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Cutting Boards Vs Serving Boards Nomenclature #1: Cutting Boards Vs Serving Boards

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Blog entry by BCWP posted 02-14-2019 09:06 PM 1185 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I have been “working with wood” as a hobby for aver 30 years. Co-built a canoe, soloed a cradle, canoe paddles, small kitchen utensils, etc, for many years. When I had far too much left over wood, I looking for appropriate uses. This introduced me to end-grain cutting boards. It is not much of a stretch to start expanding into what I call serving boards.

Huh? Someone says. Are they not the same thing?

Nope. And this is my “bone of contention”, or “rant of the day”. Here is my issue:

When trying to market end-grain cutting boards, people often would say, “I have had several of those, and they all look like s—t”. When I proceed to explain that a “cutting board” should be end-grain. A face-grain board will show knife cuts/damages/splinters within 3 months. The perplexed look on peoples faces is at one level “splendid” to see and a wee bit discouraging. It appears that there are several/many people who are marketing face-grain serving boards as cutting boards.

Here is my tag line on my email:

“Remember : If it is not End-Grain, it is not a cutting board – it is then just a serving board – with no sharp knives allowed”.

Am I a Lone wolf, crying in the wilderness on this? There is no way, IMHO, that a serving board can sustain sharp knives w/o severe damage within a few months. On the other hand, an end-grain board, and I have several of them, will not show much wear even after 5 years.

So, if it is a cutting board, it MUST BE END-GRAIN; if not, it is a SERVING BOARD.

Please, comment!

-- “Today is only one day in all the days that will ever be. But what will happen in all the other days that ever come can depend on what you do today." Hemingway - "For Whom the Bell Tolls"



6 comments so far

View EarlS's profile (online now)

EarlS

2545 posts in 2645 days


#1 posted 02-15-2019 11:52 AM

Tomato – Tomatoe??

In general, I agree with your reasoning. However, I have cutting board bought at a specialty kitchen store that is not end grain. Yes, you can see all of the knife marks and such but it still functions as as cutting board. Since the true end grain cutting boards are a lot more work folks that want to sell a lot of cutting boards make the “serving board” version because it is a lot easier and faster.

A fancy end grain cutting board is on my to-do list…..

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View BCWP's profile

BCWP

16 posts in 238 days


#2 posted 02-15-2019 12:22 PM

Yes, you are correct.

However, I have lost several sales because people do not want to spend money on another board that looks like it will shed splinters in a few months. When I show them my boards, end-grain, that are 5 years old, they are stunned.

There is a “competitor” in the market area where I have a booth. People are favouring his boards because they are so much less expensive. He does not explain the difference.

I just think it is important to be transparent as to the long term effects of sharp knives on each of the products.

(Sorry, I did not get/understand the “Tomato – Tomatoe” reference. I may be old, but I sure am slow!)


Tomato – Tomatoe??

In general, I agree with your reasoning. However, I have cutting board bought at a specialty kitchen store that is not end grain. Yes, you can see all of the knife marks and such but it still functions as as cutting board. Since the true end grain cutting boards are a lot more work folks that want to sell a lot of cutting boards make the “serving board” version because it is a lot easier and faster.

A fancy end grain cutting board is on my to-do list…..

- EarlS


-- “Today is only one day in all the days that will ever be. But what will happen in all the other days that ever come can depend on what you do today." Hemingway - "For Whom the Bell Tolls"

View Dwain's profile

Dwain

587 posts in 4157 days


#3 posted 02-15-2019 02:09 PM

I agree for the most part. I recently made quite a few mesquite SERVING boards, with face grain. My only issue is that there are many boards marketed as cutting boards that use the edge grain. Cutting boards to me are either end grain or edge grain. Anything else is a serving board.

Thanks for sharing.

-- When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there is no end to what you CAN'T do

View sras's profile

sras

5015 posts in 3427 days


#4 posted 02-15-2019 03:30 PM

Hmmm, I have a face grain board that has been used as a cutting board for more than 40 years. It’s been sanded down once in all that time. For years it was the only board that was used.

I agree that end grain boards are much more durable, but your claims of rapid deterioration are not universally the case. I now have end grain boards and they are much more resistant to scratches. Between the two, end grain will be more durable.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

2573 posts in 1520 days


#5 posted 02-15-2019 09:32 PM

I also agree with your reasoning but I use the two terms differently for the boards I sell.

End grain boards can absorb a lot of moisture if they are not properly sealed (and maintained). This results in, among other things, warping.

I try to discourage my boards from being used in ways that exposes them to sitting in puddles of water and being washed off under the faucet. By calling them “Serving boards”, I imply that they are not intended for cutting upon.

Basically it’s a CYA approach. If course the customer can use the board for what ever they want, but the terminology lessons the expectations when used in the harshest environments.

View BlueRidgeDog's profile

BlueRidgeDog

292 posts in 77 days


#6 posted 02-16-2019 02:06 AM

Any surface that is of a reasonable hardness not to damage the knife can be a cutting board. I have a variety, large, small, high density plastic for working up large chunks of meat and a giant maple one for you name it.

My maple one is not end grain, but is old and gets oiled regularly and heavily used. I think it weighs 25 pounds.

I would not use a cleaver on a long grain board, but I certainly would not call my bigger kitchen boards serving boards.

Saying that only end grain boards are cutting boards is a lot like saying only radial tires are tires. Yea bias ply tires don’t last as long, but they have their place and are indeed tires. Not as good, but they have a place.

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