Cutting boards

Discussion in 'Cooking Equipment Reviews' started by jflores, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. the boardsmith

    the boardsmith

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    Unrefined or mildly refined mineral oil is mainly used for hydraulic fluid and is usually dyed to make it different.  Mineral oil sold in stores and labeled as "USP" or "Laxative" is highly refined and designated food safe by the FDA and others.  The study you refer to is just another case of alarmist writing meant to scare people and further a particular point of view or raise money for their cause.   

    As a wise man once said, "Believe only half of what you read and nothing of what you hear".
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2010
  2. cairoboy

    cairoboy

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    David, no disrespect meant, but that sort of sweeping dismissal as alarmist paranoia isn't justifiable in my mind. I'm not sure the Livestrong organization is scaring donations out of us, per say.

    There apparently are known carcinogens in less processed mineral oil. I don't hink that's contested. So the question I have is how much of these problematic compounds exist in the more refined food grade oil.

    The fact that the FDA says it's OK today does not at all mean that the FDA will still approve in 20 years.This is probably the best advice in my opinion: ..."exercising caution when using products containing mineral oil until more conclusive research is available.

    Does anyone use coconut oil? Non-hydrogenated. I read where some treat their boards with this.  " Dorw''  dwsd
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2010
  3. cairoboy

    cairoboy

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    Sani-Tuff boards seem like the answer. Not much to look at, but perform the same as end grain wood from what most people say online. Much less expensive and can be thrown in the dishwasher. Sanded later if you like.
     
  4. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    No matter what people online say, chopping one rib of celery will convince you that Sani-Tuff is not wood's equal. Unsurprisingly the feel of the knife on the board is like metal on hard rubber.  In addition, Sani-Tuff scars and NEEDS frequent sanding.  Sani-Tuff is easier on your knives than plastic, but it's unpleasant.

    Really, you don't have to be afraid of wood boards.  Keeping them clean isn't difficult.  I never found it particularly onerous to wipe my wood board down in the middle of a volume task, nor did I ever find it a good idea to just soldier on chicken after chicken on plastic.  Also, you have to sanitize the one as often as the other. 

    I certainly can't guarantee that food grade mineral oil as a wood-preservative won't ever cause harm to anyone under any circumstances, but your fears seem to me to be overblown.  If baby laxatives were that bad my generation would have perished long ago, there are a worse things floating around.

    Trust me, I'm a lawyer.

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2010
  5. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Uhhh.. how much mineral oil would one have to consume in order to test fortvarious cancers?

    Carcinognic? Most smoked foods are:  bacon, ham, sausages, cheeses, heck I make a wicked smoked onion soup.

    No one's drinking the stuff by the quart, are they?

    If you absolutely have to, use olive oil.  Unlike most other vegetable oils, it won't go "gummy" when exposed to air.  It will eventually go ranacid, however.

    Beeswax is pretty inert, makes a good furniture polish too.  Many mnfctrs make a special "Butcherblock wax" which is nothing more than beewax thinned out with--- you guessed it, mineral oil.
     
  6. cairoboy

    cairoboy

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    I appreciate everyone's opinions. I won't argue the merits or risks associated with ingesting petroleum products. I will simply say that it is unfortunately part of the American culture to be trusting of manufacturer's health risk claims.

    I had heard from reputable sources that the Sani-Tuff is easy on knife edges like wood. I appreciate BDL's perspective about the feel of the cut.

    I'd still like to know if anyone on this forum uses coconut oil on wood boards. Other forums / websites talk quite favorably about it. I believe it would last better / longer than other oils (even olive).

    I'd be more convinced to use wood boards if I could avoid the mineral oil. But that's just me.

    Thanks again for the replies.
     
  7. cairoboy

    cairoboy

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    ON a related note, I have heard fantastic things about BoardSmith boards. Better and less expensive than Boos.
     
  8. french fries

    french fries

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    When I bought my board about 2 years ago, the Boo was less expensive than the BoardSmith. It was for a 12x18x2 maple butcher block. I love my Boo! But never tried a BoardSmith.
     

    PS: I've used SaniTuff quite a lot, and they really don't compare to wood. Not at all.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2010
  9. gobblygook

    gobblygook

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    Well, you got my attention :)


    There's five words I never expected to see together in a serious tone :).
     
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  10. lennyd

    lennyd

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    What do you think of Acacia for use in an end grain board?


    Had one for a bit now, and seems to be OK so far.

    Could this be too hard?
     
  11. MariePier

    MariePier

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    Is anybody knows about Bloc Poisson cutting board? They don't have reviews on their website and I would like to know if they are making good cutting boards.

    I already bought a knife block (wall mount) and it is a very nice looking and strong holding, but what about their cutting boards?
     
  12. rick alan

    rick alan

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    Well for one the block patterns on their edge-grain boards often do not overlap, not good, more likely to crack. Stay with a single-wood board here, if you mismatch wood densities with end-grain that also leads to cracking. Can't tell from the photos but they probably don't take care how the align the rings in the wood either. Edge-grain boards don't have these problems. No acacia, teak or bamboo, too abrasive.
     
  13. MarieKitchenGirl

    MarieKitchenGirl

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    My favorite remains a solid wood cutting board. Those made with bamboo are also pretty nice. However, some are very heavy and can be hard to move around.
     
  14. rick alan

    rick alan

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  15. The Nosey Chef

    The Nosey Chef

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    I have used a few boards, and here's what I do. I used a Proteak edge-grain teak chopping board in the biggest size they do. it cost a fortune, but having a large board with low risk of blade slip is important to me. I stamped each side with a letter – V for veg, and M for meat/fish. I do pretty much all my prep on that. It has no feet, and I put an anti-slip mat under it. This would run against what @rick alan says above about woods, but this is the same board that America's Test Kitchen hailed as 'The last chopping board you will ever need.'

    Then, I have a smaller end-grain block that used to be my prep board until it was usurped by the GrailBoard above. I still use that for cutting bread and serving cheese because my hyper-aggressive Wüsthof double-serrated bread knife is too much for edge-grain wood. But I don't like using my other knives on it the end grain because it is too hard.

    Obviously, neither of those boards can go anywhere near a dishwasher. But neither can my Wüsthof knives, my beautiful Mauviel copper pans, my positively sexy olive wood utensils, and anything made of aluminium.

    Finally, for quick stuff, I have a set of four Joesph Joseph colour-coded plastic boards (no feet) that I use when I need another surface in a hurry. So I will throw those down on the GrailBoard to prep scallops or season meat. I also use them for cutting bread (see above) and for doing quick stuff like garnishing a cocktail. In the main, however, these are very claustrophobic to work on because they are tiny. Joseph Joseph recently 'upgraded' these boards to include rubber feet because they are idiots.

    I regularly cook for my friend whose wife is a doctor, and we get into endless discussions about the hygiene of wood versus plastic. She actually uses those thin plastic things that curl up at the edges. Personally, I think that a no-feet, wood board treated properly, cleaned, oiled (and occasionally anti-bacc'd if chicken is present) is less likely to damage your health than flying away with a Global santoku on a piece of flappy plastic. There are wood surfaces that tend to shred and become rough – those are cheap boards, and ought to be binned.

    There is actually no single solution that combines perfect ergonomics, knife care, hygiene and lack of plastic ending up in your salad. It is all a compromise.
     
  16. rick alan

    rick alan

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    I didn't create nor first voice the fact that teak is full of silica, and America's test kitchen also compared a Victorinox favorably to a custom Kramer. It's safe to say that they know little of knives or wood, and I think mostly what they know here is that they like Proteak advertising dollars. Spend your money as you will.
     
  17. MarieKitchenGirl

    MarieKitchenGirl

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    I love spending time in the kitchen :-)
    So sorry about that Rick! Completely missed it. Got so caught up in my response that I forgot to there were already 3 pages of comments. Thanks for the tip though.
     
  18. The Nosey Chef

    The Nosey Chef

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    Apologies, @rick alan. I did not mean to misappropriate the teak question. Nevertheless, I stand my the usability of the Teakhaus Proteak 24" board, irrespective of whether any money changed hands with ATC.

    I saw that piece on Victorinox, and did scratch my head over it.

    N.
     
  19. foodpump

    foodpump

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    In the world of woodworking there's an expression of "the wood doesn't know or care what cuts it, the only thing that matters is that it (blade) is sharp". Indeed, many w'working magazines compare expensive laminated chisels to cheaper plain~Jane ones, and the results of cuts on wood are similiar, if not identical.

    Back to food... I dare say you could look at a, say n.y. steak cut from the loin with a Victorinox as compared one cut with a custom knife costing much, much more, and find a difference in the quality of the cut. Same with most foods, although garbage knives invariably have tiny serrations in the blade that leave ugly scars in the cut, but we aren't talking about garbage knives. True, there is a huge difference in balance between a Victorinox or Mac and a expensive custom knife, but you will have to use that knife for long sessions to appreciate that difference.

    Opinions?
     
  20. The Nosey Chef

    The Nosey Chef

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    This is the classic law of diminishing returns. A knife from Poundland will be pretty poor. A Swiss-made Victorinox will be perfectly good. A $400 Masamoto knife will be very good too, but for a home cook, the difference is unlikely to be noticed, especially with the usual standards of domestic knife care.

    When I swapped out my old knives, I read quite a bit, and decided to go no further up the price ladder than a selected set of nine Wüsthof Classics, and some three Classic Ikons for my wife.

    That said, I would like one stunning Japanese knife, but more as an object to love than something I would use every day. I am not sure I could stop it tarnishing.

    Pans however ... don't get me started on pans :).