By Mark Fike
Being the serious outdoors family that we are, we live off the game and fish we catch or harvest as much as possible. We also raise our own chickens, rabbits, quail and beef too.
This means that we do a LOT of butchering and processing of protein in our house. My daughters and my wife are an active part of this process and we all know exactly how to process deer and other game as well as our domesticated meats.
There are several very important tools that are “must haves” in our house. The two that are at the top of the list are a sharp knife and the other is a quality cutting board.
As you can imagine, after 20 + years of living this lifestyle, we have gone through many knives and cutting boards. However, a few knives have survived the test of time while not one cutting board has really lasted or impressed us a whole lot.
That changed recently when I was in desperate need of a real cutting board that could stand up to the beating and use we will give it. I found Plastic-Craft Products online, and began looking very critically at their products. Given all the mediocre boards I have used that never seem to hold up, I was being very picky.
I found that the company has been in business for 80 years, is a veteran-owned small business that custom makes cutting boards per the customer’s request right here in the U.S.A.! The veteran-owned and small business idea resonated with me.
Once I saw that their product is made right here in the U.S., I was sold. They also do fabrication of engineered and consumer plastic sheet, rod and tube supplies. Despite being a small business, they count West Point Military Academy, the U.S. Navy, U.S. Postal Service, Chick-fil-A and others among their clients.
I took the leap of faith and ordered a board from them. I asked for a board that was 2×3 feet in size so it would fit on my tailgate for butchering deer and be large enough to keep the mess off my kitchen table when the weather was too cold outside to clean game or fish.
When the board arrived, I was immediately impressed because the board was heavy, meaning it was not going to warp and it was not going to slip and slide all over the place when I was whacking steaks or fileting big fish. The packing job on the board was incredibly professional. Not one ding or dent in the board despite the size!
The board arrived just in time to test it out on a spring gobbler I harvested. When I ordered the board I asked for a handle to be cut in each of the short ends and I asked for an adequate blood groove to be cut into the perimeter of it to keep my messes off my work areas.
The company delivered. In fact, I remember the company representative asking me, “Is that all?” as if there was a lot more that I could have gotten. In fact, there was, but I like to keep things simple.
Customers can determine color, thickness, handles or no handles, juice groove, radius corners, and edge types.
The boards have a lot going for them. This includes the fact that they: won’t dull knives, WILL reduce odors, are dishwasher safe, FDA, NSF-51 and USDA approved, and of course are available in various colors and sizes, plus the options available listed above.
When I plopped my 20 pound gobbler on the board, I have to say that I had plenty of room. Once I had the bird reduced to legs and breast meat, my finesse cuts were easy to make as I arranged things in meal sized portions all around the board. None of the blood or juice spilled over the sides despite the bird being fresh. The handles were great to hold the board when washing it and also to hang the board to dry.
After I packaged the bird up, I took time to closely examine the board. It did not have noticeable gouges or cuts in it, and it cleaned up with total ease. Many of the boards I have used in the past have been easily stained.
So, while I probably was not supposed to do this, I left the mess on the board for a while and then hosed it off. The stains came right out for me. No residue. I gave the board a good soapy scrub anyway to keep the germs off for the next use.
The board works great for all game and fish applications. My advice for anyone serious about cleaning game or fish is to invest in a good cutting board like this one by Plastic-Craft. I plan on ordering one in blue for my fish and getting it custom made for a narrower size but the same length for fileting larger fish such as catfish, rockfish or bluefish.
I dealt with Andrew Flynn at the company and after hearing of my experience using their product, he and his boss decided to offer GreatAmericanWildlife.com readers a promotional discount on cutting board orders of $99 or more.
I firmly believe with decent treatment these boards will last anglers and hunters a long time. I also love to cook and may order one for slicing and cooking of fruits and veggies too. Having a dedicated board for cooking, one for fish and one for game is a great idea. The company can also cut a countertop or island top for customers.
If you place an order of $99 or more and want to get a discount of 10%, use the promo code OUTDOORBOARD.