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April 22, 2009

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rachel

Hmm, at my place we used wood for vegies, bread, cooked meat, and plastic for fish and raw meat. I have heard that wood is as hygenic as plastic, though particularly if you use particular types of wood (sorry can't remember what type, but apparently some have antibacterial properties).

Monica from Portugal

I use this from Ikea

http://www.ikea.com/pt/pt/catalog/products/90131775

I use it and clean it and looks good everytime.

Pierre

Its true that wood is not hygienic... but you can use it to cut dry food, like bread. So if you are orthodox regarding this, there are not so many food you can cut in it... Especially meat and vegetables ;-)...

valeria

I use this wood one from Ikea that sit on the counter and has a lip on the edge
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30087148
and I use a small plastic one for chicken and raw meat ( I do not eat meat but my husband does). Benita, I have 2 questions about your tiles: what size are they and did you use white for grout?

Michael

I use a seperate plastic board for meat or fish. Chicken is always on its own board. For vegetables I use a wooden cutting board which I periodically rub with salt, oil and lemon juice.

Aqeela

I use glass as its easy to keep clean, doesnt stain, doesnt get marks or knife cuts on it, and it only cost me £1.00!!

Oh, and I love your blog!

Aqeela xx

Maureen

I use wood, the big one Valeria mentions, but I put a thin plastic one over it when I cut raw chicken or fish. Other meats I cut on the board.

It's your teapot I lust over. I have considered that one several times but just didn't spend the money...yet.

Ibabe

I use wood, a big one from Bodum.
www.bodum.com
I bought it in Barcelona in a design shop, it was a kind of shelf gift.

I use it nearly for everything, but specially for vegetables.

Jan Scott

I use a wooden bamboo one from Crate and Barrel. I also use a plastic one for raw meats and chicken but I'm trying to eliminate a lot of plastic from our home so I think we'll be getting more wooden ones. I'm curious about the glass cutting board though from the above comment...that would be interesting.

Annica

Eftersom jag själv blir så inspirerad av din blogg så har jag lagt en länk till den i min. Hoppas att det är ok!

Hälsn Annica

diana minna

Oh dear, I use wood for everything, haven't died yet ... our only refinement is that we use a separate board for cutting fruit. Because it tastes lousy combined with garlic.

Benita, your stainless steel countertop looks like new! Even though itlooks like you have a metal dishrack on it. We have the same combo, but our counter is all scratched. How do you clean/protect it?

cp

Though it is counter-intuitive, when plastic and wood cutting boards were compared experimentally for hygiene/cleanliness, the surprising results were that wood cutting boards actually kill bacteria while the same bacteria survive on plastic cutting boards.

This doesn't mean you shouldn't be careful about keeping cutting boards clean, especially after cutting raw meat. Both types of cutting boards should be cleaned with hot water and detergent and you also have the option of disinfecting small wood boards in a microwave. So advantage overall is to wood cutting boards :-)

Summary details of the research are here: http://faculty.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/faculty/docliver/Research/cuttingboard.htm

Benita ~ Chez Larsson


Oh, its far from new - from the 50's! There are four little scratched areas where the feet of the dish rack are but you have to look closely to see them. Or maybe I got used to them too... I occasionaly use steel wool to polish the counter top and sink and I recently heard about a trick using mineral oil to wipe the surface. Apparently it's what home stagers use to make it look shining and new.

Benita ~ Chez Larsson


I like that answer :)

Benita ~ Chez Larsson

Absolut, vad kul!

domesticali

I have a Top Gourmet choping board - it's made from wood fiber (which I far prefer the feel of), but it can go in the dishwasher (super hygenic).

Mine's been going strong for about 4 years and I have bought them as presents for just about everyone I know because they are so fab!

kelli

i use wood for everthing except raw meat. then plastic. i have had great butcher blocks and they need to be oiled to preserve. i don't know if it's a characteristic of bamboo, but my bamboo boards are wonderful, they have never needed oil? to me that's awesome!!!!

kelli

Benita ~ Chez Larsson


The tiles are standard (at least over here) 15x15 cm / 6"x6". The grout I used was the lightest grey available. If I remember correctly the shade was called "marmor" which means "marble".

valeria

I suspected 6x6 but wanted to be sure. I like this size more than 4x4. Thank you!

Rosa

OH! I can see you on the second photo!! On the tea pot!! Nice to meet you! I really like your home and your great ideas.

Benita ~ Chez Larsson


Hi!!! I know, it's so tricky to shoot those shiny surfaces. I should photoshop them afterward but I just couldn't be bothered :)

Anna @ D16

WOOD FOR EVERYTHING!!! cp got it absolutely right with the link to the UC Davis study. NO PLASTIC for food prep in my kitchen -- wood (or bamboo), stainless steel, and glass/ceramic only.

I wash my wooden cutting boards with hot water and dish soap after each use (unless it's used for cutting bread or something, and then it just gets a quick wipedown), and treat them (as well as all of my wooden spoons) with mineral oil every couple of weeks or so.

Anna @ D16

Wow, I'm shocked by the number of people who cut meat on plastic boards!! Yikes...

samarahuel

Ah, after all my questions for you, here is something I happen to know a bit about! I use bamboo for most things, but cheap plastic for meat and onions. The onion flavor and odor soaks in to the wood and gets imparted to other foods I cut on it. Wood of any type is porous, and both wood and plastic eventually get small cuts in them where bacteria can hide and breed. I bought the least expensive plastic cutting boards I could find, and I just plan on replacing them often. If you cut something colorful on either the wood or plastic boards, it will stain the cuts and you can see where bacteria can hide. I make sure to wash my bamboo boards with hot soapy water whenever I cut anything but bread or a dry vegetable like a carrot, and I always give the plastic ones a quick, hot, soapy scrub before putting them in the dishwasher. Never use a glass cutting board as it will horribly dull your knife in about 5-10 cuts. Any knife should be honed periodically with a honing steel, but who wants to do that every 5-10 cuts?

carol k

I love the floor to ceiling tile in your kitchen. Also the cabinet pulls. Are they original to the the house? And did you add the stainless counter tops? How are they to clean? They are really cool looking. I believe in good ol' soap and hot water for cleaning wood cutting boards. I have heard to add a tiny bit of bleach for when when the cutting board has been used for raw meat or chicken. I think that's so smart- hanging the cutting boards where they can drip dry.

Pierre

Hey Benita, about your sink, here is a really old french product you can use for it... this give amazing result and i didnt found any equivalent product to clean metal kitchen stuff (work reallly well also for pans)... this is metal wool with a nice blue soap in it... and also nice fresh smell... Will make your sink as new... dont user it every day... just one time a month... and you can use one 3 or 3 times... dont mix it with to much water... just few in your surface, and use it carefully, not to intensive, let it dry after use... and store it, for a next time.

http://www.voussert.fr/Structure/produit.aspx?Id=13416

Pierre

about wood and meat...what is strange is that butchers were mostly using wood billot to cut the meat (in the past)... and they were cleaning it only by cutting each end of day a small thin part of the surface to get a new one fully clean for the next day... its also true that those professional furniture get a really thick wooden board...

Pierre

last "pushing inside" update... the bacteries and germs were supposed to migrate deep inside the wood while washing with hot water and dishsoap... ;-)

Pierre

Ageela, you will not see that your knifes will become less sharp and be damaged by using glass... this is a typical "trendy" but "stupid" solution from the gadget kitchen makers...

Jacqueline

Ok, now I am really confused about wood vs. plastic. We used to use a wooden boards but after they started to separate we went with plastic (recycled) for meats/chicken, garlic and onions.We like the recycled plastic board because it goes in the dishdrawer/washer. We keep a large board on the counter for veggies and fruits. This gets wiped down and a soft scrub. It too is starting to warp a bit (although it is a heavy one)and will probably develop cracks. I do oil the wood boards as well so I am unclear why this happens. I don't like to have too many boards in the kitchen and would prefer wood. There must be a clear, healthy/safe solution. ????? Benita, I love how even your kitchen has the same elements as the rest of the house: white, stainless, natural. I love to repeat your repetitions!

quinn

I use wooden and bamboo cutting boards for veg and bread. For cheese and meat, though, I cut on freezer paper and then throw the paper away - or burn it right away in the woodstove if it's winter.

I tried one of the hard plastic-type cutting boards years ago, and could not stand using it. The sound and feel of the blade against the plastic...awful! Makes the little hairs stand up on my forearms just thinking about it now, even after all those years!

K

My favorite cutting board is an end-wood-grain block about 16 inches square, and about 2 inches thick. It's heavy, but I love it. It's in great condition and I bought it about five years ago. I never put it into the dishwasher, and I wash it with plain water. Once in a while I'll use detergent but most of the time just water. Oh, and I use this for foods that I'd eat raw or straight up anyway -- washed fruits and vegetables, cooked meat, breads. For raw meat I'll use my plastic one and then throw it into the dishwasher.

cp

I know not everyone wants to bother to follow the link I posted, but now I'm a bit worried that so many believe that plastic boards are safer for raw meat. Because this runs contrary to "common sense" -- the evidence is summarized below.

1993, Plastic cutting boards and wood boards with contaminated with Salmonella, Listeria, and Escherichia coli. 99.9% of the bacteria died after 3 minutes on the wood boards, none died on the plastic boards. Left unwashed overnight, the bacteria proliferated on the plastic boards and no bacteria could be found on the wood boards.

Ironically - they first did this experiment to try and find a way to disenfect wood boards to make wood "as safe as plastic".

1995 - A large survey of households was carried out to identify risk factors for Salmonella. Those household kitchens with wood cutting boards meant the household was half as likely to have been afflicted with Salmonella, those with plastic cutting boards were twice as likely.

These results were corroborated with additional experiments over the next decade and were responsible for changing the US FDA code to approve maple cutting boards in food processing.

Interestingly, there is no study or scientific evidence of superior cleanliness or hygiene of plastic boards.

Unlike plastic, wood cutting boards can also be microwaved to kill bacteria 3 to 4 min at a high setting. Even plastic boards that can withstand the microwave don't heat up enough on the surface to kill the bacteria. (1996 study)

AnnaA

I sure use wood, since I learned in school (I studied furniture making )wood is superior to plastic. And besides, it feels nicer... :)

Lilla huset på prärien

Snyggt och ordning o reda som alltid hos dig! Jag använder faktiskt plastskärbrädor men det har det blivit mest av en slump. Jag har ingenting emot trä heller. Tror precis som du att de självläker. Och de rengörs ju precis som andra :)

Kram Jenny

Benita ~ Chez Larsson


I like the freezer paper idea, especially the burning in the woodstove part. Oh, to have one in the kitchen...

Benita ~ Chez Larsson


I think that's actually very similar to the steel wool I use. It's not the "garage" version of steel wool, it's the "kitchen variety" which has some cleaning agent inside that feels kind of soapy. I agree, it works like a charm :)

Benita ~ Chez Larsson


Thanks cp! Yous seem to really have read up on this, or are you working in the food industry to be so knowlegeable? I prefer wooden boards myself but I did buy a small plastic one in the US, it's tiny, by Martha, and I still need to find a use for it... I'll probably end up giving it away.... :)

~ Benita
CHEZ LARSSON

To: benita@chezlarsson.com

Linda

Awesome idea, thanks Benita. I like wood boards, they look pretty in a rustic kind of way if I want to use them on the dining table. I like to serve food on them sometimes or use them as a trivet.

Jenifir

I have a large maple butcher block with a groove all around that I use for carving roasts but it is rather large and cumbersome for washing. I have tried the glass and gave it up very quickly because of the sound and what it was doing to my knives. We have a few polypropelene boards(one of the safer or less offensive plastics) that fit easily into the pot drawer below my prep area. I pre-wash them with hot soapy water before popping them into the dishwasher when used for raw meat or poultry. I have four children who are starting to help in the kitchen so being able to put the in the dishwasher keeps things simple as they place the board in the dishwasher as soon as they have completed their task. I am interested in the bamboo boards that I have seen in the kitchen stores but I have a problem with buying something new if it really is not necessary.
Benita, I love how you have made an old kitchen work for you. I am appalled when I see "home" shows where people rip out and destroy perfectly functioning kitchens that just do not suit their current tastes. These same people acknowledge that they may want to change it again in ten years -disposable kitchens? The shows capture a gleeful destruction where the cabinets are not even salvedged and donated to a worthwhile organisation like Habitat for Humanity. Are European TV show similar?

Benita ~ Chez Larsson


Yes, I'm afraid they are. Martin and I always cringe when we see them gutting vintage kitchens with great potential. I guess a lot of the shows are sponsored and the sponsors want to showcase their goods, but it's sad. An older kitchen may have it's little quirks and may not be 100% pratctical but 90% works for me if it means I can keep a lot of it. It's just such a waste to rip everything out.

Boston Bachelorette Parties

Thank you for this. I think this is a great waste saver.

Titti

Wonderful to hear! I just bought my first ever bamboo cutting board! :-)

Maddy

Great to read the report from UC Davis (My sister's Alma Mater...)
I have used wood chopping boards all my life (50+), never has there been a sign of food poisoning in my houses... when I tried plastic, even the expensive ones yielded little fragments of plastic as they got older.
When I cut meat on my main chopping board, I scrub it straight away with steel wool and warm water and let it dry completely. I also oil my boards occasionally with olive oil.
I also have a little chopping board exclusively for garlic and onions!

jja

I also use bamboo for most things, but plastic (ikea) for meat and onions. I replace them often, like once a month.

Elin

Var kommer den fina thékannan ifrån? Visst är det en sådan smart värmeisolerad?

Benita ~ Chez Larsson


Den köpte jag för säkert 15 år sen i en butik i Stockholm som inte finns längre. Däremot görs kannan fortfarande. Den heter Salam Tea. Kan tänka mig att den finns tex på NK och i välsorterade tebutiker. Tyvärr svindyr och om jag ska vara ärlig så håller den inte värmen nåt vidare. Men snygg är den :)

Cross stitch

I use these colorful Dexas polypropylene boards from Williams-Sonoma. But not for cutting anything... heavens no! These make great summertime place mats on my rounded square glass kitchen table. After buying 8 of them I made napkins in a playful watermelon print, picking up all the colors in the boards. These tuck neatly into the hanging holes. For cutting meats, bread, fruits and vegetables I use only maple. My son-in-law is a custom cabinet maker -- he crafted me a beautiful 11"x22" maple board. It weighs 11 pounds so I keep it next to the sink where I can wipe it down with a soapy sponge without lifting it.

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