Cutting Boards: End-Grain vs. Edge-Grain

2,834
232
Joined Nov 15, 2012
Ahaha, obviously google doesn't know of the ones where Dave of BoardSmith would chime in. He was a character, and possibly the best cutting board maker in the world. I'm sure a lot of folks hated to see him retire from it.
 
5,358
824
Joined Oct 10, 2005
Yes, the nylon boards are the easiest to clean and sanitize.

As a cook all my life and a hobby woodworker all my life, I still use nylon boards in my home kitchen and at work.

Water is the worst enemy of any and all wood cutting boards, and it is primarily with water we sanitize the cutting boards. Heat and water (ie a dishwasher) will most certainly warp or split a wood board within a few cycles. It’s true that a wood board dedicated for bread slicing doesn’t really need to be sanitized very often. A wood board reserved for vegetables or fruit only doesn’t need the rigorous cleaning and sanitizing that a board that was used for raw meat cutting does.

Wood is a natural product that is comprised of fibres held together with lignin. All wood will swell with humidity changes—regardless if it was kiln dried or not, and regardless of age. With multiple cycles of swelling and shrinking the wood will fatigue either at the glue joint, or just beside the glue joint. Mechanical joints where two pieces of wood are joined ie: dovetail joints, tongue and groove joints, finger joints, box joints, etc.. will eventually open up with humidity changes and small gaps will appear.

It is these small gaps, and cutting scars that make any board— nylon or wood dangerous, as bacteria and food debris can lodge in these gaps and scars, and this is the primary focus of the health inspector when they inspect cutting boards.

Both nylon and wood boards can have the cutting scars removed with a thickness planer or a hand plane. Sushi chefs have taken advantage of nylon properties by using a clothes iron over scarred nylon boards to make them smooth again.

I love wood, I love working with wood, I hate investing time and money in a nice wood board only to have it scarred up.
 
3
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Joined Apr 10, 2020
You must try plastic cutting board for your kitchen, this is the best. Easy to clean and wash.
I believe the plastic boards wreck the knives. I have a solid teak cutting board from Thailand. Couldn't live without it. Weighs a ton but solid. No gluing. I scrub it down both sides with detergent and a scrubbing brush after each use. 7 years old and not a mark.
 
3
0
Joined Apr 10, 2020
Yes, the nylon boards are the easiest to clean and sanitize.

As a cook all my life and a hobby woodworker all my life, I still use nylon boards in my home kitchen and at work.

Water is the worst enemy of any and all wood cutting boards, and it is primarily with water we sanitize the cutting boards. Heat and water (ie a dishwasher) will most certainly warp or split a wood board within a few cycles. It’s true that a wood board dedicated for bread slicing doesn’t really need to be sanitized very often. A wood board reserved for vegetables or fruit only doesn’t need the rigorous cleaning and sanitizing that a board that was used for raw meat cutting does.

Wood is a natural product that is comprised of fibres held together with lignin. All wood will swell with humidity changes—regardless if it was kiln dried or not, and regardless of age. With multiple cycles of swelling and shrinking the wood will fatigue either at the glue joint, or just beside the glue joint. Mechanical joints where two pieces of wood are joined ie: dovetail joints, tongue and groove joints, finger joints, box joints, etc.. will eventually open up with humidity changes and small gaps will appear.

It is these small gaps, and cutting scars that make any board— nylon or wood dangerous, as bacteria and food debris can lodge in these gaps and scars, and this is the primary focus of the health inspector when they inspect cutting boards.

Both nylon and wood boards can have the cutting scars removed with a thickness planer or a hand plane. Sushi chefs have taken advantage of nylon properties by using a clothes iron over scarred nylon boards to make them smooth again.

I love wood, I love working with wood, I hate investing time and money in a nice wood board only to have it scarred up.
I have a solid 2-3 inch solid teak cutting board from Thailand. No gluing anywhere. Cut straight from a teak log. Brilliant.
 
3
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Joined Apr 10, 2020
I prefer an end grain cutting boards for the durability. I have a custom made laurel oak end grain board which is my favorite. It’s very dense andheavy which allows it to hold up to any abuse.

You also need to make sure you properly maintain the cutting board to ensure you get many years of use. Avoid heavy detergents that will dry out the wood which can lead to cracking.
I apply coconut oil and let it soak in.
 
5,358
824
Joined Oct 10, 2005
Teak is a great wood for water resistance, asians have been building ships with this wood for centuries.

Unfortunately it’s a poor choice for cutting boards because of the many bits of silica—sand, it contains within the fibres. It’s also because of this reason that many woodworkers refuse to work with it because it literally ruins the edges of their powers and hand cutting tools
 

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