Cook for Thanksgiving Like a Pro
With the cutting boards used by celebrity chefs
Leslie’s mind is cluttered with thoughts of Thanksgiving, turkey, and tablescapes, yet her counters are clear. This year, she is not intimidated by the memory of aunt Lea’s perfectly roasted-turkey in its place of honor at the table’s center. She no longer worries about her littered countertops, juices running over, or her outdated serving pieces.
Like many of the celebrity chefs she follows, Leslie is equipped with a high-quality bamboo cutting board.
The Expert Chefs’ Say
Like a professional mechanic's advice on your car repair, or a tax expert’s take on your IRS audit, a professional chefs’ opinion on cutting boards should be taken seriously.
In a widely-shared video, Gordon Ramsay - renowned outspoken TV chef - speaks about the importance of cutting boards.
His favorite cutting board type?
A sturdy, wooden one.
"For brunch, one of the most useful things is a great chopping board. Get the right one and it will be your friend for life. I prefer a sort of heavy-duty one because they're so much more durable. They can be flipped over the minute you want to go from vegetables to prepping fish or meat. ... Wooden boards, for me, are always the best. Easy to clean and long-lasting."
In the words of Alton Brown - the creator and host of the Food Network television show Good Eats, and best-selling author of several books on food and cooking:
"I'm talking about that hardwood or bamboo board on which you perform your slices, dices, chops, brunoise, juliennes, etc.”
The Perfect Dish
Crafting a professionally-cooked meal is all in the details. And, just as ingredient quality and salt quantity will dynamically change the end result of your recipe, your kitchen accessories will do the same. Great kitchen knives allow for that perfect filet on a fresh cut of salmon, the right sauté pan means the difference between a perfect steak and a ruined dinner, and the optimal cutting board you whack upon is vital, too.
Cutting it Right
Not all boards were created equal, which is why being an educated consumer is crucial. Here are features that professional chefs look out for, and you should, too.
Firm Grip – Confidently slice, chop, dice, and carve with precision with ridges on the cutting board keeping your meats, cheeses, or vegetables in place.
No Running Juices - Meat and poultry juices won’t get away with dirtying your counters when using a carving board with innovative grooves designed to catch them in the act.
- Convenient Serving - Done prepping your favorite snacks or that gourmet cheese board? Look out for cutting boards that can easily double as serving platters!
Bamboo cutting boards, particularly renowned for their practical and durable design, have proven to greatly improve cooking for other reasons, too.
- Increased Counter Space - Low on counter space and in need of that extra spot to chop carrots? Simply place a large cutting board across your sink or on your kitchen table and chop away. When you're prepping for large meals (ahem, Thanksgiving) a good cutting board can really save the day.
- Safe Spaces - Prevent cross-contamination by keeping various food prep surfaces separate.
- Easy Clean-Up – Effectively reduce your post-party-kitchen-clean-up by prepping on a cutting board and easily washing the mess away in the sink.
Wood and bamboo cutting boards are generally preferred by both chefs and home cooks alike because they are:
- Effortlessly cleaned
- Easy on knife blades
- Naturally antibacterial (particularly Bamboo)
- Durable enough for all chopping
Still, different cutting boards can serve various purposes in the kitchen, and there are five key elements to look out for when purchasing your cutting board:
- Versatility - Can your cutting board accomodate more than one function? A good cutting board can easily be used for multiple purposes, such as chopping, slicing, prepping, and even serving.
- Durable Wood – When the wooden board you’re chopping on splits or cracks, you realize that the type of wood your cutting board is made of matters a whole lot. A sturdy wooden Bamboo cutting board, though, should last for years.
- Positioning - Is the cutting board designed to help keep things positioned for optimal cutting? Things like grooves, pyramid ridges, handles, and more help keep things where they're supposed to be.
- Ease of Use - Your cutting board should simplify cooking, not complicate it. Look for cutting boards that are easy to clean, simple to maintain, and built to be used as an extension of your counter. A simple wash, dry, and oil polish should suffice.
- Optimal Sizing – Ensure that the cutting board you choose can accommodate a variety of slicing and cutting functions. Aside from smaller cutting boards for vegetable and fruit prepping, you'll usually want to purchase a large-sized board.
Brag-Worthy Holiday Dishes
With Thanksgiving coming up and the holidays lurking just behind it, the innovative Premium Bamboo Carving Board with Pyramid-Ridges & Juice Grooves (currently on sale for only $39.99) has become an instant hit. It’s pyramid ridges perfect for keeping turkey in place for flawless slicing, and built-in juice grooves preventing counter spillage and extra cleaning, this board is fast becoming a bestseller. As an added perk, it can be flipped over to serve as a perfectly elegant serving tray.
To find out why this feature-packed bamboo cutting board can "change the way you serve Thanksgiving dinner.", check out the Food and Wine's video here.
Let your guests be wowed this Thanksgiving with dishes that are a cut above.
Thank you, Bambusi.