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Thread: Any data on cutting board material and edge retention?

  1. #11
    Senior Member NO ChoP!'s Avatar
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    Apr 2011
    Clayton, NC- surrounded by lots of trees
    Not a fan of sani-tuff; Dave hit it on the head. Plus they are pricey; for the big thick ones, you might as well go end grain.....

    I use bamboo at home, because it's light and can be stored easily, but I make little board contact with it, so it's not a big deal. I actually like the sound it makes....

    The difference between try and triumph is a little "umph"! NO EXCUSES!!!!!!!

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    I will admit to having a few epicuran boards at home. The are light and easy to clean. Since I enjoy sharpening and I don't crank on them for hours at a time, edge retention is not much of an issue at home. Large wood boards are non conducive to petite spouses. Although I will have a Boardsmith at one point...all my own.

    Last edited by kalaeb; 11-04-2011 at 01:21 AM. Reason: because I can. :)

  3. #13
    Senior Member
    mr drinky's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
    St. Paul, MN
    I have a few smaller Epicurean boards. I usually travel with one, and I also cut oily things such as anchovies and sun dried tomatoes on them. I don't do major chopping sessions on them, but I do appreciate the light weight when I need a quick cutting surface. I think Chad Ward in his book even says he uses one for traveling.

    In the end, it's a trade-off that I am willing to make. If I wanted to keep my edges perfect, I guess I could stay away from butternut squash too

    Danny 'Zwiefel' Owen - 1971-2016 Moderator and Knife Knut for Eternity. RIP

  4. #14
    Senior Member Justin0505's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Minneapolis, MN
    I currently have a "blended" cutting board family.

    For awhile I was using a 24"x18" boos end grain maple board as my main cutting surface. So far, it's my favorite surface on which to cut. I was very contentious about the maintenance and care but having it live on my counter made me feel like I was constantly having to look out for it. ... and what my gf at the time might decide to do on it was a whole other story (puddles of balsamic vinegar, sticky colorful messes of food coloring and cake decorating goo). I also found it difficult to balance not over cleaning it / stripping all of the wax and oil out of the wood with cleaning it enough to remove all of the flavors left behind from things like onions or garlic. So I had kinda a love / hate relationship with it.

    Anyway, I had a smaller "original style" Epicurean cutting board for years so I knew how indestructible and not-too-bad on edges they where, so when Kitchen Window (awesome store) had some 24 X 18 X 1 1/4 Epicurean "Big Block" model boards on super-sale (>50% off) I picked one up (which wasn't easy as the thing must weigh 30lbs!). I have a very small apartment and a small primary counter work space so the a board that big covers most of the space. It's lived there for the past 6months or so and I've been very happy with it. I put hot pans on it, it never stains, it never warps, it never slides around (really sticky rubber feet + lots of weight) I clean it heavily with a water,vinegar,bleach mix and I never have a problem with flavor contamination. - Like drinky said, it's all a question of trade offs.

    For bigger / longer, more cutting intensive cooking projects, I set my boos board right on top of it and use that.
    For big jobs with lots of raw, meat, I put a large polly board w/ blood grove on top of the Epi.
    For smaller raw jobs I have some smaller thin plastic flexi-sheets.
    For travel I use the trusty, old, smaller Epicurean.

    I don't really wail on the Epicureans much, but I've been pretty surprised to find that they don't seem to wear my edges that much faster than my boos.

  5. #15

    JohnnyChance's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by Justin0505 View Post
    I don't really wail on the Epicureans much, but I've been pretty surprised to find that they don't seem to wear my edges that much faster than my boos.
    I think the difference isn't as great as some people make it out to be. It isn't the end of the world if you have to use Epicurean or poly or SaniTuff for some/all of your cutting. The end grains are certainly nicer, and even though I have a massive butcher block I still eye David's site every month or so and will end up with one eventually.
    "God sends meat and the devil sends cooks." - Thomas Deloney

  6. #16
    Senior Member Salty dog's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
    I'm in the minority when I say I prefer my maple sideways. Possibly the only one.

  7. #17
    Still Plays With Blocks
    DWSmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Home Furnishings Capital of the World, High Point, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by tk59 View Post
    I think this is due to the fact that there is nothing magical about a board. You get end grain, not too dense, no fillers, minimum glue and not poisonous and you're golden. With steel, there are enough variables that very few people can really say anything substantive about them. Either the composition is a mystery or the HT is a mystery or even the sharpening method, skill and consistency are a mystery, for the most part. When no one really knows anything for sure, you can discuss forever.
    This reply hit the nail squarely on the head. There is really nothing magical or mysterious about a cutting board. Wood is wood and I can't add anything to it to change its composition like you can steel. What it all boils down to is personal preference. Some will buy my boards, some will turn their noses up at them, some will cut on glass or stone no matter what anyone says to them and some will use whatever is handy.

    BTW Thanks for the kind words guys. You sure know how to make a guy blush!

    mr drinky - I didn't mention glass, stone or slate for a very good reason, no one in their right mind would use a good knife, read anything above the quality of Cutco or Showtime, on either material. The harder surfaces are edge killers and with the time you guys spend sharpening I can't see pros, semi-pros or serious cooks mistreating their edges in such a fashion.

    Salty - You aren't in the minority. I still sell edge and side grain boards to a lot of customers. Again, personal preference.

    David - Formerly The BoardSMITH
    Now just retired and looking for work

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