Kitchen Cutting Boards
A cutting board is every bit as important as the knife you choose to use it on in terms of what is it made of and its overall size with regard to your available counter space.
Cutting boards come in all shapes and sized. The smallest is a cheese board which is typically around 8″x10″ or so. For larger cutting tasks you should have at least one large cutting board, and if space allows for it, the bigger the better.
The thickness of the cutting board is important as well as it should correlate to both your height and the height of your kitchen-countertop, i.e., a board with dimensions that fits your environment won’t cause you to bend your shoulder and elbow at an awkward position while cutting.
Wood cutting boards
Most wood cutting boards are made of hard woods, e.g., maple, walnut, cherry, pecan or oak, or a soft wood such as pine. A sharp knife will cut into a wooden board, making the cutting surface of your once brand new wood cutting board suddenly look worn, especially if you are heavy handed and do a lot of cutting.
Giving your wood cutting board a good coat of mineral oil every couple of weeks will help to seal the surface. Oiling protects the board from soaking up too much moisture as well as help keep it from cracking or warping. It also protects against the absorption of some bacteria. Always use an edible oil that has no taste. Avoid using vegetable oil as it will turn rancid over time.
Wood cutting boards can also be sanded to return the surface to a smooth finish but be sure and wash and dry it thoroughly and let it set out for several hours to eliminate any bacteria that may have been released from the interior wood.
Synthetic cutting boards
Because of its size, shape, and weight, a synthetic cutting board is can be very handy. Synthetic cutting boards are non-porous and non-absorbent making it easier to remove stain causing fluids as opposed to a wooden board. All you have to do is scrub and rinse. A synthetic cutting board will typically have a slightly roughened surface to aid in keeping food from slipping off and from it slipping around on your counter top.
That said, sharp knives will eventually carve grooves into the synthetic surface where bacteria can collect so it’s a good idea to quickly clean your board (both wooden and synthetic) with a good bleach washing followed by rubbing the surface with lemon juice.
Note: Keep in mind that no matter what a manufacturer claims with regard to how easy a synthetic surface is on a knife, there is no good substitute for cutting on wood to help keep your knife blades in tip top shape.
Bamboo cutting boards
A Bamboo cutting board has several advantages over other types of cutting boards: it has a hard dense surface that makes it easier to work with a kitchen knife, it absorbs less liquid than cutting boards made of wood such as maple and it is much easier to keep clean because the knife cuts won’t be as deep or plentiful.
Note: bamboo cutting board they should not be soaked in water or placed in the dishwasher.
Utility cutting boards
Synthetic utility cutting boards are the best as they are less likely to slip around and they can used in places other than the kitchen counter top.
Utility cutting boards are also the perfect size for parties when your counter top is cramped for space. In fact they are perfect for just about any occasion where small foods need to be cut.
Cutting board Surface (top and bottom)
Grooves are often carved into the edge of the cutting board to catch juices. Cutting boards with large grooves serve better for carving than for cutting.
I recommend having a separate carving board for carving and serving than the board you normally use for slicing and chopping.
Some cutting boards have feet however, this limits your cutting surface to one side of the board.
With wooden boards feet are not necessary since placing the board on a wet towel or shelf liner will firmly cement the board to the counter.
Depending on the weight and texture of the board this trick can also work on plastic boards.
In short, wooden cutting boards with feet work best as attractive carving boards or cheese boards.
Cutting boards prices:
In general synthetic cutting boards are less expensive than wood cutting boards. For around $50 you can purchase a set of synthetic cutting boards that are different sizes.
A good wooden cutting board can cost around $100. A 12-inch wood utility cutting board usually cost about $10-20. Bamboo cutting boards can be pricey.
A large wooden cutting board can cost up to $200 but it will last you a lifetime.
Filed under: Kitchen cutting boards
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