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Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:01 pm
Does a cutting board matter?
Do you have a favorite for working and why?
Plastic is easy to clean, but wood feels good to work with.
Do you think one is better for edge preservation?
Is one better for health and cleaning (if you make sushi and beef jerky for example).
Thu Aug 23, 2012 5:33 am
Cutting boards do matter. Avoid anything hard (like glass, side grain bamboo, and even end grain bamboo) like the plague as it will damage your edges fairly quickly.
I like endgrain boards with Maple, Artic birch (very VERY close grained and nothing like most birch), walnut and cherry. All of the woods have worked wonderfully for me. I'm testing bubinga now and iirc some are not fond of it, but so far I haven't encountered any issues. End grain boards are much more forgiving and won't dull the blade as fast.
There are som poly boards out there like Sani Tuff that are supposedly good, but I haven't tried them.
Whenever I cut fish or meat, I use a thin plastic/rubber cutting board that I put on top of the end grain board.
Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:50 pm
Considering it is the #1 source of all edge degradation and deformation, and the only thing a knife will be perpetually faced with, absolutely yes.
My favorite is Maple.
Plastic gets gouges in it that are very hard, and eventually impossible, to clean, and need to be re-surfaced.
The harder the board, the more your edge will wear on it.
The best thing for Sushi is the best for anything--end grain wood. In a professional sushi environment, I'd want plastic and just rotate them out often as a disposable expense, because sometimes boards have to be swapped mid-service for one unavoidable reason or another(food allergies, spills, messy unexpected jobs, etc). End grain wood gets contaminants on it, and the wood absorbs it and the fibers close up and it cuts off all light and air and the contaminants die. If the board still smells like fish or meat or something at the end of a day, I coat it in salt overnight to kill bacteria and odors.
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