I like my cutting boards that can be sterilized in a microwave


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This actually sounds like the worst thing you can do to BPA plastic.

Are you sure you don’t mean BPA free plastic?


Amazon description says they are BPA free.


I regularly microwave my wooden cutting board! I leave it damp after washing and just stick it in the nuker for five minutes. (With the turntable off!)

My sister* and mother and a family friend all got plastic cutting sheets for Christmas. I was hoping for a set. No dice! I guess I’ll have to spring for my own set.

*The set that my older sister bought a pile of as gifts had maybe four sheets, each with a tab showing an icon: Fish, cow, bread, vegetable. My younger sister is Vegan; her set came with all of the tabs chopped off, so as not to offend.

I thought you had to use a special kind of microwave to kill bacteria?

Personally, though, I like my wooden cutting boards that I scrub, but purposely do not sterilize. It seems to me that a sterilized plastic board will be layered with dead micro-organisms that are the perfect food for any airborne pathogen that happens by, so that a single, fairly harmless samonella or botulinin microbe that lands there can rapidly bloom, leading to a gut-destroying food poisoning incident. Certainly that’s what happens with unfiltered sterilized water - the killed organisms become an energy resource waiting to be exploited, and the first microbe to find it reproduces exponentially (I’ve read a few papers about this happening in municipal water supplies).

I use the method that my forbears used for thousands of years - choosing known safe woods that are kind to my knives and have been repeatedly proven to be inimical to less friendly kitchen microbes and safer for families than any plastic. Bonus is that I see figured maple as more aesthetically appealing than plastic, but people fond of bold colors might see the reverse…


Not only is this cutting board non-biodegradable, but plastic cutting boards are notorious for storing bacteria. Get a sustainable wood board and be done with it.
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Catablog. Did I just make up a new word?

@markfrauenfelder I love your food posts. We have different toolchains but I always like reading shop.

I recently redid my counters in oiled wood (which I don’t cut on, but can :D). They are a certain aesthetic that some love and some hate.


When my wife saw they were “Williamsburg” she gave me a stare and muttered, “…hipster”

I use the odds and ends as cutting board. They are great.


Oh. In the FWIW department:

I found that nice butcher block board in the trash. It was in sore shape. I sanded it very lightly, then soaked it in mineral oil. While I was at it, I did the same to two other boards. I left them out in the summer sun for a few days.

Then I got a nice chunk of bees’ wax, and rubbed the sucker every which way. Left it out in the sun again, to warm and soften the wax. Gave it a second coat, and maybe a third. Did the other side.

The board has a nice water-repellant quality now. The oil and wax probably help keep meat juices from penetrating. It is also just big enough to fit in the microwave.

Mind you: Still going to buy silicone sheets. If only for vegetables.

*I knew that you bought mineral oil at drug stores, but never knew what it was for. I was directed to the laxatives aisle. Now I know.


This also works very well and is basically mineral oil and beeswax, but it comes in a bottle that is easy to make an entire mess in the kitchen.

I guess everyone has less concern over plastics than I do - I don’t use heated plastic for cooking, and I don’t think I’d want to nuke my cutting boards either since I can only imagine that it degrades the plastic and may form other compounds that could leach in to foods. I remember hearing an article on NPR about a woman and her daughter who did an experiment trying to live without plastic for a month (maybe it was less) and they found significantly changed hormone (or chemicals that mimic hormones) levels after that month. BPA isn’t the only bad guy, so I really try to minimize plastic use, and especially minimize antagonizing the plastic gods by heating plastics up.

I guess I’m alone in my paranoia.


I use a compressed wood fiber cutting board that is dishwasher safe, best cutting board I ever used and decently priced but it looks like the price went up since.


Wow . . . didn’t know there was a specific product for doing what I was doing, much less made of the same things I used!


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It isn’t too badly priced, can be found at home depot (in the states), but prone too… Err… Quickly and suddenly evacuating at the hint of too much pressure all over the place :smile:

if it is warm it works better, and less likely to make you wash your cabinets.

Your… eyes.


Hey, some of us get excited by butcher blocks :smiley:


I microwave my wooden cutting board. You have to be careful not to let it get too hot, but pasteurization only needs 72C for 15 seconds to be effective. That way you get wood’s natural disinfectant properties on the surface, and deep-down sterlization every once in a while.

90% of his photos… THE EYES!

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I like my wooden one that I wipe with the nearest damp rag.


You’re not alone. I like to think that it’s because I’m politically and environmentally aware, though, rather than highlighting my paranoia. :slight_smile:

Anyway, I never use anything made of plastic if there’s an alternative. Sadly, there’s often no alternative; wire insulation is a good example… nothing else I can afford will do the job safely and legally.

But I don’t drink or eat from plastic. And I certainly would never cook in it. It’s just not ever really necessary.

Hey, @stefanjones, that looks like American Black Walnut! I thought you was a Britisher!

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