserate. My sister gave me one for the holidays last year and I haven't unwrapped it yet. It's too pretty to use so I keep it on display instead.
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My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
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post #3 of 15

bamboo cutting board

i have two of these boards (one i bought and the other was a gift) and not only are they beautiful, they are harder than maple and are great for chopping meat chinese style with two cleavers. they don't require a lot of care, but i do wash them under a hot faucet (never tried a dishwasher but why would you want to??) and have wiped them down once a month with the boos mystery wood oil and they are as beautiful as new.

my concern for the dishwasher is not the bamboo but the glue holding the whole thing together.
post #4 of 15
Care for them the same way you would a wood cutting board.
post #5 of 15
Mineral oil? I would have assumed that any cutting board would be as free as possible from any oils or stains or whatever due to fear that it would get into your food. We just bought a bamboo board but I have been thinking about making my own just because I love the checkerboard look, and I just like woodworking. If I made my own and have it shaped like I wanted to, what would I add on it before I use it, if anything, and how would I care for it later on?
post #6 of 15
there are already natural oils in the wood and any oil you add is only enough to replace the oils leeched out due to washing, hot water, etc. the oil also repels moisture (like chicken juice) from going into the wood and providing a new home for all sorts of nasty bits.
john boos, totally bamboo, and all the other makers of fine wooden cutting boards recommend using mineral oil to freshen up your boards. (olive oil, corn oil, safflower oil and all other organic ... as opposed to inorganic ... oils will tend to spoil. mineral oil, being inorganic, won't spoil)
post #7 of 15
But isn't bamboo, at least botanically, a grass?? It's woody, but not truly wood. I have a bamboo board and I do like it. I wash it with soap and hot water, but haven't needed to oil it yet. It doesn't have that dry look yet.
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post #8 of 15
Yes, but it's still hard and woody enough to be able to make hardwood floors out of it. I assume that people like it if it's a little softer which I think it is. What I mean is that if you get a nicer chopping block, it's hardwood but the grains are up so that your knife won't be dulled as bad, the end grains will give a little. I assume that bamboo kind of does the same thing, preventing your good knives from getting dulled but I dunno.
post #9 of 15
FYI - if you have a T.J. Max nearby, they apparently can get the Tru-Bamboo boards, but the way that store works, there may not be the same deal in your town, it's all overstock and scratch and dent but I couldn't find any problems with these. Anyway, they are only like $10 each. Also found Wusthof and Henckels knives, All-Clad LTD pans for like $30 each, all kinds of crazy mess.
post #10 of 15
Doggy-

Rummage around on Google and you'll find some technical articles done by the Commercial Foodservice department at the U of Wiosconsin about cutting boards. They concluded wood boards were more sanitary tham plastic, since bacteria couldn't live on or slightly into the surface of wood. They specified mineral oil - the non-rancid thing. Making your own, you can use Titebond glue- it's FDA approved for food equipment use. No dishwasher, though.

You can use hard maple, or maybe mix with walnut or hickory laminations for artistic effect. You're gonna need a jointer, a thickness planer, a belt sander, and lots of clamps. (Remember what Norm always says!) Since it's your (cheap) labor, you might want to chop up short pieces and make an end-grain board, which is even classier than a face-grain one.

Have fun.

Mike
travelling gourmand
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travelling gourmand
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post #11 of 15
Yeah I figured I needed a bunch of clamps but I'm not sure about the other stuff. Lowe's has a bunch of hardwood in perfectly milled strips. Even if they don't have the exact wood that I want, I'm sure I can get it elsewhere. Putting the strips on a jointer is just going to make it worse than they were to begin with. Also, with a planer, the only thing I can think of that this would come in handy for is planing down the finished product. However, if I make an end-grain style, all of the wood will be facing up, and the planer would be going against the grain of the wood. As far as I know, you're not supposed to do this.

My plan is simply to buy a bunch of pre-milled hardwood strips, cut them all into identically long pieces such as 2" by using a jig on a miter saw with a fine blade, then glueing it all up on as flat as a surface as possible, route the edges with a rounding bit and possibly plunge route a groove around the edge by using a jig, then sand the crap out of it and put whatever oil I need to on it. Assuming that you used the edge of a board to clamp everything together, you really only need like 4 clamps, two for horizontally and two for vertically. There's no way that you could get enough clamps for every little square. Also another alternative is to surround the vertical pieces with horizontal pieces, kind of like a picture frame. This would make it much easier to plunge route a groove around the edge, just route it out before you glue it up.
post #12 of 15

Hi guys! I know this is an older thread but I just recently switched to a Bamboo board. Right now my biggest concern is the odor. Everytime it gets wet from cutting and washing, it release this (not really) pungent but distinct odor. I have never ran it in the dishwasher, always handwashed.  Haven't applied any oil just yet since it's still so new. Any thoughts why?

post #13 of 15

Bamboo is a grass.  Harder than maple and far more porous.  The small/tiny pieces required to make the board have a tremendous amount of glue and resin in them which are hard on good edges.   Since they are made in the Orient, the processes and supplies used may not measure up to American standards for cleanliness and sanitation.

 

TiteBond isn't a waterproof glue.  It will melt with direct water contact.  TiteBond II is water resistant.  It will melt if subjected to constant water contact.  TiteBond III is waterproof.  All are food safe.  All will melt if contacted with a hot pan or pot.

 

The pre-milled strips at the BORG's isn't that staright or even.  If someone is planning on making their own, it is far easier and precise to mill your wood from rough stock.

 

Running an end grain board through a planer isn't recommended and will destroy the planer knives and produce a lot of chip out at the end of the board.  If someone asked me to run one through my planer I would politely refuse.

 

Oils used for boards should be limited to mineral oil which is inert.  Any of the organic oils will turn rancid.  Regular applications will help to keep the cutting surface looking new and ready for use.  Wood does not contain any natural oils.  Wood does not contain a magical material that will kill bacteria.  The bacteria killing happens when the bacteria is sucked into the wood fibers where they die due to a lack of water.  The "mystery" oils that are sold as conditioners contain a mixture of items that are non-essential to a good cutting board.  All that is needed is mineral oil and maybe a little bees wax.

 

Never run a wooden or a bamboo board through a dishwasher.  The constant water contact isn't good for the wood and the heat will loosen the glue joints.  Also, DO NOT run hot water over the cutting surface for an extended period of time.  The wood fibers will pick up moisture and will swell causing a board to become humped or worse.  I have seen this happen!

David The BoardSMITH
www.TheBoardSMITH.com
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David The BoardSMITH
www.TheBoardSMITH.com
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post #14 of 15

My understanding is that the way to keep wooden cutting boards sanitary is to (never immersing them) rinse off well in running hot water, scrub in hot soapy water, rinse well with hard flowing water again, towel dry, then leave in a rack to dry COMPLETELY.  It is the complete drying that kills whatever might be remaining, have made it deeper into the pores of the wood.  Cooks Illustrated quoted some studies on this.

 

Also, from the book "An Edge in the Kitchen" you can spritz a already cleaned board lightly with a mixture of one part vinegar to 3 parts water, then let drip dry in the rack to more or less sanitize it.  Supposedly bleach doesn't work well on wood for some reason.  I'm quoting here - haven't tried this myself.

 

post #15 of 15

Bleach doesn't work well because it is volatile and gases off rather than soaking in. Bleach is only good for surface sanitizing. Also, because it is so aggressive, over time it damages the surface of anything wooden. The best way to maintain your board is to wash it in WARM mildly soapy water, wipe it down with vinegar, and let it air dry. Treat it with food grade mineral oil periodically to keep the fibers from becoming brittle and dried out. Oiling your board, whether it's bamboo or maple will help it to resist water and to last longer. Believe me, I have seen some shabby butcher boards that were over scrubbed with hot water and bleach and then never oiled - bamboo ones included. Wash your cutting board gently. Air dry it. Oil it.

 

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