All You Need to Know about End Grain Cutting Boards
Wooden Cutting boards are classics. They are beautiful and have wonderful characteristics that make them unique. Perhaps this is why many professionals prefer them to other types of cutting boards.
There are different varieties of wood cutting boards. They can be classified according to the type of wood used, i.e., hardwood and softwood. Also, they can be classified according to the orientation of the wood’s grain.
Face Grain, Edge Grain, and End Grain are examples of wood cutting boards based on grain orientation. Each of these types of cutting boards has distinctive features that set them apart from others.
In this article, we would focus on the End Grain cutting board. We would also look at its properties, advantages, and disadvantages.
Properties of End Grain Cutting Boards
End grain cutting boards are also known as Butcher Blocks. End grain boards vary in shape, size, price, and even color. The common types of hardwood used in making this type of cutting board are Maple, Walnut, Oak, Cherry, and Birch.
They have a checkered pattern which makes them different from other types of wood cutting boards and also makes them beautiful.
End grain boards have a hard surface, which gives them a high tolerance for different types of knives. The orientation of the wood fibers on their hard surface allows a knife’s edge to pass through them, reducing wear to your knives.
A lot of processes are involved in making end grain cutting boards. They are called end grain boards because they made from end pieces of hardwood.
Different types of wood are cut into strips and glued together; then they are cut into simpler pieces. These simpler strips are then rearranged to form a pattern. Afterward, they are glued back together. The process is finished with the board being sanded and oiled.
Professional chefs and butchers mostly use end grain cutting boards for chopping large quantities of meat or bones.
Care and Maintenance
End grain cutting boards require utmost care and maintenance. This can be done by washing them with warm or hot soapy water, including the underside and edges, then rinsing them properly under cold running water. They should never be submerged in water as they can absorb it and crack.
After rinsing, you dry your cutting board with soft towels or paper towels and place it on its feet. Placing the board on its feet helps to avoid moisture build up.
Tough stains should be removed by using salt and washing with a solution of water and vinegar. You could also cut a lemon in half and rub it all over the board.
Depending on how often you use your end grain cutting board, they have to be reconditioned with mineral oils and beeswax. Heating the oil before use is recommended because it helps the board absorb the oil very well. Do not use any other oil apart from mineral oil; using other types of oil over time can make your board give off an odor.
Taking proper care of your cutting boards makes them healthy, beautiful, and also helps to increase their lifespan.
Advantages of End Grain Cutting Boards
End grain cutting boards have some features that make them stand out from other wooden cutting boards; these characteristics are:
• They are attractive:
End grain cutting boards have a distinctive checkered look which makes them beautiful and attractive.
• They are durable:
An advantage of an end grain cutting board is its durability. They have a fibrous structure that helps the board absorb the forces of a knife’s edge. This structure prevents the board from having scratches on the surface. They usually last for years if properly maintained.
• They do not dull knives quickly:
Knives stay sharper and don’t need frequent sharpening when using them on an end grain board. The fibrous structure causes less damage to your knives because it gives way for your knife’s edge and recoils back into shape. It causes less damage to knives, unlike other wood cutting boards.
• They are self-healing:
The fibrous structure of the end grain cutting board also helps it heal from chopping marks easily by closing up a few minutes after the mark is made.
• They are sanitary:
End grain boards have antiseptic properties like other types of wooden boards; it helps abhor microbial growth on the board and keeps you from getting sick.
Disadvantages of End Grain Cutting Boards
End grain cutting boards also have some flaws you need to know about. If you are using one or planning to get one for yourself, you need to consider them and make sure they don’t pose as a problem. Their disadvantages are:
• They are expensive:
Among all other wood cutting boards, end grain cutting boards are the most expensive. This is due to the number of processes involved in its production.
• They are heavy:
End grain cutting boards are required for heavy-duty work like chopping of meat and bones that can only be carried out when the board is thick and heavy. The heaviness makes it challenging to move around and also tricky to clean.
• They absorb moisture easily:
The fibrous nature of end grain cutting boards also stands as a disadvantage to it. The board absorbs food juices, water, and other liquids quickly, and this causes warping to the board. Eventually, the board will crack if it keeps absorbing a large quantity of moisture over time.
• They are difficult to maintain:
End grain cutting boards are difficult to maintain and clean. They can’t be tossed into the dishwasher, but as we discussed earlier, there are a lot of things to consider while taking care of them. They need to be treated with the utmost care.
End grain cutting boards are aesthetically pleasing; they have gained popularity because of their beauty and high durability. They have properties unique to them, like their fibrous structure, sturdiness, and self-healing ability. They also have flaws you should consider carefully before opting to get one.
End grain cutting boards are tricky to clean and maintain; you would need to take proper care for them to last long and suit your needs. They are quite expensive but are worth every dime and would be a great addition to your kitchen.