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Tempered glass cutting boards OK for knives?

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MaggieRSN Nov 14, 2007 05:37 AM

I saw a glass cutting board I'm interested in. The manufacturer says they're safe for knives, don't dull them. Anyone have any experience?

I seem to wreck whatever wooden boards I encounter. I buy good quality...I don't submerse them...but they all seem to split... Not crazy about all the cut marks in the plastic (or whatever manmade material they are) boards, because I don't think they have the antimicrobrial properties wood does.

So...what about the tempered glass? Thanks if you can help.

  1. f
    fatcat55jc Nov 14, 2007 06:13 AM

    Bah! The manufacturer, wanting to sell cutting boards, is giving bad information. Not surprising - knifemakers also say it's OK to plop their knives in the dishwasher, but NO high quality knife should ever see the inside of a dishwater, either. Wood, and that plastic you describe, are the only suitable material for cutting boards. Cutting on any hard surface will damage your knife blade: granite, marble, ceramic or porcelain tile, Corian, formica, tempered glass etc. People adamantly claim differently, but plastic and wood (properly maintained) are identical from an antimicrobial standpoint, so take your pick. As for a good quality wood board splitting, it's probably over dry. Plunge your entire board into warm soapy water, dont let go of it, rinse and towel try promptly, then apply a thin coat of non toxic mineral oil every so often, It's a dollar or two for a quart at any drug store. Cutting boards are sacrificial items. They are meant to deteriorate over time and be replaced. If they were meant to stay pristine, we'd be carving, slicing, and chopping with abandon on our butcher block counter tops. When any two materials clash, something's gotta give. Ridges, cut marks in your board reassure you that your blade is not doing the surrendering. Every so often a board can be sanded smooth and then oiled as above. After tons of use and innumerable sandings, I suppose a board would need replacing, but not for a very long time.

    3 Replies
    1. re: fatcat55jc
      greglor Nov 14, 2007 09:48 AM

      There is simply no worse cutting board than a glass cutting board. The. Absolute. Worst. I wouldn't be responsible for what I did to anyone who so abused my knives.

      As for wood cutting boards, I agree with everything fatcat says. Take good care of your wood cutting board, and when it dies, mourn it quietly, and get a new one.

      1. re: fatcat55jc
        f
        FlyFish Nov 14, 2007 10:52 AM

        I agree completely with your comments. My primary cutting board is wood (maple, I assume) and has been in daily heavy use for approximately 40 years. About 20 years ago, it had developed enough of an uneven surface to make things difficult, so I had a woodworking friend of mine run it through his commercial planer, which restored the surface to good as new. (I remember my friend mentioning that after running the board through the planer his workshop smelled of onions and his dog tried to eat the shavings when his back was turned.) In the second 20 years of its life it's managed to maintain a very even surface, for reasons not apparent to me. I have every expectation that it's going to last at least another 30 years, and I can only hope that I'm around to see if it does.

        1. re: fatcat55jc
          bkhuna Nov 14, 2007 06:59 PM

          Actaully, laboratory studies have shown that wood has, in in of itself, antimicrobial properties and plastic does not. The links to the journals have been posted before so I won't beat a dead horse.

          Good quality wood boards can last for a very long time and certainly are more asthetically pleasing than plastic.

        2. MMRuth Nov 14, 2007 09:47 AM

          Don't know about the effect on knives, but I hate using those and actually think they are dangerous as the knife slips around when it comes into contact with the board. Cringe just thinking about it.

          1. jfood Nov 14, 2007 11:08 AM

            Negatory on the glass cutting board. It will ruin your knives.

            As another poster stated use it until you can't and give it a good burial. jfood is stopping at L&T on the way home tonight to buy a new bamboo board and when he gets home the white plastic one will hear "taps." and he loved that board.

            1. scubadoo97 Nov 14, 2007 04:18 PM

              You've already gotten the best advise to by pass the glass cutting board. Now let's see if we figure out why you ruin all your wood boards. First buy a board that is at least 1 1/2 inches thick. Less than that and you risk warping. A hard wood like maple works well. Pretreat that board and load it with mineral oil. The board will soak it up quickly in the beginning. Continue adding oil until it doesn't soak it up. This will help keep water out which will cause the wood to split. Every month or two re-oil the board. Every year if it's really worn give it a light sanding and re-oil.

              1. jbyoga Nov 14, 2007 07:45 PM

                No, are you kidding?

                Seriously, get either a good bamboo cutting board or a good wood one - I have a solid one made from one piece of wood - probably had it 20 years - never put your cutting board in the dishwasher! Disinfect with hot water and soap and if you cut meat use white vinegar and hot soapy water. Good luck!

                1. m
                  MaggieRSN Nov 14, 2007 08:44 PM

                  Looks like it's unanimous and official, then--no tempered glass. Thank you all for helping me not to compound the injuries I mysteriously inflict on cutting boards with grievous insults to my precious knives.

                  I appreciate the assistance from those of you who are trying to help me analyze this. Reading your guidance...I can't really see where I'm going wrong. I think I'm buying reputable brands--Boos and JK Adams maple boards...they're okay, aren't they? I don't submerse them. I dry them right away by hand and then leave them standing up on the counter to make sure they're completely air-dried. I oil them frequently with food-safe mineral oil, at least weekly, whenever I oil my wooden island top. They are splitting from the ends, and two of them after only a month or two. I'm going to take responsibility for the first one. I wiped full strength vinegar on it to help sanitize, and the store, which kindly replaced it, suggested I tone that down and dilute it. I didn't do it to the next one, and the board still split...and so did the one after that. I considered that maybe the house is too dry, except that a couple of miles south is that great Northern swamp that is known as Long Island Sound, it's humid and often rainy or cloudy, and we've discovered through other adventures that the house actually needs *de-humidifying*.

                  Is it possible that the boards (all from the same store) have sat too long there on the shelves and dried out? Just wondering because I don't think there's quick inventory turn over in our little New England stores...

                  I agree with those who like plastic...but for meat only...because those I can run through the dishwasher. Otherwise, I like wood and natural products. I am stumped (no pun intended--okay, maybe just a little pun intended) and frustrated. I am from New England. Maple and I should have a congenital affinity, and in all other matters, we do.

                  jfood, I'll be interested in hearing how that bamboo board works out.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: MaggieRSN
                    greglor Nov 15, 2007 06:39 AM

                    I have one that's started to split at the ends, but I've had it for nearly 10 years. I never vinegar treat them, though. I'm one of the folks who uses wood for most everything, and plastic for raw meat. I've never felt like I've put anything nasty enough on my wood boards that would need to be treated with anything other than a warm wet cloth.

                    Given that you've had 3 split in a row, are they all the same brand? You may have discovered a bad brand of wood board? Go to a different store, maybe?

                    1. re: MaggieRSN
                      scubadoo97 Nov 15, 2007 08:21 AM

                      Again I want to emphasis that they need oil to keep water out. Boos sells it's own oil for the boards but mineral oil has been recommended by many as a food safe oil to use that won't get rancid like cooking oils. Boos boards come preconditioned but others may not. I oil my boards about once a month. Keeps stains out as well. I have a dough scraper that I use to lift cut items off my board. This also is used to scrape off all water between uses before it gets washed and dried.

                      1. re: scubadoo97
                        m
                        MaggieRSN Nov 15, 2007 08:25 PM

                        I oil them more frequently...at least once a week, but sometimes more often if they've been washed a lot. I haven't used Boos' oil, but usually get JK Adams. Thanks for the tip re the scraper. That's a good idea.

                      2. re: MaggieRSN
                        h
                        heWho Nov 15, 2007 10:48 AM

                        Just out of curiousity, how long have your boards been lasting before they break down? Are we talking months or years?

                        1. re: heWho
                          m
                          MaggieRSN Nov 15, 2007 08:36 PM

                          Month, heWho. In once case, a couple of weeks, actually (the store replaced that one).

                          I wouldn't even worry about it that much...I don't get whacky over aesthetics...except that I've read on several occasions that splits in the wood are good places to harbor little nasties...*especially* since it's hard to dry the boards inside those splits. ?????

                      3. r
                        rfneid Nov 15, 2007 03:37 PM

                        For really great wood boards, check out www.ltnwoodworks.com

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: rfneid
                          m
                          MaggieRSN Nov 15, 2007 08:38 PM

                          Thank you. I'm going to check it out. Always looking for new, good sources. :-)

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