At some point people were putting things on it and it got some sort of motor-oil/grease stain on it. Ick!
Jason went to work on it and made it beautiful again. I think it was Justin that put a sign on it that it was for food only.
Then some food tools appeared on it. But even that bothered me. I'm thinking it should be for meaty bits only. Over and over I keep finding stuff on it and I get angry.
The idea is that if you treat this right, in time the right kind of bacteria will infest the block - and they will be the primary source for meat that will be naturally preserved. I don't want people to put anything else on it.
I am now thinking that when it is not being used for meaty bits, it should have some sort of cover over it. Probably something that allows airflow, but will keep icky stuff off. Maybe another wood top on top of the wood?
If people have to put 10 dollars into a jar or something every time they do so, pretty soon you have a few hundred dollars to work with on a project and they stop putting things there. Another possibility is to create a covering for it to protect the surface when not being used. If you do put a covering on it, still be harsh in enforcement since you don't want anyone thinking it is an open license to put things there. If it is covered though, when someone screws up, it doesn't cause any lasting harm.
Do you want the block to be utilised when it's not being used for meat cutting?
As in cover/protect the block itself, but create a second layer of useful surface that can be lifted off.
I imagine space could be a bit tight to have a potential useable area out of bounds most of the time?
How about cutting and hemming several layers of cotton cheesecloth as a pad between the block and an identically dimensioned cutting board?
paul wheaton wrote:I am now thinking that when it is not being used for meaty bits, it should have some sort of cover over it. Probably something that allows airflow, but will keep icky stuff off. Maybe another wood top on top of the wood?
A challenge with that is the pad would need to be kept reasonably dry-so the cutting board would need to be dry when replaced after washing.
We're talking signage...
While I always feel a bit squirmy putting 'do this, don't do that' signs on everything,
but in a place with lots of people coming and going they are really useful.
At the very least it takes away the "but you didn't tell me" factor!
Maybe update the sign?
And there's often a creative person around that really enjoys painting cool, friendly signs.
If you don't want the block used for anything but meat cutting,
how about making something along the lines of a cake cover thingy?
No way people can plonk things on top of that
Cheesecloth would make good cover fabric.
A quick and simple answer: put some empty cardboard boxes on the table. Upside down will allow some airflow. The cardboard will absorb excess humidity.
Egg cartons might work to drive away the would-be Perpetrators of Chaos.
After always asking for thicker cuts (baloney ) The Deli owner said the only thing thicker was buying the whole hunk -so I did !
I always just set my meets in a casserole dish with a towel quite damp with 50% normal strength vinegar ! Like german potato salad it may be an
acquired taste, but vinegar has been a major preserver for centuries, this may be a bad thing to do to a chopping block maybe but thats the way
I used to do dli meets and how i clean all my chopping boards ! Big AL !
I agree, scratch the 'board above board' idea
Michael Cox wrote:Light and air is what makes wooden chopping surfaces safe for meat
I better not suggest it would make a great temporary place to lay a board/cut if there's a mass cookathon happening,
as we've got to assume the cutting board won't be removed/washed/dried/stored properly.
I'm back to a version of the 'cake cover' then.
I want one!
Regarding castors, they would need to be pretty heavy duty ones to take the weight of that beast, and the abuse it will get while in use. It looks like you have a high ceiling there, although it is hard to tell from the photos. In our new place which we will soon be converting, we will be using high ceiling space for some storage - drying racks on pulleys and the like. Could a pulley/cable system lift it out of the way overhead?
Insist on compulsory helmets for anyone working beneath.
Burra Maluca wrote:
Cj Verde wrote:Could we see a pic of the chopping block? It might inspire something like store it on its side so there's barely a surface to put anything on.
Oh! It's a table with a chopping block top - yes - an inviting surface! I think the only choice is to make it uninviting by storing it on it's side, locking the room except when in use (but now you're unstacking functions) or covering it with something benign like brown paper.
kind of like those old built-in Ironing boards you sometimes see in old houses ! In the down position it would allow ventilation but block casual attempted use of
the Chopping block !
The shelf would be need to be water tight, have a lip on it, and could have a non see-through curtain across its front to hide the chopping block when it is down!
Or clear to let you see in a glance that the now nearly inaccessible surface is still clear and unused ! This could also be handy to keep flies off.
Or it could be be part of a built-in but larger bread safe or bread larder with good ventilation but built to be vermin proof ! The doors to be in sections to fold back
like bi-fold doors do ! $.02 Big AL
I think I have a different/better idea.
Why not just keep it in a food preparation-only area? I'm not an expert on chopping blocks, but I understand a traditional butchers block was cleaned using an abrasive wire brush to remove the top thin layer of blood stained wood. Over years you see blocks that wear faster in some areas than other and are no longer perfectly flat.
I suspect that you will be butchering animals once every few weeks/months at most for your own use, so why not clean it up and use it as a normal food prep area. Provided it is cleaned, dries properly and has time to air it should be sterile enough to use within 48 hours of butchering on (estimates, obviously. Your milage may vary).
At least under those circumstances it will be "contaminated" by food stuffs only.
This is how an old well used butchers block can end up looking. The top surface wears down with each cleaning/abrading. If you are cleaning it down like this between uses the odd item left on the surface doesn't matter too much.
And this is the type of brush used to clean/abrade the surface to remove blood and dirt stains.
But I also agree with Michael - if the space is basically a commercial-style kitchen and not used for anything else, there should be no reason for folks to be putting their detritus in there. Unlike my kitchen, which attracts all sorts of cooking-unrelated stuff...
My first instinct was a sign that said " Please don't kill this table by putting stuff on it."
The non meat-eaters I know aren't too fussy about their food being prepared on the same board as meat has been
Michael Cox wrote:Why not just keep it in a food preparation-only area? (...)I suspect that you will be butchering animals once every few weeks/months at most for your own use, so why not clean it up and use it as a normal food prep area. Provided it is cleaned, dries properly and has time to air it should be sterile enough to use within 48 hours of butchering
(as long as it's done separately and well cleaned beforehand of course!)
But I suspect even they might freak out knowing the block's designed specifically to butcher animals on.
you could even just put a light top that the real sturdy one fits on or just leave the frame without top and it sit's a side until you need it
Here's my new (or 8 year old and never yet used) block made by my father-in-law from a piece of bowling alley I rescued. We finally have a kitchen to put it in!
I hope adding my question here is okay and I wonder if the chopping block problem has been resolved?