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Do you flip your cutting board?

If' I've been slicing meat I will often just flip the board over to do veggies. Is this a bad idea or common practice?


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  1. You mean like raw meat? If you flip it over, you've contaminated the work surface and made a mess of the counter. If it's cooked, then you get cooked meat juices everywhere. I use different cutting boards.

    1. None of mine is flippable, so that's moot. I did have one that was just a slab of rigid vinyl with a handle hole, but I never flipped it between operations. I either cut the veges first and then the meat, or simply wash it between ingredients, since I'm by the sink anyway.

      1. If I'm preparing food to be cooked immediately and, essentially together, I just cut it all on the same side. If it needs to be cleaned to prevent cross contamination I simply wash it between ingredients. It's not that I don't flip the board, I use whichever side happens to come up as "top" for the cutting task(s).

        1. I flip mine. I see the point about contaminating the counter but I am I clean everything up at the end. I have a small kitchen so when I am cooking it tends to get really cluttered and there will be dishes in the sink making it harder to do a quick wash.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Foodie.wannabe

            My kitchen is also a small one, which is why if I don't wash whatever's in the sink before starting to cook I will regret it. And if anyone comes in and tries to put anything into the sink he or she will regret that.

            I do try to have all the prep out of the way before actual cooking starts, because I also have a limited number of pots and utensils, and an extensive menu will see the same things used several times. But I'm seldom using a cutting board at that point. If I do I'll use it on the island table and hope nobody's trying to make cocktails there or anything …

          2. We have different cutting boards for different tasks; one for raw meat and one for veg/other. Whenever something touches raw meat it immediately goes into the right hand side sink where we know where the "unsafe" things reside until dishes are done.

            1. I use a plastic board for meat. It's green. I have another plastic board (white) for fish (though I usually have any cutting, boning, etc., done by the guy at the fish market).

              I use both sides of my wooden board for different purposes. Years ago, I marked one side with an X, to mean "NO. STOP. DO NOT cut onions or garlic on this side." It's the side I use for fruit and most veg.

              1. I plan my chopping, so meat always gets handled last. Otherwise, I'd have to wash my hands, wash my knife, and worry about the chopping board, which wastes quite a bit of time.

                1. No. That would just make the situation worse by spreading the meat juice to the counter. Plus, the bottom of the board having been in contact with the counter isn't necessarily clean. I either rinse the board off in super hot water before doing veggies or grab another board. I have several.

                  1. separate board for raw meats, poultry, fish. gets cleaned immediately and away from the prep area. in 40+ years of cooking, maybe flipped the non-meat boards 5 times.

                    1. If you find that you need multiple prep surfaces, you might consider using the thin, flexible silicon cutting mats. I keep a dozen or more in the drawer under my prep area. Put one down on top of the big wooden board, cut up chicken (or whatever), toss the mat in the dishwasher, slap down another and keep going (washing hands / knife / etc. as necessary).

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: alanbarnes

                        That's what I use--cheap from IKEA.

                      2. I have a Boos double sided board. One for meat and one for veggies. I have chopped veggies on one side and then later flipped it (after a quick wipe with vinegar and water) to cut the meat. If I have to cut meat first the board get's washed and cleaned. Then I chop the veggies.

                        The meat side is easily identifiable as it has the grooves for meat juices.

                        I may be a slob, but I'm a very clean slob when it comes to my kitchen, and bath for that matter!

                        1. I'll flip my cutting board if the top is wet, say from cutting vegetables, and I want a dry surface. But I don't flip it if the top has been used for raw meat or chicken. We have multiple cutting boards, so if I am really in a hurry I'll just pull out a clean one if the first one has been used for raw meat and also grab a different, clean knife. But, unless I'm really pressed for time, I usually stop to immediately clean the cutting board & knife as soon as I'm finished using them for raw meat. We use wood boards so I don't like to soak them, but would prefer to clean them immediately before the meat juices soak in and the bits get stuck to the board.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: masha

                            I flip my boards and also have a big butcher block in the middle of the kitchen.
                            I'm always cleaning everything and no one has gotten sick (yet) and my wife is
                            an infection control nurse. I can't worry about that stuff.

                            In the summer I take the boards out and set them in the sun.

                          2. yes, I have a fruit and veg side so the berries don't taste like onions!

                            1. I use several of thin ones. Blue for dairy, greeen for vegetables and red for meat. I also have a wooden one that holds these thin plastic ones. I do it for several reasons, one being kosher, and secondly it is more sanitary.

                              1. I have a lovely wooden board that I do all my chopping on. I try to plan ahead to do meat/chicken last, but if that's not possible, I am a big fan of the flip the board maneuver. I usually flip it onto the metal area next to my sink (where I would normally stack my dishes) so it is super easy to clean off any yucky contaminat-y juices.

                                1. Most of the time I cut veggies first and finish with the meat. Their are times when I don't prep everything ahead of time, especially during the week. My spaghetti sauce takes an hour plus, the more you can give it the better it tastes and the first ingredient is pancetta. I have no issue chopping the onions and garlic on that side, but I flip it for the veggies that accompany the dish. And then there are those times when I get everything cut, prepped in bowls and realize I've forgotten something. Flip and chop.

                                  Bottom line for all of us is no cross contamination. I never prep anything directly on the counter, if meat juice gets on it it's not a problem. It always gets cleaned afterwards regardless. I have a several plastic boards, but a few more couldn't hurt. The thin ones would also store well, but how are they on knives? The ones I've seen seem to be made of a harder plastic.


                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                    As noted above, I use the thin silicone mats. They're softer than just about anything out there; knife-wise, if anything they're too soft - a razor edge on a very hard blade tends to "catch" a little. But that can be a problem with any surface. As an added plus, they're flexible, so you can use one as a makeshift chute to herd ingredients into a pan.

                                  2. All my poly cutting boards are color coded for specific purposes, in a rack under my work table. I also have larger versions of each should I need the extra space.

                                    Red - red meat or pork
                                    Yellow - fowl
                                    Blue - seafood
                                    Green - vegetables/fruit
                                    Brown - cooked foods
                                    White - dairy

                                    I also have wooden boards for making dough, pasta, pastry, etc.
                                    So, no, I do not flip.

                                    1. nah, no worries unless you're talking raw meat. I use both sides of all my boards, just good common sense

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                        Talking raw meat. Cut on one side, Flip the board and do non meats. I actually learned this from Iron Chef.