Some might think that a bartender’s best friend is a Boston Shaker or a jigger. Can’t it be both? In fact, let’s add another friend to the list: the bartender’s cutting board. It may be unnoticed because it’s “just” a cutting board. But, there’s a reason why it bears “bartender” in the name. Clearly, it is meant for bartending and thus possesses features that allow bartenders to execute their duties very well.
There are more than just three tools mentioned above every bar must have. Each of them is essential and no less than the other. Each of them has specific functions that aid the bartender in creating a clean, amazing and delicious drink every time. Plus, you want to ensure your safety in cutting fruits and other garnishes and at the same time protect your counter. In this article, the spotlight is on the bartender cutting board.
What is a bartender cutting board and why is it needed?
In food and drink preparation, one of the things to look out for is cleanliness. You want to prepare your drinks in a safe and clean way to ensure that your beloved customers can enjoy them and not have doubts about the person who prepared it. One way to achieve this is by utilizing a cutting board.
It is quite self-explanatory but to further understand it, a cutting board is a single ply board which is either made from wood, glass, vinyl or plastic. To put “bartender” before it would imply that it is used in bartending. It is used as the surface on which fruits and other garnishes for cocktails are cut. It contributes to the hygiene and safety factor in preparing drinks. It is a sharp knife’s partner in ensuring that your drinks look pretty through its garnishes. The cutting board also protects your countertop that the knives will create when a cutting board is not used. So if you're debating whether to just use your countertop or invest in a cutting board, the latter would be a better choice.
How to Pick a Bartender Cutting Board
It is not enough to just have a tool, choosing something requires thought and other considerations to make sure that you’re making the right choices. That’s when you’ll know that you have it because there are reasons. Here are some of the things to consider when choosing the ideal bartender cutting boards:
- Material - Perhaps the most important factor to consider in choosing a bartender cutting board. There are many materials that a cutting board may be made from but among them, the most prominent ones are wood and plastic. When choosing plastic, choose the right type. Avoid those that are smooth because they can cause the knives to slip. Acrylic ones can easily dull your knives. The best ones are those that are made from polyethylene or polypropylene. Wood is the most classic choice as they are good for knives, last long and provide wonderful aesthetics to your bar. As much as possible, avoid using glass cutting boards because they can rapidly make your knife dull and may not tolerate slips that can result in serious accidents.
- Measurements - Make sure that your cutting board is wide enough so fruits can have an appropriate support when they’re being cut. Sometimes, when you’re cutting, say a lemon and because you’ve cut so many, they have landed on the countertop due to lack of space on the cutting, thereby, compromising the cleanliness of the drink. Standard cutting boards measure from 8-20 x 10-30 inches.
- Price - Most cutting boards are affordable but you still have to make sure that you’re buying what’s worthy to make sure your money is not put to waste. The price will depend on quality and the material of the cutting board.
- Design/ Sustainability - To add aesthetics to your bar, it’s not wrong if you show everybody what a nice cutting board you have. They have different designs and colors that make it attractive but not less effective. If you opt for a plain one, use it but if you want, choose whatever your heart desires. Just make sure that when choosing a certain design, it’s not difficult to clean and maintain it.
- Level of Maintenance Required - To prolong the durability of the cutting board, it must be properly and regularly maintained . Some hand wash it, or wipe it or use fancy oils or rub the surface of the board with salt and lemon. Remember that maintaining the cutting board also means keeping it clean and properly stored.
Kinds of Bartender Cutting Boards
There are 3 most common types of bartender cutting boards that are utilized because of their durability and overall usability. They are also the top 3 best materials.
- Wood - Wood is the most common and basic material for cutting boards as it is also the most effective. It is a convenient material because it is ample and is a renewable resource. Wood comes in variety such as maple, beech, oak, walnut, cherry and more. Using a wooden cutting board is good for the maintenance of your knives since it won’t quickly dull it under use, in fact, it keeps them sharper longer.They are also not easily scarred and are heavy enough not causing movement when cutting. To maintain them, the rubbing of salt and lemon on the surface is needed after washing it with soap as this will lift stains and leave the board with a wonderful smell.
- Plastic - They are also great if you choose the right type. Some types will cause knives to be dull and tend to move a lot. The best one are those of polyethylene or polypropylene. They only come in different colors which allow you to color code. Plastic is believed to be easily cleaned compared to wood. Do not opt for plastic that is easily scarred and slick plastic as this can cause the knife to slip.
- Bamboo - Bamboo is an environment-friendly material for cutting boards similar to wood, but it’s technically a grass. It is sustainable, renewable and it grows quickly. It doesn’t absorb moisture as much as wood does so they are sanitary. Knives can’t scar bamboo cutting boards easily and they are not oiled as much as wooden ones.
Other Kinds of Cutting Boards
Other cutting boards are made from other materials such as what follows. They may not be as compatible to knives but their innovativeness of the materials used gives them an edge. These may not be commonly seen at bars because they are meant for heavy-duty cutting as you would with meat.
- Glass - They give points in being stylish but they actually cause damage to knives. Glass is non-porous, making them easy to clean, however, they can easily dull your knives in 10 strokes. Glass cutting boards are not recommended for use but they make a great addition to your bar’s aesthetic.
- Ceramic - Another smooth-surfaced cutting board that is easier to clean and maintain. The downside with this is that it is not good for constant use as it will damage your knife and tends to glide.
- Marble - Because of the materials used in marble cutting boards, it is incredibly strong and durable. But the hardness of the board can cause damage to your knives. With its smooth surface, it is easy to clean with your dishwasher unlike wood cutting boards.
- Composite - Some claim that composite cutting boards are kind to knives but these kind of cutting boards are strong which can be destructive to knives. They are made of resin materials which have high tolerance to heat. It is durable which is suitable for heavy duty use.
- Granite - Granite is sturdier than marble which means it is not prone to scratches under use, but it also means that the surface is hard which is bad for your knives. Granite cutting boards provide a good surface for baking but it’s definitely not appropriate for bartenders.
By green, we mean environmentally-friendly and sustainable. Prep Series Cutting Boards by Epicurean, 3 Piece, Natural (021-3PACK01) edges it out as the company making it has an eco initiative commitment and the boards undergo a sustainable manufacturing process, making it greenguard certified.
Bamboo has antibacterial properties and so, they fight off any harmful element that may come onto your boards. Greener Chef Extra Large Bamboo Cutting Board is BPA free and is made without formaldehyde. Because the surface is strong and not easily penetrated, no bacteria will form, thus making your board clean throughout.
John Boos has been making cutting boards like the John Boos R02 Maple Wood Edge Grain Reversible Cutting Board for 133 years and they still are, the reason being is because of their choice of material and process that ultimately make the finished product strong and long-lasting.
Least Damaging to Knife
Wood such as walnut is less damaging to knives and you can do this test with the Walnut Wood Cutting Board by Virginia Boys Kitchens. It is sufficiently thick and despite being durable, it doesn’t damage your knives since it’s not as hard as glass or ceramic ones which cause knives to be dull.
A cutting board and a platter? Now that’s a treat. Check out the Sonder Los Angeles Large End Grain Walnut Wood Cutting Board and prove our choice right.
Cutting boards may be shaped as a circle or rectangle but we bet you’ve never seen a cutting board like Totally Bamboo 20-7966ID Idaho State Shaped Bamboo Serving & Cutting Board, shaped like a state. Talk about chopping food in style.
All the qualities of a simple but effective cutting board are in the OXO 1063791 Good Grips Prep Cutting Board and when you’re done using it, just stick it in the dishwasher and it’s good to go for the next use.
Who doesn’t like a colorful set of gorgeous cutting boards? Gorilla Grip Original Oversized Cutting Board, 3 Piece doesn’t only have two but three of them, each one well-designed and can either have one color or the three of assorted colors in one set. And they come in a very affordable price of under $20 so that’s a great deal.
Top 15 Bartender Cutting Boards
Because there are many types of cutting boards and while some of them are effective in their own right, let us stick with the top 15 best ranked by users, regardless of the material they’re made of.
OXO 1063791 Good Grips Prep Cutting Board
It seems that OXO is complete with all of the bartending tools from jigger, cocktail shaker and now the cutting board. They boast their lightweight, warp-resistant and durable cutting board that overall has a clean and cool look from its black or red accents. It is made from the good plastic type, polypropylene which is non-porous, odor resistant and strong. It features soft-tapered handles that enable the user to lift the board easily and it also contains non-slip feet at each corner of the board, making it not move as much when in use. You can use both sides of the board but if you’re using it for making cocktails, you can use just one side since you’ll most likely cut fruits. Its surface is resistant to scratches from the knife and doesn’t make your knife dull. It also has a juice groove that contains the liquid in place when cutting fruits. It measures 7.5 x 10.5 inches and is available at bigger sizes, comes at a very affordable price and can easily be cleaned by washing it by hand or through a dishwasher.
One of the most prominent names among cutting boards, John Boos has been dedicated to pure quality since 1887 in Effingham Illinois. John Boos is also committed to environmental integrity, following best practices in harvesting, renewing and regenerating naturally.The edge grain reversible cutting board is crafted using traditional techniques and is made from hand-selected solid Northern Hard Rock Maple Wood, one of the finest and most durable wood and is antimicrobial as it contains enzymes that kill bacteria. On two opposite sides, there are integrated hand grips making it easy to lift and move. It is available in three sizes, 18x12 Inches, 24x18 Inches, and 20x15 Inches, all are 1.5 inches thick. It also comes in Available in Maple Wood, Walnut Wood and Cherry Wood which slightly vary in price. To maintain this board, wash it by hand with soap and dry it with a towel or air dry it.
Dexas Heavy Duty Grippmat Flexible Cutting Board 4 pc-set
At bars, you need a cutting board to cut fruit garnishes and with this, you need accessible and effective surfaces. Try the Dexas flexible cutting board as it will not disappoint. As the name suggests, it is flexible so you can simply roll it when storing it. They are very lightweight, non-porous and non-absorbent. There are 4 boards in a set which come in blue, red, green and yellow which allows you to color code. They have non-slip backing grips, keep knives sharp and come at a very affordable price given that it’s a set. It measures 8x11 inches and is dishwasher-safe.
Architec Original Non-Slip Gripper Cutting Board
If you want a simple but effective cutting board for your bar, your search is over because the Architec cutting board is here. It is named Architec for a reason as it is strategically designed to achieve high functionality which caused its award-winning status. It has soft rubber feet that enables it to latch itself to the countertop making it slip-free. The surface is made from heavy duty and 100% BPA-free plastic and is FDA approved and easy on knives. It comes in an array of beautiful colors and measures 5x7 inches with a small handle for easy grip and storing. It is easy to clean either by hand or dishwasher and also easy to store since it’s compact. Note though that the different colors also come with different prices but they all work the same.
Gorilla Grip Original Oversized Cutting Board, 3-pc Set
Make cutting endeavors hassle-free with the Gorilla Grip Cutting Board. It is a set of 3 boards of different sizes, 6'' x 11.2'',13.8'' x 9.6'' and 11.8'' x 8’’. They are made from premium materials that are BPA- free, non-porous and are free from splinters, peels or cracks that make them dishwasher-free. They also have deep grooves that catch the juice of the fruit you’re cutting so they won’t get all over your counter. Their strong rubber borders prevent the board from moving or slipping. They are also available in many colors and you can choose either a single-colored or multicolored in one set with varying prices. The cutting board is ideal for a bar as they are light and easy to store.
Totally Bamboo 3-Piece Cutting Board Set
If you want great value, try the Totally Bamboo 3-set cutting board. A set has a large, medium and small (13, 11, 8 inches, respectively) and all are great in fulfilling their tasks. It has a better cutting surface given that it is made of bamboo, specifically organically-grown Moso bamboo and also doesn’t harm your knife. It is easy to wash by hand using warm water and soap. It is not recommended for a dishwasher. Using bamboo makes it environment-friendly and at the same time very sturdy so this type is very commendable. It has been around since 2000 and it still continues to be an innovative cutting board.
Commercial Plastic Cutting Board NSF
This cutting board is larger than other boards, enabling you to have more cutting space. It measures 24 x 18 x 0.5 inches and has rounded edges, making it safe and easy to store. It undergoes a multi-process injection molded manufacturing process with superior High Density Polypropylene plastic that is NSF-certified. The other side of the board has a non-slip texture making it not move when cutting. It can be easily cleaned through a dishwasher. Given that it is plastic, it is not recommendable when paired with serrated knives. It also comes in different colors which enable you to color code.
Prep Series Cutting Boards by Epicurean, 3 Piece, Natural
Made for fruits and vegetables, the Prep Series Cutting Board is a set of three cutting boards with measurements of 17 x 11 x 3/16-Inch thick, 14-1/2 x 9-1/2 x 3/16-Inch thick and 10 x 7 x 3/16-Inch thick. It is a certified green product being made from wood and undergoes sustainable manufacturing practices with minimal recyclable packaging. The trees to which the wood is harvested are under the guidelines of the North America sustainable forestry standards. It is also NSF certified, dishwasher-safe, easy on the knife and can take heat for up to 350˚F. Epicurean cutting boards are simply great and do not fail in terms or function and quality.
Meat, fruit, vegetable, you name it, Freshware cutting boards will surely get the job done right. Each set has a small, medium and large size, and all are made from 100% organic antimicrobial moso bamboo which are BPA-free. Unlike other boards which only have one, this type has three layers of cross-section bamboo, making it very sturdy and lightweight. It is absolutely safe to use and easy to store and clean. The board is designed with rounded edges and a hole for hanging it. Bamboo will not crack easily so expect that this cutting board will aid you in your bar encounters in a long time.And if there’s something wrong with your product, you don’t have to worry because Freshware’s got you covered. It offers the best free replacement or refund policy in any case.
Totally Bamboo Idaho State-Shaped Bamboo Serving & Cutting Board
Ever heard of odd shaped cutting boards before? Check out Totally Bamboo cutting boards that are shaped like each state of America. How cool is that, right? It is ideal for small prep jobs such as cutting fruits, it only measures 15" x 10-1/2" x 5/8". The material is of a durable flat grain Moso bamboo that will not damage your knife and requires hand wash only. It can also be used as a serving platter and if you want to collect all states, you sure can. It will be perfect as a decoration to the wall and show off your state pride. While this type of cutting board has other functions, it is best used as it was intended for which is cutting food. Overall, it is stylish, durable, environment-friendly and effective.
Sonder Los Angeles Large End Grain Walnut Wood Cutting Board
A cutting board that doubles as a serving platter is a treat. The Sonder Los Angeles Cutting board is made from the highest quality end grain walnut wood that can withstand the deepest cuts and not make your knife dull. It measures 13x17 inches and 1.5 inches thick, and has handles on two opposite sides for easy lifting. Each corner has removable rubber feet that keeps the board in place when cutting. The surface of the board also contains deep grooves that retain the juices of the food you’re cutting. When you flip the board over, remove the rubber feet and you will see three beautifully carved compartments where you can keep your food as you continue chopping other food. This side of the board can also serve as a platter and the compartments can be used to contain biscuits, nuts and even condiments.You can clean it by hand using soap and warm water and to further maintain it, feel free to rub oil on it.It comes in a lovely presented gift box so this is a great gift to give to a parent or friend.
Simple, elegant, well-crafted and effective - these are the words to describe the walnut cutting board by Virginia Boys Kitchen. The board has an attractive chocolate hue that makes it a beautiful addition to your kitchen or bar. The grains of walnut are soft that will result in a smooth, non-porous and antimicrobial cutting surface that won’t make your knives dull. It’s special in a way that the board is pre-seasoned with a proprietary blend of pure fractionated coconut oil which contributes to its smooth surface. It is available in several measurements but this model is 8x12 inches and 0.75 inches thick. It is bordered with high-precision deep grooves that leave your countertop messy. T also doubles as a cute cheeseboard when you flip it over. Give this to a friend as a gift, chances are, he/she’ll love it.
Bambusi Organic Bamboo Cutting Board Set - 4 Piece
This set doesn’t have just two or three, it comes at a whopping 4. The Bambusi Cutting board is the type that doesn’t let you sacrifice beauty over quality or vice versa because it has both of these qualities. You are given a lot of options whether the large one which is 12” x 18” with deep juice grooves, or the small wood boards of 13” x 9.5”, 11” x 8.5” and 8” x 6”. They are 100% made from bamboo, are BPA-safe, eco-friendly and easy to clean. The surface is resistant to slips, scratches and harmful bacteria. When you’re not using it for cutting, put some crackers, cheese and fruit on it and you have a fancy platter. To clean it, just wash it with lukewarm water and soap, wipe it with a towel and let it air dry. You also get an amazing value with it as it is only under $30 with 4 boards already so it’s definitely worth it.
Greener Chef Extra Large Bamboo Cutting Board
When a friend gives you a cutting board, how would you feel? Appreciative or just neutral? Maybe you’ll get excited once you see that it’s the Greener Chef cutting board. Cutting fruits, vegetables and meat won’t be an unnoticed job anymore as you get to work on an organic, 100% bamboo surface that is also BPA-free. It comes in several measurements but this measures 18x12 inches. It is professionally recommended due to its strength, eco-friendly material and overall function.
HOMWE Kitchen Cutting Board, 3-Piece Set
Crafted with heavy-duty plastic that allows high-precision cutting on a BPA-free surface that makes it so satisfying to use every time. It is designed with a non-slip handle for easy carrying, cutting and storing as well as juice grooves to contain the drippings of the food you’re cutting. Each set has a large, medium and small. Its surface won’t retain odors and stains for too long and when you’re done using it, just stick it in the dishwasher for easy cleaning. You can choose between the colors, black, gray and red.
FAQsQ: What is the difference between a regular cutting board and a bartender cutting board?
A: The regular cutting board is intended for all-around purpose especially heavy duty cutting and carving for meat, whereas the bartender cutting board is just for light prepping since it’ll just involve mostly fruits. However, if a bartender wishes, he/she can also use a regular cutting board.Q: What is the significance of color coding cutting boards?
A: It’s to prevent cross contamination of foods. One color is just for meat, one for fruits and so on. However, this may not be applicable to bartender cutting boards since they’ll mostly cut fruits for garnishes.Q: What’s the best material for a cutting board?
A: The best one and most recommended by professionals is wood as it is durable, eco-friendly and has antimicrobial compounds.Q: How do I clean my cutting board?
A: It depends on the material. If you have a plastic cutting board, you can easily wash it through a dishwasher. But if you have a wooden or bamboo cutting board, it is required to be hand washed with soap and warm water. To maintain it, you may have to rub mineral oil on the surface.Q: What does reversible mean?
A: It means that you can use either side of the board to cut onto. So, you can use one side for meat and the other for fruits and vegetables.
Minibar Cutting Boards
If you already have a cutting board but not a mini version, then you have to get one too. Why, you ask? Aside from being effective, they also bring aesthetics and are accessible fun. Check them out here!
5 Essential Tools for a Home Bar
The cutting board is among the other tools that you need if you hope to set up your very own home bar. Here are the other ones that you need to have to get started.
Cutting boards are an essential tool may it be in the kitchen or at a bar. It protects your counter top or table and ensures that your food is prepared and cut in a safe and clean manner. There are many types of cutting boards and each one has its own advantages and disadvantages. Some may also make your knives dull but there are other things that people look for in a cutting such as convenience. Bottom line, it depends on the user on what he/she values more and choosing the cutting board that gets the job done.