Tool Spotlight: Cutting Boards

The beauty of a cutting board is often underplayed when talking about kitchen tools. After all, it’s just a board that you use to protect your counter. How much attention does it need, right? Wrong. Cutting boards come in all shapes, materials, and sizes and they are a vital kitchen tool. They protect your counter, your food, your knives, and some even serve as a beautiful ornamental piece. Many cutting boards are very inexpensive and can last for a long time with proper care.

Many styles of boards are available and some are better than others:

Wood. Wooden boards are a very popular choice because they are gentle on knife edges. These are typically the most difficult to clean because they require occasional oiling and should not be put in the dishwasher. These boards are very porous, which means bacteria can infiltrate the board. While they are susceptible to harboring bacteria in cuts and cracks, wood cutting boards offer natural antimicrobial properties that can help to prevent this issue as you long as you keep them properly cleaned.

Bamboo. These boards are similar to wooden boards and have become very popular in the past decade. They also require oiling, as well as meticulous washing and drying. While it is still porous, bamboo is slightly harder than wood.

Plastic. These boards are easy to clean, very durable and can be put in the dishwasher; a plus for killing bacteria. They won’t lead to excessive wear on knives but because they are porous, they are susceptible to harboring bacteria and cross-contamination. This risk can be negated by designating a board for each type of protein and not using the same board for raw and cooked meats.

Glass. While these boards are easy to clean, are nonporous, visually appealing, and they don’t require any maintenance, they are tough on knives. Glass cutting boards are likely to dull the blades and some cooks are put-off by the sound made when the knife hits the board.

Stone/ceramic. Similar to glass boards, these boards are nonporous and heat resistant, but rough on knives.

No matter what type of cutting board you choose to invest in, be sure to take proper care of it. Most boards will require a replacement after some time. When the board begins to fray and has visible cut marks, it is time to buy a replacement to prevent bacteria growth. It is very important to thoroughly clean your cutting board after every use, especially when cutting raw proteins to prevent cross-contamination. It is even wise to invest in multiple boards for different tasks. You can never have too many!

If you like this post, please be sure to check out the following!

How To Make Your Knives Last A Lifetime
Hot Home Kitchen Appliances For 2013

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