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Old 08-04-2005, 04:06 PM   #1
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Difference Between Cutting Boards?

Besides material, are there any other differences? I mean, does a maple cutting board make the knife slide smoother vs a tempered glass cutting board? Are tempered glass cutting boards any good? Will they dull the knifes? Sorry for so many questions. I'm about to get married, and am buying my kitchen stuff slowly, but I do want quality. Thank you.

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Old 08-04-2005, 04:12 PM   #2
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Stay away from glass cutting boards. They are too harsh on your knife. Stick with wood or plastic. Both have their positives and negatives and you will find as many people who tell you wood is better than plastic as you will find the other way around. I love the look and feel of wood boards, but I like being able to put my plastic boards in the dishwasher.
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Old 08-04-2005, 04:24 PM   #3
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Glass cutting boards are best wehn painted by someone who can make it pretty, and then hung in a permanent place on the wall. The glass is hard on the knife's cutting edge and is subject to breakage. Even though it's tempered, it's still made of glass.

Food for thought; plastic cutting boards are hygienic when new, as they're not porous like wood. But over time, they develop grooves that can harbor bacterial. At that point, they need to be washed with energy and bleach. They are no easier to sanitize than is wood.

Wood has a couple of things going for it. It's tough, relatively easy on knife edges, has natural anti-biotic properties, and when cared for properly, is as easy to clean as most other materials.

If you by a wooden cutting board, it's best to by one made with butcher-block constrution, and look for those that have the end-grain as the cutting surface. Make sure to season the wood with food-grade mineral oil. This helps prevent micro-organizms from entering the wood pores, as well as blocking staining liquids and water. Wash with hot, soapy water after every use, and re-apply the minera oil.

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.

And remember, most wooden cutting boards are laminated. The cheap ones are made with cheaper glues and will come apart if not treated with care. You may see the boards warp, or start to split at the joints. So take care to purchase the best you can afford, even if you need to save up. In our society, we have lost the virtue of patience. It costs us heavy penalties in our finances, and in out quality of life. So purchase wisely, without going into debt for the things you want. Debt is a very heavy burden, and one that's very hard to get out from under.

Hope all of this helps.

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Old 08-04-2005, 04:43 PM   #4
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I have found it when I was already searching about hygiene of plastics and woods.... Woods are better and Glass one is quite destructive for knives...

http://www.peter.hemsley.btinternet..../bacteria.html
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Old 08-04-2005, 05:11 PM   #5
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I go with plastic: plastic is cheaper and when it wears and gets groves that can harbor bateria, I throw it away and buy a new one. Wood is wonderful, and the best of the best when it comes to being a cutting board, but they are expensive, and need to be maintained with a wipe of food grade mineral oil and NEVER soaked or put in the dishwasher.
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Old 08-04-2005, 05:41 PM   #6
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I love my plastic ones. Use them, throw them in the dishwasher and if they are too old throw away and start over with a new one. I also like them because you can pick them up and carry them to the stove or sink easier AND because they bend making it easier to slide items that you've cut into the bowl or pan.
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Old 08-04-2005, 11:14 PM   #7
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Thank you so much. I will have to explain that to my finacee, cuz she bought me this really nice tempered glass one. It has a chef w/wine bottles! HA! Thanx again!
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Old 08-05-2005, 01:37 PM   #8
 
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Best wishes for the young bride!

Forget glass -- period

I have two boards, one plastic for meat, the other a nice end-grain block for everything else.

Meat is a real potential contamination hazard. I use a plastic board and scrub it after use -- soap and water, lots of scrubbing. If I'm really slicing and dicing the meat on the plastic board, I'll go for a bit of chlorine bleach on the board for bacteria control. They're cheap. When I get grooves in it, it gets replaced. I put the old ones in the shop for a cutting surface for tools.

It's worth noting here:

The HIGHEST bacterial contamination area in the kitchen is the cutting board! The dishrag is second.

Wash out the dish rag -- often, daily.

But the cutting board contamination goes WAY DOWN when you segregate meats from everything else. Plastic board for meat. Wood board for everything else. Still --- soap, water, scrub. Veggie oil on wood boards cuts down on bacteria. But nothing beats soap, water, and a good scrub.


Wood, end grain. I see a few of these boards where the laminations have swelled. Cracks develop. Check the board for knots in the wood.

End grain is the way you want the wood facing to cut on it. End grain reisists cuts and grooves better than the side grain laminations.

I've seen some bamboo laminated boards. They seem tough and durable. Comments ???

Cutting boards are Kitchen goods that get used and replaced. A good end grain wood board when used for everything EXCEPT meat will last years and years.

Plastic board for meats will last a couple years with some care.

Find a nice end-grain laminate board and plunk down some $$$ -- then . . . keep the meat off it! It will last and last. And you'll be glad you spent the money.
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Old 08-05-2005, 02:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daphne duLibre

Wash out the dish rag -- often, daily.
Hear hear! And never use a sponge. Just a fresh dish rag daily.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daphne duLibre
Veggie oil on wood boards cuts down on bacteria.
Didn't I read somewhere that you are supposed to use mineral oil instead of veggie oil? I thought I read that veggie oil could go rancid?

I'd be interested in reading what you all have to say on that topic. Perhaps it could be a new thread though. I don't want to hijack this one, just wanted to express my interest.
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Old 08-05-2005, 06:18 PM   #10
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Do not use vegetable oil on cutting boards. It can go rancid, it can harbor bacteria and it is bad for the wood. Use a food grade mineral oil, the kind you buy in the laxative section of the pharmacy does a good job. It keeps the wood from drying out, protects it from absorbing oils and moisture from the foods and helps prevent staining. It should be done every couple of week on a well used board. If you don't use the board very often, every couple of months should be fine. Using Vegetable oil can weaken the wood grain and the glues that hold the boards together.
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Old 08-05-2005, 09:24 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 08-08-2005, 11:00 PM   #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, 07:24 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, 09:42 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, 05:28 AM   #15
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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, 08:36 AM   #16
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Quote:
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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, 12:46 PM   #17
 
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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, 01:18 PM   #18
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...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, 04:41 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, 12:39 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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