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Christmas Gift Guide
Gadgets

Cutting board cleans up nicely

The John Boos Newton Prep Master Cutting Board integrates a stainless-steel tray into a maple wood base.

Thankfully, wireless. Chef's Catalog

Cutting boards are the low-tech workhorses of the kitchen. As well they should be--if you are repeatedly taking a knife to other kitchen gear, chances are it won't be lasting long in your kitchen (and you should probably seek help). In the case of the cutting board, it's a kitchen essential designed to take it. While they come in different types of materials, they all pretty much do the same thing; offer a consistent surface for cutting meats and vegetables. If a cutting board can do this simple task, it usually will suffice. However, it's nice when some considerations are built right in.

The John Boos Newton Prep Master Cutting Board may be an odd choice for gadget hounds, but rest assured, this cutting board does at least come with a little bit of shiny metal. The close-grained hard rock maple is an ideal surface for doing your prep work. All that chopping and slicing is going to produce a lot of scraps; those unwanted bits and pieces of vegetation are going to need a place to accumulate. Taking a cue from combination appliances, this cutting board integrates a stainless-steel scrap bowl built right in.

While a place to slide scraps (or for that matter prepped veggies for easy transportation) off the cutting board is a nice feature, this cutting board also serves as a carving block. The opposite face of the board has a full perimeter groove set in to collect juice runoff from meat or other wet applications. While I won't be trying to power up my cutting board anytime soon (or ever), it's nice to know that even the low-tech kitchen gadgets out there can benefit from the occasional hardware upgrade.