Selecting a Cutting Board
A good cutting board is a staple in any kitchen. But with so many kinds of cutting boards, which one is the best one for you? Ultimately, it’s really a question of preference, as all boards have pros and cons. You may also find it useful to have more than one cutting board for versatility. A great tip, no matter what kind of cutting board you have, is to place a damp towel underneath the board to prevent it from moving around your countertop while in use.
Here’s a quick fact sheet on the most popular types of cutting boards to help you decide what’s best in your kitchen:
As the most reasonably priced of cutting boards, many people tend to favour plastic. It’s also perceived as non-porous, meaning that bacteria doesn’t get absorbed into the board and can be washed away with a good scrub of soap and sanitizer. It should be noted however, that softer plastic boards can be scored easily by sharp knives allowing bacteria to harbour in those grooves, even after a good wash. But seeing as plastic boards are quite economical, it’s easy for them to be replaced once deep knife scores become more prevalent. They are also user-friendly in terms of being quite lightweight and dishwasher safe.
Wood cutting boards have several benefits, the most popular being that many will “self-heal.” This means any small scores on the board you might cause with your knife will likely close up on their own as the wood contracts and expands. Wood also has natural antiseptic properties. Many reports refute that wood absorbs and retains bacteria, stating that if anything does get absorbed it will subsequently be trapped in the wood grain and will die off. Wood boards should not be placed in the dishwasher as they can warp. These boards tend to be the most expensive of cutting boards and tend to be heavy. Wood boards however, excel in terms of longevity if used properly.
Glass boards are quite durable, relatively inexpensive, do not retain any bacteria or germs once washed, are dishwasher safe, and are quite attractive to look at. They can also serve double duty in protecting your countertops from hot pots and pans. The biggest con to a glass board is that your knives have the potential to be damaged as glass is harder than steel. If used incorrectly you have the potential of damaging not only the knife but also the cutting board itself, chipping some of the glass into any food being cut. Whichever cutting board you choose, always remember that sanitation is the key. It’s best to have a separate board for your raw meats, and another for your vegetables and other foods to avoid cross contamination.