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Old 02-09-2011, 05:58 PM   #1
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Are bamboo cutting boards worth it?

I decided to purchase the "Little Kahuna" bamboo cutting board from Amazon. It costed $90. I considered the "Big Kahuna," but I know for a fact I don't have space for it.

Anyway, I liked this particular model, because it was around 3" in thickness. Thick cutting boards really give you that gourmet/luxurious feel, so that's why I decided to invest in it.

That said, I'm starting to wonder if I bit off more than I can chew. First off, the thing weighs a ton. I'm not exactly sure how I'm supposed to maneuver this thing around a home kitchen sink...

Second, maintenance. This is like the cast iron skillet of cutting boards. It requires constant seasoning, to prevent cracking and warping.

Do the benefits outweigh the cost and maintenance? What do you guys think?

So far, to my understanding, the benefits of wooden cutting boards over plastic, is that you get better knife control and it's pretty to look at.

The knock on these thick wooden cutting boards on the other hand, is the cost, the heavy weight, the cost and time factored into general maintenance.

What do you guys think?

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Old 02-09-2011, 06:04 PM   #2
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Also, how do people clean really large cutting boards?

For example, the walnut cutting boards often featured on Food Network. They look like they're around 20x20. I think they cost around $200-$300. They're sold at Walnut Cutting Boards, Cherry Cutting Board, Wood Conditioner

According to care instructions, it says to never submerge it in water, and for cleaning, just get a soapy rag and towel dry.

So my question is, do you think a soapy rag and a dry towel are enough to do the trick on a well-seasoned wooden board? Or is it a health risk, but a necessary one in exchange for aesthetic appeal?

Lastly, should I just take the soapy rag/dry towel approach, as well?
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:15 PM   #3
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Do a forum search and you should be able to find the information you want. I know there is at least one thread that mentions them. If I remember correctly, many didn't like them because they were hard on knives? I'm not sure, but go ahead and try the search.
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:15 PM   #4
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As to your first question, bamboo boards were originally touted based on their style and appearance and that they were a soft surface for knives. However, they are made using a very hard epoxy that holds the board together and that hardness is not good for knife edges.

As to washing it, getting all the soap off would be key. some just wipe their boards clean with vinegar so bacteria growth is not an issue.
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:20 PM   #5
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What Andy said is what I also found here: http://www.discusscooking.com/forums...ard-55569.html
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:32 PM   #6
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Here's a picture of my bamboo cutting board. I love it and have had it for about three years with little to no signs of wear. It stays right where it is for a counter saver/dish drainer/cutting board. I clean it under the faucet with vinegar, and oil it occasionally. I havn't noticed any undue dulling of my knives. I didn't want a huge thick board because of the weight for cleaning. I keep a folded tea towel under it to keep the board in place. The best part is, I paid around $20 for it at Target, 3 years ago.
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:51 PM   #7
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I bought a cheepie (read: No big loss if it doesn't last.) at TJ Maxx a while back. At first, it looked like it might splinter and dry out. I avoid putting it in the dishwasher (but I have a few times) and don't use for meats so bacteria doesn't get imbedded in it. I posted a question about it on another forum I belong to (healthy eating, exercise, etc.) and some other members suggested sanding it every now and again with a fine sandpaper and oiling it. I haven't done either....with use and washing it has seemed to smooth out. I don't want to put oil on it as I'm afraid it might go rancid.
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:54 PM   #8
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Bamboo is actually a grass, not wood. They look great, but are not very good for your knives. As Andy mentioned, the resin that is used makes them much too hard. I had a small one that I used for a while, but my knives were dulling very quickly on it. They also do not have the same feel as wood. They have a more slippery feel. I love how mine looks, but it is now just for decoration.
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:03 PM   #9
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I bought a cheepie (read: No big loss if it doesn't last.) at TJ Maxx a while back. At first, it looked like it might splinter and dry out. I avoid putting it in the dishwasher (but I have a few times) and don't use for meats so bacteria doesn't get imbedded in it. I posted a question about it on another forum I belong to (healthy eating, exercise, etc.) and some other members suggested sanding it every now and again with a fine sandpaper and oiling it. I haven't done either....with use and washing it has seemed to smooth out. I don't want to put oil on it as I'm afraid it might go rancid.
I have had a wooden counter top for over 20 years. To keep it pretty, I occasionally rub mineral oil on it. It's never gone rancid. I know the kind of oil one uses is important. When I got the counter top, I was told to use mineral oil. Glad it worked for me. I had no idea what to use.
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:04 PM   #10
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Bamboo is actually a grass, not wood. They look great, but are not very good for your knives. As Andy mentioned, the resin that is used makes them much too hard. I had a small one that I used for a while, but my knives were dulling very quickly on it. They also do not have the same feel as wood. They have a more slippery feel. I love how mine looks, but it is now just for decoration.

I have a decorative bamboo cutting board, too! At least I got it cheap.
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:22 PM   #11
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I have had a wooden counter top for over 20 years. To keep it pretty, I occasionally rub mineral oil on it. It's never gone rancid. I know the kind of oil one uses is important. When I got the counter top, I was told to use mineral oil. Glad it worked for me. I had no idea what to use.

You have been using the right oil for the job. Mineral oil will not go rancid like vegetable oils will.
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:25 PM   #12
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Bamboo is actually a grass, not wood. They look great, but are not very good for your knives. As Andy mentioned, the resin that is used makes them much too hard. I had a small one that I used for a while, but my knives were dulling very quickly on it. They also do not have the same feel as wood. They have a more slippery feel. I love how mine looks, but it is now just for decoration.
I use mine for a serving platter, like for a cheese course.
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:26 PM   #13
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Great idea Jenny.
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:26 PM   #14
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You have been using the right oil for the job. Mineral oil will not go rancid like vegetable oils will.
It won't go rancid but it is a laxative, so you need to wipe thoroughly. So to speak ..........
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:41 PM   #15
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You have been using the right oil for the job. Mineral oil will not go rancid like vegetable oils will.
Thanks for that info everyone!!

LOL @ Jennyema!!
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:53 PM   #16
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It won't go rancid but it is a laxative...
Exactly. So don't spend a lot of money buying expensive cutting board oils. Go to the local drug store and pick up a bottle of mineral oil in the laxatives section. Much cheaper.
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Old 02-09-2011, 11:03 PM   #17
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Exactly. So don't spend a lot of money buying expensive cutting board oils. Go to the local drug store and pick up a bottle of mineral oil in the laxatives section. Much cheaper.
Andy

Aren't most of those "cutting board oils" just repackaged mineral oil with a 1000% markup?
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Old 02-09-2011, 11:09 PM   #18
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Andy

Aren't most of those "cutting board oils" just repackaged mineral oil with a 1000% markup?

That's right, Jen. It's amazing to see the high prices they charge for the same mineral oil you can have for a buck or so @ CVS.
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Old 02-10-2011, 12:00 AM   #19
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I got my bottle of oil for super cheap at the hardware store.

Anyway..on subject, I had a bamboo board for a while, I never noticed any amount of knife damage on my edge but I did feel the surface was rather slow and they are heavy but I leave my main board in one spot that I like to work at.
However, due to the weight,fear of lack of space when moving into new kitchens, and the fact that it felt really slow I switched to a butcher block (so damn heavy) and a large hardwood board and am much happier.
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:43 AM   #20
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As to your first question, bamboo boards were originally touted based on their style and appearance and that they were a soft surface for knives. However, they are made using a very hard epoxy that holds the board together and that hardness is not good for knife edges.

As to washing it, getting all the soap off would be key. some just wipe their boards clean with vinegar so bacteria growth is not an issue.
I read that the same process is used to fuse together maple cutting boards, as well, though.

But either way, I think it just comes down to what you wanna do first - sharpen your knifes or get a new cutting board. Common sense dictates that the less marks there are on your cutting board, the harder and worse it is on your knives. The more marks, the softer and better for your knife, but bad for the durability and porous aspect of the cutting board.

At the end of the day, it's really just a matter of preference.

I also find it ironic that you need diamonds to sharpen steel, but a carrot can do your knife in. At some point, you just have to let loose a bit and not let every little dos-and-don'ts ruin your sanity.
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