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Is it bad to cut onions and other vegetables on the same cutting board? Does the type of cutting board matter? For example, do wooden cutting boards that are regularly used to cut onions (or other potent veggies, garlic, etc.) start to smell permanently like onions?

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It's good to cut cheese on a board that's just been used for onions. If you like the taste of oniony cheese, that is (as I do). –  slim Jan 10 '12 at 13:27
    
Closely related: Do chillis impregnate a wooden chopping board? –  Aaronut Jan 10 '12 at 14:40
    
Do people normally have separate cutting boards for their regular vegetables and then for onions and garlics? I might have missed the memo haha. –  Jay Jan 10 '12 at 15:17

2 Answers 2

No it ain't bad. You would probably not end up in hell for this :-)

It's all a matter of flavor, i don't really mind getting some onion juiced into my next dish, unless i'm making something sweet like fruit salad - in this case i would rinse the board before moving on.

My advice to you about boards is: Get your self a proper wooden or bamboo board or butcher's block, treat it with care (clean it an soak it with mineral food grade oil every now or than...) and that's all you'll even need.

I've been using my favorite board for over 10 years now. And it doesn't smell of onions :-)

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Assuming that you'll soon be cooking the vegetables in the same pan as the onions/garlic, you have little to worry about in terms of 'contaminating' the former with the latter.

Softer boards will accumulate scores and grooves from knives which will trap oils and juices from onions and garlic which may eventually start to make them smell. However, it's a good idea to replace your cutting boards every few months anyway to guard against bacteria build up, so it shouldn't be too much of an issue.

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I've never heard cutting boards should be periodically replaced... –  Jonathan Jan 12 '12 at 8:55
    
Of course they should, especially those you use for raw meat. They wear out just like anything else and they're not exactly expensive. In the case of raw meat boards, the more scores and grooves there are, the places there are for bacteria to hide in. –  ElendilTheTall Jan 12 '12 at 9:12
    
I know contamination is a concern with scarred plastic cutting boards, but I was thinking of wooden boards, which I've always heard are relatively safe (faculty.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/faculty/docliver/Research/…). This study doesn't seem to address the possibility of long-term buildup, but unless the wood was kept regularly moist and hardly dried out, it would be hard to see how bacteria could build up. –  Jonathan Jan 12 '12 at 18:50

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