Posts tagged kitchen worktop
Among the types of kitchen worktops that we use is the cutting board. From the novice cook to the professional chef, cutting boards are an essential tool to have in the kitchen. There are several types of cutting boards to choose from, and each have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Wooden Cutting Boards
Many people prefer wooden cutting boards because that’s what they started using as a beginner. Until recently, most wooden cutting boards were made from a maple hardwood which resists knife marks. While the standard wooden board may be preferred, it is not the easiest to clean. Eventually small cracks from cutting can harbor bacteria and become a health hazard. Wooden boards can not be placed in the dishwasher, but can be sanitized with a bleach solution.
Recently, new wooden boards have entered the market, including a bamboo cutting board. Bamboo is a little more expensive than the extremely economical maple, but typically lasts longer and resists bacteria better than other woods.
Oiling wooden cutting boards is recommended to prevent them from drying out and cracking. To extend their life, they should be rubbed with a light mineral oil intended for food use. Other options are poppy seed, linseed oil, or you can buy cutting board oil.
Plastic Cutting Boards
Plastic is an option that many cooks choose when shopping for a new cutting board. Plastic boards come in many colors, thicknesses and price ranges. Plastic is a good choice because it is easier to sanitize, and smaller boards can be run through the dishwasher to clean.
Other Materials for Cutting Boards
Some people choose glass cutting boards because their hard surface makes them easy to clean. While this is true, the hard surface is also hard on knives, which can dull faster and actually be difficult to cut on. Glass cutting boards can double as trivets, which makes them handy to have around.
Corian, while typically a countertop material, can be used to make cutting boards. It’s non-porous, so it is easy to clean too, but it is a more expensive option than wood, plastic, or glass.
Some people use slabs of marble as a cutting board, but it’s hardness can actually damage knives. It will also deteriorate when exposed to acidic foods.
Choosing a cutting boards is a personal decision, and favorites vary from person to person. Whatever cutting board is chosen, it is important to sanitize it after each use, and replace them when cracks or grooves appear.
The most commonly used wood in a butcher block top is maple due to it’s durability and beauty. But you can also get it in walnut, teak, cherry, mahogany, oak, etc. This makes it easy to match it to your existing finishes in your kitchen. Now, you may think that a butcher block counter is just one solid piece of wood, but this is not the case. It is actually lots of strips of wood that are glued together. This is what makes it possible to have multiple types of wood on one kitchen worktop.
In my opinion, a butcher block should be your number one choice for a countertop for one reason – functionality. You can set a hot pan on it and it doesn’t damage it in the least. And obviously, you can use it for all your prep work. Try to do the above two examples on a granite or ceramic tile counter and you have made a very expensive mistake, to say the least.
The average cost of a solid slab granite countertop is anywhere from $60- $120 per square foot. Ceramic tiles can range anywhere from $5- $100 per square foot depending on whether you get a simple solid color or opt for a patterned tile. Also, this does not include the price of grout. The average butcher block can go for $30- $100 per square foot depending on the type of wood chosen and other variables.
We should also address maintenance of the butcher blocks. If you follow a few simple procedures, you can extend the life of your butcher block by many years.
After every use, scrape the surface used with a metal scraper or spatula and thoroughly dry it to ensure proper sanitary conditions. You should also treat it with mineral cutting board oil about twice a month to make sure it is properly sealed against bacteria. And last but not least, you should periodically flip it over to ensure even cutting distribution. If you follow these simple steps, then you will have a beautiful centerpiece in your kitchen for many years to come. Enjoy!
It was a typical late Monday afternoon. The chili was simmering over the stove top. The onions were being chopped. The kids were getting the table ready for supper and mom was rummaging through the mail that had been sitting on the counter for the past two days. If you’re wondering where we’re at……YES you guessed it! We’re in our lovely kitchen, where we spend the majority of our “bonding” time. To say that the kitchen countertops get “beat up” pretty bad is definitely an understatement! “No job’s too big, no job’s too small” use the cleaning tips below and watch your kitchen worktops glow!!
•Wipe off dirt and dust with a wet sponge.
•Use dish-washing liquid detergent with warm water to wash off stains.
•Moisten the surface with a soapy solution and allow the countertop to soak for a few minutes. Some stains may need extra attention. Rinse with warm water and wipe dry.
•The surface is now ready for baking soda. Sprinkle and scrub the baking soda over the stain. Rinse again and wipe dry.
•Laminate countertops are easy to clean. A secret to lifting stains off of their surface is to squeeze a lemon slice onto the stain and allow it to stand for about 15 minutes. Rinse and wipe dry.
•Use Chlorine bleach solution consisting of (1/2 tsp of bleach and 2 quarts of water) to clean butcher block worktops. Never allow this surface to soak up too much water, for this will cause permanent damage! Ceramic tile can also be cleaned with a bleach solution. A nice trick to getting in between the lining of the tiles is to scrub them with an old toothbrush.
•Marble and granite countertops are easily scratched and shouldn’t be cleaned with any chemicals or harsh cleaning tools!
At this point someone might be asking “Isn’t there a household name product that I can use?” The answer is, but of course! LYSOL ANTIBACTERIAL KITCHEN CLEANER and CLOROX CLEAN-UP CLEANER WITH BLEACH, are great to use on hard, nonporous countertop surfaces. Let’s not forget Clorox disinfecting wipes for everyday use. HAPPY CLEANING!