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Old 02-10-2011, 10:32 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
I made a decision some time ago that, for me, a cutting board is a necessary tool and that appearance was not important. As a result, I have a number of plastic cutting boards in different colors and sizes. They are lightweight, kind to knife edges, dishwasher safe and can be sanitized/de-stained with a simple bleach solution.

Given the relative effort to sharpen a knife as opposed to washing/replacing a cutting board, I chose to preserve my knives and keep it simple with my boards.
That's really the common sense approach, and I admire that.

Personally, I'm a lot like that. I tend not to overboard (pun?) with stuff, but this was sort of a necessary indulgence/learning experience for me.

I've been brainwashed by all the thick wooden boards used by TV chefs. It just makes prepping look so cool and fun, and that's really what this purchase was about.

We'll see how it turns out... whether or not I'm diligent enough to maintain the bamboo board and use it frequently enough to justify its acquisition... or I just relugate it to a serving platter, like the others here.

As far sharpening knives, I'm not the type that's obsessed with having the sharpest knife... at least not at this point. Maybe if there were local classes offered on sharpening knives, I would take it and get accustomed to sharpening my knife like a true craftsman.

But sharpening knives is such a science, it's hard to learn the fundamentals without a ton a trial and error. You need like, 3 or 4 different stones, and some other tool that refines the edge, and so forth. I've seen countless videos on knife sharpening, and each one just left me feeling more lost, confused, and overwhelmed, to say the least.

Right now, I just have a beater Henkels knife that I've been using for years without ever sharpening, and it gets me by. I also have a Shun 12" Chefs knife, but for whatever reason, I haven't started using it. But Shun has a lifetime policy, where I can ship it back to them anytime, and they'll sharpen it for me.
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Old 02-10-2011, 10:57 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by spork View Post
My first bamboo block was a small one, just to test it out. It's mostly decorative now, though it does comes into play when an extra board is needed. I still cringe for my knives when I hear them slam through a carrot onto the board.

I'm also cringing a bit at the thought that maybe some of my dinner hosts have multi-purpose mineral oil for their cutting blocks...
Was your bamboo board end-grain?
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Old 02-11-2011, 06:00 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by rush View Post
....As far sharpening knives, I'm not the type that's obsessed with having the sharpest knife... at least not at this point. Maybe if there were local classes offered on sharpening knives, I would take it and get accustomed to sharpening my knife like a true craftsman.

But sharpening knives is such a science, it's hard to learn the fundamentals without a ton a trial and error. You need like, 3 or 4 different stones, and some other tool that refines the edge, and so forth. I've seen countless videos on knife sharpening, and each one just left me feeling more lost, confused, and overwhelmed, to say the least.
....
These are the sort of polyethylene boards I use and recommend: http://www.amazon.com/Kitchen-3-2dpc-2e-Cutting-Board-Set/dp/B00007FS8S/ref=pd_sbs_k_2 .

As for sharpening and maintaining kitchen knives, that's really a bit off track for this thread. However, having good quality, sharp knives makes a real difference in the kitchen. So, I'll offer a quick piece of advice to help eliminate your feeling of being "lost, confused and overwhelmed".

To maintain a small handful of kitchen knives, you don't need to take classes or purchase a ton of specialized, expensive equipment. Although I have a couple of drawers full of stones and sharpening equipment, I almost never use most of them anymore.

All you need is a ceramic v-style sharpener like this one: Amazon.com: Lansky 4-rod Turn Box Crock Stick Sharpener (LCD5D): Home & Garden . They come with written instructions, are very easy and quick to use, and do a great job maintaining and re-sharpening most knives. They aren't heavy-duty enough to re-profile and re-sharpen extremely dull or damaged blades. For this, you're better off having them professionally resharpened. But afterwards and for all normal sharpening, all it takes is a few strokes on each side of the blade, first with the medium grit rods then with the fine grit, to keep them razor-sharp - a 5 to 10 minute job per knife.
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:09 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by rush View Post
...As far sharpening knives, I'm not the type that's obsessed with having the sharpest knife... at least not at this point. Maybe if there were local classes offered on sharpening knives, I would take it and get accustomed to sharpening my knife like a true craftsman.

But sharpening knives is such a science, it's hard to learn the fundamentals without a ton a trial and error. You need like, 3 or 4 different stones, and some other tool that refines the edge, and so forth. I've seen countless videos on knife sharpening, and each one just left me feeling more lost, confused, and overwhelmed, to say the least...
You make my point for me. I hate sharpening my Henckels. I want to keep them sharp as long as possible. That's the reason for my choice of boards.

However, to each his own. Enjoy your bamboo board and admire the Shun, it's a nice knife.
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:27 AM   #35
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I see two things wrong with what that Martha Stewart board info says mkaylady. All boards dull blades. The only question is to what degree. The other thing is that bamboo is not wood.
and most people don't recommend cutting meat on bamboo or wood..at least in my reading...that is what those nice poly. boards are for and tend to run so much cheaper....I even have one and I don't even cook with meat. I just use it for things with a lot of liquid that I dont want finding it's way into my board.
I do agree that all boards dull knives, it's just the hard truth on the subject.
Also, I don't trust the whole "soap and water" take with boards that the company recommends, I did it with one board for about two months and I find it splitting even with proper maintance.
I now use a home made solution of lime and vinegar, spray the board, and dry.
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Old 02-11-2011, 04:01 PM   #36
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and most people don't recommend cutting meat on bamboo or wood..at least in my reading...that is what those nice poly. boards are for and tend to run so much cheaper....I even have one and I don't even cook with meat. I just use it for things with a lot of liquid that I dont want finding it's way into my board.
I do agree that all boards dull knives, it's just the hard truth on the subject.
Also, I don't trust the whole "soap and water" take with boards that the company recommends, I did it with one board for about two months and I find it splitting even with proper maintance.
I now use a home made solution of lime and vinegar, spray the board, and dry.
I never cut meat on a cutting board. I am going to get one of those plastic ones that have a ridge and a little deepness to them to use just for meats. I have one of those that I use for tomatoes and they hold the juice from dripping down.

I use a cut lemon to clean and then dry it.
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