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Cutting boards

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I'm in need of some new cutting boards.  I have a few plastic ones that have warped so much that I can't use them (from the ikea multipacks), a couple bamboo boards, and a gigantic epicurean that's almost too big for my counter.  I don't have any wood cutting boards.  I like being able to put the cutting boards in the dishwasher to ensure they're properly clean, and I try to only cut veggies on my bamboo boards since those obviously can't be put in the dishwasher.  Though I've been known to cut meat on them and I feel like I have to thoroughly scrub them to ensure they're clean.

 

It seems like there are a lot of threads on here debating plastic vs wood.  Well since I want to put my cutting boards in the dishwasher, I don't want wood.  Gotta be dishwasher safe.

 

I've heard the epicurean ones are ok on knives - is this true?  Would getting one or two smaller ones of those (or any other composite suggestions) be a good alternative to new plastic cutting boards?

 

Thanks

post #2 of 4

The epicurean boards are no different from plastic so far as your knives are concerned.

 

I am still debating with my significant other over a 14x18" wood board (she really doesn't want it on the counter).  I have a 14x17x3/8 thick black, pebbled surface plastic board that is totally unobtrusive, stays flat, useful for many tasks a heavy wood board would not be considered for, wipes easy and along with a smaller wood board that sits on top it does get the job done cooking for 2, and the setup is, of course, easy on my knives.

 

So anyway to now burn your ears with info you didn't ask for, but someone reading this may find useful, consider [full-size] wood:

 

  •  You listen to the pros here and they recommend 18x24 min.
  • I think 12x18 approximate gets the job done so long as you have your mise bowls handy.
  • Forget bamboo, consensus is that you may almost as well use plastic, both do excessive damage to your knives.  End-grain wood is best, preferably Maple, cherry, mahogany or walnut, and minimum 2" thickness.  Edge-grain is not as easy on your knives, but is far better than plastic and can be made thinner and cheaper than end-grain.
  • Most boards sold on Amazon and ebay are crap that will split/warp sooner rather than later, especially the end-grain ones.  Apparently the wood needs to be properly seasoned and glued, there is also a problem with mixed-wood boards where wood densities are not properly matched.
  • Board Smith is highly recommended around here, I'd get their cherry wood board as it is lightest of the recommended woods and so is easily moved around,  I'd have them put handles or finger grooves in it to facilitate this.
  • Forget about the dishwasher [in general], a decent sized board does not fit well in there and they absolutely don't need that to easily keep clean, and of course wood can't go in there.
  • Don't overly saturate a board with oil, I'd use the cream pastes (beeswax based) as they have a nicer feel, require less frequent application, and don't darken the wood like mineral oil.  Board Smith and other sites give complete maintenance tips.

 

Rick


Edited by Rick Alan - 8/24/13 at 12:12pm
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thanks.  My counter basicaly isn't 18x24, I have a TINY kitchen compared to other places I've lived.  The size of the counter if I didn't have anything on it is about 25"x25", sandwiched between sink and stove - but I've got a spice rack and cooking utensil holder, knife block on it, and spoon rest. It sucks, but it's a compromise I made to live where I do.  This brings my usable counter space to just larger than the large Epicurean board I have, which measures about 17x13 - and it won't fully fit in my sink for cleaning (without water going all over the kitchen) as the sink is about 16x13, so I kind of have to put it in the dishwasher.  Considering I can't really have any larger cutting boards, they'll fit in the dishwasher just fine.

 

Having one good (but small) end-grain cutting board isn't a bad idea, but I still don't like the idea of cutting raw meat (especially chicken) on something I can't put in the dishwasher.  I'd be concerned with a 12x18 board because my sink is so small, and it would also be pushing it with my counter space.

post #4 of 4

Jeepers my reply disappeared, anyway, people have been cutting meat on wood for centuries, a quick soap scrub is really adequate for most contact, and nowadays we have easy access to bleach for occasional full disinfecting.  That said slicing meat on the plastic board isn't so bad as clean slicing motions here minimize board contact.

 

The feel of your knife on wood is really much better than plastic and other hard surfaces, but here is an alternative I've never tried, rubber:

http://www.jbprince.com/pc_combined_results.asp?search_prod=%28searchlike~p.nm~cutting%20boards|Or|searchlike~p.ds~cutting%20boards|Or|searchlike~p.sku~cutting%20boards|Or|searchlike~p.opt3~cutting%20boards|Or|searchlike~p.opt5~cutting%20boards%29|and|&search_keyword=cutting%20boards

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