Fish Butchery Cutting Board

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yummycrackers

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Hi everyone, first time writing on the forum after lurking for some time and wanted to gather some opinions on what sorts of cutting boards people use for fish butchery. I usually use an old wooden board, which I'd like to step away from for hygiene reasons (it's developing cracks, etc.), but am not quick sure as to what the best replacement would be. I recently stopped by MTC in New York and quite liked the texture of their Hasegawa rubber cutting boards but I'm afraid they'll be too soft for going through heads/spines with a deba, since I wouldn't want to leave a gash in them. A poly board sounds like the cheap and cheerful alternative, but there I'm worried about warping and deep cuts in the plastic material. Any suggestions?
 
For butchery I just use a cheap poly board, the knife doesn't see a lot of board contact during butchery anyway. I like to use a different board for final slicing like making sushi or portioning before cooking. That is where I would switch to a nicer board like a hinoki or a hasegawa
 
Hi everyone, first time writing on the forum after lurking for some time and wanted to gather some opinions on what sorts of cutting boards people use for fish butchery. I usually use an old wooden board, which I'd like to step away from for hygiene reasons (it's developing cracks, etc.), but am not quick sure as to what the best replacement would be. I recently stopped by MTC in New York and quite liked the texture of their Hasegawa rubber cutting boards but I'm afraid they'll be too soft for going through heads/spines with a deba, since I wouldn't want to leave a gash in them. A poly board sounds like the cheap and cheerful alternative, but there I'm worried about warping and deep cuts in the plastic material. Any suggestions?
Lots of places in Japan use Hasegawa type boards as well as laminated ones. That's where I got few of mine... and if Deba does happen to damage a layer, you just peel it off...
 
Keep in mind, plastic boards will take damage that traps residual ingredients as well. Wood will swell to help closing and by maintaining with wax/oil you help keep the cervices filled.

Just something to consider is all.
 
Keep in mind, plastic boards will take damage that traps residual ingredients as well. Wood will swell to help closing and by maintaining with wax/oil you help keep the cervices filled.

Just something to consider is all.
Yes, that was one of my main concerns with poly/HDPE. I've admittedly never had any issues with my end-grain board, but then I only ever use that for vegetables.
 
Yes, that was one of my main concerns with poly/HDPE. I've admittedly never had any issues with my end-grain board, but then I only ever use that for vegetables.

FWIW, I do everything on the same wood cutting board. I don't do a lot of fish but I break down chicken, pork, etc. End grain is even better for sanitation than edge grain.

The idea of wood being "bad" is misleading and originated from NYC kitchens. Yes, they found them to have more contamination than poly boards and that suddenly became a universal fact. Only, subsequent studies showed that it was due to the high temp/pressure commercial dishwashers and frequency of cleaning them that dried them out and caused the problems.

These conditions don't exist at home and some studies indicate that end grain may actually be safer at home than poly. There's some good info out there you can research to help you make your own opinion and decide the direction that is best for you.
 
FWIW, I do everything on the same wood cutting board. I don't do a lot of fish but I break down chicken, pork, etc. End grain is even better for sanitation than edge grain.

The idea of wood being "bad" is misleading and originated from NYC kitchens. Yes, they found them to have more contamination than poly boards and that suddenly became a universal fact. Only, subsequent studies showed that it was due to the high temp/pressure commercial dishwashers and frequency of cleaning them that dried them out and caused the problems.

These conditions don't exist at home and some studies indicate that end grain may actually be safer at home than poly. There's some good info out there you can research to help you make your own opinion and decide the direction that is best for you.
Will do, thanks!
 
FWIW, I do everything on the same wood cutting board. I don't do a lot of fish but I break down chicken, pork, etc. End grain is even better for sanitation than edge grain.

The idea of wood being "bad" is misleading and originated from NYC kitchens. Yes, they found them to have more contamination than poly boards and that suddenly became a universal fact. Only, subsequent studies showed that it was due to the high temp/pressure commercial dishwashers and frequency of cleaning them that dried them out and caused the problems.

These conditions don't exist at home and some studies indicate that end grain may actually be safer at home than poly. There's some good info out there you can research to help you make your own opinion and decide the direction that is best for you.
Your whole argument is based on basically the one famous article that the whole 'wood is safer than plastic' internet talk is based on... and frankly it's an article with rather dubious methodology.
Reality is that at best data over whether end or edge grain is better, or even wood or plastic is inconclusive at this point.

At the end of the day the sanitation habbits are most important, just like there's very good reasons most professional health codes force seperate cutting boards for different ingredient types.
Just because you happened to get away with doing X in a home environment and didn't get sick from it doesn't mean it's 'good practise'. It's not like those health codes were just written on a whim.
 
Your whole argument is based on basically the one famous article that the whole 'wood is safer than plastic' internet talk is based on... and frankly it's an article with rather dubious methodology.
Reality is that at best data over whether end or edge grain is better, or even wood or plastic is inconclusive at this point.

At the end of the day the sanitation habbits are most important, just like there's very good reasons most professional health codes force seperate cutting boards for different ingredient types.
Just because you happened to get away with doing X in a home environment and didn't get sick from it doesn't mean it's 'good practise'. It's not like those health codes were just written on a whim.

I'm pretty sure I advised the OP to do their own research and come to their own conclusions.

I also think A LOT of people over think this stuff.
 
As to the OP, I don't necessarily see using a wood board being problematic as long as it's a seperate board and you sanitize it properly.
One of the reasons plastic is often preferred is that it's far better at surviving high temperature dishwashing cycles and strong detergents that make this process easier... but on the flip side you run into the issue of microplastics.

At the end of the day IMO the maintenance regime is more important than the material.
 
I'm pretty sure I advised the OP to do their own research and come to their own conclusions.

I also think A LOT of people over think this stuff.
People overthink this, especially when writing health & safety codes, because screwing it up can and will kill people.
It's not a bad thing to put some care and attention into this topic.
 
People overthink this, especially when writing health & safety codes, because screwing it up can and will kill people.
It's not a bad thing to put some care and attention into this topic.

By all means, you should do that.

Hang around long enough and you'll learn that everything is bad for you and what is considered great today will be death tomorrow. One study says this, the other that.
 
I have lots of wood cutting boards at home. I use a cutting board based on size of the job. I clean them with soap and water using a worn green Scotch Brite pad. I sometimes spray with a diluted bleach spray I keep under the kitchen sink. I oil regularly when the board is dry.
 
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Your whole argument is based on basically the one famous article that the whole 'wood is safer than plastic' internet talk is based on... and frankly it's an article with rather dubious methodology.
Reality is that at best data over whether end or edge grain is better, or even wood or plastic is inconclusive at this point.

At the end of the day the sanitation habbits are most important, just like there's very good reasons most professional health codes force seperate cutting boards for different ingredient types.
Just because you happened to get away with doing X in a home environment and didn't get sick from it doesn't mean it's 'good practise'. It's not like those health codes were just written on a whim.
Colored cutting boards in a professional setting is because people are lazy and sue happy.
 
By all means, you should do that.

Hang around long enough and you'll learn that everything is bad for you and what is considered great today will be death tomorrow. One study says this, the other that.
Find me the study that says cross-contamination is fine.
Hang around in a hospital kitchen for a few years and maybe you'd be less casual about it...

Colored cutting boards in a professional setting is because people are lazy and sue happy.
Except we don't have a sue culture and we still have very similar regulations. For what it's worth over here in the Netherlands wood isn't actually forbidden (even though many seem to think so), but they have to be visually identifiable so you know what's what. The focus here is more on preventing cross-contamination...
I think what also plays a role in the shift towards plastic in professional is that the plastic boards are simply a lot easier to sanitize in professional dishwashers... you can't throw 6 wood boards through a 90 degree cycle and expect them to come out looking the same.

Don't get me wrong, I don't have any specific problem with wood, I have a problem with making broad sweeping statements based on very limited evidence and trivializing food safety.
 
Find me the study that says cross-contamination is fine.
Hang around in a hospital kitchen for a few years and maybe you'd be less casual about it...


Except we don't have a sue culture and we still have very similar regulations. For what it's worth over here in the Netherlands wood isn't actually forbidden (even though many seem to think so), but they have to be visually identifiable so you know what's what. The focus here is more on preventing cross-contamination...
I think what also plays a role in the shift towards plastic in professional is that the plastic boards are simply a lot easier to sanitize in professional dishwashers... you can't throw 6 wood boards through a 90 degree cycle and expect them to come out looking the same.

Don't get me wrong, I don't have any specific problem with wood, I have a problem with making broad sweeping statements based on very limited evidence and trivializing food safety.

My point is, I don't believe there's enough cross contamination to worry about. And how exactly do you know if I've hung out in hospital kitchens or not? For the record, I mostly certainly have, and nursing home ones too. I don't get the point.

But you do you. There's nothing wrong with that. Just like it's okay for me to be a crazy culinary risk taker. And just like how I told the OP to do their own research and draw their own conclusions and not just take my sweeping, trivializing statements as facts.

:)
 
Thanks for that, the HDPE boards were one of the alternatives I was considering. Or just a cheap OXO board.
The cheap OXO boards are decent enough with one caveat: since the polypropylene is relatively thin and supported off the counter surface with the little rubber feet it has a degree of bounce, especially if you're chopping in the middle of the board. Thicker boards like the San Jamars (with or without the "anti-slip corners" don't exhibit this bounce. The Hasagawa boards are great although maybe not ideal for cleaver work or decapitating salmon or stripers with a deba.
 
The cheap OXO boards are decent enough with one caveat: since the polypropylene is relatively thin and supported off the counter surface with the little rubber feet it has a degree of bounce, especially if you're chopping in the middle of the board. Thicker boards like the San Jamars (with or without the "anti-slip corners" don't exhibit this bounce. The Hasagawa boards are great although maybe not ideal for cleaver work or decapitating salmon or stripers with a deba.
Good to know, thanks, the OXO ones did look a bit flimsy. I wasn't aware of the San Jamar boards, so I'll definitely have a look.
 
Not a huge tree hugger, but I can’t understand why anyone would want to use plastic anything if there is a better or equal solution that is natural. I do understand it can be recycled but that process is also not the best thing for the environment. Just saying why?
 
Not a huge tree hugger, but I can’t understand why anyone would want to use plastic anything if there is a better or equal solution that is natural. I do understand it can be recycled but that process is also not the best thing for the environment. Just saying why?
Commercial. Dishwasher.
 
I’m in the anti-wood camp. Cuts, splits, and cross contamination have all been problems. Treating wood is its own mess. Mineral oil does not cure so it stays liquid and soaks up flavors then gets on your food.. Beeswax comes off with soap and water. There are other finishes but thats another matter.

Pastries tasting of garlic of chili peppers from cross contamination is no good. Plastic boards clean up easily and are waterproof.

I’m currently liking Tenryo black boards. Hasagawa rubber is too grippy on knives and it stains. I have not tried their PE because of limited sizes. The tenro black is probably too soft for heavy butchering.
 
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