Why a big cutting board is one of the best kitchen tools you can own

There are a lot of bad cutting boards out there. Glass? Throw that garbage out. Those “cool” ones in the shape of your home state? Hang it on the wall if you must, but don’t bring it close to my kitchen.

If you only have space for one cutting board, make it a decent-sized one, like this one from OXO. (If you want to go fancy and get a wooden board, we like Boos). It sounds dramatic to say that it’s changed my cooking life, but it’s the truth.

A big cutting board allows me to prep a whole meal at once without having to throw various chopped ingredients in bowls to make space on the board. (You do realize you’re going to have to wash all those little bowls later, right?) I can dice onions, smash garlic, chop carrots and mince herbs all on the same surface, parking each prepped ingredient around the perimeter before moving on to the next task.

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I don’t have to clutter my counter with bowls of chopped celery and torn basil anymore. They just stay on the cutting board.

Look, I’m not swimming in counter space here — the big cutting board pretty much takes up everything I’ve got. But it’s worth it, even if cleaning it is a pain because it doesn’t really fit all the way into the sink. (Again: less of a pain than washing eight little bowls.)

Over the years, I’ve tried to convince my mother about a lot of various strong-held food opinions that I have. (Skim milk is not, in fact, the best milk; you should never buy bottled salad dressing because making it from scratch is so easy; please for the love of God stop using small knives and dust off the nice chef’s knife you have instead.) And while most of my pleas have fallen on deaf ears (and, fair enough, she pretty much never has to listen to me given all those dishes I never washed as a kid…) except for one thing: She just traded all of her tiny cutting boards for a big, handsome one.

Mom knows best, after all.

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