Cutting boards are a must have for every kitchen, but many know little about them. They are handy tools that we sometimes don’t care about. So what are the types of chopping board and their uses? Many people get confused about knowing which one is perfect for them and ask several questions like:
Is it durable? Is it sanitary? Would it damage my knives? Is it easy to wash?
This article would shed more light on these questions and hopefully help you in getting the cutting board perfect for you or even help you maintain the one you have.
There are several classifications of cutting boards based on their shape, size, the material used, and also feature.
Cutting boards could be rectangular, square, round, custom made, or novelty. They vary from small to large. They could also have smooth or rough surfaces.
The primary classification we would examine is according to the type of material used. There are several materials used in making cutting boards. These materials have their pros and cons. They are made of wood, plastic, bamboo, glass, marble, etc.
Types of Cutting Boards
We would be looking at four major types of cutting boards and how they compare to each other.
Wood is a renewable resource; it is also the right choice for a cutting board. Cutting boards made out of wood are beautiful and are a must-have for every kitchen. Wooden cutting boards are mostly made out of hardwood like Teak, Walnut, Birch, Cherry.
Hardwood with tight grain and small pores make excellent cutting boards. This property makes it retain less dirt and reduce absorption of oils and other liquids. It also helps to reduce the scoring of the boards.
Wood with large pores doesn’t make perfect cutting boards. An example is the Red Oak; it has large pores which would make it retain more dirt than other types of hardwood — thus making it not an excellent choice for a cutting board.
If properly taken care of, wooden cutting boards could last for years. Wood cutting boards should never be put in a dishwasher. Instead, they should be washed with warm water and soap. The board should also be suspended freely while drying.
Tough stains should be removed with salt, vinegar, and lemon. Oiling with food grade mineral oil would also help you maintain your wooden board.
• They have antiseptic properties that inhibit germs and microbial growth.
• Soft surface that goes easy on your knives keeps them sharper for a more extended period of time. Softer than Bamboo boards which have a more hardened surface.
• Self-healing properties that close up shallow cuts on the boards, hence, not scarring easily like plastic boards.
• Difficult to maintain and clean.
Bamboo cutting boards are environmentally friendly. They are made by shredding bamboo then constructing it into a board with the aid of glue. There are some made of toxic formaldehyde glues. If you are going for a bamboo cutting board, then make sure it is formaldehyde free.
Bamboo boards have hard surfaces, which is also non-porous. Hence, they don’t retain dirt or allow the growth of bacteria on them.
They retain less water and also have a harder surface than wooden cutting boards. They also last longer than plastic boards.
Just like wooden boards, you should hand-wash them and make sure to never soak in water. You can also oil Bamboo boards to make them last longer.
• They have a clean, non-porous surface that doesn’t retain dirt.
• They don’t stain easily.
• They are durable.
• They are Cheap
• They tend to dull Knives quickly.
• Some Bamboo boards are made with toxic glues.
Plastic cutting boards are affordable; they come in different colors. They are usually called polyethylene boards or high-density polyethylene boards. Most are designed not to dull knives. They are light and easier to move around.
People think that plastic boards are more sanitary than wooden boards. However, that is not the case; bacteria tend to grow in cuts made by knives on plastic boards.
Unlike wooden boards, plastic has no antiseptic properties. It would also absorb smell over time. Plastic boards can be washed in the dishwasher.
You would always need to wash it with strong cleaning agents to sanitize it and avoid bacterial growth. It can be cleaned with harsh chemicals and would not be damaged, washing. Using very sharp knives would extend the lifespan of your board.
Plastic boards are cheaper than other types of cutting boards but don’t last as long.
• They don’t dull knives quickly as they have a soft surface.
• They are easy to clean.
• They are cheap.
• They are versatile.
• Plastic boards get a lot of cut marks.
• It absorbs smell
• Its surface is soft.
• It absorbs smell
• They don’t last long.
Glass boards look nice, but there are a lot of things you should consider before getting one.
Just like plastic boards, you would think it’s a sanitary option, but they have textured surfaces which can harbor microbes that can make you sick. They don’t also have antiseptic properties like bamboo boards or wooden boards.
They are fragile and would break if dropped, unlike other types of cutting boards. They can be chipped easily when you are using them. These chips would go into your food or in your hands. It’s better to use for slicing food instead of chopping.
Your knives go dull fast when you use glass boards. Also, the sound of the impact of knives on glass is not something nice, and you wouldn’t want that in your kitchen.
They can be cleaned easily, with soap and warm water. You could also wash them with vinegar and water. If a kitchen accident doesn’t happen, glass boards can last for up to 5 years.
• They are aesthetically pleasing.
• They are easy to clean.
• They have slippery surfaces though textured.
• They are fragile.
• They dull knives quickly.
• They harbor bacterial growth.
Each of the boards considered has its strengths and weaknesses. Plastic boards being an all-rounder but you must sanitize them well. Wood and Bamboo boards being environmentally friendly and have antiseptic properties. Glass boards that look beautiful.
You should choose the one that suits your needs and remember to maintain them.