So, recently, I’ve come across a rather interesting issue. Until now, I had always assumed that putting feet on a cutting board was always a good idea; they prevented slippage, they allowed the board to dry evenly to prevent warping, they made the board easier to pick up… they just seemed like an all-around good idea. But a heavy cleaver and a chicken changed my outlook quite a bit.
It would seem now that the question of whether to add feet to a board or not isn’t so cut-and-dry; it seems questions need to be asked of the consumer. Do you need the utility? How will you be using the board exactly? If you plan to butcher bone-in meats with a cleaver, feet might not be for you. The strain of all that heavy whacking can cause a board to bow or split unless some of the shock is transferred into and absorbed by the countertop it (should be) directly sitting on. It’s something to think about when selecting a cutting board, and it’s certainly something a customer might not think about when shopping for one. After all, that two inch thick walnut board looks pretty darned sturdy, right?
Ultimately, under normal use, a well-made cutting board will stand up just fine. And normal use for most folks involves dicing and slicing, not cleaving and whacking. So if you’re a slicer and/or dicer, just buy what fits your decor and budget. If you plan on processing more than a few chickens with something heavy and metal though, you might consider going foot-less, and getting a board that’s as thick as you can afford. I know from now on I’ll be offering more reversible/footless boards for the cleaving and whacking crowd; I thought it might be something interesting to mention, in case some of you hadn’t considered before.