End Grain Cutting Board
An end grain cutting board is a wooden cutting board that has been made using end grain hardwoods. While there are plenty of other wooden cutting boards out there, end grain cutting boards are the cream of the wooden cutting board crop.
To understand end grain wood, think of a tree that has been cut down, leaving only a stump. Looking down on that stump you can see the rings in the wood. The face of that stop is the end grain of the wood. An end grain cutting board is constructed by taking blocks of hardwood and gluing them together so that the end grains are exposed on either side of the cutting surface. This makes for a very strong and durable cutting surface that is easy on your knife edges.
Advantages of End Grain Cutting Boards
The main advantages of an end grain cutting board is the durability, ability to hide knife marks, and it will not dull your knives as quickly as plastic or glass cutting boards. With the end grain comprising the cutting board’s surface, your knife slips in between the grains of the wood as the knife cuts. Once you are done slicing, the grains of the wood will close back up hiding the knife marks that were made. Along with hiding knife marks, they are also much easier on your knives as the grains part and the knife edge slides between them as opposed to cutting in to the wood, dulling the blade.
Where is the Best Place to Buy an End Grain Cutting Board?
There are plenty of places online and in store to purchase an end grain cutting board. Many woodworkers make beautiful cutting boards and sell them on eBay or other online retailers. You can also find them in traditional kitchen and home stores although you will pay a premium there over online.
Why do They Cost More Than Other Cutting Boards?
End grain cutting boards can run from 50 to 300 dollars depending on the size, woods used, and the quality of craftsmanship. This might seem like a steep price to pay for a cutting board but when you consider that this cutting board can last for 20 plus years and also act as a decorative item it will seem a more reasonable price. Also, with a quality knife set running more than 500 dollars, a quality cutting board is a good investment in making those knives last a long time.
Can I Make One Myself?
Absolutely! In fact, it is a fairly easy process for someone with the tools and a bit of wood working experience. Making an end grain cutting board is a good way to save money while still producing a premium cutting board
What Woods Are Best to Use?
Hard woods with tight grain patterns are the best to use. These woods will stand up to the blades of your knives longer, while not being too porous and trapping bacteria and food particles. Hardwoods such as maple and mahogany make for the best end grain cutting boards. Cherry woods can be used and are beautiful but they are on the lower end of the hardness scale and extra care and precaution should be taken with a board made from Cherry. Check out the page on Cutting Board Wood for more info!
Are End Grain Cutting Boards Dangerous?
When properly cared for an end grain cutting board is as safe and clean as any other cutting board. However, if neglected or made from a porous or soft wood your cutting board can catch food particles and bacteria. Be sure to check out our Cutting Board Care page to find out the best way to care for your end grain cutting board.
Read more about cutting boards at Wikipedia!