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Old 08-05-2005, 10:24 PM   #11
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I have both wood and plastic...3 plastic ones and a good wood one too, with the juice groove around the cutting surface to help keep the mess under control when I'm carving roasted meats. I use the plastic for a lot of simple daily jobs, but I get out the wood board when I am doing some serious slicing and dicing...
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Old 08-09-2005, 12:00 AM   #12
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I actually have quite a few boards that i have made myself and bought. Though really with wood, the differences you have are in the selection of the many different kinds you can use seperate or together. Like.........
My main workhorses are my maple boards that see a good amount of cleaver work. The next most used, depending where i am in the kitchen, are my maple/walnut/ebony, maple/wenge/ebony, maple/ebony/wenge/purpleheart, my sushi board that is cherry/walnut/ebony/wenge/maple, and a few others i put in rotation.
The ones i didn't make i got from here http://www.alladd.com/index.htm which are of very good quality.
And on that web site you can find this link http://www.alladd.com/cutting%20board%20study.htm
which explains, and rests, the myth that plastic is "safe" or "more safe" than wood.

And like everyone said, stay away from glass! And yes, you should NEVER use vegetable oil because it actually builds up a film that gets tacky and rancid, which hosts a breeding ground for bacteria!

Peace
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Old 08-10-2005, 08:24 PM   #13
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Everyone seems to have pretty well covered the topic ... so I'll just make a couple of observations.

Glass and Marble are GREAT for pastry and chocolate work where the work surface needs to be kept cold. You will kill even the best knives using them for a cutting board.

As others have noted - only use mineral oil on a wooden board. Do yourself a favor and just pick up a bottle of "Mineral Oil U.S.P" from the drugstore .... it's just as pure as "food grade" mineral oil - just certified by a different government agency and generally a little cheaper.
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Old 08-10-2005, 10:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daphne duLibre
Veggie oil on wood boards cuts down on bacteria. But nothing beats soap, water, and a good scrub.
Just a note here - it is best to use mineral oil (just the kind you buy in the drugstore) or an oil made for just wooden cutting boards.

Vegetable or any other kind of oil you cook with - do not to use. This can cause them to turn rancid. Eventually you will get this horrid rancid oil smell and you'll end up throwing it away.

There are a few more oils out there - pure almond oil is one - but truthfully - I use my butcher block oil (comes in a round bottle) and minderal oil if I run out of butcher block oil
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Old 08-11-2005, 06:28 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodweed of the North
There is a new wooden player around right now. Bamboo cutting boards are lighter than traditional maple or oak boards, and are very tough and resilient. How easy they are on knife edges is beyond my experience as I have never used one. But I know they're out there.
I've ordered a bamboo one from Kershaw to go with my Shun's. Not too worried about taking the edge of my knifes, more worried about not getting that "soft feeling" when chopping on a traditional wooden board and if the bamboo is actually so hard that the knife might slip on angled cuts (I bought it as an experiment really... oh, and it matches the knife block ).

I'll let you know how it fares once I get my hands on it.
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Old 08-11-2005, 09:36 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tknaps
oh, and it matches the knife block )
Don't ever let anyone tell you it's NOT about style!!! lol - I'm sure you will like it. I don't have one since I have a slew of cutting boards - I am very curious though how you like it so be sure and post back here.
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Old 08-12-2005, 01:46 PM   #17
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchenelf
Just a note here - it is best to use mineral oil (just the kind you buy in the drugstore) or an oil made for just wooden cutting boards.

Vegetable or any other kind of oil you cook with - do not to use. This can cause them to turn rancid. Eventually you will get this horrid rancid oil smell and you'll end up throwing it away.

There are a few more oils out there - pure almond oil is one - but truthfully - I use my butcher block oil (comes in a round bottle) and minderal oil if I run out of butcher block oil
Yes! For some reason I've been getting info on cutting boards of late. Alton Brown on "Good Eats" talks about veggie oil going rancid. Elsewhere this issue comes up with regard to oils and cutting boards.

The article cited here about wood/plastic boards and bacteria growth is a "must read" ! ! ! It just changed my mind about plastic cutting boards.

Being a fixated, obsessive/retentive type (My niece calls me "Capt. Compulsive.") I tend NOT to slice meat against a cutting board. What I do is hold the meat away from the board in my left hand and slice with the knife in my right hand. This for large pieces of meat. It won't work when cubing beef for stews.

Soap and water, chlorine bleach are all disinfectants. But the article cited above notes that knife grooves in plastic boards retain bacteria even after scrubbing.

I've seen study after study showing that the two most highly bacterial surfaces in the kitchen are the cutting board and the dish cloth used to clean up. The dish cloth should be changed daily.

Oh yeah, one last thing Alton Brown mentions about cutting boards -- They need to be a size that you can fit into the sink. If you can't get it in the sink, you can't wash it thoroughly. Seems to make sense, although I've overlooked this detail in my quest for a huge board to work on.
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Old 08-12-2005, 02:18 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daphne duLibre
...Soap and water, chlorine bleach are all disinfectants. But the article cited above notes that knife grooves in plastic boards retain bacteria even after scrubbing...
It's really difficult to kill the little buggers. I was pleased to read in that article that the dishwasher is the place you can effectively decontaminate a plastic cutting board. All my cutting boards are plastic and they go into the dishwasher after each use.
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Old 08-12-2005, 05:41 PM   #19
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There are plastic cutting boards that are molded with a anti-bacterial in the plastic. Any idea how those work? I think it is called Micro Ban.

The only way to really KILL bacteria that you can't get at with a disinfectant is to get the item in question over about 230 degrees F.

At that temperature, the plastic used to make most plastic cutting boards (polypropylene and High Density Polyethylene) deform (they don't melt, technicaly speaking, they reach the heat deflection temperature). For HDPE that is roughly 180 degrees F.
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Old 08-14-2005, 01:39 PM   #20
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My experience with plastic cutting boards in restaurant/catering kitchens is that they dull the heck out of your knives! Never spent so much time 'steeling' and sharpening my knives as when I was on a plastic board!


As far as your board being small enough to fit into your sink, I've worked on wooden butcher block surfaces that were 10 feet long. Every day at the end of the day we'd bleach 'em down; once every 2-3 weeks, we'd go after them with first a bench knife, and then a light sander. Some of these surfaces were ancient, and had developed a beautiful patina that went way down into the grain.
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