Photo: iStock/EugeneTomeev

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Using a Cutting Board That's Too Small

Chef Bryan Calvert, author of Brooklyn Rustic, sees it all the time: home cooks using high-quality knives on small, flimsy plastic cutting boards. And then, one day, they try out a large, wood board and... wow. Wood boards are usually heavier and sturdier than plastic ones, and the material feels incredibly natural and smooth under a knife (it also won't dull blades as quickly as plastic will). Calvert says a larger size (at least 17" x 11" or, if you have room, an even bigger board, such as one 24" x 18") means the ingredients won't crowd together, so you'll be able to cut food more efficiently. You can also use it to serve food, from sliced roasts to charcuterie.