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What To Look For In Cutting Board?

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azmark

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I guess it's a few questions that I'll pose; is there a preferable wood to look for in a board or is it mostly cosmetics? Is there a difference between plastic cutting boards and wood boards?
 

DWSmith

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Great question!

The general rule of thumb for choosing a particular wood is to look for a wood from a tree with a running sap, hard maple = maple syrup, or a tree with edible nuts. If the products of the tree are edible, then the wood should be safe to use. (I can only think of one I would hesitate to use and that is oak. To porous.)

There is a cosmetics question. If you are looking for functionality, choose maple. If you are loooking to impress, choose walnut. The colors of maple tend to be somewhat bland and the colors of walnut are rich looking.

Wood boards tend to be easier on good edges and end grain boards are the most forgiving to the edges. Plastic is harder and can damage an edge quicker because it is a bit more sticky. And the deep cut marks are harder to sanitize and clean. Once a plastic board is scarred, the only real alternative is to toss it out and it will last almost forever in a landfill. Wood boards can be resurfaced, cleaned and readied for another hard life of use.

I hope this helps.
 

azmark

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So the more porous the more bacteria possibility correct?

Helps a lot, thank you!

Great question!

The general rule of thumb for choosing a particular wood is to look for a wood from a tree with a running sap, hard maple = maple syrup, or a tree with edible nuts. If the products of the tree are edible, then the wood should be safe to use. (I can only think of one I would hesitate to use and that is oak. To porous.)

There is a cosmetics question. If you are looking for functionality, choose maple. If you are loooking to impress, choose walnut. The colors of maple tend to be somewhat bland and the colors of walnut are rich looking.

Wood boards tend to be easier on good edges and end grain boards are the most forgiving to the edges. Plastic is harder and can damage an edge quicker because it is a bit more sticky. And the deep cut marks are harder to sanitize and clean. Once a plastic board is scarred, the only real alternative is to toss it out and it will last almost forever in a landfill. Wood boards can be resurfaced, cleaned and readied for another hard life of use.

I hope this helps.
 

FryBoy

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Check this study of the bacteria and wood cutting board issue by the University of California at Davis: CLICK ME
 

DWSmith

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Doug,

Saw a photo of your cherry board on another forum. Still looks great and does not appear to have darkened much at all.
 

WildBoar

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What to look for? A burnt-in logo on the side that says BoardSMITH :cool:
 

FryBoy

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Doug,

Saw a photo of your cherry board on another forum. Still looks great and does not appear to have darkened much at all.
Yes, I'm very happy with my cherry board, and would highly recommend The Boardsmith to anyone considering such a purchase. The quality is simply outstanding.

Here's my board in a fairly recent photo:





In this closeup photo it does show a bit of darkening (lighting plays a big role -- this one is no flash, the above is with flash). It's also starting to show a few minor knife marks as I would expect after nearly two years of daily use:





Care is important. I massage it with mineral oil when it starts to look dry, which it will after a few washings with hot water, dish soap, and a vegetable scrub brush, and I then add a coat of beeswax using Dave's Board Butter (a mixture of bee's wax and mineral oil).
 

unkajonet

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What to look for? A burnt-in logo on the side that says BoardSMITH :cool:
+1
Gave a rec to a friend for one of your boards. She refuses to use her new jknife until her Boardsmith board is delivered.
Fortunately, she has POS Furi knives to use on her POS bamboo boards while she waits...:p
 

mc2442

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I got my board yesterday, and felt like a kid at Christmas. The next couple days will probably seem like a longer wait than after I first decided to get one....prepping it before the first use. I put a coat of mineral oil on it last night, and will do at least one more before the Board Butter coat.

Thanks David, it looks great.
 

shankster

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So, a couple of light coats of mineral oil before a coat of Board Butter? Is the "heavy" mineral oil OK to use?
 

mc2442

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"heavy" as in a beeswax mix?

Maybe I am going a bit overboard before the first use, but everything I read said to give it a few coats of mineral oil when you first get it, then every XX, depending on use. Figured I would let the board drink up a bit of oil before I do the heavier sealing mixture.
 

DWSmith

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The mineral oil I use is 70 weight. Just a little thinner than gear grease. (Not to be confused with that.) I soak the boards them let then drain for 12 to 24 hours before applying the Board Butter.

Allowing the board to soak up more oil is okay, just don't go overboard like another poster here I know of did. To much oil will result in a weeping board when the temperatures rise.

How often to oil? I don't know of a tried and true schedule, what I advise is to oil when the area you cut the most on starts to look a little lighter. Then oil the entire board. For every four times you oil the top, oil the bottom and sides once.
 

shankster

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The bottle I have says heavy.I know there's a light version as well.
 

DWSmith

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Heavy is okay. Might take a little longer to soak in so try to heat it a little prior to applying. Just put the entire bottle in a pan of hot water and let the oil heat up.
 

DWSmith

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Hope the board survived the trip in the luggage.
 

Aphex

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I made the mistake of over soaking my board in oil, the result was a very slight warp witch was enough to cause it to move around when putting pressure on it. So only put light coats on yours.

I also had "heavy" mineral oil, and hated it. I found that after a week or so, a strange waxy crust formed on the surface. After giving it a good sanding to get rid of the wax, i used "light" mineral oil and have'nt had a problem since.
 

mc2442

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I am only using lite coats, wiping off the excess. I guess I will stop at 2 coats and apply a Board Butter coat tomorrow.

Mine does not say heavy or lite. Got it at the drug store, actually says use as a laxative.
 

zitangy

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I tried with the thicker mineral oil from ikea. Too long to get in. Then I tried the John boos mystery oil wch I found out consists of lower viscosity mineral oil plus tung oil. Found out that tung oil( 100 percent natural) will enhance the depth and luster and color of the wood. In addition it is more hardy than just pure mineral oil. I suppose I went overboard as I use a ratio of 50:50 mineral oil to tung oil. Even the wax.. I added tung oil which I use a tooth tick to stir it in. Also tried on other home furniture. Quite pleased with the results..
 

ryn

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I tried with the thicker mineral oil from ikea. Too long to get in. Then I tried the John boos mystery oil wch I found out consists of lower viscosity mineral oil plus tung oil. Found out that tung oil( 100 percent natural) will enhance the depth and luster and color of the wood. In addition it is more hardy than just pure mineral oil. I suppose I went overboard as I use a ratio of 50:50 mineral oil to tung oil. Even the wax.. I added tung oil which I use a tooth tick to stir it in. Also tried on other home furniture. Quite pleased with the results..
Uh Oh, doesn't it say on the BoardSmith FAQ to avoid Tung Oil because it never dries? I actually just bought some Boos oil (for my enh board, waiting til the end of summer to get one of those beautiful BoardSmith's, was planning on Maple but that Cherry look gorgeous), so I'm dissappointed to hear that it has Tung oil in it :-(

David, do you plan on carrying your "conditioner" at any point (the more oil than wax)? Or do you have a particular mineral oil you would recommend that is easy to get?
 

zitangy

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I suppose David is right too.. there are many ways to skin a cat.. Nope not selling it .. just exploring.. SInce you have Boos oil, I added more tung oil into mine. do ensure that it is 100% tung oil as you want it food safe. btw, i believe that Boos mystery oil has some tung oil added.

hv fun..
 

goodchef1

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maybe a tray that can be attached to the board for scraping scraps of food to just throw in the trash for housewives and such, would be a good idea. I have not seen this around.
 
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