Ingredients, check! Fire, check! Knife, check! What do you think is missing? Yep, a cutting board. Of course, you don’t want to prepare a whole cow and look like some sort of caveman in the kitchen. Meat and other ingredients are better cooked when they are chopped up.
Although cutting boards are sometimes neglected, they vary a lot and there are lots of different types to consider. Important things to look out for include where they were manufactured and how they are used.
There are two styles of cutting boards that you will need to know about: end grain and edge grain.
End Grain Versus Edge Grain
To further understand the differences between the two, let us first look at the grain of the wood. Wood grain is basically the physical appearance of the wood from the direction of its cells, surface placement, and cut.
Edge Grain Cutting Board
How Does It Look Like?
Made from strips of hardwood, such as maple and cherry, an edge grain cutting board is made up of parallel strips of wood and looks like the side of a 2 x 4.
The grain is visible, so the beautiful figure of the cherry and maple trees on the cutting surface will add to the beauty of your kitchen counter.
What Are The Pros And Cons?
- Apart from the aesthetic advantage that the edge grain provides, the parallel arrangement of the hardwood strips makes it durable. It is great for baking, dough rolling, and food preparation.
- However, despite the longevity it guarantees to consumers, the downside is that knife scratches and cuts will permanently mark the board in time. Its wooded surface is so durable it will blunt your knives more quickly than the end grain cutting board does.
- Although it is vulnerable to scratches, you can make an old edge grain cutting board look as much as 5-10 years younger by applying sand or oil to it. This grain is recommended for bakers and chefs; although they will have to allow more time to sharpen their knives.
- It is more cost-effective than the end grain board because of its simpler structure, adn it will remain sanitary, even after it is washed and dried.
End Grain Cutting Board
What Does It Look Like?
As the name implies, an end grain cutting board resembles the end surface of a 2 by 4. Unlike the parallel structure of the edge grain, this type of cutting board consists of hardwood pieces that are arranged in a vertical orientation. This is the cutting board’s secret as to why it is great in fine knives.
In contrast to the edge grain’s orientation, which serves as a "wall" to knives, the end grain’s has a "catch and release action" that helps to protect the blade of the knife.
What Are The Pros And Cons?
- This type of cutting board does not get damaged quickly because it has a tendency to re-oil and recondition more than the edge grain type of board. Therefore, refinishing it is not too exhausting. Its more complex design means it is the more expensive option, but it is recommended for chefs and culinarians, especially if they do not want to spend most of their times sharpening their blunt knives.
Oops… One More Thing!
There is also the third type called the face grain cutting board. Although it cannot really be compared to the two major boards, it can be as useful to use as well.
As the term implies, you can see the face, or the "outside", of the board when you use it. You can therefore vividly see the grains of the wood, which adds to its beauty. Face grain wood is usually used to create panels or tabletops on cupboard doors.
Which Is The Best?
Actually, this depends on your purpose and how much you want to spend. If you are a butcher and want a cost-effective cutting board that will last a long time, the edge grain one is preferable.
But if you don’t do that much cutting, and you can afford to buy a cutting board with a complex design for your counter, the end grain board is the most suitable for you.
The bottom line here is that either of these two cutting boards will be great for you. Apart from the aesthetic advantages that they bring because of their grains, they are both natural, durable, and will last for years in your kitchen.
If you have any questions or suggestions that want to send me, you can leave them all here. They will be highly appreciated and I will be very pleased to address them!