If you think about the many meals that you have prepared, I’ll bet you can remember a lot of chopping, cutting and dicing on your kitchen cutting board. You probably take this board for granted, it’s shoved into a cabinet and you drag it out when you have to chop something. What you may not realize is just how often you use your cutting board and that there are many different types of cutting boards available. Having the right cutting boards is important if you want the right tools in your kitchen.
You probably have at least one wooden cutting board in a cupboard. Maybe you use, may it is just taking up space. This is the granddaddy of cutting boards, our parents and grandparents used them all of the time and never gave them much thought. That’s changed as technology has brought about a variety of materials that can be used for cutting boards. Our awareness of germs and bacteria is much more pronounced than it was 50 years ago and we are now paying more attention to cleanliness and the need for clean cooking surfaces. Our cutting boards have changed with the times.
Wooden Cutting Boards
As plastic became more popular in kitchen tools, the thinking went that plastic was safer than wood. You could clean it better because you could throw it in the dishwasher, nothing could survive that combination of soap, hot water and water pressure. Wooden cutting boards didn’t seem as sanitary.
It turns out that wood is just as sanitary as plastic with proper cleaning. Both types of cutting boards need to be cleaned after using, so if you clean your wooden board properly and let it dry, you are just as sanitary as someone using plastic. Hardwoods are better at resisting bacteria and are less prone to absorb moisture.
Wooden boards are also easier on you knife’s blade. Hard surfaces don’t give when they meet your knife edge and the blade can get dull or even chip. Using a sharp blade on a wooden cutting board will help the lifespan of your knife.
Plastic Cutting Boards
Plastic is truly a miracle product and it has a lot of uses in the kitchen. When it comes to cutting boards, it allows you to have a cutting surface that is smooth and lightweight. When you are done using it, the plastic cutting board can go into the dishwasher and will then be ready for its next use.
Plastic will dull you knife’s blade with repeated use. Lighter weight blades are especially prone to going dull quickly on plastic and some can chip. Plastic can also peel and get rough edges is it is cut with a knife, you will notice this after you have used your cutting board for an extended period of time.
Some cutting boards are made from ceramic. This material will act like plastic, there is no metal in it. You can put it in the dishwasher when done and you don’t need to do anything special to clean it. It is a very hard surface and can cause dulling issues with you knives.
Glass has been used in some boards. These are thin and easy to clean, but glass can be hard on knives and will, of course, break if dropped. Glass cutting boards are usually very colorful and can be used as kitchen decoration as well as a kitchen tool.
Which type of cutting board should you use? Wood or plastic are the most popular and are the most adaptable to kitchen use. Wood is heavier and needs hand washing, but will be easier on your knives. Plastic is lightweight and easy to clean, but can peel and will dull you knives. Most cooks have 4 or 5 cutting boards. Some are strictly for meats and poultry, while others are for vegetables and other dry foods. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on cutting boards, it won’t cost you a lot to have an assortment in your kitchen.