Chop, Prep and Serve in Style

Chop, Prep and Serve in Style - Food & Nutrition Magazine - Kitchen Tools
Photo courtesy of Fab Slabs

Product reviewed: Fab Slabs Laurel Cutting Board 

Every cook needs a solid cutting board for everyday chopping — but to have one that can double as a no-fuss family charcuterie dinner is a big win. In my kitchen, I value tools that are practical, functional and have dual purpose, but it makes me a little giddy when they are beautiful, too. The Fab Slabs Laurel Cutting Board is stunning and rightly deserves a position on your counter.Chop, Prep and Serve in Style -

Manufactured in Australia, this large cutting board is naturally and permanently antibacterial and uniquely gorgeous. Each board is individually handcrafted from a slab of camphor laurel timber, a type of wood with oils that make it “naturally antibacterial.” In fact, according to Fab Slabs, the company makes the “world’s most hygienic cutting boards and grazing platters.” The largest cutting board is about 18 inches long, almost 12 inches wide and about 1 inch thick. Each with character and rustic charm, these cutting boards are kiln-dried, which “stabilizes the timber and prevents it from cracking, twisting, warping, cupping and going moldy.”

I used the Laurel Cutting Board to prep vegetables for snacking and roasting throughout the week, mince garlic to sauté for marinara sauce and shred carrots to make my Carrot Cake Snack Balls. To keep the board in place, prevent wobbling and ensure safety while chopping, place a plastic cutting board mat directly underneath the wooden cutting board to help the board grip the counter. If you don’t have a mat, wet a thin hand towel and wring out as much water as possible before laying the cutting board on top.

When chopping a juicy tomato or slicing a sizzling roast, you will notice there is no groove to catch run-off juices and liquids, so be careful moving the entire board to another surface for serving.

This cutting board also can serve as a grazing board, charcuterie tray or family snack board. It is the perfect size for layering a variety of fresh vegetables, dips, whole-grain crackers, cheese, pickled vegetables, fresh or dried fruit and pieces of dark chocolate.

Through my weeks of testing, I ran into a common problem among wooden cutting boards: taking on odors. In the past, I avoided cutting aromatics (onions, garlic, leeks) because they tend to leave behind an odor that can transfer onto food during your next use, even after thorough washing. After doing some research, I found a way to remove the odors: Combine 1 tablespoon baking soda with 1 teaspoon water and mix to form a paste. Rub the paste on the affected portion of the board and allow to sit for about 10 minutes. Then, using a cloth, wash the board and allow it to air dry.

While the Fab Slabs Laurel Cutting Board claims it can be used for all types of foods, including raw meats, I was hesitant to test this. I prefer to maintain a separate cutting board for raw meats in my kitchen. However, Fab Slabs claims to have “extensive tests completed by NATA approved laboratories,” indicating the antibacterial properties of the wood.

Wooden cutting boards should not be placed in the dishwasher, as the heat and water dry out the wood, causing it to warp and crack. Instead, wash the board in warm, soapy water and allow it to air dry. According to the Fab Slabs recommendation, you can disinfect the board after contact with raw meat by rubbing it with a solution of 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water.

It is important to note that if you choose to use your Laurel Cutting Board for all types of food, you must wash the board thoroughly after each different food in order to prevent cross-contamination.

When the board appears to be getting dry, rubbing a food-grade mineral oil (or odorless almond oil) on it will revive its color and help maintain it for many years.

Truly stunning, remarkably useful and perfect for weekend meal prep, casual weeknight chopping or a grazing board, the large Fab Slabs Laurel Cutting Board is a beautiful kitchen tool with several functions. While I still admittedly hesitate to cut raw meats on the same board as fresh produce, there is no doubt this cutting board is safe to use in a variety of ways, so long as it is washed and well maintained.

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Jennifer Hunt
Jennifer Hunt, RDN, LD, is a nutrition communications dietitian whose joy and passion is to empower women to live healthy, vibrant lives. She loves sharing real-life strategies to choosing nourishing foods, making delicious, easy recipes and loving the woman in the mirror. Read her blog, Healthy Inspiration, and connect with her on Facebook.