Whenever shopping for any kitchen tool, we make sure it is safe and easy to clean. And when it is a daily use item like a cutting board, you want the best one to do all chopping, dicing, and slicing work comfortably. Many people often find it confusing to pick the best cutting board when you’ve got tons of options. Some say plastic cutting boards are good while others suggest going for a wooden one. And you’re sitting there still searching for the best material for cutting board.
Which cutting board is the best? Wood or Plastic?
- While it may seem plastic boards are more sanitary than wooden ones but the reality is different. The reason why people think plastic is hygienic is because of its dishwasher-friendly washing. But you might be shocked to know that plastic surface contains more bacteria than wood.
- When you use a sharp knife to cut veggies or meat, it leaves marks on the surface. And the depth of these marks might not bother you but are perfect for bacteria to thrive. A great amount of them still remains on the surface after washing the board. Therefore, it is difficult to sanitize a knife-scarred plastic surface manually.
- But with advancements, many new plastic boards feature patterns and material that would not get deep knife scars. Also, they are suitable for deep cleaning and drying inside the dishwasher which reduces the risk of food contamination. Plus, you get various color choices to match your kitchen style perfectly.
- The main problem with plastic is, it does not have any antibacterial properties. Whereas, certain wood used for making cutting boards possess excellent antibacterial properties such as acacia. And you’ll prefer a healthier and safer board to chop veggies or fruits for your family.
- Plastic boards are no doubt cheap but are not very great for the environment. On the other hand, wood, though costly, is sustainable and environment-friendly.
- All the above reasons are enough to say why wooden cutting boards are better than plastic ones. So now that you know wood is good, which among the different materials is the best?
Types of Wood for cutting board:
This material is getting more and more popular each day because of its outstanding qualities. It offers all the features that you want in your best chopping board. It is a naturally smooth wood that won’t splinter as well as is easy to maintain. Also, it is highly sustainable as the tree grows at a fast pace. On cutting the Acacia wood it leaves a sweet smell behind due to the presence of natural oils. These oils make it a block of natural water-resistant wood that will not dull your sharp knife fast.
Check out: 5 Best Acacia Wood Cutting Boards Review
When acacia was not in fashion, bamboo wood cutting boards were common in households. Bamboo is a budget-friendly option that offers great durability. However, it is important to note that bamboo is not technically wood but grass. So the material is more prone to cracking and splintering. Besides, bamboo also offers water-resistant qualities but the absence of natural oils may dull your sharp kitchen knife faster.
Top Rated Bamboo Cutting Board By Greener Chef (Large)
If you have dark wooden kitchen tools then complete the set with a walnut chopping board. Walnut is naturally dark and with time gets even darker. This quality of walnut makes it an expensive option but is worth every single penny. Walnut is a hardwood that won’t let the sharp blade scar surface and at the same time, it is soft enough not to dull the blade. Thus, ugly blade scars are not a major issue with this wood which makes it one of the best wood cutting boards for knives.
Check Out: 5 Best Walnut Wood Cutting Board Reviews
Durable and easy to maintain, teak is also a great option to make cutting boards. Teak is also a common furniture choice to make beds, benches, stools, etc. It resists moisture and stands up against the splinter no matter how many times it gets wet or dry. Plus, teak wood doe not require regular oiling. However, they are costlier than acacia and bamboo depending upon the board features.
Check Out: Large Reversible Teak Wood Cutting Board: By Sonder Los Angeles
Are you tired of sharpening dull knives over and over again? Then get a maple wood cutting board. Maple ensures you can cut ingredients smoothly and at the same time prevents the blade from dulling quickly. You’ll rarely see any knife marks over the maple board. And no deep cuts mean fewer bacteria over the surface. But with advantages comes a hefty price tag. Yes, maple is expensive but hygienic.
Check Out: Maple Cutting Board by Michigan Maple Block
It is a smooth wood with a closed grain pattern. Cherry wood has a beautiful golden-pink tone that darkens to rich reddish-brown color with time. The color and grain pattern of cherry is the reason behind furniture making. No doubt, it is considered hardwood but is not as durable as maple. Further, it lacks water resistance so you need to take extra care while washing the board. They need to be dried out immediately as well as require regular oiling for long life.
Check Out: Cherry Wood Food Chopping Board by John Boos
Uses of Wooden board:
The versatility of wooden boards is what we love the most. Apart from chopping, dicing and shredding ingredients, you can use your beautiful board as,
Charcuterie Platter: A large wood cutting board can be doubled as a charcuterie platter. Smoked meat and different variety of cheese are generally decorated on a charcuterie tray. But vegetarian people can replace meat with fruit or nuts. Some of the chopping boards even feature a long compartment wherein you can arrange crackers.
Serving Tray: A good-looking edge grain cutting board is also a good serving tray. If buying the product for both chopping and serving, look for a thick board with built-in hand grips. Comfortable grips let you transfer and serve items easily.
Cheese Board: Entertain your friends with delicious cheese and wine beautifully placed on a wooden board. Choose a water-resistant product that is easy to clean and does not incorporate the odor of cheese and other ingredients.
How To Oil Wooden Cutting Board?
Be it expensive or cheap, wood needs proper maintenance and oiling to last for a long time. There are special seasoning oils and conditioners for cutting boards that help restore its shine. Follow the steps below and you will be able to elongate the life of your butcher block.
- Warm soapy water
- Soft nylon scrubber
- Seasoning oil(prefer natural)
- Paper towels
- Begin by washing your butcher block in warm soapy water. Make use of nylon scrubber if necessary.
- Then let the board dry naturally overnight.
- Grab some paper towels and fold them nicely to soak in seasoning oil. You will need to apply a good layer of oil if seasoning the cutting board for the first time. Or a little amount will work with regular oiling.
- Now gently rub the soaked paper towel all over the butcher block including sides. Make sure to cover the area having knife marks.
- Once all the parts are covered, keep your unit aside for wood to absorb the oil properly. It is recommended to keep it oiled for a minimum of 8 hours.
- Remove excess oil with paper towels or a soft cloth.
Here is an excellent approach towards taking care of your wood cutting board explained amazingly by the Wirecutter team.
Why oil wooden boards?
Wood tends to dry out with time so it is necessary to oil them. Oiling helps to extend the life of your butcher block by providing with necessary moisture. Besides, the best oil for the cutting board will help to restore its shine and hideaway cut marks. It will also protect the surface from damage due to water. Not only that but a good quality cutting board oil will help to enhance the natural antibacterial properties of wood. So all you get is a safe and hygienic place to serve, chop, and platter ingredients.
Make sure to buy a food-grade mineral oil to season the board. Or any natural oil will also do. Stay away from artificial shiners as they contain harmful chemicals. And you would surely avoid chopping food for your family on a chemical layer.
Wooden cutting boards are worth investment. They can last for years with little care. Besides, they look great in any kitchen which makes them ideal for multiple uses like charcuterie platter and serving tray. You get many options to choose the best material according to your needs. And the safe part is, wooden boards are healthier than plastic which makes them ideal for kitchen use.