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Jan 9, 2013 09:00 AM

Is there any way to keep plastic cutting boards from warping?

I've owned 3 plastic cutting boards since I've started cooking and each one has started warping in less than a year. I know putting them in the dishwasher can cause this, but all of mine started warping before I ran them through the dishwasher for the first time. Plus aren't plastic cutting boards supposed to have the advantage over wooden cutting boards of being dishwasher safe? If I can't even do that without warping the board, then to me that completely eliminates one of the advantages of plastic.

I keep my plastic cutting boards in place on my countertop with an Architec gripper mat, but when so little of the board makes contact with the mat due to the board's warping, the board still moves on the countertop when I'm trying to cut.

My current plastic cutting board and the one before it were both 0.25" thick. The one before that was even thinner. I've never even seen a plastic cutting board thicker than 0.25". Do they even exist?

At this point I'm thinking about just buying a Boos board (or maybe a boardsmith). Surely they would be much less likely to warp if properly cared for?

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  1. It is possible that the boards you're getting are too thin. I have three plastic cutting boards that I've been using regularly for years, with thicknesses ranging from 3/8" to 7/16". I both hand-wash and put them in the dishwasher with impunity. They are not now and never have been warped.

    Perhaps plastic cutting boards are now made thinner; haven't been in the market for one lately. Try this test next time you're shopping: if you can bend the cutting board in the store, take a pass. I'd imagine that your 1/4" thick boards are easily bent by hand. The plastic boards I have are rigid.

    And there is a whole spectrum of boards in between 1/4" boards that warp and Boos boards! While Boos boards are great, (I do have a boos butcher block) I really prefer using the plastic boards for certain tasks, like cutting raw meat and seafood, and chopping garlic and onion. And it seems like just about every time I cook I'm using garlic and/or onion, so in order to avoid getting more than one board dirty if it can be avoided, I almost exclusively use the plastic boards.

    I also have a couple of Epicurean cutting boards, you might look into those. They are thin, however, about 3/8", but they are rigid and haven't warped. I treat them the same as the plastic boards. I don't dislike them, but for some reason I turn to the plastic boards before the Epicureans.

    1. I've never had them warp, but I also never put them in the dish washer.

      1. Really? Plastic boards usually do not warp like wood board do, and the fact that your plastic boards warp with one single usage is very strange.

        As for your Boos boards and Boardsmith boards question, I think (someone please correct me) that end grain cutting boards are less likely to warp.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          End grain boards are less likely to warp. That should be true no matter who makes them as long as it's standard hard wood. I can't suggest Boos though. Too many problems with them cracking, even the 3" end grain. Either Michigan Maple Block or Boardsmith would be my choice. If you use Boardsmith just make sure you talk to David and let him know what you want. He was supposed to update his site to have blemish free Maple but I'm not sure he's done that yet. His Walnut and Cherry boards are quite nice. The only plastic boards I've used are thicker commercial style boards. If you want to use plastic you could look at a restaurant supply for plastic boards that will not warp even in a commercial dish machine.

          1. re: TraderJoe

            "The only plastic boards I've used are thicker commercial style boards. If you want to use plastic you could look at a restaurant supply for plastic boards that will not warp even in a commercial dish machine."

            All the plastic boards we use at work have warped,even the large ones that don't fit in the machine that I wash by hand.
            It drives me friken crazy!!

            1. re: petek

              Yeah a warped board would drive me knuckin futs. Most of the poly board we had were .5 but IIR we had a few that were .75".

        2. I use the plastic boards from KitchenAid and they are about 1/2" thick, if not slightly thicker. They don't warp at all. I got them from Costco, and I run them through the dishwasher almost every day. 3 years old and still going strong.

          1. It all depends on what type of plastic is used, as some plastics absorb more water than others. When I had my machine and fab shop I worked with wineries making bottling equipment. UHMW was terrible for warping no matter the thickness. I have yet to see a commercial kitchen where the boards (up to 5/8" or so thick) were not warped.