Cutting Boards

A cutting board is one of the most important kitchen basics. The right board can protect your countertop and your knives, and it may even be able to help you keep your kitchen a more sanitary place as you work with potentially harmful ingredients such as raw meat. There’s also an aesthetic element to cutting boards. Many of the cutting boards from Williams Sonoma are beautiful enough to display on your countertop along with your bread box and other organizing tools. Beyond mere style, though, it’s essential to choose a cutting board that’s made of the right materials and has the right features for your culinary needs.

Cutting Board Materials

The material you choose for your cutting board is quite important because it can impact the cleanliness of your kitchen and the longevity of your cutlery set. High-quality kitchen knives should only be used on soft materials like wood and plastic. Otherwise, you risk dulling the blade of both ceramic and steel knives every time you use them. Sanitation is another concern, as is flavor transfer. Wood is a porous material, so it’s generally not seen as an ideal surface on which to cut raw ingredients like chicken. Wood’s porosity also means it can hold onto aromatic oils from ingredients like herbs or garlic and onion, which can lead to flavor transfer when you cut a separate ingredient in the same spot or use the board for kneading dough. However, this doesn’t mean that wood cutting boards aren’t a good choice. Plastic is easier to clean, but wood is sturdy, durable and beautiful. It simply has different upkeep requirements, generally needing to be carefully washed by hand and treated with oil to avoid warping or over drying.

Cutting Board Features

Features like perimeter wells and handles can add extra utility to your cutting boards. Perimeter wells are small trenches that run around the perimeter of a cutting board, catching juices from fruit, meat and other ingredients as you prep. This helps keep your counters, cabinets and floors cleaner by minimizing food prep spillage. Handles make it easy to move cutting boards from one place to another and can even make your cutting board a suitable dual-purpose prep and serve piece.

Other Uses for Cutting Boards

Some boards are made from materials that aren’t ideal for chopping vegetables and other ingredients. These boards may not be great for food prep, but they are fantastic for serving. Bread boards and cheese boards, along with a cheese cutter set or a serrated bread knife, can be an ideal addition to your home entertaining arsenal.

Whether you’re looking for a strictly utilitarian board for chopping, a serving bread board or something in between, there are many options for you to choose from. Keep the above advice in mind as you shop, and remember that you may need two or more different cutting and serving board types to fully satisfy your food prep and presentation needs.

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