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Hard Maple Wood Is Chef’s Choice For Cutting Boards – Here Are 5 Best Options For Home Use

Anne Kocsis Contributor

In 2006, the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) published a study indicating wooden cutting boards harbored salmonella and other bacteria causing food borne ailments. People threw away their beloved cutting boards and bought plastic versions. Since then, new studies have proven this information to be a non-issue. Per Consumer Reports, wooden cutting boards are no less sanitary than their plastic counter parts. In fact, over time scarred plastic will actually hold onto bacteria longer than wood. Scientists suggest people should use a separate board for meat products and another for fruits, vegetables, and other items. According to the Department of Agriculture, any cutting boards will work provided they have proper care. All materials require hot soapy water for cleaning and should be dried thoroughly before storing.  Additionally, they recommend periodic sanitizing. This can be done by rinsing the boards with a diluted beach solution (1/2 Tablespoon of bleach per half gallon of water).

Despite the previous scare, wooden cutting boards are the preferred choice of real chefs. The reason? They don’t damage knives the way plastic boards can. Additionally, good solid wood allows chefs to perform precision cutting. If you are looking for a good wooden cutting board and want advice on the best choice, you’re in luck. I researched the options and here is what I found. When making a selection, you should look for a thick hard piece of wood that has a tight grain. Maple, specifically rock hard sugar maple, is preferred for cutting boards. In fact, the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) approves this material for commercial grade cutting boards used in the food service industry. In addition to being sanitary and functional, this beautiful wood is popular because it comes from the USA. It is also meets commercial sanitation requirements while been affordable enough for home use. Here are the top five hard maple cutting board options for home use.

1. John Boos Platinum Commercial Series Maple Wood Edge Grain Reversible Cutting Board – $111.95. The commercial grade cutting board is certified by the NSF. It measures 20 X 15 X 1.75 inches and is designed for both professional and home cooks. It features a classic edge grain construction and is made in the USA from sustainable, hand-selected solid maple. the board is reversible allowing you to use one side for meats and the other for other items. The company offers a one year guarantee and they suggest oiling the board. regularly to preserve the product for years to come. The John Boos company is known for making heirloom quality cutting boards. Amazon purchasers give the item 4.6 out of 5 stars and describe it as “an excellent cutting board,” and “worth the investment.”  One reviewer even stated, “overall it’s been a good purchase. It’s a great cutting board and it makes the wife happy. A bargain at the price.”

2. Michigan Maple Block End Grain Cutting Board – $128.15.  This NSF-certified block is intended to a stationary fixture in your kitchen. It measures 25.4 X 15 X 3.6 inches and weighs 28 pounds. It has prepared with an oil-rubbed finish so it is ready to use when it arrives. To keep it preserved, it needs to be re-oiled frequently. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for care. It received 4.2 our of 5 stars on Amazon based on it’s weight and need for care, but it is an incredible product. Purchasers stated they “were very very happy with this purchase,” and “it makes other chopping boards look cheap.” In particular, one reviewer raved about this product, saying, “This board is absolutely fantastic. One day in, I made substantial dents into it with a cleaver: dents formed as expected (I cleaved pork ribs/pork chops). The following day, those dents were prominent, but after chopping veggies and meat, those dents ‘healed up’.”

3. John Boos Maple Wood Square Cutting Board with Juice Groove- $69.95 This product measures 15 inches square and 1.75 inches thick. It is a nice sturdy weight at 9.6 pounds. Like all John Boos cutting boards, it is  created from NSF-certified and professional grade. The hand-selected solid northern hard rock maple comes from the USA and is widely recognized as one of the most durable food prep surfaces in the world. It includes a deep juice groove on one side, but it can be flipped to use the alternative flat surface side. This item received 4.8 out 5 stars on Amazon and purchasers called it “the best board on the market,” and “just awesome.”  Others have stated that this product is, “nice and heavy, easy to clean and care for and the peace of mind that the block is sealed is awesome.”

4. Home Pro Shop Butcher Block Cutting Board – $59.95.  Measuring 19 x 12 x 1.5 inches, this NSF-certified cutting board weighs 6.7 pounds. It is made in the USA with skilled Amish craftsmanship. The reversible block is solid maple preserved with white mineral oil. The item comes with continued care instructions. Each individual plank is turned on edge for a tight grain finish.  The 5 star product has been deemed “excellent quality and great looking, a perfect cutting board.”

5. The Chef’s Boutique Premium Maple & Cherry Hardwood Cutting Board – $59.97. The board measures 16 X 12 X 2 inches. It is made from hard rock slow growth maple trees in the northeastern part of the USA. The wood has a tight grain, resulting in a strong, durable, long-lasting cutting board. The manufacturer accented it with cherry for a touch of elegance.They included hand grips and non-skid feet for optimal performance and ease of use. The board arrives unseasoned and the company recommends oiling it before use.  Amazon purchasers rated this item with 5 stars and left the following comments: “heavy, solid, beautiful wood,” “super durable and awesome quality,” and “excellent as a gift.”  One customer has stated, “I was interested in buying a cutting board that was made in the USA and of great quality. This fits the bill. It’s beautiful and would accent any kitchen. Another huge plus was the prompt response I got from the seller when I had question about the board after I oiled it.”


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