The blog of cooking-ez.com

Choosing a chopping board


Choosing a chopping board
It's a no-brainer, surely? If you want a chopping board, just find a piece of wood, and Bob's your uncle! You can happily chop away with a knife and not damage the table or worktop. But in reality, it's a bit more complicated than that. You need to be careful what you are buying, in particular the material that the board is made from.
34,8644/5 for 8 ratings
Grade this page:

Last modified on: May 8th 2012

Choosing a chopping board

Glass or metal:

glass cutting board



You will sometimes see chopping boards made from these materials, generally decorated with an embedded photo or graphic design. It's very simple: just don't buy them! Both materials will blunt your knife very rapidly.

A chopping board should be made of reasonably soft material.

Wood

wood cutting board


Hmm... It's tempting to go back to natural materials with an old-fashioned chopping board, like those that have been used since medieval times.

chopping board middle age



This is an appealing idea, but wooden chopping boards have two problems: the knife cuts into the wood easily, so you end up with a certain amount of “sawdust” in the food you are cutting, and wood is porous, so it can hold smells or flavours, even if it is cleaned very thoroughly (this is pretty disastrous if you cut garlic on it, then follow that with pastry for a dessert, for example – just imagine the mix of flavours…).

A chopping board should be resistant to knife cuts.


Synthetic material

PEHD cutting board


This is without doubt the ideal solution: flexible enough to protect the knife edge, robust enough not to be damaged too quickly. It is easy to clean and does not tend to hold flavours or smells.

The synthetic materials fall into two main groups: high-density polyethylene or HDPE, and polyvinyl chloride or PVC. HDPE is more expensive than PVC, but much more resilient and more neutral, so better for our health.

Most of the cheaper chopping boards on sale in the shops are in PVC and these present much the same problem as wooden ones: they are easily damaged by the knife, so you will soon end up with bits of PVC in your food. It is better to be careful and replace any PVC board which shows too many knife marks.

PVC chopping board



When it comes to the size, it's quite simple: the bigger the better (as long you can find a place to store it in your kitchen, of course). A board about 30 x 30 cm (12 x 12 inches) and 1 cm (½ inch thick) is a good compromise. A large board is comfortable to use as you can cut things easily and push them to the side as you go. This is more awkward with a small board.

If you buy a board in HDPE from a professional cookware shop (expensive, but the quality will be good), you will have a choice of both size and colour, as restaurant kitchens use different boards for meat, vegetables, fish, etc. and these are colour coded (red = meat, green = vegetables, etc.).

PEHD chopping board



To sum up: For your own kitchen, invest in a board in HDPE about 20 x 30 cm (8 x 12 inches).


Back to top of page

Lasts posts

Other pages you may also like

The art of the charlotte
The art of the charlotte
Here are some hints on making charlottes.PrincipleA charlotte mould is lined in the bottom and around the sides with syrup-soaked biscuits. This outside layer is then filled with a cream and left to set in the fridge (usually overnight).MouldOf course, it is best to use a proper...
11,4283.3/5 for 4 ratings
The window-pane test in bread-making
The window-pane test in bread-making
The home bread-makers often ask themselves “Have I kneaded my dough long enough?” . A good question, as dough that is insufficiently kneaded will not rise properly or will fall flat when the top is slashed, which is very frustrating.To know when the dough is ready, one can rely on the length...
11,183 13.6/5 for 12 ratings
The skin of the almonds
The skin of the almonds
For whole almonds, there are 2 versions in stores: so-called "white" or "blanched" almonds, ie without their brown skin, and "whole" almonds with their skin.For the almond powder, there is the same powder known as "white almonds" where they are almonds without the skin which are reduced to...
90 83.7/5 for 3 ratings
The right weight of pastry for a pie
The right weight of pastry for a pie
This is not at all obvious actually, as ideally once the mould is lined it should only stick out about 1cm.You can of course use your own judgement, but at home I often use a 22 cm diameter (the small one), or sometimes 26 (the large one), and in any case I always get a 300 gr cake. And of...
138 23.5/5 for 11 ratings
Maillard reactions
Maillard reactions
How does it work? Ah, well – that's not so simple! These are complex physiochemical reactions explained by a 19th century French chemist, Louis-Camille Maillard, with a superb moustache. Basically (and I'm simplifying drastically here) when one cooks certain foods, various brown compounds form,...
7,2933.1/5 for 10 ratings

Post your comment or question

I am not a leaving thing

Follow this page

If you are interested in this page, you can "follow" it, by entering your email address here. You will then receive a notification immediately each time the page is modified or a new comment is added. Please note that you will need to confirm this following.
I am not a leaving thing
Note: We'll never share your email with anyone else.
Alternatively: you can subscribe to the mailing list of cooling-ez.com , you will receive a e-mail for each new recipe published on the site.

Back to top of page