What cutting surfaces do you use for chicken?

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Jun 23, 2020
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I'm looking to buy something easy to clean for the sole purpose of prepping chicken. What kind of boards/mats do you like that can be easily disinfected? Right now I have a super cheapo plastic mat that came in a pack of 5 from the dollar store. It slides around everywhere, and it's so flimsy that I've destroyed 4 of them already.


It was my turn to dart my eyes wider, "Oh so now you think he's hot?"

She playfully slapped my arm, "Handsome, whatever. Now you're the one being ridiculous."
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"Oh so you think he's handsome?" I teased, playful despite a small pang of jealousy.

She pushed me with her shoulder, "Jackass. I think he looks like you, so of course I think he's handsome."

I'm not sure why I said it, perhaps it was my subconscious desperate to perpetuate the fantasy that was unrelenting upon my thoughts. A bolt of vigor hit me, and I replied, "I just hope you don't confuse the two of us, and end up in bed with him."

A stunned look appeared on my wifes reddening face, as she gasped, "John! What's gotten into you?" I also couldn't help but notice a twinkle of liveliness in her eyes.

My own face was suddenly red, and I tried to save the comment, "Oh for crying out loud Sammie, nothing's gotten into me. I'm just kidding around!"

It was the following week, when William arrived. Upon meeting someone, every so often you might get a strange feeling that the individual will have an impact on your life, or play a role larger than a typical acquaintance. It's almost an intrinsic sort of sixth-sense. For reasons that would end up proving obvious, that's the exact feeling I had when opening the door for our new lodger.

He was taller than I had anticipated, and built. He smiled wide as he saw me, his broad shoulders and large frame somehow familiar. He had hair darker than my own, with some very subtle streaks of gray adding to an already distinguished look. He was dressed in casual jeans and a polo shirt, and his muscled torso was obvious beneath his clothes.

"John. It's a pleasure to meet you." He reached out with a large hand and gave me a firm handshake, which I reciprocated.

"Same to you William. Welcome." I offered, smiling back at him. I stepped to the side as he entered our family room, and looked back at my wife. For a split second, her eyes darted wide, flustered, my own mind racing as I noticed that she was clearly impressed by what she saw. It caused my stomach to knot up, and a clamminess to make itself apparent on my skin.
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I began to second guess the entire endeavor, wondering how on earth I could have invited this handsome, muscular stranger, to stay at the home that I shared with my wife? My heart started to race as a worry ran through my mind. William was much more attractive in person, with an air of confident and easy masculinity about him that I was immediately envious of.

"You must be Samantha." He then smiled at her.

"H-Hello." She offered, sweetly and shyly.

The large man gently engulfed her hand with his own, my eyes not failing to notice the disparity in their sizes, despite my wife's curvaceous body. The strange knot in my stomach continued to tighten.

"You're even prettier than your picture led on." He said, not inappropriately.

It caused Sammie to blush, "Thank you. You're too kind."

I helped William get situated, assisting with his luggage and giving him a tour of the house. He seemed appreciative, and despite the angst that I was now experiencing, I was relieved to see that his demeanor and vibe were in line with what I had hoped for. He seemed like a good guy.

The three of us sat down for a steak dinner that Samantha had prepared for his arrival, wherein we talked about our lives, our hopes for a family, his sons, and our relative professions. We learned that he was rather well off, which was another source of envy for me. Despite some of those pangs of self consciousness, it was actually a very pleasant meal, and my concerns had quickly been replaced by a strange excitement, especially as I noticed my wife stealing glances in Williams direction. What was going on with me?

William too, couldn't help but allow his eyes to linger on Samantha's pretty face, or perhaps wander down her neck towards her impressive cleavage. I couldn't help but notice an easy and palpable chemistry between the two of them, and my mind was frantic as all kinds of perverse and terrifying thoughts ran through it.

"That's incredible!" William smiled, near in disbelief, upon learning that the two of us were high school sweethearts. "You rarely hear of that these days."

"You definitely don't." I replied, grabbing my wife's hand from across the table. "I'm a lucky man." I offered, causing Sammie to smile in return.

"Well at the risk of sounding melodramatic. I feel like a lucky man having found the two of you, and your lovely home to make my stay this summer." He grabbed his wine glass from the table, raising it, "To your beautiful wife, and lucky men."

Samantha blushed at his compliment, and I noticed William staring into her eyes as he spoke the words. There was a boldness to William, and I found myself in strange admiration of it.

"Cheers to that." I added, Sammie and I both raising our glasses as well.

The first couple weeks of his stay were rather uneventful, just as Samantha and I had hoped they would be. We barely saw William, as he was usually up before either of us, and home well after we had returned from work. What little we did see of him was pleasant, as he was always polite and considerate of our household habits. Samantha had noticed that he had even begun doing the dishes. His initial behavior allowed for our comfort level with his presence to establish faster than we might have anticipated. That level of familiarity was somehow enhanced by the casual manner in which William and Samantha would flirt with one another. Inexplicably, I never felt threated by their flirations, as they somehow seemed so natural, so easy going. There was this strange but tangibly masculine aura surrounding William, and for whatever reason, perhaps simple charisma, my wife seemed to gravitate towards it.
 
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Plastic is terrible for your knives.

I break down a few chickens a month. I use a standard hardwood cutting board, well maintained with mineral oil.
 
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While there are indeed quite a few plastic cutting boards that will blunt a sharp knife real quick, there are also types of plastic that are very gentle on knife edges.
Polyethylene is one such "edge friendly" material, and my cheap Zanussi cutting board is made from it.
 
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I use a soft plastic board, and sterilize it in the dishwasher (I have a dishwasher that can be set to superheat the final rinse).

I'm very careful about the edge quality of my culinary knives, and paranoid about food safety.
 
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I am not paranoid about food safety. I'm conscious of it and move on. I hand wash everything. 50+yrs and doing alright.

To each their own.
 
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I use a hard plastic board that doesn't tend to allow scar marks for raw meat prep. It's hard on knives but ease of disinfection is my primary priority, although raw chicken is the biggest one of concern. After cooking I'll dress cooked meats on an oak block. I disinfect both with accelerated hydrogen peroxide.
 
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I use a bamboo board. Gets scrubbed with dishwash soap (usually Dawn) immediately after use. Haven't had any problems. I'd like to make a hard maple one soon just because I like maple.

One of the things I am very careful with is cross contamination. Keeping track of what things have raw chicken on them, where you set them down, things they contact, what you touch etc. I actually do this when handling any raw meat (and eggs).

You can always periodically use a little bleach to sanitize the boards. UC Davis Food Science department put out an article about using wooden cutting boards. It turns out that the wood cutting boards seem to have some anti microbial properties.
 

marchone

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Sani-Tuff rubber cutting boards are used in many high-end kitchens. I have a 18"x24" one at home plus a thick hardwood board for a second work station in our home. Properly sanitized, these are used for multiple purposes every day in commercial kitchens everywhere.

Many commercial European kitchens use color-coded polyethylene cutting boards, separated by use. Raw meat, raw fish, cooked meat, vegetables, salads and fruit, and pastry and dairy. This system minimizes cross contamination. Keeping a dedicated chicken cutting board at home achieves the same result.

No matter what you have, you need to wash the contaminated surface with hot soapy water after contact with raw chicken. Better still is to rinse with a light bleach solution after washing. This regimen will effectively eliminate inadvertent salmonella contact.
 
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Many commercial European kitchens use color-coded polyethylene cutting boards, separated by use.
This is what I learned in cooking school. I also have a section of my counter dedicated to raw chicken-fish-meat prep. Utensils used in that area don't leave the area until clean up time. That way I don't even have to think about cross-contamination.

I know someone who got salmonella, and another person who was accidentally poisoned with bleach from a meal served out of a high end commercial kitchen (likely in a glass his drink was mixed in). I wouldn't wish either on my worst enemy.
 

tongueriver

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This might surprise you, but I never touch a knife to a chicken or chicken parts until they are cooked. Never have a reason to. I buy thighs or breasts, bone in or not and cook them by different methods, THEN cut them up. I buy whole chickens and run on my RONKU rotisserie (OH my! So good), Then cut them up. Bernard Levine's forum on BladeForums has an article on cutting boards that you might find of interest. I did. I get my chickens or chicken parts ready to go in one kitchen sink, and then I clean the sink, my hands, my knife and a towel that is part of the prep to dry a rinsed chicken, by accepted standards. NO cutting board. Edit: I use the knife to cut string to truss the bird before I rotisserie, but I touch it with my hands, so it needs to be cleaned.
 
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