Cutting Boards 101

Cutting Boards 101

Picking a good cutting board is different for every cook. Cutting boards come in different design, sizes, colors, shapes and materials. The key is to find one that feels right to you and is suitable for what your needs are. I like a big, plastic cutting board about 18 in x 24 in. This can be used for slicing and dicing as well as creating a huge space for all of my culinary adventures.

Materials

Good cutting boards are made from plastic, bamboo or wood. These options are easy to clean and will give you good blade control. Your board should also be strong and have good weight. Thin, wimpy cutting board are not safe to chop on because they can slip around.

Bad cutting boards are made out of materials like stone, glass and acrylic. Personally I can't believe they still sell these types of boards. If you have one I suggest you use it as a serving platter and call it a day. Not only will they dull your knives, but they are slippery and can cause your knife to slip on the blade as you cut.

Sanitation

You should always clean your board after every use and dry it well. This will help stop odors and bacteria from growing. You can easily wash your boards with soap and hot water. A squeeze of lemon will also keep your boards smelling fresh. When you are cutting raw or cooked meats a good scrub with diluted vinegar or bleach will do the trick at killing germs.

To avoid cross contamination, use a separate board for vegetables and fruit and another for raw and cooked meats. When you are cooking, always prep and store veggie type foods before breaking out raw meat. This will cut out any chances of cross contamination in your kitchen.

Storage

Cutting boards should be cleaned and air dried completely before storing. If you store a wet cutting board there is a a good chance that germs and bacteria will start to grow and that's just nasty!

Safety

When you are using your cutting board, make sure to place a wet rag underneath. This will keep it from slipping around while you cut.

A quality plastic or wood cutting board will give you a good surface to make your slices and dices while keeping your knives sharp and your fingers safe.

Now Get Crackin'! Chef Egg

Comments

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JP 3/8/12 - 3:03 PM
Not all cutting boards are the same. I prefer wood blocks and boards because they have a natural beauty that cannot be duplicated with plastic and, unlike plastic boards, are self-healing. That is, as a knife blade passes across the surface the grain reseals itself. The plastic board, on the other hand, is left with permanent scars. Wood boards are also "kinder" to knife blades and your health. Bacteria are naturally absorbed into the wood grain where they either die or remain far enough below the surface so as not to affect the food being prepared. Plastic boards have an impermeable surface that allows the bacteria to thrive and grow. The older the board the harder it is to sanitize it. I would relegate the plastic boards to non-meat preparations.

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