Are cutting boards out?

fun2cookJuly 14, 2010

I have a wood pull-out cutting board in my kitchen that I use alot. It's where I cut bread and make sandwiches every day. I don't use it for messy or wet cutting, so it's easy to keep clean. But I almost never see pull-out cutting boards in kitchens anymore. Are they considered a thing of the past?

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I think they are one of those things considered a thing of the past that everyone misses. I know I wish I had put one in my kitchen. Even when they're not used for cutting, they make handy landing space. When I was little, I pulled a stool up to ours and used it to color in my coloring book. I really wish I had one. I saw one in a kitchen showroom recently. If had thought of it, I would have gotten 2 of them!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 7:29AM
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Everyone is so germ phobic. And they aren't really "cutting boards" per se, but rather bread boards as you use them. I think people used them for all sorts of cutting jobs rendering them unsanitary so they've fallen by the wayside.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 8:11AM
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I have four "breadboards" in my new kitchen. You can see three of them in this photo. The one on the left is for flour, baking, etc. The one under the window will be for assorted activities with a view. The one on the right is sandwich station next to refrig. The unseen one next to stove is for meat, onions, garlic, veg cutting, and pounding.

They're only unsanitary if they're not clean. Same as any other kitchen equipment. They have the advantage of lowering the work height by an inch and a half or so. You can also pull up a stool to them, to get your knees under the work for tedious tasks to save your back. They also accept dirty dishes when the countertops are already full, for dinner parties. They can accept hot things from oven or microwave.

Each cost about $100 extra from our custom cabinet maker.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lotsa breadboards

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 8:55AM
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Very interesting phenomenon...I posted less than an hour ago and find that there are 41 "hits" on my Flickr page. Subtract a generous 10 for relatives who got an email from me this morning and it still leaves me with 31 GW people looking at the page.

If the management is listening, they should be assured that there is a lot of traffic on this forum. What a resource for kitchen planning it is!

Have a good day and be safe.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 10:06AM
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I "thought" I was getting pull-out cutting boards in all the regular base cabinets that I got (3)-it was my understanding that they came free of charge with those. But they didn't show up, and when I asked the cabinet guy (the one I will divorce after this is done) he said he didn't remember that, and it wasn't written down anywhere. After the fact it would have been hard to add, so I gave up (I'm worn down some).

But I will miss them.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 10:19AM
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Thanks for the replies. When I see my cabinet guy today, I'll make sure we have one in the plans, right where my old one was. That was my "sandwich" station. I also like having one under the microwave. I do think "breadboard" is the better name for it.
Still have to figure out where to put the MW!!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 10:44AM
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Ooh, under the microwave is a great idea.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 10:54AM
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We had one in our old kitchen and I used it constantly. I insisted on one in the new kitchen. The KD tried to talk me out of it. I don't think we've used it more than 5x in the last 3 years. The main reason we don't use it, is because of where it is located now. It used to be above a drawer next to a wall. I could just pull it out as extra counterspace and leave it. The KD talked me into putting it above a smaller drawer in the middle of the cab run. Now if I open it, it is in the middle of our walkway. Most inconvenient.

Remember too, it will make the drawer below it much shallower.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 11:02AM
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I love your memory of pulling out your mother's cutting board and coloring. That's sweet. And I like that idea of having the board hidden when you are not using it. But I kinda remember my mother's pull out not being very sturdy and could just see juices spilling out onto the floor. We chose to do this, which solved knife storage issues and meant we would not have to have a seam in our laminate counters:

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 11:05AM
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I had 2 built in breadboards in my last kitchen and I never used them. If the kids used them and didn't wash them off they would have little bugs on them when I pulled them out. It just grossed me out. I much prefer plastic cutting boards I can put in the dishwasher. I didn't include one built in cutting board in my new kitchen will never have a built in one again.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 11:24AM
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Had a breadboard in last kitchen. Loved it. Had zero counterspace and that breadboard came in might handy. I didn't tend to use it as a cutting board at all, just as a shelf or landing space. I kinda wish I had one built into my new design!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 11:43AM
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We have two in our 1915-remodeled-1939 kitchen now, and they're one of the things I will miss most in the new kitchen if we don't find a way to work them in. (I also use ours primarily as landing space.) The big issues I've had on that front are: 1) hard to do if you're considering frameless cabinets (possible---we have one at work with frameless cabs---but much trickier); 2) fewer logical places to put them with more appliances in play (e.g., where our big one is now next to our sink, we'll have a dishwasher, so it's no longer a very logical place to put one); and 3) not stock for almost any cabinet lines (I think we saw one that offered it, not counting the places that do in-drawer bread boards) so unless you're going custom, which is many GW kitchens but not so many average kitchens out in the world, they're not an option.

I've never had a problem with keeping them clean, in part because I cut on a second board if it's messy. But they also pull out and can be washed in the sink, so it's not that much more work than a normal cutting board. I have wrestled with where we might put them logically in the new kitchen, though. That makes a huge difference in their usefulness, I think. Right now, thinking of just one, next to the refrigerator in a baking counter....but I'll really miss my next-to-the-sink board! Can't justify building a d/w enclosure just for a cutting board, since otherwise we don't need a cabinet there at all. *sigh*

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 12:08PM
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We are having one put in our new kitchen, but we use it for putting a hot pizza on it. We have found that when we take a pizza out of the oven and place it on the granite countertop, the countertop seems to "suck" the heat right out of the pizza in no time. Putting it on the wooden breadboard maintains the heat longer. We do use it for bread as well. Works for us...

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 12:11PM
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I never used pull-out boards for cutting - crumbs and schmutz fall onto the floor, irritating. Rather, I used them for extra counter space. In a large kitchen with ample counters, I wouldn't see a need. In a smaller kitchen, I think they are useful. Depends on whether your style is to run out of counter space during meal prep.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 1:05PM
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I had one and hated it. Well, not hate, but I found it useless. It was too low to work on, IMO.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 1:09PM
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I have one and have never used it. I guess it's location, if pulled out it would block the way into the kitchen (U with a bent part of the U) As a result I never considered putting one in, but above the d/w could have been a good spot... our counter tops are higher than average so there's a filler going in there anyway. Hmmmmmm. It's not too late.... :)

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 1:55PM
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I don't know if they're out but they're so functional and take up no space so I got three of them. I've had them all my life and I prefer wood cutting boards over all others. I love having a huge cutting board right where I need it. I generally don't use mine in the pullout position but pull it out entirely and put it on top of the counter. Sometimes I use it as add'l space just pulled out but not for major cutting or chopping.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 2:59PM
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I asked my KD about one and she said there had been problems w/them...that they were never meant to be used "in place", they're meant to be stored there and then taken out and put on the counter when used. I didn't know any better (this was when I was a "kitchen newbie"), so I did not pursue it.

So, are you all saying that you use yours "in place" and never have had any problem with it? Like staying in or still enough to use? No wearing down of the cabinet edge just under the cutting board?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 3:17PM
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I have 3 in this house and wouldn't be without them. Will put at least that many in my next home.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 3:48PM
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Our current cabinets are partial inset, so there's a frame around the boards, but we have no damage to the cabinets after at least 70 (and possibly 95, since we think cabs on one wall may be original!) years. Also, no way are ours designed to be removed and used---they're huge! They do come out for washing when needed, but they're 24" x 26" or so, which would be pretty cumbersome to take out on a daily basis. They're also heavy---probably an inch or more thick of solid wood, so they pull out very steadily and sit very solidly. I suspect they were originally designed for added counter space, since we know that our original kitchen had only five feet of counter total (split 2'/3' on either side of a big sink).

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 6:58PM
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If you're buying cupboards from a mass manufacturer, be sure to read the fine print so you understand what is implied by their breadboard/cutting board unit.

Some of the cabinet companies sell a cutting board unit that fits inside a cabinet, much like a drawer inside the cabinet. You open the door, pull out the board on its runners, lift it and place on countertop, then shut the cupboard door. Go figure. If you need to use two hands to get the thing out, why not just store it in a tray slot with your cookie sheets? It would be cheaper and would function roughly the same way.

Other companies have pull out cutting board units on rails that cannot be used for hard usage, ex. for pounding meat.

The old fashioned breadboard is almost as deep as the cupboard unit and you don't pull it out all the way. It's the cabinet frame that counterbalances the force you are going to put on the board. If it's installed properly, it can take a lot of force. You can attach a crank food grinder or an apple corer onto it. You can pound on round steak and you can butcher a deer. You can knead dough and push hard with a rolling pin. There should be no need to scold a child for pulling down on it--it's not going anywhere.

When one side is starts looking disreputable from long use, turn it over and use the other side. When that side's disreputable also, go buy a stock replacement breadboard from a lumber yard or such. The board's housing will be waiting for it.

Look at Belasea's breadboard in her "tiny kitchen."

Here is a link that might be useful: Belasea's breadboard

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 9:46PM
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this isn't a breadboard but one would work great like this -

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 10:00PM
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never liked them.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 10:41PM
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I lived in my new home for a year before I realized there was a built-in bread board in the top drawer that has a knife holder in it...LOL. I never use it though. I like the Pampered Chef plastic boards and you can throw them in the dishwasher...nice. :-)

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 11:24PM
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I have really enjoyed reading all the posts on this, and the great pictures. I guess it really is a matter of preference. I never had enough counter place, so I used mine all the time. I never did messy or wet cutting on it, I use plastic cutting boards for that. What I loved it most was for making the kids sandwiches in the morning. I had room to lay out 3 sandwiches at once, and make them fast. I used it for slicing big loaf of french breach, and when we had pizza, we could pull the whole thing out, and put it next to the oven. It was the only way I cut use a pizza cutter. i don't have a plastic board that big.
So I guess that answered my question. My KD was trying to talk me out of it, I guess because of the lost drawer size, or maybe because of the frameless look. But now I know I would still want and use one in my redone kitchen. Thanks for your help. If you have any ideas of how one fits in frameless cabinets please let me know.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 4:02AM
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I wish I had space for one. I've had one before and I'd do it again if I had the space. Mine didn't pull all the way out, I don't think! Maybe it did! But a huge 24x26 pull out would be divine! I ended up buying a huge plastic cutting board because the wood ones in Menard's were Made in China. The plastic ones were Made in the U.S.A.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 7:30PM
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I have one. Insisted on it with my order, in fact. Although, the actual cutting surface is only 24" x 17", the board itself is slightly larger. It's installed above a utensil drawer, which is situated just above my trash pull-out. The thinking behind this layout was that I could use this pull-out board to cut and chop things and then toss the remains directly into the trash below and then drop the board into the sink for easy cleaning. The truth is, though, I hardly ever use it! Instead, I tend to rely on several color-coded plastic cutting boards for my every day food prep needs. Still, I am glad that I have the pull-out board. For one thing, it's nice to have that extra-large, cutting board option when prepping for an especially big meal.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 7:43PM
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I have one and use it all the time. I don't cut meat or chicken on it, though.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 8:10PM
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Just saw a photo of a pasta machine on another thread and it reminds me to say that bread boards can be used for items that require a screw-type vise hold to stay put. Saves the fancy countertop.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 10:31PM
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I grew up in a house with a very small kitchen that included two "old fashioned bread boards" as described by florantha. They were wonderful! Very sturdy, removable, replaceable--and a great source of additional counter space.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 10:39PM
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