There are so many cutting boards on the market to choose from. There are plastic cutting boards, wooden cutting boards, ones that feature non-slip bumpers, across the sink models to save space, and even fancy cutting boards in the shape of your home state. With all these cutting board options, you may have missed one of the newer options to emerge into the cutting board marketplace: bamboo cutting boards. Bamboo cutting boards have gained popularity due to the variety of benefits they offer over the traditional wooden cutting boards.
Bamboo cutting boards are a more eco-friendly and sustainable option than wooden cutting boards. Bamboo is more renewable than wood because it is the fastest growing plant in the world. A maple tree can take over 30 years to mature, while a bamboo shoot reaches maturity within 3-6 years. Bamboo is actually considered a grass instead of a tree and is very tolerant to its environment and easy to grow organically. This ease of farming also makes bamboo a very affordable option.
Bamboo cutting boards also take less maintenance than wooden cutting boards. Most wooden cutting boards are crafted out of either maple, walnut, or cherry wood. These woods are the best option because they are dense woods. Having a cutting board made out of dense wood is important, because dense woods absorb less water than porous woods like red oak would. Less water absorption means there is a lower chance of bacteria growth on the cutting board. Even though wooden cutting boards are made out of dense woods they still require regular moisturizing, usually with mineral oil or beeswax, to keep them from cracking or warping. The amazing news is that bamboo is even denser than dense woods like maple, walnut, or cherry wood. This additional density helps the bamboo cutting board resist retaining water, helping keep bacteria at bay, while also keeping it from developing cracks or warping as easily as a wooden cutting board would. Unlike wooden cutting boards, bamboo cutting boards do not require any sort of moisturizing or maintenance. Additionally, a bamboo cutting board should still be washed by hand (not put in a dishwasher), not left to soak, and dried thoroughly after washing.
Another benefit of bamboo cutting boards is that they look nice and stay looking nice even after repeated use. Bamboo has a very light wood tone, natural look, and a fine grain. Bamboo’s density also makes it resistant to wood scarring or knife marks. In fact, your knife is more likely to take a beating than the bamboo cutting board. Its density also helps it resist cracking and warping that can quickly ruin the look of a wooden cutting board. Finally, bamboo resists staining that is common when cutting meat or acidic plants (oranges, tomatoes, etc.) on wooden cutting boards.
Bamboo cutting boards are more eco-friendly, require less maintenance, and have a better appearance than wooden cutting boards. Even though bamboo cutting boards are a newer addition to the cutting board marketplace, they have certainly earned their place on store shelves and are well-loved by gourmet and home chefs across the world. Whether you are purchasing a cutting board for the first time, or looking to replace the subpar cutting board you currently have in your kitchen, bamboo is the way to go. If you are looking to buy one check out my pick in another post where I tested differently priced bamboo cutting boards.