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Thread: Alternative to End Grain, what is the best compromise?

  1. #1

    Alternative to End Grain, what is the best compromise?

    Let me state that I have no shortage of end grain cutting boards, I make them and have loaded up all my family members with them so even when I go over to their places to cook, there is an end grain board or two handy. The problem is the large events I do sometimes, I often need a lot of cutting surfaces and in a high velocity environment, they take a quite a bit of abuse and aren't exactly handy. I need something that can be tossed in the dishwasher and grab a replacement quick. I have a few epicurean cutting boards that were wedding presents, I was told that they were easier on knives than many other wood surfaces (aside from end grain). We also have about a dozen massive plastic boards that the health department loves to see but they wear out fast and as I understand, are pretty tough on blades.

    One of the inherent issues with end grain boards is that you have to make them pretty thick in order to be strong in the long term, a side grain board can be just as strong with about 1/3 the weight. However, I am told that these wear out faster due to different grain direction although I have seem some last a very long time.

    Additionally, I have found that with my end grain boards, the knife blades don't seem to slip between the wood fibers like we always hear about. If you look at how tight the grain is on some of these woods, I don't know how a knife blade is supposed to slide between them. Maybe I need to see it under a microscope but my end grain boards get scratches in them like side grain ones do and I have seen many of them wear down over time (not my own boards though as I have only been making them for 3 years).


  2. #2
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    Sani-Tuff cutting board


  3. #3
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    How thin are your edges? I have an over thinned CCK that can't really be used on end grain because it gets stuck between the fibres, but german knives ride on the surface as if it was a plastic board.

  4. #4
    I have mostly shun knives right now but will be getting an akifusa and probably a yokishane shortly, and yes, I will likely thin them somewhat.

    I can't imagine a knife getting stuck between the grains since the grain is so tight on the boards, I am sure you could slice it into the edge with no problem but there is a lot of surface to slice into on the face of the board.

    How thin is your CCK? I am planning on thinning to around 10 degrees or maybe a tad more per bevel so about 20 degrees inclusive. If your CCK is a decent bit thinner than hopefully I won't have anything to worry about, if its the same, I don't know what to do.

    What surface do you use?

  5. #5
    dblnickels's Avatar
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    The sani-tuff boards are edge friendly but come with their own baggage, like super ugly, heavy, prone to scarring (can be resurfaced) and easily warped by idiot dishwashers. My health inspector likes them and I have to go along with whatever he
    says. :-(

  6. #6
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    " I need something that can be tossed in the dishwasher and grab a replacement quick. I have a few epicurean cutting boards that were wedding presents, I was told that they were easier on knives than many other wood surfaces (aside from end grain)."

    I like the Epicurean boards for quick and dirty tasks. For proteins, raw or cooked, I'll drop one on top of the Boos, use it and toss in the sink or dishwasher. They are light, easy to hang out of the way and easy to clean. However, they are the culinary equivalent to plywood and good arguments can be made that the resin holding them together can degrade the edges on the knives. I've not found this to be an issue and if it becomes one thats what the stones are for.
    Older and wider..

  7. #7
    Senior Member keithsaltydog's Avatar
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    Blades fresh off the stones can get stuck in end grain boards. Happens with me esp. with cleavers using a chopping motion. When blade goes from shaving sharp to sharp not a problem. I do the same as Dave put a smaller side grain board on top for raw proteins & small tasks. Easy to wash in the sink, don't own a dishwasher & would not put a wood board in one anyway.

  8. #8
    I will pick up some of the sani tuff boards, nothing is perfect and I love using my hand made boards but centuries of tradition are no match for a menial government bureaucrat.

    Are the sani tuff boards slow on knifes like plastic? That is one thing I like about the epicurean is that it seems to offer very little resistance to slicing motions like my end grain.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by keithsaltydog View Post
    Blades fresh off the stones can get stuck in end grain boards. Happens with me esp. with cleavers using a chopping motion. When blade goes from shaving sharp to sharp not a problem. I do the same as Dave put a smaller side grain board on top for raw proteins & small tasks. Easy to wash in the sink, don't own a dishwasher & would not put a wood board in one anyway.

    I have never tried a good asian cleaver before, nor do I ever use a chop motion anymore, it just feels weird when I am in the mindset of trying to be good to my knives though I bet a cleaver could take the motion better than my gyutos.


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