Cutting Board

By Carolyn Shearlock © 2010 • all rights reserved

A good cutting board not only protects your counter top, it also won’t dull your knife and will resist food contamination that can lead to food poisoning.  For use on a boat, I’ll add one more criteria:  not slipping on the counter with the motion of the boat.

Image of OXO Good Grips Cutting BoardOXO Good Grips Cutting Board

Over the years both on board and ashore, I’ve had several cutting boards and my favorite — by far — is the OXO Good Grips Cutting Board.

Before buying any cutting board, be sure to measure your counter space — galley counters don’t have a “standard” depth and you want to make sure that your board will fit on the counter you intend to use it on.  Also make sure that it will fit into your sink for washing.  I like to get as large a board as will fit on my counter to have the largest possible work surface.

Photo of cleaning a fish on deckIf you don’t have a separate fish cleaning station and will use your cutting board to fillet fish on deck (as we did), also make sure it will fit in the intended area — or get a second board (our solution as Dave would often still be filleting a fish as I was prepping other items).  The board in the photo at right is with a board that does slip on the deck — and Dave didn’t like it too well (although it’s always a good day when the fish is larger than your board)!

So why do I like the OXO boards over others?

  • The polypropylene surface is nonporous, so food juices can’t penetrate and bacteria won’t grow inside.
  • The polypropylene surface won’t dull knives, like some hard plastic and tempered glass boards do.
  • It doesn’t retain odors of things like onions and garlic.
  • The colored ends are made of soft rubber, which make the board nonslip.  This is a HUGE factor on a boat whether underway, in a rolly anchorage, or just somewhere that other boats (or jet skis) come by and kick up a wake.  This is what makes the OXO boards vastly superior to other polypropylene boards.
  • The board is double-sided:  one side has a “juice groove” to catch meat juices so they don’t go on the counter top and the other side is smooth for other items.  If you always cut meat on the meat side and other items on the other side, you can lessen the chance of food poisoning due to cross contamination.

I also wipe down the meat side with a bit of bleach after using it (read about disinfecting with bleach).

The OXO Good Grips boards come in three sizes, each half the size of the next one larger, and two colors on the ends:

Conclusion

Even if you choose a different option, get in the habit of always using a cutting board onboard — if you cut items in your hand (as my mother did her entire life) and the boat moves, you’re really likely to cut yourself.  Good knives are meant to be used with a cutting board no matter where you are!

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Comments

  1. Sami Bolton on Facebook says:

    I use the thin plastic ones. Have a different color for use….raw meat, veggies…….plus I can spray them with bleach water mix and disinfect them. The do tend to slip on dry smooth surface so either wet the surface or put a piece of non skid under them. They are easy to store, dry quickly. I have completely done away with any other kind of cutting board.

  2. You know, girly girl, that you oughta do a boat wench blog ala “The Pioneer Woman” (google her) and make you a little bit of $$$!!! And there’s yer name–“The Boat Wench”!!

  3. Thanks, Dean . . . but right now, The Boat Galley is keeping me plenty busy. I do follow Ree at PW, but can’t imagine how she does the blog, books and TV shows!

  4. Sami Bolton on Facebook says:

    I think Dean Brown was talking about me…..she knows I have a TV background…..but Im RETIRED!!

  5. Ah-ha! The things I learn . . .

  6. We Keep these on all our boats, but when I sail I bring a cheap tray with for sides that fits my wooden cutting board perfectly. It fits perfectly on the stove top and allows cutting on wood which I prefer without sliding and contains crumbs and juices from getting every where. Then my sink area is still open and I can still get in the fridge for that one thing you must have to make the meal and not you have to move everything to get back in the fridge… You know, you pack things that work well together so you can make one quick grab… Then of course you forget to grab the butter or onions… Something that goes with too many things to be packed with breakfast or dinner or lunch…

  7. That tray is easy to wash in the sink, stays on stove top and can be used to serve in the cockpit… I keep cheap silicon baking sheets on board to put under things to keep them from sliding and to keep surfaces clean… And they can take heat! The cheap kind that come in bright solid colors are my favorite mats… Just make sure they are very dry before rolling up and sliding away… Hang on oven handle for a while

  8. My tray is one formed piece so it doesn’t leak, so it works perfectly as a drying rack and can leave something to soak in it too… It cost me $3 at walmart ten years ago… Wish I had bought two!

  9. does anyone know where you can get the non-slip dishes (with the little rubber ring underneath) without breaking the bank??

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