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It doesn’t matter what you’re cooking up in your house kitchen, you’re probably going to want to drag out a slicing board. These versatile instruments are completely important – certain, you possibly can minimize something on their surfaces, however you too can use a slicing board as a serving platter, a floor to deal with dough or as a designed prep space. Your boards see day by day use, they usually have to be dependable and sturdy.
Having a top quality slicing board is vital it doesn’t matter what you’re carving, chopping or prepping. However how will you inform the distinction between a board that’ll ship and one which isn’t price investing in? We spoke with Tim and Tanya Reazor, the founders of premium slicing board firm Fifth & Cherry, to get knowledgeable perception on how to decide on, make the most of and keep this key kitchen instrument.
Materials issues greater than you would possibly assume
Once you’re choosing out a slicing board, you’ll have an array of various choices in nearly each sort of materials potential. Wooden is quite common (and fairly widespread), however plastic and bamboo are additionally accessible all over the place. And also you would possibly even come throughout some extra distinctive supplies, like glass, marble or compressed wooden.
In case you’re overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of decisions, you positively aren’t alone. However you don’t need to merely accept any slicing board that fits your finances. A board’s materials impacts not solely its sturdiness, but in addition the way it ages, if it’s prone to develop stains, odors and micro organism, and the sharpness of your knives.
That’s proper: The fabric of your slicing board can alter quite a few different kitchen instruments and your meals security too. This is the reason you actually don’t need to overlook what, precisely, your board is made from.
What’s one of the best materials for a slicing board?
In line with Tim and Tanya Reazor, who’re consultants in constructing, sustaining and refinishing slicing boards, wooden is your best option.
“There are three woods which might be ideally suited slicing surfaces: Maple, which is the preferred for slicing boards, cherry and walnut, which is extra scarce and costly,” Tanya explains. “However there are numerous, many woods on the spectrum which might be simply not good.”
What makes a specific wooden selection a worthy slicing board alternative? It’s all concerning the wooden’s density.
“Totally different woods have totally different densities,” Tanya says. “We use ethically sourced North American black cherry. Primarily based on density degree, walnut can also be throughout the vary of being a very good slicing board floor. Acacia, bamboo, purple coronary heart – these woods sound unique, however they’re too arduous or too smooth and may affect your knives.”
And whenever you’re choosing out a wooden slicing board, go for one which’s produced from simply one sort of wooden. As Tanya explains, “Checkerboard-patterned slicing boards are lovely, however use totally different woods. These totally different woods, when combined, all have totally different densities, so that they’re going to put on in another way beneath your knives. Woods swell and contract at totally different charges, which impacts the construction of the board, causes mildew to kind and creates gaps.”
So, assume easy: Go for wooden, simply plain ol’ single-variety wooden.
Plastic could also be widespread, however it may be harmful on your well being
You already know plastic is terrible for the atmosphere and your individual private well being and wellness. And in the event you’ve been counting on plastic slicing boards, you’re going to need to eliminate them ASAP.
“Once you’re slicing on plastic, microplastics are going into your meals with each minimize,” Tim notes. “One of many quickest methods to get oil and plastic into your system is to chop on and eat off of a plastic slicing board.”
However utilizing a plastic slicing board within the kitchen isn’t simply dangerous as a result of it’s made out of plastic. The affect might be even worse than you assume – and, to be completely trustworthy, completely gross.
In case you’ve ever used a plastic slicing board, particularly whereas working with uncooked or cooked meat, you’ve probably seen that the fabric can develop stains that by no means appear to go away. “That’s micro organism,” Tim says.
“Individuals assume plastic is antibacterial,” Tanya explains. “However even dishwashers can’t get plastic slicing boards clear.” And when stains develop in your plastic slicing board, it’s a certain signal that you’ve got lingering micro organism hanging out that you just can’t eliminate. In case you preserve slicing on that board, you’ll run the chance of letting micro organism sneak into every thing that touches its floor.
Plus, based on analysis, plastic slicing boards grasp onto the micro organism that grows on their surfaces and within the nooks and crannies of knife cuts. In comparison with wooden slicing boards, plastic is the way more bacteria-laden alternative. In case you’re hoping to maintain micro organism out of your kitchen and off your dinner plate, you received’t need to work with a plastic slicing board.
Skip glass, marble and different too-hard surfaces
They aren’t practically as widespread as wooden and plastic boards, however slicing boards made out of glass and stones (like granite) do exist. Whereas they might be visually interesting, these boards aren’t a sensible alternative.
Stone and glass aren’t simply slick and slippery. They’re extremely arduous in your knives too. “Slicing on these surfaces will boring your knife in as few as 10 strokes,” Tim factors out.
Board development issues for sturdiness, too
You may not take into consideration a slicing board’s longevity whenever you’re looking for one which’ll suit your wants. However you must – the much less sturdy a board is, the extra probably it’s to develop deep grooves and cuts out of your knives. And when these cuts and grooves seem, they’ll have an effect on the best way your knives minimize, your individual security whereas slicing and (like we talked about above) the micro organism that will get into the board.
It’s additionally to take the main points of a board’s development into consideration. Tanya shared three of her key particulars to search for.
Made within the USA
A board that’s made within the USA “usually means you’re getting higher-quality development,” Tanya says.
“Staggered seams add to the energy of the board development,” Tanya notes. “Straight seams are simpler to separate and extra prone to crack, which is why we put metal pins between every of our straight seams (that are unavoidable in a single course).”
How the board is glued
“Bigger producers will use a course of known as radio frequency gluing, which cures the glue instantly utilizing a radio frequency and permits them to provide extra boards sooner. The difficulty is that the glue shouldn’t be capable of be absorbed by the wooden fibers because it dries, and the glue stays on the floor, which ends up in a weaker bone that’s extra prone to crack and separate,” Tanya explains. “We nonetheless hand glue and clamp our boards, which permits for the strongest potential bond.”
You don’t really want fancy extras in your slicing board
At present, yow will discover slicing boards with nearly every thing added onto their edges or surfaces. Boards with strainers inbuilt, expandable boards that grasp over your kitchen sink, boards with rubber grips hooked up to corners, liquid-catching grooves – there’s an infinite array of options you possibly can go for.
However preserving it easy actually is finest. A plain, flat slicing floor will work for each one in every of your wants within the kitchen. Many extras are really pointless. Simply take rubber toes, for instance. They will improve your board’s stability – however additionally they stop you from flipping your board over and using either side.
“We purposely don’t put toes on our boards as a result of we wish you to flip it,” Tanya says. “Flip it, and it’ll last more; it may be handed down and refinished.”
As a substitute of selecting a flowery (and expensive) slicing board with extras, go for fundamental. If you’re going to add one additional, a liquid-catching groove is palms down probably the most useful, particularly in the event you’re often working with meat or meals that do drain off whereas being minimize. Simply keep in mind that it may be a bit trickier to scrape meals off your board with a groove; you’ll discover stuff will get trapped simply.
Does measurement matter whenever you’re selecting a slicing board?
Slicing boards actually are available each form and measurement. However measurement solely issues when it comes right down to your individual private preferences – and your accessible counter house.
Small slicing boards are nice for duties like slicing up particular person fruits or veggies, and even pulling collectively parts of your meals whilst you prep. However medium and enormous slicing boards even have their very own roles; medium is flexible for completely every thing beneath the solar, whilst you’ll want a big board whenever you’re working with massive cuts of meat.
Take into consideration your habits, how many individuals you’re usually cooking for and the way a lot accessible counter house you must use your board on. That may information you on the subject of measurement. However in any house, having a small board and a medium-to-large board offers you loads of versatility.
How one can correctly take care of and keep your slicing board
Whereas wooden slicing boards can appear intimidating, they actually don’t require a complete lot of particular care. In actual fact, caring for a high-quality wooden board is sort of as straightforward as taking good care of every other kitchen instrument.
All you must do is wash your slicing board with cleaning soap and sizzling water. You possibly can then set your board apart and let it air dry fully, or totally dry it your self with a clear dish towel. In case you’d like to offer your board a bit of additional TLC now and again, you possibly can rub it down with a food-safe mineral oil to stop the wooden from drying, warping or splitting.
Oh, and don’t ever put your board within the dishwasher. The extreme warmth and tough waters of this helpful equipment will completely destroy the wooden.
“Wooden does take just a little extra care as a result of you possibly can’t put it within the dishwasher,” Tanya notes. “However as an natural materials that’s naturally antibacterial, that protects your knives and can final you not solely your lifetime however that of your kids, the additional step of handwashing and sometimes conditioning a wooden slicing board is effectively price it.”