Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cutting Boards 101


There are so many choices when it comes to cutting boards! Back in the day, the only choice was wood which I still believe is always the best choice when it comes to chopping veggies.

So let's break it down so it's not too complicated: it's my practice to have at least 3 cutting boards but I must confess that my cutting board obsession is like shoe obsession to some!- I have many and I keep collecting more!

Let's start with wood. It's definitely the choice of chefs and if you watch any cooking shows, you will also see a lot of boards from John Boos. Here is the one I use just about everyday. Now, there are "edge grain" and an "end grain" boards. Edge grain boards are constructed of long pieces of wood laid side by side, and end grain boards are more of a checkerboard with smaller pieces of wood glued together. If you are curious about this process check here for more details. The edge grain boards (see pic below) look nice, but in time, will show your knife cuts more prominently-still a great board so don't worry- I have been known to sand mine down and give them a new surface.

End grain boards (see pic above) are pricier because of the the extra labor involved in construction, but this results in a gentler effect on your knives- the wood cut this way is a bit softer. Either way you go, look for boards that are NSF safe (NSF certification ensures that the products designed for you to use at home meet the same public health standards as those used in hotels, restaurants, schools, hospitals, anywhere in the food service industry), like the John Boos boards and J.K. Adams to name a few.  Both of these companies are here in the USA, Illinois and Vermont, respectively.



 One should have a fairly good size board for general chopping of vegetables. A good size is at least a 12x18. This will give you enough surface area so that you have ample room to chop. Never try to cut vegetables with too small a knife or too small a board! It's just not going to work! And the cardinal rule for cleaning-listen up! DO NOT PUT IN THE DISHWASHER. EVER!! Do not soak in water either! You can use water to clean a wood board, but you must not soak it-it can split, crack and fall apart. Always oil your board at least every 4-6 weeks to keep it from drying out. You can buy mineral oil at the drugstore or a kitchen shop and it's all you need to keep your board in great shape for many years.




The next board you will want to have will be for all your raw meats, poultry and fish. I like to use a polypropylene type-this is a type of plastic with anti-bacterial properties and you can run it safely through the dishwasher. Quality ones won't split and crack and will last for many years. Another great board that came on the market just a few years back and is everywhere now is the Epicurean cutting board ( photo below). This is what I use for my raw meat prep. Made of Richlite, a lightweight yet durable wood-fiber composite that won’t dull knives, it's also dishwasher safe and like the polypropylene boards is also anti-bacterial. And they come in many sizes so you can get a few. I especially like to have a couple of these boards on hand- for the meats yes, but also for my fruit cutting- nothing worse than cutting an apple on a board that an onion was cut on! Need I say more.



Another board I can't live without is a carving board. If you are a carnivore, you are going to want to invest in one of these. This one is from J.K. Adams and it has an indent for the meat and a well to catch all those tasty juices.






I can always find a need for any board even if I am not using it to chop on! It's nice to serve cheese on some of the prettier boards, like the bamboo boards that are out there. This one below if from Totally Bamboo.



I hope this helps when you are going through the cutting board section of your local kitchen store. Remember, you invested in some quality knives and they need to be partnered with quality cutting boards!

11 comments:

  1. I adore the one-piece cutting boards from grayworkdesign on Etsy
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/grayworksdesign

    I have a few of them in my favorites and will treat myself to (at least) one when I move to another home :)

    About the plastic ones for meat: I read that one doesn't have to worry about bacteria when using wooden boards with meat either. As long as you clean them afterwards of course.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Micro oven in Bangalore

    Ganeshmal Tejraj Professional commercial kitchen equipment offers the robustness required for the harsh environment of the catering kitchen, whether that is a restaurant chain, a residential care home or a small coffee shop.Sandwich griller, Sandwich griller in Bangalore, Copper table ware, steam boiler, steam boiler in Bangalore, idly steamer, idly steamer in Bangalore, Chinese range in Bangalore, Dosa/chapathi range Bangalore, Micro oven, Micro oven in Bangalore, Popcorn machine, Popcorn machine in Bangalore.

    http://tejtara.in/cooking_equipments.php

    ReplyDelete
  3. Vegetable cutting machine in bangalore
    Ganeshmal Tejraj is Presenting a variety of high quality Stainless steel utensils, Plate warmer, Sink unit manufacturer, Steel hammered table ware Bangalore, M.S.Utensils, Sugar candy machine in Bangalore.

    ReplyDelete
  4. chinese range in bangalore
    Ganeshmal Tejraj are one of the leading manufacturers and suppliers engaged in offering a wide range of Commercial Kitchen Equipments We use superior quality raw material to manufacture our range of products. kitchen equipment, steel utensils in Bangalore, Fry pan in Bangalore.


    PRODUCTS:

    Hood Dishwasher
    Water Cooler
    Deep Fat Fryer
    Vertical Refrigerator
    Dinning Table
    Burner Range
    Pot Racks
    Sugarcane Crusher
    Idli Boilers
    Steel Tandoor
    Hot Bain Marie Counter
    Soiled Dish Table
    Ice Gola Machine
    Sandwich Griller
    Ice Cube Machine
    Work Table
    Exhaust manufacturer

    For More details http://tejtara.in

    ReplyDelete
  5. We Introduce ourselves as Dolargroup for manufacturing and marketing of all types of Commercial Refrigeration and Kitchen Equipments or Hotels, Restaurants, Bars, Banquet Halls, Industrial Canteens, Messes of Armed Forces, Call Centres, Schools, Hospitals and Bakery Equipments etc. all over the india..

    For more details visit us:
    http://www.dolargroup.com/kitchen_equipments.html

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ensign Equipments offer a wide range of products, which includes Preparation Area, Preparation Table, Preparation Table with Sink, Stock Pot Stove, Two Burner Gas Cooking Range, Three Burner Gas Cooking Range, Four Burner Range with Oven, Electrical Range with 4 Hot Plate, Chinese Cooking Range, Tea Boiler, Milk Boiler, Tea-Milk Dispenser, Toaster, Espresso Coffee Machine, Juicer, Hot Plate, Soaking Sink, Wheel Barrow, Uniform Trolley, Mobile Tab.


    for more details
    http://www.ensignindia.com/

    ReplyDelete
  7. Commercial Kitchen Equipments Manufacturers

    Hi,
    i gone through your website about Commercial Kitchen Equipments Manufacturers, its really nice if you want additional information about Commercial Kitchen Equipments Manufacturers.

    For more info:
    Visit : http://www.dolargroup.com/kitchen_equipments.html

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great post :-)

    Check out my unique handmade cutting boards and serving boards! They made great gifts.
    Michael
    http://michaelswoodcraft.wordpress.com/mywork-2/cutting-boards-and-serving-boards/

    ReplyDelete
  9. Blue Crystal manufactures a wide range of products, we are into, Manufacturer of Crystal Trophy, Memento Corporate Gifts, gift manufacturers in bangalore, 3D Laser Engrave, UV print on Pen, UV print on wood ect


    for more info
    http://www.bluecrystals.in

    ReplyDelete