Even the best cutting boards slip sometimes. Can these tools help?
Published Aug. 31, 2020. Appears in America's Test Kitchen TV Season 22: Plant-Based Perfection
At some point or another, you’ve probably had a cutting board slip on the counter while you were preparing a meal. While this disconcerting problem is more common with boards that are lightweight or lacking rubber grips, it can occasionally occur even with some of the sturdier cutting boards we like best. Sure, you could just wet a paper towel and stick it under your cutting board—this simple hack can do a lot to prevent your board from moving. But a dedicated cutting board stabilizer promises to work even better, with less fuss and no water. Available as mats that go under your board or as clip-on feet that attach to the board’s corners, these stabilizers are supposed to anchor your board to the counter and keep it from budging.
We had just reviewed large plastic cutting boards, so the threat of slippage was especially fresh in our minds. (Our favorite large plastic cutting board, the Winco Statik Board Cutting Board 15" x 20" x ½", was one of the few that didn’t budge.) Curious to see if any of these stabilizers actually worked, we bought five models—a set of clip-on feet and four mats—priced from about $3 to about $41, and used them to stabilize wood and plastic boards on different types of counters. While several of the mats came in a range of sizes, we focused on those that were compatible with boards that measure at least 20 inches long and 15 inches wide, as this is the size of cutting board we recommend for most home cooks.
The good news? Because they were made of grippy silicone or rubber, all the stabilizers kept the boards from slipping around on wood, Formica, and metal counters—even when those surfaces were wet or dusted with flour and regardless of whether we were mincing parsley or hacking chicken parts with a cleaver.
The bad news? Some of them were a pain to use, introducing new problems as we cut on the boards or proving extra-hard to clean. The dimensions of one mat were its downfall. This mat was plenty long but measured just 8 inches wide—about half the width of the boards we were using—so we had to center it under the middle of each board or else the boards sat unevenly. Worse, it was the thickest of the mats, sitting more than ¼ inch up from the counter; as a result, it elevated the cutting boards a touch too high. The board itself didn’t slide on the counter, but it rocked back and forth over the mat as we cut, making for a somewhat precarious experience.
We had a similar problem with the set of clip-on feet. Because the feet were more than ¼ inch thick, they also raised the boards higher on the counters. Consequently, the centers of the ...
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Miye is a senior editor for ATK Reviews. She covers booze, blades, and gadgets of questionable value.