Have you ever wondered how to decorate your kitchen and gain extra counter space at the same time? A simple solution is a noodle board. Noodle board or stove top cover is an add on for your kitchen which solves many problems. So what exactly is a stove top cover or a noodle board:
A stove top cover or a noodle board is a very simple piece of kitchen equipment. Essentially, it’s a slab of material that sits on top of your stove top when the stove isn’t in use. This positioning means that you have more counter space than you otherwise would have, leading to an increase in the workable area.
Generally, the slabs are made out of wood. The reason for this is that there’s no conventional size for an oven, so it’s often easier to make your own noodle board to size out of scrap wood.
Do not confuse a noodle board with a cutting board. There is a big difference between them. Cutting board is used to chop and cut food on, whereas noodle board stove cover is used mostly for decorative purposes and extra counter space. Some noodle board stove covers also have small feet or supports which help it to stand slightly higher than the actual surface, which gets hot.
This isn’t necessary, by any means, but it does mean that the surface is generally more level and at a reduced risk of burning from contact with the hot stove top. This also brings on the safety questions that I cover in my other article about “are noodle boards stove covers safe“.
Why is a stove cover called a noodle board?
The main reason for that name is that in the past the boards were common in households where fresh pasta was made on a regular basis. In order to make fresh pasta, you need quite a large work area, which people may not have. To increase the work area in the kitchen, a noodle board could be used.
Of course, whether that surface was used for shaping and kneading of the pasta dough, or the rolling and cutting, is completely up to individual chefs and families.
Traditional noodle boards were always used to make and shape the dough. When my grandmother made noodles, she always put a heap of flour onto this wooden board. Then she broke a few eggs in there and started mixing and kneading. She later used the same wooden board to roll the dough, shape the noodles, and dry them.
After use, she always scraped off any excess dough, wiped the wooden board with a soft dry kitchen cloth, and put it away for the next cooking project.
|What is the difference between noodle board in traditional and in the modern kitchen|
|Noodle board – were used to make noodles, pasta…||Stove cover – are used to cover gas or electric stoves|
|Pastry or pasta board – were used to make hard dough, for rolling and shaping||Pastry or pasta board – are used to make hard dough, for rolling and shaping|
What is a noodle board used for?
A noodle board can be used for anything that you might choose to use some extra countertop space for. Traditionally, a noodle board was used to give a chef extra space to make pasta noodles, hence the name.
Nowadays, noodle boards are only used as stove covers for gas or electric stoves. The purpose of noodle boards in the modern kitchen is to decorate the kitchen, add extra counter space if you host a party, or just need extra space for pots and containers while preparing ingredients for lunch.
Rarely you can find a noodle board these days that you can put hot pots and pans on or chop vegetables or meat on. For chopping, you can use a chopping board, but to make pastry, pasta, or just to roll the dough, you need a pastry or pasta board.
If you are curious on whether noodle boards are safe, check out my research regarding the safety of noodle board if you use them as stove top cover on a gas or electric stove.
A convenient part of the noodle board is also the handles. Most wood stove top covers have two handles to easily remove the cover when you want to use the stove.
What a noodle board shouldn’t be used for?
Don’t use them for chopping and cutting
Modern noodle boards should never be used as a chopping board. If a noodle board can be used as a chopping board, it should be indicated by the manufacturer; otherwise, it is best not to cut veggies on a noodle board.
The other aspect is that if you cut your veggies on a noodle board, you will damage it. Knife cuts will be visible on the surface, and the engraving or the saying won’t look beautiful anymore. Most artisans mention this in their product listing as it is not possible to repair knife cuts on a noodle board.
Don’t put hot pots and pans on
The other thing you shouldn’t use noodle board stove covers for is to put hot pots and pans on. It is true that they are made out of wood, but wood is usually covered with paint or oil, and the wood is put together with glue. Hot pots and pans can quickly melt the materials and damage the board’s overall look and design. Just like with knife cuts, this also can’t be repaired.
Nowadays, noodle boards are much too pretty to use them as a chopping board or to put hot pots and pans on. The purpose is mainly decorative. Most artisans engrave or print on different sayings or characters that represent the chef or the household. I also gathered the most popular noodle board sayings and design in my other blog post, “60 most popular noodle boards saying“.
What is the purpose of a noodle board?
Noodle boards really serve two purposes: functional and decorative.
If they’re being used functionally, they can be used just how you’d use a little extra counter space. For example, you might use them:
- decorative add on in your kitchen
- as extra counter space to put cold pots and pans on,
- as a buffet table when organizing a party
- to put chopping board on
Many people choose to use noodle boards for decorative purposes and have done for years. If you take a look online, you’ll be able to see that it’s easy to source several custom-designed or custom-etched noodle boards that could be perfect for any number of kitchens. To ease up your online search, you can check which stove top covers or noodle boards are best.
Material and type of stove top covers
There are lots of parts to this question, so let’s break it down a little. First thing’s first, what are the different types of stove top covers? Principally, there are raised stove top covers and flat stove top covers.
The difference is precisely what it sounds like. Flat stove top covers are designed to sit directly on the stove top, while raised stove top covers typically have little feet or supports which allow them to stand an inch or two above the stove. There are benefits to both types, though the general consensus is that a raised stove top cover is a little better, for no other reason than because there is less of a fire risk if the stove is still hot.
There are lots of different materials that stove top covers can be made out of. Generally, people favor insulating materials or at least ones that are less conductive than metal. The two big favorites are wood and glass.
Wood is a favorite because it’s cheap and reliable. Wood is a famously efficient insulator. That’s the reason that all those log cabins in the snow are made with thick wood: it really insulates a place. This property means that if you happen to put your wooden stove top cover on a hot stove, you won’t be at risk of damaging anything that sits on top of the cover. Of course, you should always avoid placing a stove top cover on a hot stove.
There are a number of options for wooden stove top covers out there, including options that you can customize with your family name, for example. A little research will help you easily put together a list of the best wooden stove top covers for extra counter space.
Glass is a favorite because it’s aesthetically pleasing and easy to keep clean. Suppose you pick the well-made glass. In that case, it’ll last a long time too – just like your grandparents’ Pyrex dish that’s somehow older than you are. Glass is more susceptible to shattering than wood, of course, so be extra careful not to drop it or expose it to extreme changes in temperature.
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