Cutting board overview
A cutting board is a must-have for every kitchen. While setting up your kitchen, one of the gadget you will love to have to make cooking easy is a cutting board and it is essential you go for the best.
One of the things that differentiate a well-organized kitchen from every other random kitchen is having gadgets that serve their specific purpose. A good chef will never use its countertop or table for cutting meat or food generally. They get a good cutting board to serve that purpose.
Cutting boards come in different forms, therefore, they are task specific. Some are too porous to use for cutting raw meat, poultry and fish because they absorb bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella. Other boards are so hard that they dull the blades of your knives.
Things you should watch out for attributed to each kind of cutting board in this article are; firstly, you want to be sure if the kind of cutting board you are going for can withstand a sharp knife. Not all boards will get the impact of a knife and not leave a mark.
Secondly, you need to know if your board does not keep stains and odor as this could attract germs and bacteria. Additionally, how would you clean your board? Is it dishwasher friendly? Not all cutting boards can be washed in a dishwasher so you should be sure before you wash yours.
Lastly, the price is also a major factor. Is your board affordable to be replaced? This post will give you a good knowledge of all these questions and at the end of reading this post, you would be a cutting board expert.
Cutting boards are made out of several popular materials which include wood, bamboo, plastic (polyurethane), glass and composite materials.
Wood cutting board
These boards are the oldest form of cutting boards. They are beautiful, strong, durable and attractive. This board is the best type of board for the health of your knife. A good hard maple board does not dull the blade of your kitchen knife. These boards are made from several kinds of wood like royal mahogany, white oak, cherry, walnut, and maple.
Although this board is hard, they are also porous. They absorb anything put in them including bacteria. They are a bit difficult to sanitize as they trap bacteria. To maintain this board, immediately after use you have to clean it (bleach can be used), dry it and oil it. A wood cutting board needs maintenance.
Also, this board is heavy so it can warp after heavy use. Heavy chopping should be minimal on this board as this could break the wood fiber. The wood cutting board is best used for cutting vegetables, bread, and herbs.
Wood cutting board styles
This board comes in two styles; it could either be end grain or edge grain.
End grain boards are made of few numbers of board ends glued together, and they can be gentle on knives because the edge slides between the vertical wood fibers. Cuts and other marks tend to close more efficiently, self-healing over time, but the exposed ends also make them easier to dry out, stain and crack. They are usually the most expensive because it’s the most labor-intensive to make. Due to the nature of their construction, this board is 3 to 4 inches thick and heavy.
Edge grain boards are the sides of boards glued together in alternating strips, with the sides (edges) facing up. This kind of construction is by far the most common because it balances strength and durability with cost. These boards tend to be harder on knife edges than end grain, but they also withstand moisture-based cracking and splitting better, and are easier to clean. They can vary in thickness, but on average run only an inch or so, and come in all sorts of sizes. This board last for years.
Bamboo cutting board
A good substitute for wood is the bamboo. They are a bit harder than wood hence they have little advantage over wood. It is quite attractive like its wood substitute. The bamboo cutting board is also porous hence they are susceptible to bacteria. After using its best to clean the board, dry it and oil it for it to last long.
In addition, when using bamboo, because of the harder surface, knives will dull faster than with plastic and wooden surfaces. They are lighter weight than traditional wood and often less expensive.
Plastic cutting board
The most recommended type of cutting board is definitely the plastic board. They are made from polyethylene. They are durable and last long. Plastic cutting board dulls your blade faster than a wood or bamboo cutting board will do.
In addition, after a long period of use; your board might not look attractive again due to the accumulation of hundreds of marks. This board also harbors bacteria but it’s on the minimal.
The good side is they can be washed easily and cleaned. A plastic cutting board can be washed with a dishwasher and this makes it better than a wood cutting board. The board can be used for chopping and cutting lot of things like meat, fruit, and vegetables.
They come in a lot of fun colors which you can use as a coding system if you want. Red for raw meats; green for vegetables and so on- this is what professional kitchens do to help prevent cross-contamination. Otherwise, you can just enjoy the rich colors.
Lastly, the board is less expensive therefore it can be replaced at least every two years.
Glass cutting board
These are the most beautiful boards, but not necessarily the most practical for everyday use. Glass cutting boards are nonporous and easy to clean. They can be washed in sink or dishwasher.
Glass cutting board have the hardest and heaviest surface hence they are the worst board for your knives. They dull the knife very fast and the surface is quite slick so you want to be very careful while using it. Most people use this board for serving instead of cutting.
Composite cutting board
Composite boards can be made from a range of materials including recycled wood or paper or a popular resin material. This board will often offer durable surfaces but hard on knives.
If they are made from recycled materials you get the environmentally friendly benefit as well. They are food-safe, easily maintained and last as long as wood.
Before you buy a cutting board, consider your current cooking habit. It is best to have at least two cutting boards, a wood and a plastic cutting board. A wood cutting board is the best for prepping fruits and vegetables, while a plastic cutting board for preparing raw proteins.
All cutting boards should be replaced after a few years of use because bacteria will eventually build up over time. Even the most durable plastic boards will become discolored and the knife cuts will begin to harbor bacteria. Cleaning after each use and using bleach to disinfect the boards will extend their life.
In conclusion, the best kind of cutting board for your kitchen is dependent on the purpose, usage and how much maintenance you give your cutting board.
It’s your turn to tell us the kind of cutting board you use in your kitchen.