Choosing cutting board size

Joined Nov 13, 2009
So I'm going to buy a couple of end grain boards from BoardSmith, Michigan Maple Block or both.  The idea being to have one large one for most stuff and a smaller for quick stuff (and quick to clean).  I'm looking at the big monster on the BoardSmith that is 18"x24" (I realize this is not really a "monster" for a lot of you chefs, but you know what I mean.  It's as big as anything I will ever need in my home kitchen) and think, "Wow, that will not fit in my sink."

So I'm just looking for thoughts and suggestions on choosing the board size for your kitchen.  I was even thinking of getting two 15"x15" from MMB.  I would have lots of cutting room, be able to have one for chicken and one for veggies and still clean them in the sink.  Then again, always stuck with a 15" board when there's a lot of veggies to cut might get old.

What say you?  What is your vote for most practical sized board for a home kitchen where the sink allows no more than 15" width?  How much does it matter if you can fit it in your sink or not?

Thanks for any help. I've been on a real spending spree lately and so far have not regretted any of it.  Cry once.  It's a saying I have come to appreciate.
Joined Feb 13, 2008
Sink?  All that matters in terms of the sink is that you can stand it up.  You're not going to soak the board in the sink.  Just get it wet, soap it, brush it with a soft brush, and rinse it with the pressure hose.  Just to remember to dry your board standing on edge; not to put it flat until it's completey dry; and to make sure the counter on the board is clean and dry as well. 

You shouldn't have to sink your board more than once a week.  Just wipe it down when you're using with a damp cloth.  Use a little water and a Scotch Brite if stuff gets stuck.  Use homemade or commercial board sterilizer as necessary.  Let it sit, and wipe it down.

Keep your board oiled.  Once the board is oiled, you'll need to renew it every few months.  You can go longer if you melt some beeswax -- that's beeswax, not anything else by the way -- into some mineral oil.  About 6 to 8 parts ordinary mineral oil from the drug store to each part melted beeswax from the internet.  .

How big?  As big a board as your counter will allow and still leave you room for your mise monkey bowls.  24" is more than enough for anything.  15" is a little cramped, but definitely usable.   

Footed board?  I like boards without feet so I can use either side.   Boards that get used on both sides seem to resist warping better.  Even if you only use one side of the board, keep the bottom clean and oiled.  Also keep the counter under the board clean and dry.

Board slipping on the counter?  If you have a sliding problem, cut pieces of non-slip drawer liner and lay them under the board. Really all you need is a little bit at each corner and a piece under the center to prevent the board from warping. 

How many?  Two is not a lot, not by any means. 

Don't forget to clean and dry the counter under the board regularly. I don't know whether you're laughing or feeling nagged -- but a wet and/or dirty counter can really screw up a board.  And it's not something you can see, because... wait for it... it's under the board.

Sound obvious, but find and maintain a space with good air circulation where you can keep your board standing on edge while it dries.  You don't the sides to dry at different rates, because that may cause the board to warp.  We dry our damp boards in the same place we have the griddle/grill leaning against the wall.  The griddle makes a nice set-off for the board.


Joined Nov 13, 2009
Yes, standing up in the sink is what I meant.  IOW, the biggest board from the BoardSmith that I could get in my sink would be their 16"x22".  That would be standing up on end kitty-corner, able to be rinsed down.  What I was wondering (which I didn't communicate well) is if it's a big deal to get a board big enough that you can't fit it into your sink at all.  I assume by your answer that one wouldn't want to do that.

When you say 24" is enough for anything, do you mean the length of the board, or are you assuming a 24" square?  If you mean length, I guess the 16"x22" would be the optimum size for my kitchen.  Then again, having two 15"x15" boards together if you needed the room?  Looks good on paper, but that seam/crack down the middle might turn into a pain.  I don't have the experience to know.

Thanks for your suggestions and comments.
Joined Jul 28, 2006
I want a board that won't fit into the dishwasher!  I saw a Bose [sp?] endcut that I'd love to have,  but it's just not large enough.  HubbyDearest is death on wooden cutting boards.  I cannot tell you how many he's ruined the same way...each time he says "I didn't know"... huh?  Prolly I'm better off not getting one at all...oh, the sacrifices I make to keep peace.  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lookaround.gif
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