Gadgets: Korin Cutting Board
I have a few cutting boards, and I have to say that like some of them better than others. And frankly, my knives like some of them better than others. A cutting board needs to be a little bit soft so it doesn't dull the knife, but not so soft that it gets gouged every time your knife touches it.
The Hi-Soft cutting board from Korin ($69.90 for the 15.75"x11.5"x0.78" board) is made from polyvinyl acetate, which is about the same hardness as wood—just about right for your knives. In using the board, I thought it might have been just a tad softer than my favorite old wooden board, but I could be wrong. Maybe it's just that, unlike wood, there's no grain in the material.
The benefit to this type of board over wood is that it can be soaked in water and washed with whatever soap you like or cleaned with bleach. Since it's not porous, it won't absorb the soap and it won't warp, crack, or split. However, this board can't be washed in the dishwasher or exposed to very hot water—too much heat could soften it or make it warp. So, hand-washing it is. Not a big problem for me since this wouldn't fit in my dishwasher anyway.
I have to say this board is a nice size—big enough to be useful, but small enough to be easy to store (and you can order larger sizes as well). The color isn't quite as pretty as a wooden board, but it's not shockingly ugly either. One of the things like I most is what the board doesn't have: there aren't any feet, so the board can be used on both sides, and there are no handles or grooves, so he whole surface of the board is flat and usable.
This cutting board isn't so outstanding that I'd suggest you throw out the ones you own, but if you're looking for a new board this one is a good choice.
About the author: Resident yeast whisperer and bread baking columnist Donna Currie also has a serious gadget habit. When her father-in-law heard about this column, he upgraded the nickname for her kitchen from "gadget world" to "gadget heaven." You can find her on her blog, Cookistry or follow her on Twitter at @dbcurrie.
Disclaimer: Testing samples were provided to Serious Eats.