What surface do you prep food on?

KateB22December 4, 2013

I am having a new house built right now. I am making many decisions! I am trying to see if I need a butcher block or something else as a food prep area in my new kitchen. I have a total of 48 sq ft of counter. I am pretty sure I am going wit Carrera marble countertops.
In my previous house I had wood countertops and I had a wood cutting board to cut on and then did the rest of the food prep on the counter.

In my temporary rental I have laminate counters and I use a cutting board and then prep on the counters.
Will it bethe same with marble- or would it be useful to have a sction of my counter installed with butcher block?

If you have marble kitchen countertops, do you just put a wood cutting board on them and then do the rest of your food prep on the counters?

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Cindy103d

I use cutting boards for everything.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 7:20PM
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greendesigns_gw

I have about 5-6 different cutting boards in several materials and sizes. I never place food directly on the counter for prep. That's just not good kitchen practice, either for hygiene or maintenance of your counter materials.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 7:28PM
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juliekcmo

I have a butcher block island counter. Love it.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 8:07PM
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gabbythecat

I use cutting boards for cutting. But I've always used the plain ol' counter for other work - a *clean* counter!

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 8:11PM
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Linelle

Cutting boards. I do everything on them from cutting meat and veggies, to rolling pie crusts, to making a sandwich. It not only protects my counter (Caesarstone) but cleaning up is a breeze.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 8:12PM
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debrak2008

Cutting boards. While I can roll out dough right on the granite I find it actually works out better on a cutting board.

edited to add: my wood cutting board or my plastic flexible cutting boards work better for dough because they hold the flour in place better. The granite is so slippery.

This post was edited by debrak2008 on Thu, Dec 5, 13 at 10:51

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 8:41PM
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joaniepoanie

Cutting boards or plates....food never touches the counter.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 8:45PM
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sjhockeyfan325

What Gladys said.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 9:33PM
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westsider40

I have Vermont Danby marble counters which I use for shaping bread. I do not use my lovely wooden bread boards for bread or anything else. I wipe the counters with a sponge. I do mix dough in dough buckets and cutting boards for all else. There are no recipes I use where you make a well in a bunch of flour.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 9:46PM
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a2gemini

I am a cutting board person as well.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 9:52PM
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ailene54

I use both cutting boards, and tempered glass for prep work.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 11:57PM
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ailene54

I use both cutting boards, and tempered glass for prep work.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 11:58PM
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juddgirl2

I use cutting boards for any chopping or cutting, and sometimes use a plate or even just a paper towel to make some food items, like a sandwich or piece of toast. If I'm preparing raw meat or fish for marinating, that goes directly into a freezer baggie or baking dish.

I don't roll out dough for pies or pastries but on a few occasions have rolled out sugar cookie dough directly on the (clean) granite counter. I didn't think about using a cutting board for this but probably will in the future.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 1:36AM
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schoolhouse_gw

A wooden cutting board here, plus a marble slab for pastry.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 9:20AM
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lolauren

I have two extra large cutting boards that I had made by someone on Etsy. They are beautiful, and I leave them out on the counters because of it. (Plus, functionally, it makes more sense.)

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 10:43AM
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Linelle

I'd like to plug Epicurean cutting boards (BB&B, Sur La Table). They are sturdy but very thin. You can get them with little rubber corners so that they 1) don't slide around, and 2) allow air circulation underneath the reversible surface. And they have them in blackest gray so that the one I have sitting permanently in my prep area blends right into my dark gray counter.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 10:46AM
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live_wire_oak

Those with children and pets should rethink prepping food directly on the counter without sanitizing first. Owning several cutting boards is just cheaper and easier though. Actual sanitizing the counter involves more than just wiping it down with a sponge. Most people do it incorrectly, or assume that a wipe with a product will do it. It won't. A simple and cheap way is the restaurant industry standard. A 10% bleach solution left on the counter at least 4 minutes soaking wet contact. Then wipe up. Then rinse and wipe dry. Now the surface is safe for food contact.

Cutting boards that are used with meat should be polypropylene so they can be put in the DW. Cutting boards for (washed) fruits and veggies can be wood, and can be briefly washed with soap and water and allowed to dry. I usually put mine in the DW at the conclusion of the cycle so it can dry with the plastic ones. It's getting it dry that's important. Wet wood holds on to bacteria.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 11:01AM
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deedles

I was going to be a smart-alec and say "horizontal".

Um, cutting boards almost always.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 11:14AM
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lolauren

"Those with children and pets should rethink prepping food directly on the counter without sanitizing first."

Or, in my case, those with husbands...

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 11:17AM
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gabbythecat

All of the stone care web sites I've read recommend NOT using bleach on stone surfaces. I think they were specifically referring to granite, because the bleach can cause damage to the sealant. I'm not sure about other types of stone, though.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 11:42AM
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Linelle

I only use water + Dawn on my Caesarstone, besides an occasional swipe with a Pledge wipe when company's coming over. I know that's not sanitizing and one of the reasons I'd never prep right on the counter. Besides, I can imagine having to clean up (wipe, scrape, wipe) all the food residue left behind. Accidental drips are bad enough.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 12:03PM
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teachertile

I use a big glass cutting board that stays on my granite (besides when cleaning it). I also have 4-5 other small cutting boards.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 3:03PM
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lazy_gardens

I do all my food prep on thin washable cutting mats.

They go through the dishwasher.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 6:34PM
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williamsem

We use wood cutting boards. I will also very rarely roll something out on our glass table, but no cutting on glass.

You can spend days reading here and elsewhere about wood vs plastic boards. We prefer wood boards because they harbor less bacteria. Sure the plastic ones can go in th DW, but the tight knife grooves are hard to clean, and plastic won't affect anything left behind where wood will continue to decrease the amount of viable bacteria.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 9:36PM
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justsaying

I mostly use various cutting boards - food never touches the counter. Lately I've gotten into the habit of using paper plates (especially for chicken and meat because I get a little paranoid about contamination). However, the paper plate useage might have something to do with us picking up 10,000 plates for $6 at Costco - I have a ton so I might as well use them! I am finding it very handy though because I can just toss it.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 9:52PM
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justsaying

I mostly use various cutting boards - food never touches the counter. Lately I've gotten into the habit of using paper plates (especially for chicken and meat because I get a little paranoid about contamination). However, the paper plate useage might have something to do with us picking up 10,000 plates for $6 at Costco - I have a ton so I might as well use them! I am finding it very handy though because I can just toss it.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 9:58PM
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cookncarpenter

been prepping most everything other than raw meat on the same maple counter for over 26 years, for that I prefer a designated cutting board. And for rolling dough, I do it right on my soapstone counter

This post was edited by ctycdm on Fri, Dec 6, 13 at 22:57

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 12:44AM
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colin3

Nylon cutting boards and stainless steel prep bowls of various sizes. Makes it easy to do all the prep first, and then cook.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 2:38AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I use wood cutting boards for everything other than raw meat. For raw meat products, I use a plastic cutting board. I use the ceasarstone counter directly when rolling out dough.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 9:27AM
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romy718

Any other recommende cutting boards brands besides Epicurean. I recently bought my first Epicurean but haven't used it yet.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 10:38PM
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oldfixer

Cutting board. For pastry, use a thin Mylar sheet on the kitchen table.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 6:50AM
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oldfixer

Cutting board. For pastry, use a thin Mylar sheet on the kitchen table.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 6:53AM
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zuponcic

Surprised nobody uses a pastry canvas for rolling out pie crusts......couldn't make a pie without the rolling pin sock and the canvas....

I'm with the great majority above who always, always, uses a cutting board, or something like a paper towel if I don't want to use a plate to do something quick like a sandwich. Think about it--people come into your house, plop their handbags, coats, you name it--on your counters. You have no idea who/what has been there, even if you think you are being observant. Clean surfaces....

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 9:27PM
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cevamal

I roll out dough between two sheets of plastic wrap. I even bought an extra wide roll at Sam's to make pie crusts easier. No need to use extra flour, no sticking, no cleanup. To transfer the pie dough to the pie plate simply peel off the top sheet, slide your hand under the bottom, and flop it over into the pan.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 10:08PM
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smiling

Another BIG fan here of the Epicurean boards. They are surprisingly lightweight and easy to handle, they can go right in the dishwasher year after year, they don't move around if you get the ones with the little silicone corners, they're reversible, and they're also great for shaping bread. I blanched a little at the price, but now know it was really worth it.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 10:48PM
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ChristyMcK

Another cutting board user. I've had two Epicureans for about 5 years now and they are the first 'wood' (okay wood composite) cutting boards I've had that hasn't split. Apparently I'm not good at conditioning cutting boards.

If I recall, Cooks Illustrated wasn't a big fan of these because they were a bit unstable, which is true. But the lightness and durable factor still make them a win in my book.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 2:29AM
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breezygirl

I use a large walnut Boos cutting board for the majority of my prep and all of my non-raw protein cutting. I feel ashamed after reading this thread to say that sometimes my food does touch (((horror))) the counter. There. I said it. My raw fruit and veggies sometimes sit on the runnels to drain after I wash them. I use a plastic board that goes in the DW for raw protein, even though I'm not convinced of the argument that raw meat is more sanitary on plastic.

I knead and roll my doughs on the marble counter in the baking zone. Sometimes I roll pie dough between wax paper sheets.

I really dislike bleach and have never treated a countertop as LWO describes. I've never seen or heard anyone I've ever met do that either. I'm careful with the obvious contaminants like raw eggs and meat. I wear food handlers gloves when I handle raw protein as my hands can't stand the water hot enough to feel as if I've sanitized them if I handle it without gloves. No one ever puts their purse or coats on my counters. Maybe it's the way my kitchen and house are laid out after the reno. Coats and purses are left at the door. Reusable, full grocery bags are set on the floor at the end of the island near the food storage zone (fridge and pantry). Is there really a nationwide issue with people getting sick from eating a piece of toast in which the bread sat on the granite counter for 30 seconds before going in the toaster? Don't get me started on how most of the rest of the world treats food safety.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 2:40AM
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renov8r

Like the rest of you I use a variety of cutting boards, plastic composite and wood. My favourite is a big heavy hardwood board that stays permanently on my counter near the sink and refrigerator. No meat but everything else goes on it, and I love it. I treat it occasionally with wood oil, but other than that I wipe it down and wash with soap and water occasionally followed by a quick drying. Looks great after 10 years.
I feel we over think our ideas of being clean. I am not a fanatic about keeping our kitchen germ free and our household has never suffered from food poisoning. My motto is everything in moderation. That goes for keeping counters germ free.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 9:50AM
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nancylouise_gw

For prepping meats and fish I use the plastic, flexible cutting mats. Chopping and slicing, I use cutting boards. I roll out doughs of any kind right on my Uba Tuba granite. It is perfect for that. Clean up is easy, just hot water and a bit of dish washing liquid. Nothing else is needed. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 11:11AM
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