Finding the best cutting board means understanding how the different cutting board materials affect your knife and ingredients. Why is a wood cutting board better than a glass cutting board, for example?
Hygienic cutting boards are very important because they constantly come into contact with raw food. This is why they should be easy to clean to avoid fungus and bacteria from growing on them.
Different Types of Cutting Boards & Ones You Should Avoid
There are a few different types of cutting boards which are each made from different materials. But which is the best? A wooden cutting board, for example, needs special attention. A wooden cutting board needs to be oiled from time to time to keep it in good shape.
We have recently covered the tips and tricks of using cutting boards, now let’s take a look at the different types of cutting boards to understand why it is better to avoid certain cutting boards and which materials to use instead.
Glass Cutting Boards: Are Glass Cutting Boards Good?
A glass cutting board is not the best choice. However, this has more to do with how tempered glass affects your knife than with hygienic and maintenance reasons.
A glass cutting board is the easiest to clean because tempered glass is non-porous. This means that a glass cutting board does not absorb any juices from raw food.
For hygiene, a glass cutting board is the best cutting board but that is the only advantage of using a glass cutting board. The tempered glass makes knives dull and chip so it is not a safe cutting board.
Plastic Cutting Boards: Are Plastic Cutting Boards Safe?
Cutting board plastic is perfectly safe to use in the kitchen. It is soft enough not to damage your knives and is more hygienic than a wood cutting board.
Plastic cutting boards are usually made of high-density polyethylene plastic or HDPE which is a high quality sturdy thick plastic. This material is dishwasher safe making it easier to keep the cutting board clean.
Plastic cutting boards are better for cutting meat than wooden cutting boards if you put them in the dishwasher. A plastic cutting must be cleaned thoroughly, preferably with baking soda and hot water, to prevent bacteria buildup.
Make sure to only use a high-quality plastic cutting board that is certified safe for preparing food. You do not want to ingest any chemicals or plastic shavings.
What Is the Best Wood for a Cutting Board?
A wooden cutting board is very popular because of its functionality and stylish look. The type of wood used for the cutting board makes a lot of difference, though. The best wood for a cutting board is maple, teak, and beech. These are all wood cutting boards with a high hardness rating which make them safe for your knife.
An end-grain wooden cutting board is also better for knives than edge-grain wood cutting boards which is why it is a popular design for butcher blocks. An end-grain wood cutting board is also better resistant to indentations.
Hardwoods are also less porous so they are the safer cutting board option for hygienic reasons. However, they are still porous so a wood cutting board requires a lot of cleaning and maintenance to keep it food grade safe.
A wood cutting board must be washed carefully, quickly dried and then oiled to keep the wood healthy. Oiling a wooden cutting board also creates a protective layer against food juices.
Because of its porous nature, it is better to reserve a wood cutting board for cutting vegetables and fruit. Plastic is still the safer cutting board for cutting meat. Wood cutting boards are not dishwasher safe.
Bamboo Cutting Boards: Is Bamboo Good for Cutting Boards?
Bamboo is a good alternative for wood cutting boards. They are more affordable, more environmentally friendly and not too bad for your knives.
However, bamboo cutting boards are not as strong as wood cutting boards. They are more prone to cuts and indentations from your knife so they do not last as long as a wood cutting board. Treat a bamboo cutting board similar to a wood cutting board. It is not dishwasher safe so you need to wash it thoroughly, dry it quickly and grease it with mineral oil.
Do not skip the oiling. Bamboo is more fragile than hardwoods so they oil not only creates a barrier for bacteria but it also prevents the bamboo from splintering. Just like a wood cutting board, bamboo cutting boards are not the best for cutting meat. Reserve a bamboo cutting board for vegetables, fruit, and bread.
It is best to have two types of cutting boards in your kitchen and to keep their uses separate. This is more hygienic and prevents cross-contamination between the cutting boards. Reserve a plastic cutting board for cutting meat and a bamboo cutting board or wood cutting board for other food preparations.