This essay is for the kitchen cutter. Whether you are cutting meat, fish, poultry or veggies you need sharp knives.
I was at a friend’s house last week, she cuts directly on her granite countertops. YIKES! I had just sharpened her chef’s knife a month before. Granite is harder than steel. Never cut on your granite. Ever.
As soon as I scolded her about using granite to dull her sharpened knives she trucked out a glass cutting board. She dices onions on a window! Glass is harder than steel. Never cut on a glass cutting board. Ever!
What should you use? Well the most available and affordable are the high density polyethylene (HDPE) ones. HDPE is a tough polymer material that is dishwasher safe and much softer than out steel blades. The only other material that is acceptable is wood. Hardwood or bamboo cutting boards are very nice, but difficult to clean.
I recommend two separate boards. One for meat and poultry. Label it with a Sharpie marker! And, one for vegetables. Two boards allows for a quick switch and minimizes cross contamination.
Hey! Wait a minute. My dinner plates are glass or porcelain. How do I cut my food at the table? In all actuality you will be cutting your food with an unsharpened butter knife. Cooked food is generally very easy to cut. The exception is steaks. This is where a serrated edge shines. On a glass plate a serrate knife skims on the surface on it’s serrated points while allowing the sharpened areas inside the serrations to touch nothing but steak. These sharpened areas dull rather slowly because all they ever touch is meat. By the way, this is and the specialized bread knives are the ONLY situations in which I believe a serrated edge to be beneficial.
In closing; get a couple of HDPE cutting boards and your knives will stay sharp longer.