A butchers block normally has the wood grain turned up on end and a cutting board has the grain running the length of the board. However, the terms are used to describe both and are no longer exclusive.
End grain boards are easier on the knife edges and will last much longer. When cutting, the edge goes between the wood fibers and those fibers aren’t severed. Long grain cutting boards, while they are much easier to make and much less expensive, will have their wood fibers severed as an edge cuts across. They will require resurfacing more often to rid the cutting surface of splinters.
I have read many articles about this and from what I understand; the moisture on the surface of the board is wicked into the interior carrying bacteria with it. As the moisture is wicked inside, the bacteria will die due to a lack of moisture.
Plastic is much easier on the edges than glass but the deep cuts that remain make it difficult, if not impossible to clean and sanitize. However, their cheaper initial cost makes them easier to discard but they will last in a landfill almost forever.
This is a popular idea. But proper sanitation and cleaning will reduce the chances for cross contamination. To be sure, cut the raw vegetables first then raw meats. Wash thoroughly and sanitize accordingly.
For in-stock boards we try to have them shipped the same day, as long as placed order gives us enough time before shipping pickup. If we are out of stock, or it is a custom size order we do our best to make it in one to two business days. The lead time can be increased depending on the volume of orders in the shop, but in that case we will give our customers heads up so they know what to be expected. Special orders can take longer and the build time can vary with the complexity of the project and if any outside vendors are required.
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Straight mineral oil is preferred. Heat and apply to the cutting surface periodically to help maintain water repellency. Add some bees wax to the oil and heat until the wax melts. Apply this to the cutting surface for extra water repellency. I offer at this time a Board Butter which is more wax than oil and is applied like a paste wax over a mineral oil coating. Just remember to oil all the surfaces from time to time, not just the top. Normally, boards that are built in the Orient are treated with bean oil which is food safe yet contain fats which may go rancid.
Any organic oil, vegetable, olive, nut oil and the like, should be avoided. They all contain natural fats and will turn rancid over a period of time. Nut oils can also cause an allergic reaction in those who are allergic to nuts. Avoid Tung oil. Pure Tung oil will take a long time to dry and may turn into an ugly mess unless a chemical heavy metal dryer is added.
After each use, wash with a quality dishwashing detergent and warm water. Wet the surface, apply the detergent and wash. Rinse thoroughly. (Do no leave hot water running over the surface for an extended period of time!) A solution of 1 tablespoon of Clorox to one quart of water is sufficient to sanitize. Spray on, let it sit and then rinse. Or, mix a 1 : 1 ratio of vinegar and water. Spray on, let it sit and then rinse. Or, coat the surface with salt overnight. The salt will absorb the moisture and kill the bacteria. Please read and refer to the use and care guide supplied with each board.
The best way is to keep the board well-oiled and washed after each use; however, you can sprinkle some salt on your board, and cut a lemon in half. Using the half of lemon scrub the board with the salt, rinse clean, then just dry your board off.. NOTE: Remember to re-oil the board again once it is dry.