Good knives need good chopping boards

The quality of your chopping board will directly affect how useable your knives are. Not only is it no fun at all to chase ingredients round a too-small-warped-wonky board that catches your edge, the wrong material will blunt your knife. Think about the hardness. A super hard board will blunt your knives and makes for an unpleasant surface to cut on as it has no "bounce". If you are still using a glass or bamboo chopping board, you want to throw it straight in the bin.  Don't fear, we can help.... 

Your options are between wooden and synthetic. A lot of this comes down to aesthetic, what you are looking for in terms of functionality, and price.

WOOD: traditional Japanese cutting boards will be hinoki which are a super soft wood. Not likely to blunt your knives but take a bit of getting used to so that you don't cut in to the board. Western wooden boards are traditionally made from hard wood which, while incredibly durable in a home kitchen, aren't that forgiving on your edges. 

We sell a range of gingko boards from Woodpecker - see here. They are beautiful quality and have the same easy-on-the-edge qualities as hinoki. 

SYNTHETIC: two main options from two brands here - Hasegawa and Asahi.

ASAHI: The Asahi board is made from hi-soft rubber, a unique material which has a completely flat cutting surface that is supremely satisfying to use with some give when you cut on it. The buff-coloured surface is very durable and - over two years of spilling things on it - we've found stains can be easily cleaned and the patina that develops is not unsightly. Day-to-day maintenance involves a scrub with a tawashi although there is also the option for more hardcore re-finishing with one of these. In our product-testing, there has been no warping on the board and it remains absolutely straight as a dye with no wobble. The only thing to bear in mind is that these are weighty beasts. This makes them satisfyingly solid but does mean you won't want to be nipping to the sink with them every five minutes.  

HASEGAWA: the PE-wood hybrid. Polypropylene Elastomer surround with a wooden core so that the board is light with the core giving structure to stop warping. The surface has a light texture which grips what ever you are cutting. 

With both of these boards - and, indeed with all cutting boards - you want to be careful not to cut on them with serrated knives. These will rip through the surface creating grooves. Get a dedicated bread board or - if you insist - just use one side and go easy. 


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