Originally Posted by vitauta
do i need more than one cutting board? i am in the market for a practical cutting board that is also inexpensive. it has been ages since i last looked at cutting boards, so i'm hoping for some help.
for the most part, i use a cutting board for cutting and chopping various vegetables. occasionally, i use one for meats, both cooked and raw.
i have been using the same homemade wooden cutting board most of my adult life. but now my board has become so warped and worn that i really must face the fact that it needs to be replaced.
what kind of cutting board do you like best and use yourself? do you have a separate board for cutting raw meat? is there a material or brand that you would recommend? thanks for your help with this....
For me it has to be wood all the way. I do keep a separate board for meat - just in case.
Wood does not damage the cutting edge of the blades of your knives as almost all other boards do. To a certain extent wood is self-healing so minor cuts are not a problem. Wood is also naturally antiseptic. I remember reading the results of some research done into different types of chopping boards which had found that wooden boards were the most hygienic if cared for properly and I seem to remember that there was something about the enzymes in wood killing off bacteria. (I may be wrong in the details - it was a long time ago!)
If you go for a wooden board you need to choose one which is a single slab, cut along the grain of the wood, not across it, and ideally about an inch thick. Don't choose one which is made of strips of wood because they are inclined to fall apart after a while especially as the board will get wet when you clean it They are usually the cheaper ones or ones made to look pretty rather than be a useful tool for the cook. Incidentally, pine is not a good idea - doesn't last, warps and can release resin and make things taste.
Bamboo is also anti-bacterial but is harder than wood so will wear out your knives. It also has to be laminated to make a board and does not have the longevity of a single slab wooden board.
Plastic are cheap and some are supposed to be anti-microbial but they still get cuts and scratches from your knives and all sorts of grot can embed itself in them. Glass "boards" are also cheap and easy to clean but will ruin any knife used on them, as will marble and granite.
Sadly, the above means you will be buying a more expensive board but on the bright side it will last you a l-o-n-g time. I was given my very expensive chopping board as my 30th birthday present from my parents. I believe it came from a specialist cooks' equipment supplier. My father nearly had a heart attack when told how much it cost but I'm 65 now and use the board daily and it looks as though I'll be bequeathing it to my nearest and dearest in my will
As for care, scrub it after use with hot tap water and a little washing up liquid and rinse well. If it has a lingering smell, for example after using it with onions, fish, etc., scrub it with a weak solution of bleach and water. Stand it up on end to air dry. Don't put it in the dishwasher.