Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Dishwasher Safe Wood Cutting Boards


BadRabbit
 Share

Recommended Posts

I'm looking for a decent quality wood cutting board that is dishwasher safe as mine cracked after 8-9 years of service. Unfortunately, the markings showing the company that made it have long since worn away or I would buy another just like it.

I don't need any suggestions for non-dishwasherables, I've got a couple of good quality hand washable Boos boards but have found that I nearly always prefer using the one that I can just throw in the dishwasher and be assured it is sanitized. The Boos boards are outstandingly beautiful on the counter though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never heard of a dishwasher safe wood cutting board: do you know what kind of wood it's made of? Is it endgrain? I'm intrigued, wood typically warps substantially under high temperature and high humidity, I'd love to know how dishwasher-safeness was accomplished.

The wood was fairly light colored and very dense feeling. There was no finish on it but it was very smooth feeling. The cutting surface looked to be flat-sawn not end grain.

I was guessing that the wood had been compressed and heat treated to prevent warping. Mine was as flat on the day it split as it was the day I got it.

Edited to add: I've seen a few boards now that are wood composite (Boos even has some) but I'm concerned that they might be tough on a knife.

http://www.amazon.com/John-Boos-Chef-Lite-Essential-Cutting/dp/B0028OZA7O

Edited by BadRabbit (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi, BR: I'm not sure it's a true oxymoron you're after here, but something very close. Maybe a better analogy would be looking for a skydiving anvil--wood and the DW just don't go well together.

I've had a variety of woods stabilized for knife and pistol scales and gunstocks. Yes, it imparts dimensional stability, but you've got epoxy resins in the cell structure of the wood. The pores all stay open. And as you experienced, it will still break--into flat pieces.

Personally, I'm against giving epoxy dust condiment status. So I don't know if I ought to congratulate you on 8 years' success with your dearly departed board.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi, BR: I'm not sure it's a true oxymoron you're after here, but something very close. Maybe a better analogy would be looking for a skydiving anvil--wood and the DW just don't go well together.

I've had a variety of woods stabilized for knife and pistol scales and gunstocks. Yes, it imparts dimensional stability, but you've got epoxy resins in the cell structure of the wood. The pores all stay open. And as you experienced, it will still break--into flat pieces.

Personally, I'm against giving epoxy dust condiment status. So I don't know if I ought to congratulate you on 8 years' success with your dearly departed board.

I'm nearly 100% sure that epoxy resin was not used in the making of this board. For one thing, I can't imagine that it would be considered food safe if it was since every epoxy I can think of is vulnerable to acid or heat or both. In addition, as someone with 35+ years of experience with guns and knives and the manufacturing of such I can tell you that it did not look or feel like wood from a stock.

Edited by BadRabbit (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Once cured nearly all epoxies are food safe: they are completely inert. Nevertheless, I'm with boilsover, I simply do not understand how else one could make wood not respond to these extreme changes in temperature and humidity. If it is not sealed, it's going to change dimensions. If you use very carefully selected lumber, probably quarter-sawn, you can probably get a good matching set that will change very little, but eventually the internal stresses will still build up, since no match will ever be perfect.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Once cured nearly all epoxies are food safe: they are completely inert. Nevertheless, I'm with boilsover, I simply do not understand how else one could make wood not respond to these extreme changes in temperature and humidity. If it is not sealed, it's going to change dimensions. If you use very carefully selected lumber, probably quarter-sawn, you can probably get a good matching set that will change very little, but eventually the internal stresses will still build up, since no match will ever be perfect.

I am pretty sure I have some pictures of it in an step by step tutorial I did for a friend on my computer at home. I will try to post them tonight after I get home.

As an additional note: The process to make the thing could not have been some cutting edge technology or an expensive manufacturing process because I'm almost positive it was less than $40.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many bamboo cutting boards like this one claim to be dishwasher safe. It's also possible that the board you bought wasn't actually dishwasher safe but just happened to have managed to survive 9 years of abuse and that there's no guarantee a new one of the same line would do the same.

PS: I am a guy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many bamboo cutting boards like this one claim to be dishwasher safe. It's also possible that the board you bought wasn't actually dishwasher safe but just happened to have managed to survive 9 years of abuse and that there's no guarantee a new one of the same line would do the same.

It definitely said dishwasher safe on it.

Here's a picture:

IMG019.jpg

Anyway, I think I have solved the mystery. I didn't actually see it once it was broken and my wife had thrown it away before I got home.

Upon some pushing for some detail, my wife said that there were actually three layers. I'm thinking that maybe there was a middle layer of composite that had wooden veneers on either side as the cutting surfaces. I have no idea why I never noticed that before (maybe it wasn't obvious until it was split in half).

That would seem to be what these Snow River boards are. These are composite with a maple overlay that serves as the cutting service.

http://columbianhp.com/products/snow-river/cutting-boards/wood-pro-cutting-surface.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, that looks like rotary-cut maple veneer.

Ya'gotta understand that wood moves with humidity changes it's just a bunch of fibers held together with lignin, a natural glue. Flat-sawn wood moves a lot, quarter- sawn not much at all, split or riven even less, but all wood moves--even wood in furniture 300 years old still moves--provided there are humidity changes.

Film finishes for cutting boards are a lousy idea. Most film finishes are not flexible, and wood moves, so eventually stress cracks will appear on the finish--if it has gone through extreme humidity changes in a short period of time like in a dishwasher. And once moisture gets under the film finish it's game over.

Bamboo is not a wood, but a grass, and it is hollow. Bamboo flooring, cutting boards, etc., are made up of slim strips of bamboo that are glued together. Even with hairline glue joints, it still is a lot of glue surface to bamboo ratio.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Personally I don't see the need to DW a wood cutting board.

I have a home-made end-grain board that I use both sides, one side for clean the other side for not so clean. I use a high carbon steel scraper to clean the surfaces once in a while.

For making salads, fruits and foods that require no cooking, I have a plastic board which can go into the DW.

Bamboo and many woods are water-proof naturally. They make boats using wood.

If I want a wood board to go into dish washer all the time, I would make one using stainless steel rod to tie the wood pieces together. No glue. Still, it will taste like DW detergent.

dcarch

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bamboo and many woods are water-proof naturally. They make boats using wood.

dcarch

Absolutely. But don't forget that once made, a boat sits in water ALL of the time--no humidity changes. And also, a common boat building technique is to space the planks about a dime's thickness apart, so that when the planks swell they don't buckle and pull away.

A wood cutting board goes through a very nasty environment in a d/w--hit with hot water, then subjected to steam, then dry heat for the "dry" cycle, then back to room temp with humidity under 75%--and all this in under 3 hours. No wood can survive this kind of abuse for very long.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been making cutting boards now for 7 years as The BoardSMITH and for 8 years before that as a private non-branded maker and can say positively that a wooden cutting board will not last that long being washing in a DW. The heat and humidity will split and warp the wood, the heat will melt most glues and the internal stresses caused by the heat and high moisture will break a glue joint. Even a two-part resorcinal (hope I spelled that correctly) will break when exposed to high heat and humidity.

As an illustration, I had a customer who left his under a stream of hot running water from his faucet and his board warped badly. That water was no where near as hot as in a DW.

If it lasted for 8 years even with constant dishwashing, then it had to be a composit or a plastic board. Wood will simply not last. Even if it was laminated.

As for wood boats, they are coated inside and out with a marine grade epoxy then coated with many coats of spar varnish. Neither the marine grade epoxy or spar varnish are food safe and a boat hull doesn't endure the high heat cycles found in a DW.

Bamboo is a grass as another posted noted. It also contains a lot of resins to bind the tiny pieces together and may be hard on good edges. Resin and composite chips/particles don't seemk to be very appetizing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are woods which can take incredible abuses, such as Black Locust and Greenheart and there are adhesives whch can take repeated water and heat treatment.

I just can't see the need to put a general cutting board in a dish washer.

dcarch

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Epicurean cutting boards. I have been pretty happy with mine. To the people that can't possibly fathom why someone would want one that is dishwasher safe, I'll go out on a limb and guess they don't want to wash the darn things by hand. That's why I have mine. Edited by karlos (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been making cutting boards now for 7 years as The BoardSMITH and for 8 years before that as a private non-branded maker and can say positively that a wooden cutting board will not last that long being washing in a DW. The heat and humidity will split and warp the wood, the heat will melt most glues and the internal stresses caused by the heat and high moisture will break a glue joint. Even a two-part resorcinal (hope I spelled that correctly) will break when exposed to high heat and humidity.

As an illustration, I had a customer who left his under a stream of hot running water from his faucet and his board warped badly. That water was no where near as hot as in a DW.

If it lasted for 8 years even with constant dishwashing, then it had to be a composit or a plastic board. Wood will simply not last. Even if it was laminated.

As for wood boats, they are coated inside and out with a marine grade epoxy then coated with many coats of spar varnish. Neither the marine grade epoxy or spar varnish are food safe and a boat hull doesn't endure the high heat cycles found in a DW.

Bamboo is a grass as another posted noted. It also contains a lot of resins to bind the tiny pieces together and may be hard on good edges. Resin and composite chips/particles don't seemk to be very appetizing.

I guess I had a freaking magic board then. now I wish it hadn't been thrownaway.

The cutting surface was wood regardless of your declarations from authority. Was the fact that it lasted that long unusual? Perhaps, but it still happened.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are woods which can take incredible abuses, such as Black Locust and Greenheart and there are adhesives whch can take repeated water and heat treatment.

I just can't see the need to put a general cutting board in a dish washer.

dcarch

Ipe is another one, teak has bits of silica in it, wooden barrels for water, liquor, wine, etc, are usually made of white oak.

The point I'm trying to make is that wood will expand when exposed to humidty. The expansion and contraction will put considerable stress on the wood fibres beside the glue joint, and this is where it will fatigue eventually. It's kind of the same thing of why you shouldn't soak an axe in water to tighten up the head--after a few cycles the wood will fatigue because it can't expand aginst solid steel, and will not expand anymore, making for a very loose (and dangeerous) axe head.

The best designed solid wood furniture (and boats) and the ones that have lasted so long are designed not to combat wood movement, but to accomodate it.

Most people do not like to handwash a wood cutting board, and don't like to use bleach to sanitize the board after using it for poultry, meat, ect. It's sooooo much easier to toss the thing into a dishwasher..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been making cutting boards now for 7 years as The BoardSMITH and for 8 years before that as a private non-branded maker and can say positively that a wooden cutting board will not last that long being washing in a DW. The heat and humidity will split and warp the wood, the heat will melt most glues and the internal stresses caused by the heat and high moisture will break a glue joint. Even a two-part resorcinal (hope I spelled that correctly) will break when exposed to high heat and humidity.

As an illustration, I had a customer who left his under a stream of hot running water from his faucet and his board warped badly. That water was no where near as hot as in a DW.

If it lasted for 8 years even with constant dishwashing, then it had to be a composit or a plastic board. Wood will simply not last. Even if it was laminated.

As for wood boats, they are coated inside and out with a marine grade epoxy then coated with many coats of spar varnish. Neither the marine grade epoxy or spar varnish are food safe and a boat hull doesn't endure the high heat cycles found in a DW.

Bamboo is a grass as another posted noted. It also contains a lot of resins to bind the tiny pieces together and may be hard on good edges. Resin and composite chips/particles don't seemk to be very appetizing.

Well my board must have been magic since I have now identified it and it had maple cutting surfaces as identified above.

It was a board made by Snow River. I contacted them and sent a couple of pictures and they confirmed that it was one of their boards.

Edited by BadRabbit (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I guess I had a freaking magic board then. now I wish it hadn't been thrownaway."

Must have been pure magic, kind of like Frosty the Snowman's magic hat. Of maybe it was pure luck that it didn't fail any sooner than what it did. Of maybe your dishwasher isn't that hot. Who knows. But there is a reason it was thrown away.

Maybe you need more of theirs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From the product description: "Constructed of Wood Composite and Phenolic Resin Bonded to a Natural Hardwood Surface" As we discussed above, if you use a thin enough laminate surface as your outer layer, the wood won't build up enough internal stress to split. So while you can't build a solid wood dishwasher-safe cutting board, you can certainly build one whose cutting surface is wood, which is apparently what BadRabbit had.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...