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Top 3 Chopping Boards to Pair with your Japanese Knives
We all know Japanese knives are a class on in their own right. The craftsmanship and precision Japanese knives are made with makes them stand out above the rest. But how do you look after your knives so that you can get the most out of them and make them last a lifetime?
One of the crucial pieces of kitchen appliances that you must pair correctly is the cutting boards you will be using with your Japanese knives.
Use your knives on the incorrect chopping board will result in a shortened lifespan for your knives and more than likely disappoint or frustrate you with having to constantly resharpen your knives.
Our Favourite Chopping Boards for Japanese Knives
|Kiso Japanese Cypress Hinoki Cutting Board, 16 x 10 x 1 Inch
|Yoshihiro Hi-soft High Performance Professional Grade Cutting Board Japanese Sashimi Chef's Tool Made in Japan (X-Large)
|Sonder Los Angeles, Large End Grain Teak Wood Cutting Board, 17x13x1.5in with Sorting Compartments, Non-Slip Feet, Juice Groove (Gift Box Included)
What could be better than pairing a Japanese made chopping board with a Japanes Knife?
The answer is simple – nothing.
Let’s just say the Japanese know what they are doing when it comes to taking care of their knives with the Kiso Hinoki Cutting Board. The materials used to make this chopping board is 100% authentic Japanese Cypress, which is an extremely soft wood. This soft wood allows the knife’s blade to penetrate the surface, therefore protecting it from becoming blunt and warped.
The Kiso Hinoki Chopping Board is masterfully crafted using one-inch thick strips, and not multiple layers, like other inferior products. The Cypress wood also contains a natural compound called phytoncide which naturally resists mold and bacteria.
You would be hard pressed to find a better complementary cutting board for Japanese Knives than the Kiso Hinoki board.
- comes in many varying sizes to suit any kitchen and chef’s requirements
- extremely soft material for extra care for your Japanese knives
- natural anti-bacterial properties to maintain hygiene
- will require some additional care and maintenance due to the softness of the wood
- not the most budget friendly cutting board available on the market
The Yoshihiro Hi Soft Performance Professional Japanese Cutting Board is one that is made specifically for protection and durability of Japanese knives.
Rather than wood, this cutting board is actually a synthetic material cannled Polyvinyl Acetate that is manufactured to be the best cutting surgace for high carbon steel knives (the materials that Japanese knives are made from).
The synthetic material is also easy to clean and is treated so there are odor resistent properties.
- as it is manufactured from a synthetic material, it is available in many sizes that will suit any purpose
- minimizes stress on knives and your hand when cutting food
- specifically designed for extendingblade retention and the longevity of Japanese knives
- is not a wood material which is usually the preference for chefs
- not a self healing cutting board
We wanted to include a cutting board that was created closer to home. After some extensive research we found the Sonder Los Angeles Large End Grain Teak Wood Cutting Board. Although traditionally Teak is a harder wood than most of the Japanese cutting boards produced in Japan, we still believe it is a worthy contender and should be considered on the same level.
The Sonder Teak Cutting Board boasts about it’s durability and expert craftsmanship, with its end grain construction and self healing properties.
They maintain the Teak material used in the board allows the knife’s cut to cut between the grains, therefore not blunting the knife AND the fibers actuallu close up after the knife leaves the board.
The board has other function features that make it a really robust cutting board. Features such as juice grooves along the entire perimeter of the board. This helps to prevent spillages and mess.
Another note worthy feature is the non-slip foot holds on one side of the board. It is a safety feature that we frankly love. There is nothing worse than a high end cutting board that slips and slides around when pressure is exerted on the board. In our books, this is a major safety hazard that should be given a lot of weight when considering your next cutting board.
- stylish look and feel that will complement most kitchen decor
- juice grooves to capture and prevent mess
- non-slip feet to provide additional safety
- self healing and antibacterial properties
- not necessarily the softest wood for Japanese cutting knives
Why do you have to get the best cutting board for your Japanese Knives?
As we started to explain above, using a poor choice of chopping board with your Japanese knife will end up blunting or warping the knife.
It is for this reason a little bit of knowledge about the different types of cutting boards will go a long way to maintaining your knives and increasing their longevity.
The best chopping board for a Japanese Knife is one that has a soft enough surface that it allows the knive to penetrate. This ensures the board will not warp the knifes sharp edge and you don’t waste your money on blunt expensive knives.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the different materials available on the market.
Wood Cutting Boards
Hands down probably one of the best types of cutting boards you can get for any knives or cutting purposes. The texture of wood is soft enough to allow the edge to penetrate, meaning it won’t blunt the knife. This means the knife is protected and will last for a long time without requiring sharpening and wearing down.
Many people (and food hygienists) are worried about wooden chopping boards for sanitary purposes – in other words they are worried about keeping the boards clean and bacteria free.
However in actual fact, if you choose the right wooden boards, the wood itself can self heal and prevent cuts from harbouring bacteria. In addition, some woods (such as hinoki and Aomori hiba Japanese sourced woods) have been found to have antibacterial properties within the wood itself. So in actual fact, wood chopping boards are actually one of the materials we would highly recommend for both knife protection and hygiene purposes. Just be sure to do a little bit of research about the type of wood that you are thinking about purchasing.
Plastic Cutting Boards
Plastic cutting boards is probably the next best pick of cutting board after wood.
The reason being the surface of plastic boards is still soft enough for knives to penetrate. Unfortunately, plastic boards tend to cut away from you slice into them, leaving large crevices for bacteria to breed and spread to your food.
One advantage of plastic cutting boards is that they can often be color coded so that only certain foods are used on particular colors. This is particularly helpful in a commercial setting with many chefs using different pieces of equipment in the kitchen. It helps to reduce the chances of cross-contaimination of foods and the eventual food-poisoning resulting from the contamination.
Plastic cutting boards can also be run through a dishwasher, which makes cleaning a breeze.
Bamboo Cutting Boards
Bamboo seems to be the latest eco-friendly material to really have caught on in a lot of industries, like clothing, bed sheets, and even nappies. And for good reason. It is a sustainable material that grows rapidly – meaning it is cheap and abundant around the world. It also has a very low environmental footprint which makes it the perfect material to use.
However when it comes to chopping boards, bamboo is unfortunately one of the least desirable materials – especially for your knife health.
It sounds counter intuitive because before we were raving on about wood being the best material for your Japanese knives – and isn’t bamboo in the same category? Surprisingly the answer is NO – what gives bamboo it’s strength and durability, will actually work against the knives and serve to blunt their edges. The hard exterior of the bamboo is too hard for a knife to penetrate, causing warping and ruining your expensive knives.
Glass / Marble Cutting Boards
Glass and Marble cutting boards are in the same category as bamboo. It is basic physics. Solid glass and marble cutting boards have a greater density that the thin knife’s edge, again, causing the edge to dint and bend to the extent that the knife will become unusable.
If you own a few expensive Japanese knives, you will want to take care of their durability and longevity. This can be achieved with a bit of research and knowledge about the cutting surfaces should be using. Using cutting boards that are specifically designed for looking after your knives is a must – and we have listed the Top 3 boards of our choice for keeping those knives razor sharp.
You won’t go wrong with the Kiso Hinoki Cutting Boards and their natural soft wood composition and naturally occuring anti-baccterial properties.
When it comes down to the crunch, your choice will be determined by the materials within the board. We have provided a helpful Buyers Guide of your options when it comes to the Best Cutting Board for Japanese Knives.