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Need cutting board advice (size?)

Sat Jan 04, 2014 2:06 pm

I bought the Kohetsu Aogami Super 210mm Gyuto this week.
I suspect I will not be buying anything longer then 210 mm
I have limited kitchen counter space
We currently have a very very small bamboo cutting board


1.  What is the minimum size cutting board I could use?
2. What's the recommended size I could use?
3.  Is bamboo bad for my Knife?

I have a limited budget and I was looking at the michigan cutting boards.  The other two companies you guys recommend are great but just not feasible with $100 budget.  The boards I was looking at... Some called cutting board some called butcher block

4. What's difference between cutting board and butcher block?

Thanks

El

Re: Need cutting board advice (size?)

Sat Jan 04, 2014 2:25 pm

I think the minimum size is usually the entire knife length (including handle) across the diagonal.
Bamboo boards are made with a significant amount of glue, which will dull your edges more quickly than a good board. End grain is the best, while edge grain is also okay.
I believe butcher block is usually very thick--4 or more inches, and is end grain, while cutting board tends to be thinner, but this may not be universal.
I'd recommend getting the biggest board that will fit your cutting space. Having some extra area to put waste or pile up ingredients makes cooking more enjoyable. You don't have to stop as often to clean the board, so you can work more productively. If you don't already, get in the habit of keeping a small bowl for waste next to your board.

Re: Need cutting board advice (size?)

Sat Jan 04, 2014 4:15 pm

Moving, storage, and cleaning the cutting board are also considerations.

Larger, thicker boards rapidly get heavy. My wife couldn't pick up the first board I wanted to buy. Go by a kitchen supply store and pick up a few.

What is the largest board you can store and where? A convenient board will get used more. I couldn't conveniently store the second board I wanted.

For cleaning, I use a scrub brush and a lot of hard flowing water. My kitchen has a double, divided sink. Even with balancing the board on the sink divider, sink size became a consideration.

Re: Need cutting board advice (size?)

Sat Jan 04, 2014 4:45 pm

Todd is right. You're knife should full fit in the board diagonally from corner to corner. My current board is 18" x 16" x 2" and I love it, but I was able to work just fine on previous boards that were 10" x 16" x 1" and 12" x 12" x 1" with my old 8" chef's knife. I would also recommend getting the largest board you can feasibly fit on your counter/work area. I measured the space I had and bought my current board based on that, leaving room for the can opener and utensil holder that would sit behind it next to the wall.

Like Todd said, a true butcher's block is usually much thicker than a cutting board and many have feet. They will function just the same though. The thickness is probably to accommodate heavy chopping like a cleaver through bone. I think there are also some boards labeled as blocks when they are around 2" thick as well, but I don't know that they would actually function as a butcher's block or if it's just marketing. Either way they will function the same for a knife regardless. Just get one you think looks nice be it a board or a block. If the board will be right at the edge of the counter top the thickness may not be an issue, but if it will be further in with the lip of the counter sticking out you might want an inch or thicker board for clearance. I find it helpful for horizontal cuts, but that is just me. ;)

I personally love end-grain boards and blocks. They look nice and are easy on knife edges, plus they have better self-healing characteristics. Once you cut the grain on an edge or side grain board, it is cut. An end grain board is more like cutting on a very dense brush. The fibers are more likely to move to the side or split and can come back together making for less cuts and scratches on the surface. Just make sure that if you get an end grain board it is no coated with a varnish. You want bare wood treated with oil and/or beeswax or something similar. Varnished boards look nice, but it defeats the self healing properties (you will see cuts and scratches VERY quickly) and it can also chip off over time making for a spotty finish on the board.

I also second the waste bowl idea. In my kitchen the trash can cannot be kept close to where I prepare the food and cook, so the bowl is a great time saver. Plus, if you get a nice decorative one it looks nice. A smooth glazed flower pot works as well, just don't use a bare ceramic one as they are absorbent and you don't want that. lol I personally just use a white glass mixing bowl with a design on the outside. Easy to dump and rinse out after I'm done.

Re: Need cutting board advice (size?)

Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:00 pm

+1 to what todd said.

Storage and moving the board are considerations, but for me my board pretty much lives on my counter. I only move it to clean up, then I put it right back down. But your experiences may vary :)

Re: Need cutting board advice (size?)

Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:08 pm

Cheapo plastic boards will do just fine, they aren't the best but you at least owe the Kohetsu knife a combination stone for touching up the edge :)

Re: Need cutting board advice (size?)

Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:45 am

If you want a quality board @ a huge savings do some homework & reach out to David "The BoardSmith" &
John "LoneStar" & see what they can offer you in seconds / b-stock.
Slightly flaw @ a huge savings, may fit your budget!
I know first hand both David & John had seconds b4 x-mas...

http://theboardsmith.com/manufacturers-seconds/
http://www.lonestarartisans.com/contact-us/

Re: Need cutting board advice (size?)

Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:39 am

I can recommend the Michigan Maple end grain chopping block. They are tall, though (and heavy) so if you are of smaller stature it may raise the cutting surface too high for comfort/efficiency.

Re: Need cutting board advice (size?)

Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:11 pm

Umberto wrote:Cheapo plastic boards will do just fine, they aren't the best but you at least owe the Kohetsu knife a combination stone for touching up the edge :)


The biggest advantage for plastic boards is being dishwasher safe - easy cleaning with scalding hot water. With the recent reports of bacterial contamination, plastic is THE best choice for chicken. I have a plastic board I use just for chicken.

Plastic, however, does dull knives faster than wood.

Re: Need cutting board advice (size?)

Sun Jan 05, 2014 6:27 pm

These days it comes down to whatever you want.
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