Recently on our blog, we gave you an overview of kitchen knives. Now let’s take a look at cutting boards.
There are several different types of cutting boards made from a variety of materials and available in a wide range of prices.
When choosing cutting boards for your kitchen, you should consider two main factors: how they treat your knives and how sanitary they are. The USDA recommends using two separate cutting boards–one for fruits, veggies, herbs, cheese, and bread and a separate one for raw meat, poultry, and seafood. This helps to ensure that no cross-contamination takes place during the food preparation process.
WOOD–This is probably the most popular choice for cutting boards. They are truly beautiful to look at and work on. They are the best for your knives because wood does not dull the blades. However, they are porous, so they absorb food, liquids, and bacteria. Wooden boards should be washed in hot, soapy water. Do not soak in water or place in the dishwasher because they can warp and crack. After washing, rinse and dry well. Once dry, treat boards with a food-grade mineral oil to create a moisture barrier. Select a hardwood cutting board made from maple, beech, walnut, cherry, teak, ash, or birch. Choose end grain (checkerboard pattern) or edge grain (striped pattern).
Chef Scott uses a thick wooden block cutting board at his home. He suggests placing a lightly dampened dish cloth under your cutting board to keep it from slipping.
BAMBOO–Bamboo is a fast-growing grass that is harder than wood and less porous, so it absorbs less liquid than wood boards. Wash, dry, and oil bamboo boards the same as wooden boards.
PLASTIC–Plastic cutting boards are inexpensive and durable. They can be washed by hand or in the dishwasher. They are not as good for your knives as wood or bamboo boards. Plastic boards can still hold bacteria, so they must be washed thoroughly. They should be replaced when scratches and grooves from knives begin to appear, as bacteria is more difficult to remove from these crevices.
EPICUREAN–The cutting boards are made from a combination of different recycled materials, including wood and plastic. These boards are safe for knives, nonporous, and dishwasher-safe.
GLASS–These boards are nonporous and easy to sanitize. They can be washed in the sink or dishwasher. No oiling is needed. However, glass boards are often slippery and they are especially hard on your knives (glass surfaces will dull them quickly).