Butcher Block (L12168) by Planches Labell
There’s something to be said for investing in a really nice cutting board for your kitchen. When you’re ready for that cutting board that elevates your food prep, look to Planches Labell.
I tested out their Butcher Block L12168, an end grain butcher block with stainless steel handles made from 100% Canadian recycled/recovered maple hardwood. End grain boards are easier on your knives’ blades than edge grain; they also hold up better in the long run and are less likely to show scratches.
It’s a fairly large board (about 30 cm x 40 cm), taking up a good chunk of my counter. The size works in its favour though; the food I was prepping didn’t tumble off onto the counter or floor, and I was able to cut multiple bits of produce at one time, if needed. The rubber feet on the bottom keep it steady so it doesn’t slide around the counter like a plastic board.
I love the sturdy handles on the ends of the butcher block. They make it easy to relocate during prep. Once I was done chopping and cutting, I just lifted the whole board with my ingredients on top and moved over to the stove to cook. This is especially helpful for home cooks with small or narrow kitchens. The board itself is a bit hefty though – weighs about 9.5 lbs – so if your strength training isn’t quite up to par, you may want to limit the items you move on top to lighter ingredients.
The one downside to the board is that it’s a bit too big for my sink. Cleaning it required shifting it around and, occasionally, just wiping it down where it sits on the counter. Once clean, the wood is a a bit dull and soft (not the dramatic tones you see in the photo on their site), but that could be because I haven’t treated it with mineral oils. Even dull though, it’s a beautiful board for serving family-style meals.
One thing I love about wooden cutting boards in general is that they’re naturally antibacterial. I’ve previously only owned plastic boards, due to budget reasons, and I’ve always been a little grossed out knowing that bacteria will find its way into the grooves and scratches… and it will stay there unless you have a high powered dishwasher (which I don’t). Wood, especially hardwoods like the maple this board is made from, pulls bacteria down into the fine grains and kills it.
Still, I probably won’t use this board it for meats – I’ll stick to the easy-to-clean plastic boards that I can sanitize with a bleach-water solution – but I will use it for my produce, cheeses and anything else I need to chop. In fact, I already have plans to use it at my next gathering as a cheese platter and/or serving board.
This butcher block and any of Planches Labell’s other 90 cutting boards are nice, environmentally friendly purchases, whether it’s for your own kitchen or a gift.