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Cutting Boards


CRUZMISL
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End grain is fine, but unnecessary for a cutting board. [snip]

I have to say that I disagree with you 100% on this one. End grain is very important for a cutting board, and this is why: with an end grain cutting board, the wood fibers part and provide a relatively soft surface for the edge of the knife. This means less wear and tear on the edge, which ultimately means longer life and better performance out of the knife.

Here is a "closeup" graphic illustrating a knife on an end grain cutting board. Note how the fibers part for the edge of the knife. [snip drawings]

I would never want to use a cutting board that wasn't end grain.

Sam, you may disagree all you wish, but you're missing the point. In your first graphic of end grain, that's fine as far as it goes. The problem is that "as far as it goes" is usually about two inches max. Then you hit a glue line. That glue is far harder than any hardwood and will damage steel much more quickly. My suggestion was for a solid board with no glue lines for exactly that reason.

The second graphic was not applicable to what I suggested. I suggested quarter sawn lumber, in which the grain runs pretty much like your drawing for edge grain. Warping (a problem in flat sawn lumber) is NOT a problem with quarter sawn lumber, because a much higher percentage of the expansion and contraction in hardwoods is in its width (tangential) vs its thickness (radial). The radial movement is small enough as to be safely ignored in applications like this.

Here's a link to Bally Block's article on cutting boards and suchlike. Note that they recommend that end grain boards be 2.5 to 3.5" thick. What I'm referring to as quarter sawn lumber is what they call edge grain lumber. It should still be 1.5" or so thick, but is much more manageable than 2.5 or 3.5". Again, their example has the disadvantage of glue lines, which I suggested could be avoided by dealing directly with the sawmill.

THW

No matter what kind of wood you have end grain is the way to go. Other wise your cutting accross the grain. There is a reason that wood is split the way it is. The axe needs to penetrate the fibers. You use what you want and I'll use what I want. But there is a reason all those old Butcher Blocks in the old Butcher shops were constructed they way they were. And it's not to use up the waste ends. :biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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As far as keeping them from sliding.

I buy the rubber or whatever, shelf liner that is thick and squishy. I buy the big rolls at Costco because I use it for stacking stuff in the van as it keeps things from sliding, such as dog crates stacked on each other or large bins holding food and etc.. I put it under appliances on the counter that might have a tendency to "walk" and under mixing bowls so I don't have to hold them or under anything that I don't want to slide, mar the surface on which they are setting or otherwise move when I don't want it to move.

This works great. It holds my extra marble slab in place when I need it for additional pastry space.

It holds a sheet pan in place when I am holding a bowl with my left hand and wielding a spatula with my right.

The stuff has a thousand uses, including keeping rugs from sliding on slick ceramic tile, marble and hardwood floors.

(It also keeps the dog bowls from scooting across the floor when being energetically licked) :biggrin:

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I have to agree that stuff is great. Use it in the motorhome all the time.

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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Any thoughts on rubber cutting boards? I have seen some at some of the better kitchen supply stores in NYC like JB Prince and Korin knives. Prices appear comparable to the Boos boards.

Sorry I did not reply to this earlier. I somehow missed it.

I have had one of these for a couple of years.

I don't like it at all. After a couple of months of use it appeared to have a sort of "furry" surface and if you wiped it with any kind of cloth or even a scrubber, there would be tiny fibers clinging to the roughened surface and I didn't want those transferred to any food.

They say you can sand it down but I haven't bothered. I put it out by the greenhouse so the gardeners can use it to cut up stuff. I can say that it resists cutting by a machete when they are trimming crowns of plants that are going back into the ground, or cutting seed potatoes, etc.

And they say it won't absorb odors, but to me it smelled funny, sort of a chemical smell, when it came out of the box. It reminded me of airplane glue....... however it has been many years since I have been in contact with any of that, so I could have a false memory.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Am I out of my mind for considering such a large cutting board given my sink size?

Ed, in my opinion...no, you're not out of your mind. I have a Boo's board that's too big to fit in my sink so all I do is stand it on end to wash it and fill a large plastic cup to rinse it down. Stand it vertical to your body so that each end of the board rests on the back and front of the sink wash down and rinse over the sink. Let it stand on its own to dry. I also see nothing wrong with washing it on the counter. There's always a way. Get the board you want.

Cheers,

Bob

My Photography: Bob Worthington Photography

 

My music: Coronado Big Band
 

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Am I out of my mind for considering such a large cutting board given my sink size?

Ed, in my opinion...no, you're not out of your mind. I have a Boo's board that's too big to fit in my sink so all I do is stand it on end to wash it and fill a large plastic cup to rinse it down. Stand it vertical to your body so that each end of the board rests on the back and front of the sink wash down and rinse over the sink. Let it stand on its own to dry. I also see nothing wrong with washing it on the counter. There's always a way. Get the board you want.

Cheers,

Bob

My board get's wiped on the counter. I'd like to see a 700lb butcher block with legs in a sink. :laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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Am I out of my mind for considering such a large cutting board given my sink size?

Ed, in my opinion...no, you're not out of your mind. I have a Boo's board that's too big to fit in my sink so all I do is stand it on end to wash it and fill a large plastic cup to rinse it down. Stand it vertical to your body so that each end of the board rests on the back and front of the sink wash down and rinse over the sink. Let it stand on its own to dry. I also see nothing wrong with washing it on the counter. There's always a way. Get the board you want.

Cheers,

Bob

My board get's wiped on the counter. I'd like to see a 700lb butcher block with legs in a sink. :laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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Thank you Bob and Bruce for encouraging me to follow my emotions on this one. :laugh:

I pulled my Thai mortar out of storage the other day. It weighs 24 lbs. I've been hauling that in and out of my sink. It's no big deal. You adapt. My Falk sauciere weighs 7 lbs. 9 oz. (my baby). That's child's play. I'm ready for a new challenge! The shipping weight of an 18"x18"x4" block is 36 pounds, according to the John Boos web site. Subtract maybe a pound or two for packaging and you still have a nice paperweight. :raz:

I'm going to run down to the local kitchen cutlery shop (Perfect Edge in San Mateo) and see if they have anything nice and fairly priced. If not, I've got my eye on that Michigan Maple 18".

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  • 2 weeks later...

I got my Michigan Maple 18"x18"x3.5" cutting board last week and have enjoyed cutting on it much more than the plastic board I had been using. However, I've run into a problem.

gallery_10138_538_1104653413.jpg

I put maybe six coats of mineral oil on the board over the course of a couple of days. It seemed to be sucking up oil. I figured I didn't want it to split so I didn't want to take any chances. After maybe its second washing, I wiped the board down to dry and several minutes later I heard a noise in the kitchen. When I went in there to check it out, I noticed these two cracks.

I certainly didn't soak the board. I scrubbed it down with soap and water in the sink for maybe 15 seconds and then pulled it out. I was trying not to expose the board to any more water than necessary. I dried the board with a cloth.

Could I have actually over-oiled the board, causing this to happen?

More importantly, what can I do to fix this? Can I do something to make the wood expand to fill the gaps? Should I fill them in with wood filler and sand?

I was in love with this board until this happened! :blink:

Edited by esvoboda (log)
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I got my Michigan Maple 18"x18"x3.5" cutting board last week and have enjoyed cutting on it much more than the plastic board I had been using. However, I've run into a problem.

gallery_10138_538_1104653413.jpg

I put maybe six coats of mineral oil on the board over the course of a couple of days. It seemed to be sucking up oil. I figured I didn't want it to split so I didn't want to take any chances. After maybe its second washing, I wiped the board down to dry and several minutes later I heard a noise in the kitchen. When I went in there to check it out, I noticed these two cracks.

I certainly didn't soak the board. I scrubbed it down with soap and water in the sink for maybe 15 seconds and then pulled it out. I was trying not to expose the board to any more water than necessary. I dried the board with a cloth.

Could I have actually over-oiled the board, causing this to happen?

More importantly, what can I do to fix this? Can I do something to make the wood expand to fill the gaps? Should I fill them in with wood filler and sand?

I was in love with this board until this happened!  :blink:

The board is defective and should be returned. Boards should only be wiped down, never put in water. They should never delaminate and won't unless put in water. End grain wood is like a sponge and once the stresses are put in it cannot be repaired. Oil, Oil and oil again. wipe with a damp sponge and dry.

:sad::sad:

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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I agree that something is wrong with the board. Return it.

I have had mine for a long time and never put them in water. I use a scraper, spray lightly with a 10% bleach solution, wipe then wipe again with a towel with plain water, scrape well, wipe again with a dry towel then oil, rub, oil again and wipe down.

It sounds like it is complicated but it actually only takes a couple of minutes.

Go to Smart & Final and get a bench scraper - it is inexpensive and is what butchers use.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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  • 1 month later...
I've seen a lot of ads for bamboo cutting boards recently.  Does anyone have any experience with them.  Advantages/Disadvantages

+'s

- Almost 20% harder than the average maple board.

- Absorbs less water than a maple board.

- Environmentally friendly (ie. renewable resource)

- Attractive

-'s

- Will warp if left in water for a long period of time but that is common with any board.

- Not ONE piece of wood but many bamboo strips laminated together, so make sure you buy a good one that uses good food friendly glue.

I own two of them and so far so good.

"How'd you get the beans above the frank?"
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Food safe glue is key here as not all makers use it. Totally Bamboo is one of the better brands and I can't remember the other. Don't buy the ones at Costco as I read somewhere they don't use food safe glue. Keep in mind that the harder the cutting surface the harder they are your knife edges. It's not a huge difference to using Maple but depending on your usage, you may need to sharpen more often. Also keep in mind that with bamboo boards, bacteria will stay on top of the board rather than being absorbed into the wood where they die as with maple. I own a Boos board but also considered bamboo as they look cool. I went with Boos because there wasn't a board in the design and size I wanted in bamboo.

Cheers,

Bob

My Photography: Bob Worthington Photography

 

My music: Coronado Big Band
 

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  • 6 months later...

Well in the past month, I lost two wooden cutting boards and the pressure cooker. I'm looking for some recommendations please.

On the pressure cooker, I don't want to spend $200 on a Kuhn Rikon. I'm hoping for something on under $70.

As for the cutting board, been on amazon.com and it seems the bamboo is all the rage. I appreciate some recommendations for cutting boards under $30. I will however consider spending a bit more if warranted. BTW, do I have to worry about the glue or other things on wooden cutting boards?

Any insights would be appreciated.

Soup

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I'm slowly swapping out all my plastic cutting boards with rubber ones. They can be cut to any size you want and are simply amazing to cut on. They usually go by the name Sani-Tuff. Here is a link from google.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=X&oi=froogle&...2DqPAAAAAAAAAAA

WhizWit.net -- My blog on Food, Life, and Politics
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Well in the past month, I lost two wooden cutting boards and the pressure cooker.  I'm looking for some recommendations please. 

On the pressure cooker, I don't want to spend $200 on a Kuhn Rikon.  I'm hoping for something on under $70.

I have an 8 quart Magafesa pressure cooker and highly recommend it if you can go to $85 for it, which might even include shipping. I use mine at least three times a week and have been very satisfied with it, moving up from a 4 quart Presto, after two years.

https://www.napl.us/Magafesa.htm

Linda

-------------------

"The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it."

--- Henry David Thoreau

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I've been pretty happy with the Boos boards (I can't stand to chop on anything other than wood, personally). Ultimately, I will probably upgrade to a built-in butcher block. Unfortunately, the Boos are a little pricey, so perhaps build your own is a better idea.

"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

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This summer I was on a search for good cutting board and I ended up with the Epicurean.

I wouldn't trade it for anything, I really love it.

It comes in a variety of sizes and thicknesses and the price won't break the bank.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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My local Costco has a Quebec maple board (Roscan) at $36. I don't know if they are sending it to the eastern warehouses, but it is worth looking for, as it put together from end pieces, and is easier on the blade. I have bamboo as well, but it is not a heavy duty item.

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