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Biggest, baddest board I can get, <$100?

John Boos? Boardsmith?

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  1. I love having a really big board to do all my prep work on, so I wanted butcher block counters. But we also wanted the ease of cleaning up of an undermount sink and had already suffered through wood turning black around the sink so we installed granite countertops. One of the freestanding cabinets we used from IKEA came with its own butcher block top--25 x 42. So my husband cut that in two and left a slot where I could stash one of them vertically. I pull that out almost every day to do all my chopping, pasta making etc and our sink is large enough for me to wash it off and stash away. I can also do all the prep in one area and then carry it over to the stove for cooking. After two years it is as good as new--and you can't beat the price. I looked on the Ikea site and they have tops alone in two size--$40 and $60. (I used to work in a kitchen store and it is impossible to find really large boards.)

    1. Have you checked Overstock?
      http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/...

      I have the Michigan Maple - Maple End Grain 20x15-inch Chopping Block.
      It's beautiful.

      1. Well, Boardsmith's boards are not any more expensive than John Boos (on average). If anything, Boardsmith's products are a big cheaper which means you can get a bigger board for the same price. However, there are a few complaints about shipments and orders.

        I think it will be advantageous to start off with size of board you need and price range (which you have), and then see which makers can satisfy your need. There is no point of getting a board which is too small (or too big) for you likening.

        Michigan Maple has a good reputation as grnidkjun has nicely pointed out. Best.

        8 Replies
        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          I did purchase mine from Overstock too.. shipping was only $3 bucks.
          When it arrived the box was a bit roughed from shipping though I'm not surprised due to the weight.. this sucker is heavy! It has a fixed spot on my work cart.
          The block was also thirsty for mineral oil for a while.. so for a while, once a week I oiled it real well... now I do so about once or twice a month as needed.

          1. re: grnidkjun

            I think you said yours is a 20X15-inch square. This looks like a 3.5 inch thick, which is thick

            http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/...

            What does "It has a fixed spot on my work cart" mean? You cut open your work cart and insert/install the block into the work cart? Thanks.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              It is a 20 x 15 rectangle and it is about 3.5" thick.
              That is the one I have in your link.

              Fixed spot means, I have a designated spot and it does not get moved around, or put away into a cabinet. :)

          2. re: Chemicalkinetics

            I decided that I want the 24x18. Boardsmith is out; even the 22x16 is out of my price range.

            1. re: jaykayen

              :) very ambitious size. I think it will take some searches to get an end grain board of that size under $100. Grnidkjun's 20 X 15 in fact maybe the closest.

              http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/...

              there is also a 18 x 18

              http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/...

              They are solid 3.5" end-grain cutting board. They are free-shipping for first time buyer and $3 for others. Keep that shipping price in mind. Most other sellers would charge you much much more for the shipping fee.

              Amazon also carries the Catskill end grain cutting at the size you like and within your price range. The only concern I have is that Catskill may not have the same reputation as Michigan Maple. I had routinely seen smaller Catskill cutting boards in TJ Maxx and Home Goods. They looked ok, but not refined.

              http://www.amazon.com/Catskill-Crafts...

              I will let you know if I see anything interesting.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                That is the size I'm used to working on when I was a prep cook. Once I moved onto the line, I had teeny tiny space to work with. The minimum length I want is 20".

                In Kitchen Stadium (ICA) I saw once that they had two large Boos boards, put together side by side, and I thought, THAT is luxury.

                But, wow, that 20x15 on Overstock is nice. Good job, CK! I will have to prop my current board up by 3.5" and see if that will work for me.

                End vs edge grain... I guess I don't really care. Either is a nice step up from the poly boards I have now.

                1. re: jaykayen

                  If you don't care about end grain vs edge grain, then you can definitely get the size you want then. Edge grain boards are much cheaper. Here are a few that is 24 X 18:

                  http://www.overstock.com/search?keywo...

                  I again, I want to give credit for grnidkjun pointing out Overstock.com and for validing the Michigan Maple boards based on his hands-on experience.

                  1. re: jaykayen

                    If you plan to do a lot of cutting ultamately you will be happier with an end grain board. The end grain is more or less "self healing" similar to a dart board, and will not show the knife marks or splinter like an edge grain board will ultamately do. The end grain board will likely last a life time, the edge grain board is going to be scard and splintered rather quickly. It can be sanded smooth again but that's quite a task on a large board, the issue being keeping it flat. Also because you are not cutting wood fibers on an end grain board your knives will stay sharp longer.

                    Also keep in mind your space, a board that is 18x24x3 is going to be very heavy, if you have to move it regularly, you may not end up very happy with it. On the other hand it saves a trip to the gym :).

            2. Boardsmith. Hands down. I have quite a few Boos boards and they are not close to the quality of the Boardsmith. I have 2, one on my island and one at the station next to my range. They are both 14" x 20" which I don't know if you can get now.

              1. I'm curious why none of you have much larger boards? How do you do all your prep in such a small space?

                5 Replies
                1. re: escondido123

                  I have a big open kitchen with eating area inclusive, but not a lot of counter space.
                  So, I have a work cart in the middle, with two fold down flaps.. one on each end.
                  I'd like something longer.. maybe someday. With both flaps down, the block takes up half of it. If I lift one flap, I've got space on that side to put bowls for putting chopped veggies into when I'm done with them.

                  I've got space on the other side for lifting the flap and prepping other items.. then a small counter space between the sink and stove.

                  You make do with the space you have :) but I do wish I had a lot more work and counter space.

                  1. re: escondido123

                    By a law in physic, a cutting board cannot be larger than a kitchen. :)

                    Some people just don't have a very large kitchen or living space.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      Another important law of physics, mass is weight, a 2 cubic foot item of the same material weighs twice a 1 cubic foot item. A 24"x48"x3.5" board is over 2 cubic feet of wood, that's very heavy (100 lbs for a maple board), so if you can't just put it in one spot and leave it there you have a real issue. Not every kitchen can accomodate that much space. A relatively small 12"x18"x2" cutting board will weigh about 13 lbs, a much more managable weight to reaidly move around the kitchen.

                    2. re: escondido123

                      Well, for one thing, I never prep meats and vegetables on the same board, so two smaller boards makes much more sense for me than one massive board. Also, smaller boards can easily be toted around to different workspaces. For example, if I have a lot of tedious veg prep, I can carry a smaller board out to the dining room and set up shop at the dining table where I can sit comfortably instead of having to stand.

                      1. re: escondido123

                        2 boards plus I bring out a composite board for meat

                      2. We have a 25" x 18" x 1-1/2" board on our counter but I still use a Epicurious composite board to chop vegetables and plastic board for other stuff because it's easier to clean them by doing it in the sink. I might try the big board next time for all prep...I might be a convert.

                        Our big board was left in a house we bought. What I really like about it is the rule that 'stuff' ;) by household rule can't be piled on top of it. I hate people saving 'stuff' on the kitchen counter.

                        1. If you're anywhere near Maine, we got a board here years ago. It's even branded on the back with 'Maine State Correctional Facility'. Lasted for years until we stopped oiling it periodically.

                          http://www.maine.gov/corrections/indu...