Butcher Block Carts/Tables -- Are they only for aesthetic?

A genuine question.

I have seen a few butch block carts and tables. They look wonderful.

I have seen them at stores, outlets, and even at people’s houses. However, of the ones I have seen, I have never seen anyone directly used them as cutting boards, let alone butcher blocks. Most of the time, these butcher block tables are simply used as regular tables. Sometime, people prepare food on them, but another cutting board is always put on top of these butcher block tables.

Am I correct to think these butcher block tables aren’t really suppose to function as butch blocks?

I agree with you. How would you adequately clean them? (And I’m the farthest thing from a germophobe.)

I recently put back into use the 40 yr old Boos Block I inherited from my mom. It’s this one:


My mom used to cut directly on it, so it shows the light scars of use. I’ve cut directly on it a little, but not very much yet. I’m still trying to wrestle with “functional use” versus “preservation”. :smiley:

I also just bought this Boos knife holder to attach directly to the block:


It’s smaller than I was expecting it to be, so I might ask a friend to build a “full width” holder instead.
Or maybe I’ll just buy another one of these & put both of them on opposite sides of the block. :slight_smile:

I’d be inclined to put it in another room in the house to display it.

Your butcher block stand actually is something which can work as a pure butcher stand. It is as big as it need to be (in term of surface area) and it has nothing underneath it. I have seen butchers who use something like it. At the end of the day, they scarped the cutting surface with a metal scarper or use a metal wire brush. Many hose their down with water.

Yet, some butcher block stands are attractive with draws and everything. This makes me think you are not suppose to cut raw meat on top of them and have blood and juice running down the side, and you certainly are not expected to “hose” it down with water.

In the pictures above you’ll notice that there are two Boos Butcher blocks. The oval one in Chem’s post & Eirons block from his mom. These are two true butcher blocks. You can see that the cutting surface is the end grain. The others show the side grain on the top surface. Boos has been making butcher blocks for a long time and they make a lot of commercial blocks as opposed to decoratives. A side grain block will not wear or last nearly as well as an end grain block. It’s also harder on your knives.

Are we butchers? Just one more example of co-oping professional equipment for the home. I imagine in countries like France, women used wood counter tops and actually cut meat on them, Many decades ago, while in Jr. High I had a job with a friend of mine cleaning a butcher shop. Those big blocks were saturated with blood and every weekend they’d be washed and wired brushed (they weren’t wires actually but rows of short metal strips attached to a brush grip, like your illustration). Scrubbed in 2 directions down to fresh wood. Then rinsed with bleach and vinegar.

No we are not butcher. I just had this naive idea that at least they are for prepping foods.

I just saw a few more butcher block/cutting board tables. These are clearly function as furnitures:

Refurbished blocks from butchers shops are fairly easily found in the UK:

Awesome block. I almost purchased one just like it a few years ago, but our kitchen really isn’t big enough. I figured that I would walk into it more times than I would actually use it. But yours is beautiful.

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Although I do not have one, I truly do prefer cutting on a butcher block over any other surface. While perhaps not functional in a home setting unless you have the room, I still only use wood cutting boards etc.

i inherited something that looks like this:

it’s too bowed for cutting by me, but was in-service in an italian butcher shop for many years. so, yeah, you can cut on them, but most people now don’t want to “damage” their surface. it would take millions of pounds of meat to get to this state!

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http://faculty.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/faculty/docliver/Research/cuttingboard.htm

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Well, that puts to rest of a lot myths, doesn’t it? Since I have NO plastic cutting boards I’m especially pleased.

Too bowed for cutting for sure, but not necessary too bowed for just hacking meat.

That block can be resurfaced to be flat again. Any competent woodworker can do it and I believe Boos offers that service also…

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DH found this butcher block table at a flea market. We cleaned it up, sanitized it, put on some casters, and have used it everyday since.

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catholiver, my ex never really wanted to use it or display it (it doesn’t look as nice as the new ones in those pictures). Consequently, it either sat in the basement with junk on it, or was hidden behind a sofa as a plant stand.

One of the things I looked for in a place of my own was a kitchen that could accommodate the block. :slight_smile:

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alexander, when my mom got this (in the '70s), I don’t think Boos offered anything other than traditional butcher’s blocks. In her then-contemporary home, this was her “star” addition. And, as a '70s contemporary home, it offered very little counter space. This gave her a bit more prep room, as well as a dedicated prep area.

The house I just bought has two Formica counter-tops & one butcher block counter. Right now I’m using it as my espresso station, but I plan to rearrange things so that I can use it as a prep area.

As an interesting side note, I’ve noticed that both the Boos block and the BB counter both ‘leak’ fluids. The spill on the Boos dripped thru the 10" thick block & onto the floor. The spill on the BB counter got trapped somewhere above the cabinets it covers. Because of this, I probably won’t prep meat (or gooey/pastey stuff) directly on either one.

Thanks gearguy. :slight_smile: Those are actually pics from the Boos website. (I should’ve said, “It looks like this model”) Mine’s not in as showroom-condition as those. I’ll try to get some decent pics of it to show it off.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold