There are lots of designs for cutting boards on the market. The most common ones are the ones made of wood. There are treated bamboo ones, and there are ones made from resin or sanitized plastic. There are also disposable ones. Choose whatever material you desire but choose a fair size one. A workable size would be 24 x 18, and it should be 1 to 1.5” thick.
You do not need to be so elaborate to use the checker design but the little cells can serve as measurement when you are baking and measuring the dough or puff pastry. The measurement also comes in handy if you are carving a roast. You would know how many slices you can get out of the roast. A plain old fashion cutting board should be good enough. We choose the depth because we need the thickness to cushion chopping.
Notice the nut right after the measurement disk. Get a tall glass of boiling water and stick the thermometer into the hot water. It should register 212 or 100. If not, your gauge is off. You can adjust your gauge by holding on the nut with a vice grip and turn the top till it reach the boiling temperature. Then you would know your probe is accurate. Nowadays, the thermometers are all pre-gauged properly. They are accurate enough.
You need the temperature probe (thermometer) to measure the doneness of the meat, the temperature of the soup and if you are tempering sugar, then you definitely need a probe.
The main idea of this series is to generate some feed-back and interaction. The food world is so immense and diversified. I do not know everything but within my knowledge I will try to answer simple questions about food for you.
The different passages I wrote are mainly from my own personal experience. I am a lazy person and I seek the simplest method of doing things. Cooking is such a creative area once you get through the few general stumbling blocks. Then like Einstein who said, “Give me a person with imagination and the sky is the limit”. You will get a natural high if you can create some dishes that look good, taste good and smell good. Then pair them with your favourite wine and you will be in taste euphoria.