John Boos Newton Prep Master Maple Wood Reversible Cutting Board with Juice Groove and Pan, 24 inche

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John Boos Newton Prep Master III Cutting Board with Juice Groove and Pan 24 by 18 by 2 inches Add a handsome yet highly functional tool to your kitchen arsenal with this wooden cutting board from John Boos. Made in the US of hard rock maple wood with edge grain construction, the reversible Newton Prep Master III cutting board measures 24 by 18 by 2 inches (LxWxH) and offers smooth work surfaces thanks to its Boos Cream finish with beeswax. One side of the board offers a flat surface for chopping, and the other side provides a slanted juice groove to catch drips and excess liquid. A stainless steel juice tray that can be used with either side of the board to catch spills and collect food. John Boos & Company circa 1900. The History of John Boos & Co In business since 1887, John Boos & Co. is the oldest industry in South Central Illinois. Founder, Conrad Boos Sr. named the business after his son, John and for years, worked out of a blacksmith shop in Effingham. The blacksmith used a Sycamore tree placed on three legs to straighten horseshoes. The wooden block absorbed the shock of the hammer. In 1890, a local butcher realized the block could be used for cutting meat, and had one made. The word spread to surrounding small towns and cities and by 1911, John Boos was shipping from coast to coast. In 1956, John Boos began to sell some of their products for home use. Today, John Boos cutting boards are found in hotels and restaurant kitchens, culinary schools, and on televised cooking shows. The old craftsmen work ethic is still around at John Boos, with a few changes.Premium Hard Rock Maple lumber from the surrounding Mid-West and Northern States is used in place of Sycamore lumber. And John Boos automation has replaced much of the older equipment with the exception of the 1942 block press which is very much in use today. John Boos & Co. utilizes 100% of their raw material to benefit the manufacturing processes. The smallest lumber scraps are transformed into sawdust and used to generate electricity and create steam to fuel the boilers. The Early Years In 1892 the Boos family sold interest in the company to the Gravenhorst family. In 1895 the building burned and was rebuilt. In 1899 they moved to the present site of 315 South First Street for more space. In 1920, they added extra buildings and kilns.. By the 1940s, butcher blocks were found in every restaurant, food store and butcher shop in America. Last Half of the Century Following WWII, the company added a dry kiln, increased its office space, and added manufacturing space. The shipping docks were enlarged while warehousing space and new products were added. The company continued expanding through the 60s and '70s with the growth of its metal table market with synthetic tops, stainless-steel tops, or maple tops. Even though the government was tough on wood products through the 1970s and '80s, the company continued to grow with its new line of BDL store fixtures, park benches, and other butcher block furniture. Current Products & Markets The wood and metal products are listed with the National Sanitation Foundation, the leader in sanitation agencies for approving equipment to be installed in foodservice and supermarket operations. The products must have approval of various sanitation agencies in order to be accepted by the industry. John Boos & Co. Cucina butcher blocks and cutting boards are used by celebrity chefs throughout the USA, including Charlie Trotter, Ming Tsai, Paul Kahan, Susan Spicer, Mary Sue Milliken, and Susan Feninger. In addition, chef’s featured on "The Food Network", such as Mario Batali and Emeril Lagasse, prepare meals every day on John Boos cutting boards. In 1994, we were we were 1 of 22 companies awarded the Gold Medal for Excellence in Foodservice Equipment by the Chefs of America at a ceremony conducted at Carnegie Hall in NYC. John Boos & Company Today The company currently occupies approximately 150,000 square feet in Effingham, IL and approximately 65,000 square feet in Philipsburg, PA and Suring, WI. The company’s four dry kilns dry up to 210,000 board feet of lumber on a continual basis. Most of the hardwoods used for manufacturing are shipped from the Great Lakes, while the stainless steel comes from warehouses and distribution centers in Chicago, Indianapolis, and St. Louis. Care and Maintenance Keeping Your Board Sanitized Wash your John Boos cutting board with hot soapy water after each use and dry it with a clean towel or let it air dry. For further sanitation, the board can be rinsed with a vinegar or chlorine bleach solution. (1 teaspoon bleach to one quart of water/5-to-1 ratio of vinegar to water) Do not soak the board in water--this will damage the wood. Wood cutting boards are NOT dishwasher-safe. Maintaining Your Board Oil your cutting board on all surfaces every 3-4 weeks. The Boos block cream finish with beeswax (included with the board) will protect and prolong the board’s life. We recommend using John Boos Mystery Oil and/or Boos Block Cream with Beeswax. Research: Plastic vs. Wooden Cutting Boards Led by Dean O. Cliver, Ph.D, a research team compared plastic and wooden cutting boards to find out how to best disinfect wooden cutting boards from bacteria. They found that disease bacteria were not recoverable from both new and older knife-scarred wooden surfaces in a short time after they were applied, unless very large numbers were used. They found that while new plastic surfaces allowed the bacteria to persist, they were easily cleaned and disinfected. However, they found that older, knife-scarred plastic surfaces were impossible to clean and disinfect manually, especially when food residues such as chicken fat were present. Further, they found that if a sharp knife is used to cut into the work surfaces after used plastic or wood has been contaminated with bacteria and cleaned manually, more bacteria are recovered from the plastic surface than from the wood surface. The research team has no commercial relationships to John Boos or any other company making cutting boards. They believe, on the basis of their published and to-be-published research that food can be prepared safely on wooden cutting surfaces and that plastic cutting surfaces present some disadvantages. In conclusion, they believe their research shows evidence that wooden cutting boards are not a hazard to human health, but plastic cutting boards may be.


John Boos
John Boos
John Boos
John Boos
John Boos Newton Prep Master Maple Wood Reversible Cutting Board with Juice Groove and Pan, 24 inches x 18 Inches x 2.25 Inches
Cutting board measures 24 by 18-inch and is 2-inch thick
Reversible deep, slanted juice groove on one side, flat surface on reverse
Stainless steel juice tray that can be used with both side of the board
Made in the usa of hard rock maple
Edge grain construction with boos cream finish with beeswax
John Boos
24 inches x 18 Inches x 2.25 Inches
24 inches x 18 Inches x 2.25 Inches
Item Height
2 inches
Item Length
24 inches
Item Weight
Item Width
18 inches
Package Height
3.4 inches
Package Length
24.6 inches
Package Weight
26.45 pounds
Package Width
18.6 inches
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Pros: Heavy durable board; well-formed carving groove; maple construction; US-made
Cons: Side-grain; expensive; gimmicky prep insert
Almost 2 years ago now, ChefTalk had a random-draw giveaway for one of these cutting boards. What you had to do was to write a review of a cutting board you use. I wrote one, and it was randomly selected, so I won this cutting board. I was away last year in Japan, but I am now ready to review it.
If you pay any attention to things like cutting boards, and are based in the USA, you probably already know something about John Boos & Co. They've been in business for 130 years, and their core model is to use American hardwoods and craftsmanship to make cutting boards. These days they make a lot more than that, from kitchen counters to commercial stainless steel equipment. But it's still the cutting boards that make the difference.

These things can be VERY expensive. I didn't pay for this one, as I've said, but looking on line a little I find that I could buy one today for $228 + tax, or I could pay $200 more to buy it through Amazon, or I could buy it from some boutique-y super-special kitchenware place and pay about $500. But let's call it $230 for simplicity's sake.

Well, I don't know about you, but to me, $230 for a cutting board is kind of a lot. Granted, it's 2-1/4" thick solid rock maple, but really?

Well, let's start with a comparison:
[h3]A Simple Comparison[/h3]
By way of comparison, a board the same size from Boardsmith, also maple, also extremely highly rated by users:
[table][tr][td]  [/td][td]Boardsmith[/td][td]Boos[/td][/tr][tr][td]Price[/td][td]$300 (including shipping)[/td][td]$227 - $500[/td][/tr][tr][td]Reversible[/td][td]no (has rubber nonslip feet)[/td][td]yes (sort of)[/td][/tr][tr][td]End-grain[/td][td]yes[/td][td]no[/td][/tr][tr][td]Juice groove[/td][td]extra $30[/td][td]yes[/td][/tr][tr][td]Catcher pan[/td][td]no[/td][td]yes (feature of Newton Prep Master)[/td][/tr][/table]
Now what does this really tell you?

In essence, it tells you that large high-end cutting boards are very expensive, and have a bunch of options.

With the Boos board I have, it's the options that hurt.
[h3]The Options[/h3]
End-grain: End-grain wood is like a butcher block. It's a great surface for your knife edges, and it's extremely resistant to scratches and damage. Side-grain is not as good on either count, but it's not bad at all -- at least, not with a wood like rock maple. With some woods, side-grain is disastrous.

Juice Groove: You find these especially on boards intended for carving roasts and such. The advantage is clear: the juice doesn't go running off the edge and onto your counter. The disadvantage is that the groove eats up board real estate.

Reversible: This is pretty much self-explanatory. Either you can use either side equally or you can't.

Catcher Pan: I've never seen one except on this board. Basically what it means is, there's a slot (which conveniently doubles as a handle) in the board, and under it a gap into which you can put this little stainless-steel rectangular pan thing. The idea seems to be that when you cut stuff, you sweep the cut pieces into the hole and they sit in the little tray, ready to be used.

Cleanup: I notice that cleanup is one of the things I'm supposed to rate on this board. I gave it a pretty high rating, and that may surprise people: it weighs about 18 tons, and because it's wood it's intrinsically kind of unsanitary, right? Wrong. First of all, the wood is a far  cleaner surface than any plastic or whatever. Second, the way to clean a wood board properly isn't to shove it under a sink but to use a proper disinfectant spray (very dilute bleach, kept in a dedicated spray bottle out of reach of children and pets). And Boos provides a special mystery treatment oil for periodic maintenance, too. So, yes, it's mildly awkward to clean because it's big, and because when it's damp you have to tip it on its side to dry nicely, but otherwise, it's as easy to clean and maintain as any serious wooden cutting board.
[h3]The Catcher Pan[/h3]
Um, no. Just no.

I've tried using it three ways:
  1. As a "prep board" thing, where I sweep the little bits of minced onion or whatever into it. It's sort of handy, I guess, but it doesn't really work very well. If you put the tray on your side of the board, by your belly-button, you have to lean rather farther forward over the board, and I find that irritating to my back. If you turn it around the other way, then when you want to get the minced bits you have to reach way the heck to the back of the counter to slide the little tray out. Either way, the bits don't fall smoothly. It really only works if you're cutting a small amount of stuff -- in which case, why do you need this in the first place?
  2. In reverse of the prep board thing, you can put your unwanted trimmings in it, to save for future stock-making. In that case I find it best to have the tray on the far side. The problem, of course, is that some of the stuff you do want inevitably skitters to the back of the board and down the chute. A minor irritant, to be sure, but what's the point of a convenience feature that is just annoying?
  3. When carving, as a way of catching the juices and getting them all into one convenient place. That makes good sense, actually, but it doesn't really work very well. For one thing, the juices don't run evenly. More to the point (since you can easily encourage them to run), a fair amount doesn't go through into the pan, and instead just sticks to the underside of the tray's slot.
If the board were just a big slab without the hole, with groove on one side and totally flat on the other, I'd be much happier. I don't know what possessed the Boos people to develop this weird innovation, but it wasn't a success.

There's a further difficulty. Remember how Boos says it's reversible? Okay, but if you reverse it, it's got this huge divot cut out of it because of where the tray was supposed to be! You can sort of use it that way, but as you'd expect, what with Murphy's Law and all, every time something you really want goes rolling away from you, yup -- down into the hole it goes. Rrrrrgh! 
If I were actually going to stump up something on the order of $275 for a big cutting board, my ideal would be end-grain, reversible, with juice groove. That's also in order of priority.

My conclusion, as I'm sure you've figured out, is that I'd rather have the Boardsmith board.

All of which is not  to say I'm sorry I won the draw and got this board free. It's great, in many respects. Just, if I were going to actually pay  for it... I'd choose otherwise.
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