Gerber ComplEAT 6-Piece Cutting Board Set review – This meal prep kit is a cut above the rest!

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REVIEW – After years of dealing with soggy hamburgers and hot dogs, I finally decided to upgrade my camping cuisine. Now, when I’m enjoying the great outdoors, dinner is either a nice steak cooked over the campfire or some other simply prepared protein. While this cuts down on the amount of condiments and soggy rolls in the cooler, it does necessitate having good food prep gear.

Since space is always at a premium when camping, my prep kit has to be as compact as possible. Enter the Gerber ComplEAT 6-Piece Cutting Board Set. This 6-piece set has everything I need to prep and consume delicious meals while in the wild. At $110, the kit isn’t cheap, but the components, especially the razor-sharp chef and paring knives, are of outstanding quality. I enjoyed using this kit so much it’s replaced the Gerber Freescape Camp Kitchen Kit that I’ve been using since 2016.

What is it?

The Gerber ComplEAT 6-Piece Cutting Board Set is a compact, outdoor meal preparation kit. The durable kit includes two dual-sided cutting boards made from bamboo and polypropylene, a 3.25-inch paring knife, a 6-inch chef knife, and a storage tray.

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The ComplEAT Cutting Board Set ships in a very stylish box with a cutout exposing the bamboo cutting board surface. The box has tons of details about the kit and full-color photos.

What’s included?

  • Bamboo Cutting Board
  • Polypropylene Cutting Board
  • 6″ Chef Knife
  • 3.25″ Paring Knife
  • Removable Inner Tray
  • Base Tray
  • User Guide

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Tech specs

  • Bamboo Cutting Board
    • Material: Bamboo
    • Dimensions: 15.6″ x 9.6″
  • Polypropylene Cutting Board
    • Material: Polypropylene
    • Dimensions: 14.3″ x 8.9″
    • Color: Baltic Haze
  • 6″ Chef Knife & 3.25″ Paring Knife
    • Blade: 4116 German stainless steel
    • Finish: Stonewash
    • Handle: Glass-filled polypropylene knife handles
    • Color: Baltic Haze
    • Blade: Plain edge
    • Grip: Textured Overmolded Rubber
  • Removable Inner Tray & Base Tray
    • Material: Polypropylene
    • Color: Light & Dark Baltic Haze
    • Weight: 4.25 lb

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Design and features

Say what you want about Gerber as a brand, one thing they’ve always excelled at is smart design. The ComplEAT kit is no exception, except maybe for the corny name. As utilitarian as this kit is, it still looks great whether sitting on my kitchen shelf or packed into the truck alongside my camping gear.

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Almost all of the design choices are both stylish and functional. The grooves on the edges of the bamboo cutting board are a perfect example of this.

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Both cutting boards are dual-sided and have grooves which not only frame the boards well but work to channel away any juices. The Gerber logo is also nicely featured on the cutting boards, etched into one side discreetly.

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The bamboo cutting board functions as a cover for the kit, securing via compression latches to a removable storage tray.

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While the bamboo cutting board is perfect for cutting fruits and vegetables, the polypropylene board is perfect for preparing meats.

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This board has rubber feet on both sides to keep it from sliding around during use.

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The polypropylene board has the same “juice” grooves found on the bamboo board and sits just under that board when the kit is packed up for transport or storage.

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The surface of the polypropylene board is slightly textured and also has a small Gerber logo etched into one side.

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Beneath the polypropylene board is a deep inner tray that holds the kit’s knives.

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I love the extra storage area of the inner tray; it’s great for keeping additional utensils or food prep tools.

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The included chef and paring knives have storage slots clearly marked with silhouettes of the knives engraved in the base of the tray.

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The knives slide easily into their slots and are held in place by the blades and small tabs that insert into the knives’ handles.

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Both handles snap securely in place; the only issue I have with this system is that you can’t use the holes in the knives’ handles for lanyards and for holding them in their slots.

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Beneath the inner tray is an even deeper storage tray that acts as a base and container for the whole kit.

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The real stars of the ComplEAT set, though, are the 6″ Santoku-inspired chef knife and the 3.25″ paring knife.

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I really like the textured stonewash finish of the knives and their steeply angled grinds. The grind on these knives makes them incredibly sharp and super effective at cutting, slicing, and chopping. I’ve purchased several high-end chef knives before, and none of them were this sharp out of the box.

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The paring knife is just as sharp and has a nice long edge tapered to a point. I use this knife for paring, but also for when I’m eating my meal as it’s the perfect size for dining.

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The blades are made of 4116 German stainless steel which makes them corrosion-resistant and helps to maintain their sharp edges.

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Both knives have glass-filled polypropylene handles overloaded with rubber for grip.

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The grips on both knives have the same contours and slight stippling on the inside. I really appreciate the grip on these, especially on the larger chef knife. The textured rubber helps maintain control of the knife even with wet hands.

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For comparison, I broke out my well-worn Gerber Freescape Camp Kitchen Kit that I bought way back in 2016. After taking the kit on a few camping trips, I loved using the knives so much I started keeping them in my kitchen instead of packed with my gear. I’ve used these knives pretty much every day since I bought the kit and it shows.

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The design evolution is pretty clear when the kits are laid side-by-side. The ComplEAT knives have more traditional profiles and handles while the Freescape ones look and handle more like Bushcraft knives.

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The cutting boards are vastly different as well. The Freescape board is just big enough to hold the knives inside of a pull out compartment. The ComplEAT boards are much larger and made of higher quality materials. Additionally, the extra features of the ComplEAT boards, like rubber feet and larger surface areas make them much safer to use.

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Assembly, Installation, Setup

The ComplEAT set comes pre-assembled; all that’s required really is a quick wash with warm soapy water prior to first use.

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It’s also good to familiarize yourself with the set’s components, and put any additional tools you might need into the storage area.

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I like to treat my wood and bamboo cutting boards with mineral oil before I use them and then about once a month to keep them from drying out and cracking.

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As I mentioned, the blades are very sharp out of the box, so aside from washing them, there’s not much setup required.

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In regular use, the ComplEAT kit performs really well. Preparing, cooking, and eating my favorite meal, steak, is an absolute joy. The chef knife cuts through steak like warm butter, and the paring knife is great to use while dining. The bamboo cutting board is meant to be used primarily for fruits and vegetables, but it works great for meat. The delicious juices flow right into the grooves as intended, and the large size of the board allows for working on larger cuts of meat.

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Overall, I couldn’t have enjoyed using the ComplEAT kit more. I’m really happy to have it in my kitchen repertoire and ready to hit the road with me on my outdoor adventures.

What I like

  • Incredibly sharp blades out of the box
  • Extra storage inside tray
  • Easy to keep clean & dishwasher safe

What needs to be improved

  • A little bit too large to be considered compact
  • Can’t use lanyard holes and secure knives with interior tabs
  • Expensive

Final thoughts

I absolutely love the Gerber ComplEAT 6-Piece Cutting Board Set, even with the silly name. From the utilitarian, yet sleek, design touches, to the scary-sharp chef and paring knives, this kit hits all the right notes. Whether out in the wild or at home, I always find myself reaching for these cutting boards and knives when I’m prepping a meal. The only gripe I have is that the set is a little bit bigger than I’d prefer for easy packing. However, the expanded size makes it easier to prepare larger meals and store more items inside the set. At $110, the kit might seem pricey, but when you take into consideration that a high-quality chef knife alone can cost upwards of $200, it’s actually a great deal.

Price: $110.00
Where to buy: Gerber
Source: The sample of this product was provided for free by Gerber. Gerber did not have a final say on the review and did not preview the review before it was published.

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