Cutting Board that can Take The HEAT?


I'm going to make a cutting board/work surface to surround a wood-fired smoker - the kind you pull behind a truck. There is an existing steel support system that is made to support a work surface, and I'm wondering what the best option would be. The surface won't necessarily be in direct contact with the metal smoker itself, but it will sit within a fraction of an inch of it. He's going to be catering with it, so health code issues will be in play. Thanks for any ideas.
JP
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Health inspector won't want wood. Fraction of an inch = Problem. Two inches? No problem. My smoker has a shelf with a piece of poly cutting board. Two inches from the smoker (275 degrees maximum) it has held up for 8 or 10 years now. Most plastics deform or melt in the 200 degree range but with a little distance, it will be OK.
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Wood seems to be OK with the health inspectors around here (that's the setup of one of our BBQ caterers), but on the other hand, why take a chance on the hassle? If the guy wants to cater, he will have to keep the equipment spotless if not for the health department, for his customers.
If his rig is large enough to pull behind a truck he will probably be cleaning with a pressure washer anyway and heavy cleaners and methods certainly won't have an effect on the poly. I agree with EP, go with poly. Cheap, easy to clean to perfection, and readily available.
Robert
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I think you need to insulate the space between the wood and the hot surface with some sort of ceramic or ceramic wool. Maybe some of the stuff they use to make homemade furnaces over in rec.crafts.metalworking would work.

Actually, it is hard to clean poluethylene cuting boards. The bugs hide out in the knife cuts and come back out later.
Maybe the bugs hide out in the knife cuts in wood too, but tests have shown that they don't come back out later.
--

FF


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snipped-for-privacy@spamcop.net wrote:
<<Actually, it is hard to clean poluethylene cuting boards. The bugs hide out in the knife cuts and come back out later.
Maybe the bugs hide out in the knife cuts in wood too, but tests have shown that they don't come back out later. >>
I am a bit of an amatuer chef, as are many here. Well, at least I enjoy cooking...
Anyway, all you say it true. Wood has been shown to be superior in non retainage of bacterial growth after cleaning when compared to poly. However, that is for home use.
Note that I did explain my point of view would be cleaning up the rig with a pressure washer. Mine puts out about 2800 psi, and with the right cleaner I am thinking the cleaning is a non-issue. I was thinking more along the lines of UV resistance and ease of cleaning in the field. I know the restaurants I go to that carve in view of the customer all use poly; but then again they clean with a bleach solution and put the boards in their nasty hot commercial dishwashing equipment. I have never seen anything made from wood stand up to that for long.
Robert
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I does not matter what you or I think or what common sense says. If you have a DOH inspector, he has the last word and it is usually poly.
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Jay Pique wrote:

Not sure of the relatvie toxicity of the wood, but Bongossi (also known as azobe) will certainly stand up to the heat - at least initially. It was used for the Pier 17 decking at the South Street Seaport in Manhattan where fire code issues were strict. The stuff doesn't support combustion. You take away the flame and it won't burn anymore. It's a good teak substitute and tremendously strong.
Any wood subjected to prolonged heat loses some of its heat resistant properties and will ignite at lower temperatures. That's one of the reasons for the 2" spacing from chimneys required by code.
I'd look at fabricating a metal bracket to space the cutting board further from the heat source and use the traditional cutting board wood.
R
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Ipe has a fire rating and holds up outside with no need to protect.
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Leon wrote:

That's along the lines of what I was thinking, although I'm making removable for transport. I went down and took a look at the set-up and what I might try to do is put some sort of nonflammable gasket material between the hot metal drum and the wood itself. I'd like not to have a large gap that things can fall or get wedged into. Any Gasket Gurus out there?!
JP
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