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Recommended size for cutting board/block

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dixiegal Nov 29, 2011 06:49 AM

I am thinking I want a nice cutting board. I want hardwood, end grain. I don't have counter space for it to sit on all the time, but I can keep it on my kitchen table when not in use. We are empty nesters and rarely eat on our table anymore. Only when I cook for the family and I could move the cutting boared out of the way then.

Now, what I cannot decide on is the size. I have a wood thin board that is about 15" by 21" that is a useful size, but I am thinking that I would like one a little bigger. Some recomend getting one that would fit in the sink, but getting one that would fit in my sink is out, because my sink is too small. I have to wash big things in the bathtub. I probably would only use this new board for veggies, fruits and herbs. And use my old board for meat, though the new block would probably be better for meat, except when it comes to cleaning it.
I am a little spooked about the cross contamination of meats and veggies. Though, before I knew better, I used my wood boards and wood bowls for both all the time. Never had a problem. I used to mix meatloaf in the same wood bowl that I used to rise bread dough. Maybe I was just lucky?

I think the size of the cutting boards used on food network look useful, but I have no idea what size any of them are. I sure wish food network gave more info on the stuff they use and decorate with.

Anyway, what size cutting, chopping block/boards do you all like to use? And what brands/manufactureres do you like or don't like?
Also, would a juice channel around the edge make it harder to clean?

I also like the idea of a reversable one. If moisture underneath gets to be a concern, I can always get something to set under the corners to lift it up a little for air circulation.

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  1. meadandale RE: dixiegal Nov 29, 2011 07:55 AM

    I have a 16x20 mesquite cutting board that sits on my counter all the time. It is one sided. I use it only for general food prep. For butchering/prepping meat I use a poly board. For carving meats I use a cheapo carving board with a gutter.

    Everyone thinks they want a reversible board...until they get one and it warps. Then you have to put a wet tea towel on the counter to put it on to keep it from slipping around. I only ever used on side of my reversible Boos. Get a one sided board with rubber feet. Trust me on this.

    Almost all of the boards you see on Food TV are 16"x20" boards, many are black walnut and most are made by Ozark West.

    As for recommendations.

    I've never bought anything from them but Ozark West is the flagship brand and their price reflects it. Apparently they recently changed their name to "Cuttingboard Gallery".

    http://www.cuttingboardgallery.com/

    This is the guy who made my mesquite board. He is a small producer out of Texas.

    http://www.mesqcraft.com/boards.htm

    Dave at Boardsmith is a contributer to Chowhound. I recently ordered a board for my brother as a gift and I got a black walnut board from Dave. The board is beautiful. The only issue I have with his boards is his non standard (IMO) sizing. His boards tend to be narrower (front to back) for a given width than I've found standard for the industry. For example, my original Boos long grain maple board is 16x20. My mesquite board is 16x20. The middle size at Ozark West is 16x20. However Dave makes either a 16x22 or a 14x20 stock. If you want a 16x20 you have to special order it.

    http://www.theboardsmith.com/

    I don't recommend Boos. I have a Boos long grain maple board that I bought 10 years ago. It was cheap and serviceable (I still use it as a backup board) but it has warped some and the joints have started splitting. If you want quality you'll have to pay for it. Frankly, the difference between an end grain maple Boos or an end grain maple Boardsmith is not even 2x and the latter will probably last a lifetime.

    Here is a picture of my board for what it is worth:

    https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Ja...

    And in use:

    https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-hN...

    8 Replies
    1. re: meadandale
      d
      dixiegal RE: meadandale Nov 29, 2011 05:19 PM

      That mesquite board is really nice looking for sure. The Boardsmith boards look awsome for sure. Do you all have a wood preferece? If so, why? I first had my eye on a nice looking walnut one on ebay, but then got to thinking about my little grandson's extreme food allergies. One of them being nuts. And wondered if he is allergice to walnuts, might he be allergic to walnut wood as well. He is a hyper sensitive baby right now. Just touching his skin with foods that he is allergic to causes welps and itching.
      So I am thinking maybe cherry or maple would be safer. I love the looks of the cherry, but am thinking the maple would be more economical and maple cutting boards have a lot of tried and true history behind them.
      After reading up on the end grain cut boards, I saw where the pieces should be offset from each other for stability. Sort of like bricks. Many of the ones I saw on Ebay had the seams running in a straight line. I guess to make the pretty designs like the checkerboard. Most fo the time I am not so particular about stuff, but when I am going to invest a lot of money...........I do get a bit particular. LOL
      Thanks for all the ideas on the sizes.

      1. re: dixiegal
        meadandale RE: dixiegal Nov 30, 2011 11:18 AM

        I prefer the look of the dark boards. If I didn't have my mesquite board I'd buy a black walnut board.

        I have no clue if nut allergies can be triggered by the wood from the tree or if it just in the oil of the nuts. Seems worth looking into (or just avoiding nut woods).

        Don't know about the jigsaw pieces thing. That would definitely increase the cost of the board because there are more shapes to cut and it's a bit hard to put together (so it would seem to me). I think if the board is well made then having long seams shouldn't really be an issue.

      2. re: meadandale
        m
        Mother of four RE: meadandale Nov 30, 2011 09:22 AM

        This is the Boos board that I have, have had it for about eight years and have no problem with warping. I love it, but not a board that you want to move around...pretty heavy.
        http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

        1. re: Mother of four
          meadandale RE: Mother of four Nov 30, 2011 11:12 AM

          Interesting board but I could never use one like that. The lip in the back would drive me crazy. Not to mention that you are limited to having it right up against the front of your counter with that lip in front.

          1. re: meadandale
            m
            Mother of four RE: meadandale Dec 2, 2011 08:52 PM

            It's a great board, I don't understand what is wrong with the lip in the back? Yes I like it in the front of the counter, where else would you want it? It goes from the front to the back of the counter, gives me lots of work space and doesn't move.

            1. re: Mother of four
              Chemicalkinetics RE: Mother of four Dec 2, 2011 09:16 PM

              The lips looks more like a typical pastry board. I do understand why there is a lip in the back and in the front. Because it is a reversible board, so it better be symmetrical.

              1. re: Mother of four
                meadandale RE: Mother of four Dec 3, 2011 08:26 AM

                It's a personal thing. The design of the board would conflict with the way I work in the kitchen. If it works for you that's great ;-)

            2. re: Mother of four
              d
              dixiegal RE: Mother of four Nov 30, 2011 11:27 AM

              Wow I have not seen a board made like that in a while. It is made like those old boards that were used for rolling out dough. Thus the lip on the front to hook over the edge of the counter to keep it from sliding back as you roll the dough and the edge in the back to help keep the dough on the board as you roll it out.

          2. SanityRemoved RE: dixiegal Nov 29, 2011 08:53 AM

            I have a Boos 18" x 24" x 1 1/2" edge grain maple board that is reversible. Our counter tops are 24" deep so it's a nice fit next to the stove. I also have a Carlisle Sparta Spectrum HDPE board that is 15" x 20" that I use solely for poultry. If cost wasn't a factor I would have gone with an end grain but I don't have any complaints with the edge grain.

            The 15 x 20 board could fit over the sink but only by about an inch on each end which I'm not comfortable with although it sits flush on the granite counter top. To me if you are thinking about over the sink placement in the future I would want a size that can go back as far as you want it to but with no overhang of the counter top. For my sink use I would prefer a 24" board which would give it a good amount of stability and no front to rear movement with a rubberized drawer liner under the board. Your faucet type goes into consideration along with the sink and counter top dimensions.

            1 Reply
            1. re: SanityRemoved
              SanityRemoved RE: SanityRemoved Nov 30, 2011 06:01 AM

              I misread the sink part. For cleaning my wood board I do the 50/50 water vinegar mix, I keep it in a squeeze bottle and use paper towels and repeat till I'm happy with it. I use mineral oil whenever it needs it and flip and rotate it every couple of months. During the initial oiling process I flipped it more often.

              One thing that people tend to overlook is what the resultant cutting height will be when the board is on the counter top. Dependent on the counter top height and the height of the person you may want a thicker or thinner board to make it more comfortable.

            2. c
              cocktailhour RE: dixiegal Nov 29, 2011 01:27 PM

              I would get the biggest size that fits well in your workspace. I have a huge board that I love, that I got from a box store like BBandB. I can pile ingredients and still have plenty of room to work. I usually, but not always, cut raw meat on a separate board so I don't have to clean it to continue prep. there are studies that show that a well-washed wood board (soap and water) is as good as or better than plastic with regard to cross contaminations, so I wouldn't worry overmuch.

              15 Replies
              1. re: cocktailhour
                petek RE: cocktailhour Nov 29, 2011 01:39 PM

                I have a 16"x22" boardsmith maple endgrain with rubber feet so it doesn't sit flat on the counter.

                It's a big heavy board,but that's what I was looking for.I don't use it for raw proteins so clean up is easy with a little soap and water..

                https//.www.theboardsmith.com

                1. re: petek
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                  dixiegal RE: petek Nov 29, 2011 05:24 PM

                  Petek, do you know how much your board weighs? And do you find that the 16x22 is plenty big enough? Weight might be another determining factor for me. I am really thinking about the next size bigger the 18 x 24. But that might be a little more than I want to handle when it comes to washing it. Of course I could just carry it out on the deck, scrub it down and hose it off instead of trying to manuver it in the bathtub. LOL

                  1. re: dixiegal
                    petek RE: dixiegal Nov 30, 2011 03:46 PM

                    "Petek, do you know how much your board weighs?"

                    Sorry for the late reply dixiegal..I think the board weighed in at a whopping 20lbs(no problem for me cause I'm huge :D).I don't have to move it around much anyway.It's so purdy It stays on the counter next to the stove.

                    I think once you get into a board this size,regardless who makes it,there's going to be some serious weight to it

                    I don't worry about cross contamination because I have a dedicated poly board for raw proteins.

                    1. re: petek
                      d
                      dixiegal RE: petek Dec 1, 2011 03:50 AM

                      I think I can handle 20lbs. I am not very big, but I can manage I think. After all, my saddle weighs more than that and I lift it onto a 15.2 (thats a little over 5ft) hand horse without too much trouble.
                      As much as I would like the 18 x 24 board, the 16 x 22 would probably be fine. I don't know if 2 more inches to the width and length would make a noticeable difference. But the price difference is noticable. LOL I just hate to sink that kind of money in such a nice board and then always be wishing I had went with a different size.

                      1. re: dixiegal
                        m
                        mikie RE: dixiegal Dec 1, 2011 12:36 PM

                        The difference you are talking about is a little over half a square foot on a 3 square foot board (about 20% smaller). I know it doesn't sound like much but I made cutting boards for my daughters, the eldest's board is about two or three inches shroter than the youngest's and you would be amazed at the grief I got over the holiday about how one got a smaller board than the other. These boards are about 13 inches wide each but one is maybe 19 inches long and the other 22. I'm probably going to be in cutting board production again this winter just to replace the smaller board and make a new board for my wife. Anyway, I'm beginning to think that no board is too big as long as you can move it. ;) This is a different opinion than I had in the past. But I would still caution aginst getting one so big you can't easily handle it to move it for use or cleaning.

                        Regarding the stagered pattern, although I'm sure it's quite strong, and 50 or 60 years ago or longer might have been necessary, modern adhesives are typically stronger than the wood itself and I wouldn't consider this pattern to be a necessity, unless it's just something you like. When I started working with wood, glue joints were a weak point, but in the past 40 years the advancements in glue technology has come a long way and where you have edge or face joints, you can rarely get a break on just the glue line. End grian is obviously different, but where you have an end grain board, there is no glue on the end grain, so this is not an issue.

                        1. re: mikie
                          Chemicalkinetics RE: mikie Dec 1, 2011 12:47 PM

                          "I'm beginning to think that no board is too big as long as you can move it. ;)"

                          That is a problem too. There is not a very clear distinction between able to barely to move vs able to easily move. In addition, distance matters. I am washing and cleaning my chopping block in my kitchen sink every time, but I won't want to do that if I have to carry it back and forth to my bathtub. Can I physically do it? Sure, but I won't like it.

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                            m
                            mikie RE: Chemicalkinetics Dec 1, 2011 02:48 PM

                            As you may remember, we are remodeling our kitchen, the cabinets are in but no doors yet and no counter top. We are washing dishes in the bathroom sink when we can't use paper plates. I wanted to fill the Jacozzi tub, but the wife wouldn't have any of that. Seems to me that would work like a dish washer. Anyway, I sympathize with not wanting to wash the cutting board in the bath tub.

                            1. re: mikie
                              Chemicalkinetics RE: mikie Dec 1, 2011 02:58 PM

                              "I wanted to fill the Jacozzi tub, but the wife wouldn't have any of that"

                              This is such a great idea.... it is too bad that she did not agree. That would be such an awesome story to talk about in parties or on CHOWHOUND. It does not matter if it works or not, it would be a great story nonetheless. What a missed opportunity.

                              P.S.: I can already tell you would be a great person to hang out in a party. :D

                            2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                              meadandale RE: Chemicalkinetics Dec 2, 2011 08:12 AM

                              As to all the comments in this thread about being able to move the cutting board to the sink and wash...I rarely if ever do this. I just wipe the board down with a damp dishrag and then dry with a kitchen towel. I don't see the need to move the whole board over to or into the sink.

                              Of course, my board does sit right next to my sink so I can usually sweep most of the crud on the board straight off into the sink without even moving it but you could do the same thing into a bowl or trashcan if the board isn't next to the sink.

                              1. re: meadandale
                                Chemicalkinetics RE: meadandale Dec 2, 2011 02:40 PM

                                A good point. If you are comfortable by wiping the cutting board, then it matters less. However, if you prefer to wash it in the sink, then I think it is nice to have a board which fits in the sink, rather than carrying it to a bath tube every meal and every day. That seems to be a lot of works.

                            3. re: mikie
                              BoardSMITH RE: mikie Dec 3, 2011 03:41 AM

                              There is a reason for the "staggered" pattern. The running bond pattern is stronger than a checkerboard pattern, just ask any brick mason or structural engineer. Todays glues are a wonder, much better than even the glues of just 10 years ago, but taking the extra time to produce the running bond pattern makes sense, called craftsmanship. As a hobbyist you may not understand the need for applying extra time and effort to produce a quality piece of work.

                            4. re: dixiegal
                              petek RE: dixiegal Dec 1, 2011 04:06 PM

                              "As much as I would like the 18 x 24 board, the 16 x 22 would probably be fine"

                              The 16'x22" is plenty big for me.I also thought about getting the next size up,but my kitchen is a little tight so I know I made the right decision.
                              I can't say enough about my BoardSMITH "Carolina Slab".Solid,good looking and I love the addition of the rubber feet,something you don't see on many boards these days..

                              1. re: petek
                                d
                                dixiegal RE: petek Dec 2, 2011 04:21 AM

                                16 x 22 seems fine for most people, so should be fine for me. It won't even get daily use, I work all week, so usually cook on weekends and eat left overs.

                                I had my mind made up for a reversable one, but seems so many prefer feet and Boardsmith recomends the feet for air circulation and to keep it from sliding.
                                I just like the reversible option. My current board is reversable with one side haveing the juice channel for meats and the other plain for veggies. I use this option quite a bit. Of course it is a thin light weight board (that I wash in the bathtub), not a 20 some odd pound chunck of wood. This new board would not stay on my counter, but on my kitchen table (which we seldom use for eating, it is more of a work table), so not likely to come in contact with liquids unless I know about it. But it would be easy enough to slide some cork coasters under the corners to lift it up if neceassary. As for slidding while in use, I could just set it on something non slip. The feet would be nice for grabbing it and lifting it up, but I don't like the fact that I would not be able to easily slide it around if need be. I don't want to have to pick it up 20lbs to move it over. In fact I set my blender on a wood trivet so I can slide it on my counter.
                                I would likely just clean the block where it sets, unless I use it for meat. Which I may. After all, isn't that what a chopping block is for? And putting a mat over it to cut meat, seems to me just wrong. If I am going to use a plastic mat (or some other type of carving mat) for carving or cutting up meat, Then I don't need the wonderful wood block. I have used my wood bowls and boards and wood utinsels interchangebly with meat and veggies for years. I just keep them washed and I don't use them interchangeably during the same meal. They are washed and dried between use. Thus, I would like the reversable board, or I would need to use my old board for either the meats or veggies during the same meal.
                                Of course flipping a 20+ pound board over might be awkward enough that I won't do it much and then prefer just using two different boards. Then I would probably be wishing I had the feet on it. I just won't know until I start doing it.
                                So, I am still trying to decide............................

                                1. re: dixiegal
                                  SanityRemoved RE: dixiegal Dec 2, 2011 06:07 AM

                                  This is what I use under my 18" x 24" reversible board:
                                  http://www.duckbrand.com/Products/she...

                                  It allows some air flow, the board doesn't move and the liner is washable.

                                  I prefer to clean my board in place, much less effort all around than cleaning in the sink. I do use my wood board for meat but not for poultry.

                                  1. re: dixiegal
                                    m
                                    mikie RE: dixiegal Dec 2, 2011 01:57 PM

                                    It's far easier to add feet to a board than to remove them, should you change your mind. I put 1/2" wide by about 1/2" deep by 4-6 inch long slots in the ends of my boards for a finger hold for lifting. Makes it really easy. My kids and wife and I all store the boards on edge near a wall or cabenet, so feet are not necessary for air movement.

                      2. m
                        mikie RE: dixiegal Nov 29, 2011 07:50 PM

                        You want as big a board as you can get, but you also have to take into account the weight. In some cases you can get a bigger board by going a bit thinner. An 18 x 24 board that's 2 or 2.5 inches thick wil be quite heavy. Going to an inch and a half instead of two inches reduces the weight by 25%. Going to 16 x 22 or even 14 x 20 would save quite a bit in weight. Maple runs about 45 lbs per cubic foot, so an 18 x 24 x 2 inch board would weight about 23 lbs. As far as wood is concerned, maple is almost always a good safe choice. I like mixed woods and you can mix maple with either cherry or walnut. Some people have alergic reactions to many woods, maple and cherry are about as safe as you may get.

                        1. Chemicalkinetics RE: dixiegal Nov 29, 2011 08:42 PM

                          I agree with several other posters here. You want it big enough for you, but not too big to handle. It would be nice to have it fit in the sink, at least partially so it will be easy to wash. Yes, I understand that you can wash one in the bathtub, but that is a hassle. It may be fine for the first few times, but after awhile it will seem more and more like a bother to carry a 20+ lb of cutting board to your bathtub, and you will use it less and less. What's good with a large cutting board if you don't use it, right?

                          I certainly selectively use my cookware based on the "labor-overhead". When I have a lot of things to mix, then I use an electric mixer. However, I use a hand whisk for an egg or two due to the labor to set up the electric mixer and to wash it afterward.

                          This is something you have to consider. Make sure you don't buy something which would end up a lot of work to maintain in the long run. Otherwise, you will be unhappy with the purchase or you will simply stop using it.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                            rosetown RE: Chemicalkinetics Nov 29, 2011 08:54 PM

                            I'm with Chem on this. The right tool for the job.

                            The extra inch or two won't matter much because yours is already a large board. Make sure whatever you choose can be cleaned on site.

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                              d
                              dixiegal RE: Chemicalkinetics Nov 30, 2011 03:53 AM

                              labor-overhead, that would be me too. I often mash my potatoes with potato masher because I don't want to drag out the mixer. My eggs get whisked with a fork, because it is easier to wash than a wisk, etc. So I am with you there.
                              As far as my sink, The board would have to be about 15 inches to get the end down in it. 16 inches might just fit in the top edge. Enough to rinse it off, I guess. And yes, washing my big pots in the bath tub is awkward, but doable. Of course they don't weigh 20 or more pounds either. Not even my cast iron ones.

                              I do wonder though. How in the world do they clean those huge butcher blocks. You know those with the legs and about a foot or more deep, weighing several hundered pounds?

                              1. re: dixiegal
                                BoardSMITH RE: dixiegal Nov 30, 2011 04:06 AM

                                "I do wonder though. How in the world do they clean those huge butcher blocks. You know those with the legs and about a foot or more deep, weighing several hundered pounds?"

                                They didn't wash them. At the end of the day they brushed the cutting surface with a stiff wire brush and coated overnight with a layer of salt. The salt sanitized the surface and soaked up any residual moisture. The big blocks show wear from use which is mostly from the wire brushes.

                                1. re: dixiegal
                                  Chemicalkinetics RE: dixiegal Nov 30, 2011 06:59 AM

                                  I agree with BoardSmith. Butchers do not actually wash their butcher blocks. They just wire brush it, and apply sanitzing methods. It could be salt. That being said, most home cooks probably do not like the idea of these methods. I also think "juice channel" has more cons than pros.

                              2. BoardSMITH RE: dixiegal Nov 30, 2011 03:00 AM

                                What size board to purchase? An 18 x 24 certainly has enough room to work on and store cut items before cooking or combining. A 16 x 22 is a little smaller but still offers almost the same working room. A 14 x 20 is a good size and for most empty nesters, this is the size they seem to prefer. They still get adequate room to work and not have a board that is unweildy and hard to move.

                                Thickness is another choice. Most want the standard 2" but I have made several for seniors with arthritis who wanted lighter boards so I made them thinner, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4" thick. That will save some weight yet maintain the stability.

                                Perimeter grooves are, IMHO, not worth the effort. They can be hard to clean, take up available working space and make it hard to move cut food from the board to a cooking pan.

                                Cross contamination can be a problem. Simply cut the items to be eaten raw first, veggies to be cooked second and raw meats last. Washing is essential. A little warm water with a good dishwashing detergent followed by a good rinse and a drying and you should be okay for the next use. Some apply a 1:1 mixture of vinegar and water to the cutting surface or coat the surface with salt overnight. A good coating on mineral oil periodically helps with water repellancy.

                                Rubber tipped feet not only aid air circulation the keep the underside dry and help to prevent warps, they also keep the board from moving around during use, absorb impacts when chopping and offer a cinvenient hand hold when moving.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: BoardSMITH
                                  d
                                  dixiegal RE: BoardSMITH Nov 30, 2011 04:05 AM

                                  I guess I was thinking about the larger surface for rolling out dough and things like that. Though I seldom cook that anymore since I have gone wheat/gluten free. Well mostly free. I do eat wheat occasionally, but it does give me some inflamation and allergy problems when I do.

                                  I do want a 2" board for sure and I guess I am rethinking the reversable vs. feet thing. I just liked the idea of reversible. I like a lot of options, I guess.

                                  So do many of you all prefer the feet on their boards?

                                  Boardsmith, I love your boards. I had not intitally planned on one quite that expensive, but after seeing your boards and reading your website, I am thinking maybe it would be worth the extra expense. I especially like that you stagger your joints. A lot of boards are not staggerd. I am sure the offset joints would be much more stable. After all, block/brick walls are offset, as well as deck flooring and hardwood floors.

                                  Would the cherry boards be lighter in weight than the maple ones? I think I saw where cherry was a softer wood, but I guess not too soft for a cutting board.

                                  1. re: dixiegal
                                    BoardSMITH RE: dixiegal Nov 30, 2011 04:58 PM

                                    The staggered pattern is called a running bond and it is the same pattern used by brick masons when laying brick. Each block is supported by siz of its neighbors making the pattern very strong.

                                    1. re: BoardSMITH
                                      s
                                      shezmu RE: BoardSMITH Mar 20, 2012 12:48 PM

                                      I don't mean to question your credentials or anything, but how is this relevant to cutting boards? Does the force (i.e. cutting) hitting the structure at the side change things? Just curious.

                                2. tanuki soup RE: dixiegal Nov 30, 2011 05:16 AM

                                  > "Some recommend getting one that would fit in the sink, but getting one that would fit in my sink is out, because my sink is too small."

                                  One solution might be to get two smaller cutting boards. Put them side by side when you want more working space. Separate them for smaller jobs (and for washing in the sink).

                                  > "I am a little spooked about the cross contamination of meats and veggies."

                                  I use my wood cutting boards (John Boos and J.K. Adams) only for vegetables. For meat, chicken, and fish, I prefer using professional-quality rubber cutting boards (like Sani-Tuff).

                                  > "Also, would a juice channel around the edge make it harder to clean?"

                                  One of my boards (a Boos Signature end-grain cherry) has a channel all around and big metal/rubber disk feet. I don't really care for the channel. It can be a pain when you're trying to transfer the freshly chopped pieces from board to pot (they fall into the channel and you have to dig them out). Also, you can't quickly push waste bits off the edge of the board with a scraper between chopping jobs. Finally, the channel reduces the effective working space. IME, both the channel and the clunky feet make the Boos board harder to wash, dry, and treat. I definitely prefer the simpler design of my J.K. Adams board (also end grain cherry) - reversible, no channel, no feet.

                                  > "I also like the idea of a reversible one. If moisture underneath gets to be a concern, I can always get something to set under the corners to lift it up a little for air circulation."

                                  The Boos gets the nod here because of the feet. OTOH, the Adams is thick enough that you can store it on its edge without worrying that it's going to fall over.

                                  1. g
                                    grant.cook RE: dixiegal Nov 30, 2011 06:45 AM

                                    I have two main boards - one is a wooden one that's not the greatest, but works. But for meats, I have a large polyethylene(?) one I picked up from a restaurant supply store. I just don't want to be working with chicken on a board that's going to see veggies soon, even if I give it a good wash between uses..

                                    1. g
                                      GH1618 RE: dixiegal Nov 30, 2011 08:57 AM

                                      I admit to liking the white polyethelene cutting boards — they go in the dishwasher. Still, I use separate boards for meat and vegetables.

                                      The best size is the largest that will fit conveniently where you use it and where you store it. I store the largest one on edge under the sink. It doesn't take much room that way.

                                      1. d
                                        drumacc RE: dixiegal Dec 2, 2011 10:37 AM

                                        This site has some nice boards - we bought the pig board set and they are both a really nice size for the kitchen. We can take a whole chicken down on the large one. It has nice juice grooves for that sort of thing. Cherry is what we have -

                                        http:;//www.makocuttingboards.com

                                        1. k
                                          kayandallie RE: dixiegal Dec 17, 2011 04:02 PM

                                          I just got a 14x24x3 end grain board. It is gorgeous but very heavy. It is on my counter and has no plans to go anywhere... I cut a tomato on it today for its inauguration and I totally loved that. It remains to be seen how it will work with the summer vegetable onslaught. In a week I will cut up a chuck roast on it. I totally don't freak out about germ type stuff, so will clean it with a sponge and proceed to cut my usual stuff in days after that, assuming that I will live.
                                          I got this size thinking that I could still use my food processor on the counter behind it. It is so thick, though, that it will probably not work well like that. I have no regrets about the thickness as I am tall and can already tell that I love the height of it. If I did anything, I'd make it even bigger! But, so far, I totally love the size and the whole thing. It is a work of art.

                                          1. r
                                            roux42 RE: dixiegal Dec 18, 2011 03:09 PM

                                            Hello!
                                            I bought my end grain 12x16x2 cutting board on etsy.com. It is grooved one side and flat on the other. The craftsman made it to my specifications and I picked my wood (maple). The board cost $125.00 and I got it about 3 weeks after I ordered it. When I use it for raw meat I wash with very hot water and a sponge dampened with bleach, rinse it very well and dry it. Every so often I rub beeswax into it and it is quite lovely, a bit heavy, but lovely. Most of the craftsman will make boards to your specs. Good luck!

                                            1. s
                                              sueatmo RE: dixiegal Dec 18, 2011 03:35 PM

                                              I have three boards. One is the shape of a skillet. I've had it the longest, and I use it for raw meat. The others are cheap bamboo boards, which i consider throwaways after a few years. I stand my bamboo boards up on either side of an appliance garage so they won't take up counter space. I wash with detergent from time to time to protect against contamination.

                                              I don't think there is a 'best' size. You have to decide what will work for you the best.

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