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Old 12-05-2011, 10:04 PM   #1
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Cutting board suggestions?

I've been using an OXO plastic cutting board and am thinking of getting a larger bamboo one. I love the look of bamboo but am wondering how hard it will be to clean and maintain. Looking forward to any suggestions!

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Old 12-05-2011, 10:34 PM   #2
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I have a bamboo one but mostly use it for decorative purposes (i.e., putting out a cheese and fruit platter). I tend to like the plastic ones you describe simply because when I bleach my sink I toss them in and sanitize them (also stained coffee cups and similar).
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Old 12-05-2011, 10:57 PM   #3
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I figured the plastic ones might be easier to sanitize. I just love the way the bamboo ones look when I see chefs using them on cooking shows!
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Old 12-05-2011, 11:16 PM   #4
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Bamboo boards are made using an epoxy to bind the pieces of bamboo together. While the bamboo is not particularly hard, the epoxy is and is harder on knives than wood or plastic.
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Old 12-05-2011, 11:40 PM   #5
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So do most people use plastic or wood? Is there much of a difference in performance?
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Old 12-06-2011, 12:46 AM   #6
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So do most people use plastic or wood? Is there much of a difference in performance?
Well there is a difference between wood and bamboo. Bamboo is actually a grass and is pretty soft. It tends to be a slower surface then plastic or wood. I am not an expert on bamboo but if the epoxy used is hard on knives then I would skip it and invest in a a hardwood like rock maple or walnut.

I think wood and plastic have their places in a kitchen. I use plastic for raw meats and wood for vegetation and such. With proper are a wood board will last forever.

Wood cutting boards require a little more attention then plastic ones and should not be put in a dish washer. I oil mine with mineral oil about once a month or whenever it looks dry in order to keep it from cracking. Wood has natural disinfectant qualities and draws bacteria into the wood where it dies. I also rub it with kosher salt and lemon juice, which bacteria does not like.

Wood can be sanitized with a 1 tbsp bleach to gallon of water solution. After you wash it with warm soapy water spray on a thin layer and allow it to air dry.

Once a year I sand it down a little bit and rub in some more mineral oil. You can use walnut oil too but I have nut allergies.

Hope this helps
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Old 12-06-2011, 06:34 AM   #7
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end grain teak: easy on your knives, does not score, water does not bother it.

bacteria has been shown to grow more easily in the cuts on the plastic boards than on wood (which has some natural inhibitors) still I use plastic for raw meats and fish.
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Old 12-06-2011, 10:46 AM   #8
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We discuss this every so often with no clear results. Wood can crack, spliner, and harbor harmful bacteria. Plastic gets cut up easily and can also harbor said bacteria.

I end up replacing our cutting boards a few times a year.
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Old 12-06-2011, 10:50 AM   #9
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Interesting. I have 8 or 9 plastic cutting boards that I have had for up to eight years or so. I wash them in the DW and periodically treat them with a bleach solution to sanitize and remove discolorations.
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Old 12-06-2011, 12:51 PM   #10
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Interesting. I have 8 or 9 plastic cutting boards that I have had for up to eight years or so. I wash them in the DW and periodically treat them with a bleach solution to sanitize and remove discolorations.
Which plastic cutting boards do you have?
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Old 12-06-2011, 12:52 PM   #11
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Thanks everyone for the helpful information. I'm leaning toward using plastic and getting a larger cutting board. It seems pretty easy to sanitize with bleach. I have heard that people use grapefruit seed extract.
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:55 PM   #12
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I have an oval maple board with a moat around it, which I use for carving roasted meats because it's huge and will easily hold an 18 pound turkey or a 7 rib roast.

I have a rectangular end grain bamboo board which I use mostly for chopping fruits and vegetables because it is easy to clean and doesn't have to be pampered.

I have a smaller straight grain bamboo board with 4 holes along the top containg plastic cups, which is really great for getting your mess in place.

I have a large plastic board with a trench, which I usually use for slicing sloppy fruits such as oranges and lemons.

I have a very small oval some kind of wood board I use mostly for slicing bread. It's conventient because it's in the cupboard directly under my main work area.

I have a large pebble grained laminated glass cutting board that I use to protect the top of my prep table and to work with fresh doughs because dough tends not to stick to it and it's easy to clean.

I think that's all of them, unless you count the one that pulls out from under the counter top, but I only use that one to catch crumbs when I'm cleaning the counter.
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Old 12-06-2011, 02:11 PM   #13
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I highly recommend the wood pulp/resin type. It's the most sanitary, low-maintenance, knife edge-keeping cutting surface you can get. Wood is a close second. I think plastic boards are crap.
I was lucky enough to strike up a conversation on another forum about cutting board sanitation and use when a guy who works for a company that distributes the wood pulp/resin boards offered me a free sample. This was some 10 or so years ago when you couldn't buy them at Bed Bath & Beyond, and were only distributed to professional kitchens. I said sure, and he sent me a 24"x18" totally free! They're heat resistant, and I can honestly say I don't think I'll need to buy a new cutting board ever again. It's all the benefits of wood and plastic, with none of the downsides of either. I can't recommend this type enough.
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Old 12-06-2011, 02:19 PM   #14
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end grain teak: easy on your knives, does not score, water does not bother it.

bacteria has been shown to grow more easily in the cuts on the plastic boards than on wood (which has some natural inhibitors) still I use plastic for raw meats and fish.
Teak contains a fair amount of silica, which is not particularly good for knife edges. I stick to maple or other similar hardwoods.
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Old 12-06-2011, 03:42 PM   #15
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I highly recommend the wood pulp/resin type. It's the most sanitary, low-maintenance, knife edge-keeping cutting surface you can get. Wood is a close second. I think plastic boards are crap.
I was lucky enough to strike up a conversation on another forum about cutting board sanitation and use when a guy who works for a company that distributes the wood pulp/resin boards offered me a free sample. This was some 10 or so years ago when you couldn't buy them at Bed Bath & Beyond, and were only distributed to professional kitchens. I said sure, and he sent me a 24"x18" totally free! They're heat resistant, and I can honestly say I don't think I'll need to buy a new cutting board ever again. It's all the benefits of wood and plastic, with none of the downsides of either. I can't recommend this type enough.
Where can I buy one of these wood pulp/resin boards?
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Old 12-06-2011, 04:04 PM   #16
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... plastic boards are crap....
I think you are being a little bit harsh here.
Plastic is far from “crap”, and even the cheapest one will last t a very-very long time. Being dishwashers safe they are easy to keep clean and clean.
The reason I used "clean" twice is to underscore the fact that they will not discolor and also will be sanitized.
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Old 12-06-2011, 04:10 PM   #17
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The right board for the right job. I always use plastic for meats, wood for everything else and then have some small decorative ones for serving etc... Ricardo's cooking line has a good size wooden board that has a plastic one that slides inside for storage. Looks kinda cool.
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Old 12-06-2011, 05:18 PM   #18
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The right board for the right job. I always use plastic for meats, wood for everything else and then have some small decorative ones for serving etc... Ricardo's cooking line has a good size wooden board that has a plastic one that slides inside for storage. Looks kinda cool.
Looks like the Ricardo board is made of bamboo, not solid wood. And it's $64, way over my price range!

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Old 12-07-2011, 09:52 AM   #19
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Looks like the Ricardo board is made of bamboo, not solid wood. And it's $64, way over my price range!

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Wow! That is kinda pricy. I'll just leave it on my Christmas list and see what happens.
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Old 12-07-2011, 12:36 PM   #20
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Having used both wood and plastic boards over the years, I am now firmly in the plastic camp. They're less expensive (I have three cutting boards for different uses), lighter weight, dishwasher safe, and take up less storage space. And when they finally wear out (and make no mistake, they do wear out), I can toss it away with very little remorse and get another.
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