SAN ANTONIO – If your cutting boards and kitchen knives have seen better days, listen up! Consumer Reports’ latest tests reveal some affordable upgrades to make meal prep and cleanup fast and easy.
An editor for Consumer Reports is also a trained chef, which is why his kitchen was recently transformed into a CR Outside the Labs testing site to assess cutting boards, chef’s knives, and knife sharpeners.
Two of CR’s recommended 8-inch chef’s knives—the J.A. Henckels and the Global G-2—were used to try out several different styles of knife sharpeners: manual, electric, whetstones, and a contraception from Wasabi Knives.
Setting up the Wasabi sharpening system was extremely difficult; the diagram didn’t match what actually came with it. If you don’t like assembling Ikea furniture, you’re not going to like using this sharpener.
The Chef’s Choice Model 15XV 3-Stage Professional Electric Knife Sharpener skips the setup altogether. It’s easy to use and sharpens knives fast, but it’s pricey at $180.
A more budget-friendly option is the Chef’s Choice Model 4643 Angle Select Professional Manual Knife Sharpener for $60, which also offers impressive sharpening.
Next, a variety of herbs and veggies were sliced and diced on cutting boards made from teak, maple, bamboo, and plastic.
The Original Gorilla Grip Cutting Board, $25 for a set of three, was a top choice. They’re sturdy, easy to cut on, and dishwasher-safe.
If you want to splurge, the Teakhaus Traditional Edge Grain Professional Cutting Board for $100 will probably last you a lifetime. But its size did make it challenging to clean and carry.
A good alternative is the John Boos 16-inch Maple Edge Grain Chop-N-Slice Reversible Cutting Board for $44. It’s small enough to be easily moved but hefty enough to stay in place on your counter.
Plastic cutting boards can usually go right into the dishwasher for cleaning, but wood ones cannot. For tips on how to take care of them, head over to our station’s website and watch the video on cleaning and caring for wood cutting boards.