Things you should look for when buying a chopping board for meat

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Have you ever seen a butcher chop meat? Then you’ve seen and wondered about the thick wooden tree block they’re using. It’s obvious that it’s different from your standard cutting board. But why? Why the butcher’s board is different from a standard cutting board? Prepping for vegetables in the kitchen normally involves slicing, dicing, chopping, juelinning and chiffonade. The standard wooden board can take this light work. But prepping for meat requires quartering, deboning, chopping and filleting, which is heavy work. A standard wooden board cannot take meat chopping in usage and in size. A cutting board that is used for chopping veggies wouldn’t stay in place for meat because it’s not sturdy enough. And also, chopping meat requires a larger working surface than an average household cutting board. Now you know why a butcher won’t use the standard board for chopping meat. And it’s not recommended that they use the plastic cutting boards as well. Why? Why plastic boards are not recommended for chopping meat? Butchers are advised to use wooden butcher blocks (or end grain boards) to chop meat. The primary reason is the sturdiness. A wooden board provides a much more stable base for chopping meat than a plastic board. Another important reason why plastic boards are not recommended is because a plastic board provides home for bacteria. It’s almost impossible to keep clean – bacteria hide in the cracks and crevices of plastic. And that bacteria won’t go away. You wouldn’t want that for your meat. Ever. It’s also proven that plastic boards dull your knives. When you cut your meat on a plastic board, you can actually hear your knives being ruined. And this harm is a two-way street. Your knives dull out but they drag your boards in the damage. Once these plastic boards are damaged, it’s practically not possible to clean and disinfect them.   This makes end grain boards the suitable choice. They are sturdier and have more resistance towards knife cuts and scarring. Over the long term, end grain boards are self-healing because the fibers push back together. So, the benefits of an end grain overpower using a plastic board. But there are so many butcher blocks on the market today and they are all NOT created equal. Some aren’t safe against bacteria. Some are made using harmful chemicals. Some are not suitable for your favorite knives. So, how to choose? What you should look for when buying a board for chopping meat? Some things you should look for in a cutting board for chopping meat:

 

  • Is it end grain or edge grain? This is of primary importance. Butcher blocks are basically end parts of the wood – similar to end grain boards. End grain boards have certain advantages over edge grain boards when it comes to chopping meat. Edge grain means that the wood is running across the side; while end grain means that the end of wood fibers are exposed. End grain boards are self-healing, which means that the density of the fibers push back into place. To know more about this wooden conundrum, read here.
  • What wood is it made of? The wood should be of premium quality and preferably teak wood- because teak wood is water resistant, provides protection against bacteria and is highly durable.  Read here to know why teak wood’s benefits surpasses other types of wood.
  • Is it hygienic to avoid bacteria, contamination and fungi? Many boards on the market today use poisonous polishes and oils to give their boards a chic look. The end parts of the wood are also glued using harmful chemicals, which contaminate your meat.
  • Does it have handles for comfortable lifting and carrying? This is a bonus but it’s so comfortable to have the facility of easy transportability.
  • Is it thick enough to handle the meat you butcher? A wooden board used for chopping meat must be at least 1.5 inches thick. Thickness is important because it adds weight and sturdiness.

So, which cutting boards can be used as butcher blocks? According to us, a butcher block must meet the 5 following rules:

 

  1. Made using end grain
  2. Made using teak wood
  3. Hygienic to avoid contamination and bacteria
  4. Has handles for comfortable transportability
  5. At least 1.5 inches thick

Conclusion Butchers are not suggested to use a plastic board for chopping meat. This is because plastic boards make a home for bacteria, can’t take the pressure of chopping meat and ruin your favorite knives. Butcher blocks or end grain boards, on the other hand, offer a stronger and thicker base with a self-healing factor, which makes them the ideal choice for meat chopping. That said, the market has too many different varieties of butcher blocks which are not all good. They should be end grain boards, hygienic for use, convenient to hold and carry, water resistant and at least 1.5 inches thick.   Now, you can prep your meat right!

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