I spent about half of my adult life cutting vegetables and doing meal prep on dinner plates, for some reason thinking a cutting board was a silly indulgence and unnecessary gadget. The truth is cutting boards are actually a huge help in the kitchen for several reasons, a couple of the big ones being they help keep your knives sharper and give you a larger/flatter/safer area to work.
Bamboo has been my favorite cutting board material for awhile now, because it’s as pretty and natural as wood but just a little bit softer (that much easier on your knives), and it renews itself as a resource much quicker (it takes just a few years for bamboo stalks to grow back, vs a decade or three for the average tree).
So bamboo cutting boards are awesome save one caveat: you can’t put them in the dishwasher. What this means for us is that we never use the bamboo cutting boards to cut meat. I worry about nasty bacteria hiding in the grooves and scratches and really like the idea of sanitizing my meat-cutting boards in the dishwasher. So for that reason I only use my bamboo boards for cutting veggies, herbs, and non-meat items, and have a few dishwasher-friendly ones designated for meat.
So on to the review, the Extra Large Bamboo Cutting Board by Alton Bay Bamboo.
It is big. 18 x 12 x .8 inches to be exact. But it’s also surprisingly lightweight — it feels lighter than my other bamboo cutting board, and that one is quite a bit smaller. It’s smooth and simple in design: a large rectangle with a groove cut out all around one side and the words “alton bay bamboo” etched into one corner. The other side is flat and plain.
It did arrive with a few cosmetic blemishes, like little hammer or nail marks (see picture). And it did start showing knife marks and scratches immediately/upon first use, but I think that’s normal for bamboo. It’s soft and gentle on your knives because it ‘gives’ to a certain degree.
Summary: I love it! The size is generous enough to allow the chopping of large items or (more commonly in my case) multiple ingredients at once, and it’s simple but beautiful to look at and have around the kitchen. It’s lightweight, which makes it easy to pull it out of a drawer with one hand, and I like that it has a green/eco-friendly angle in the bamboo. The drip-catching groove is more decorative for me than useful, since I’m not using it for large meat cuts, but I think for some it would definitely be a functional plus. Overall I’m really happy to have this in my kitchen.
Interested in getting one? Find it on Amazon.