Why do you use Aussie timber?
Australian hardwoods are considered some of the most sort after timbers in the world for their durability and colour range. All our timbers are from sourced from sustainable sources and are kiln dried for Australian conditions. All our timbers are moisture tested prior to construction. Australian hardwoods need to be around 11% moisture content for maximum stability.
Why don't you use recycled or reclaimed timbers?
Remember when your mum told you “don't put that in your mouth because you don’t know where it’s been!”? Turns out, she was quite right.
Be mindful when purchasing products that are designed for food preparation which are manufactured from recycled or reclaimed timbers. The wood may have been exposed to a number of chemicals over its lifetime as flooring, cabinetry, or in the building structures of some of our most contaminated old factories and warehouses. There may be a residual of chemicals embedded into the grain structure (nasties such as toxic adhesives, insecticides, insect faecal droppings, lead, etc.) which cannot be fully washed away, sanded out or cut off.
If you don’t know the timber’s full history, it’s impossible to know that it’ll be safe for food preparation. Reclaimed timber certainly has a place in the home, but not with food safety. New timbers are by far the best option as their provenance is known from germination and they are harvested in a controlled environment.
What timber is right for me?
A less dense Aussie hardwood will show more marks, but be gentler on your blades. A dense timber will show less marks, but will require more frequent knife sharpening. We find most people choose a moderately dense hardwood, that fall within our ‘3 Star Knives’ category on our Chop ‘O’ Meter.
Will my new Choppa Block spilt like my previous boards?
Every effort is made to create a superior product – our quality control is vigorous, even to the point where we only glue in certain temperatures. If there is any movement with our boards, it generally has a cause e.g. too close to a moisture or heat source, or too much moisture when cleaning, or the board hasn’t been oiled when required. A properly maintained board should last several years.
Why is end grain so much better?
End grain construction is attractive to the eye and your knives will thank you as well. End grain boards allow your knife to cut between the timber fibres (as opposed to cutting against the fibres in edge and face grain boards), thus showing less scoring and requiring less blade sharpening. Have a look at our illustration to see how it works.
How much will my Choppa Block show marks?
All boards will eventually show wear and tear. A good trick is to use a sharp blade for less marks. Basically, the softer the timber, the more marks - but your knives will require less sharpening. The harder the timber, less marks, but you’ll need more sharpening. Consult our Chop ‘O’ Meter for timber hardness.
How often do I oil my board?
We’ve found that depending on the use of each board, oiling can range from weekly to monthly. Please ensure that all surfaces of the board are oiled (the sides, underneath and top).
Although the boards are sealed with the burnishing system, the addition of Osmo Oil provided with the Care Kit is an important part of board maintenance. If the board becomes rough or furry to touch, it means the oil seal or film has broken down, allowing moisture into the grain, ‘raising the grain’ (a timber reaction when exposed to moisture, hence furry to the touch). In this case, oil the board as soon as possible.
Have a look at Board Care for more information.
What is burnishing?
Burnishing is a process whereby the loose and broken fibres are removed (through very fine sanding), leaving the best possible finish the timber species can offer. This process combined with oil will produce an extremely moisture resistant surface. This is a very important process, as moisture is timber’s worst enemy.
How should I clean my Choppa Block?
Clean and dry the board after use. Never submerge your board in water or apply excessive moisture, clean it with a damp cloth or sponge. Sanitise your chopping board by wiping over with suitable anti-bacterial surface cleanser wipes. Ensure the board is completely dry before storing or reusing.
Choppa Blocks should be conditioned/oiled when required, to seal the grain against bacteria. Don’t be tempted to use your household cooking oils as these can go rancid, promote mould growth or become sticky, attracting dirt and dust.
If you’ve been working with pungent foods like garlic, onions or fish, eliminate the odours trapped in the board by wiping a fresh lemon wedge on the surface area after you’ve cleaned and sanitised.
I’m a bit worried about bacteria…
With correct conditions, bacteria will grow on any surface quickly. Bacteria in the kitchen mostly comes from food and can multiply on all surfaces, including timber. However, as timber is an organism, it will hold bacteria at bay and will aid in retarding its growth. The answer lays within good housekeeping and applying good food safety.
End Grain is a good choice for food safety – studies have shown that the capillary action of the wood fibre actually discourages the growth of bacteria. Other board materials like plastic, marble or glass don’t have this quality and when cutting marks and valleys form from everyday use, bacteria can multiply in these crevices and are difficult to access to clean completely.
Livos Oil is Food Safe – it is the perfect bacteria proof conditioner for any food preparation surface and any utensil made of wood which is used for direct or indirect contact with food. Livos Oil The original Hardwax Oil is based on natural vegetable oils and waxes. It is micro-porous and does not crack, flake, peel or blister. It is water-repellent. It also enriches, beautifies and reveals the gorgeous grain in high quality wood. Using the oil on wooden kitchen items periodically will prevent absorption of food odours and ease cleaning, as well as maintain the integrity of the wood, which is otherwise subjected to repeated wetting and drying in the course of use. If you would like further information regarding Livos, please see MSDS.
My Choppa Block has a wobble – what shall I do?
Just so you know - we NEVER send wobbly boards! When the board arrives and it has a slight wobble, that would be caused from being in the transit packaging too long or it has been left in a hot area, or in direct sunlight during its journey. As soon as you receive your board, it is a good idea to give it an oil. Have a look at Board Care for more information.
If you've had your board for a while...
Is your board furry to touch? Does your board need an oil/condition? The board may also be acclimatising to its new environment. Standing your board on edge overnight will allow equal air flow over both sides of the board and will allow the board to settle. This normally takes 1-2 days. Please contact us if the board won’t behave itself (97% of our boards behave themselves).
I live in a tropical zone – how will my board react?
Some boards in a tropical climate may need to acclimatise to the humidity. This normally takes 2-3 days. Standing your board on edge overnight will allow equal air flow over both sides of the board and will allow the board to settle.
What warranty does Choppa Block offer?
We are proud of our product and have full confidence in it, therefore we offer a full intended use warranty. We will replace the board for any manufacturing or timber issues. Obviously boards that have been in the dishwasher will not be covered by the warranty! Read more about terms of returns.
Why are Choppa Blocks in a higher price bracket?
A Choppa Block is an investment and will outlast several cheaper boards.
How many years will my Choppa Block last?
With the correct maintenance, you should get many years of happy chopping from your board.
How do I order?
Visit our online shop – the board you see is the board you buy.
Alternatively for a bespoke board;
How is my board packaged for delivery? It looks pretty heavy!
We pack our boards in 3mm MDF briefcase style packaging, with a carry handle. We have found this system to work quite well as the boards are easily moved around with the handle, thus are less susceptible to damage. Every board delivered is covered by freight safe insurance (value up to $1500 per consignment).