Using a Tiny Cutting Board
Why it’s bad: You won’t have room to maneuver a knife, which increases your risk of cutting yourself. You’ll also make a mess and waste time corralling ingredients that fall off the board.
Do this instead: Think small knife, small board; big knife, big board. You can use a little board for a quick task, like cutting a lemon into wedges with a paring knife. But since most kitchen prep work requires a chef’s knife, you probably need a board that is at least 12 by 15 inches. It should be large enough to hold ingredients at every stage of the process. For example, if you’re chopping celery, you want room for both the stalks you start with and the pile of cut pieces you end up with. Before you begin, place a damp paper towel or dishcloth underneath the board to prevent it from slipping around on the counter.