Cutting board materials are the most important part to choosing the right cutting board. If you’ve used a good-quality cutting board, you know how big of a difference they can make to the entire cutting experience. However, we often tend to underrate the need for a cutting board and just make-do with whatever we have. Thus, eventually going for something that’s not worth the money.
Currently, cutting boards are made of four primary materials, wood, plastic, rubber, and bamboo. While all of them serve the primary purpose right, which is to aid you to chop down things. Not every type of board is for everything the same way. Hence, not every board is suitable for every user. In this article, we’re going to discuss everything you need to know about the materials of cutting boards in detail to help you get a better idea. That being said, let’s begin!
Cutting Board Materials:
Wood is the most common type of material available for cutting boards. They’re available in a plethora of sizes and qualities based on the type of wood used. The quality of the cutting board largely depends on the kind of wood used.
Wood is a tough material that holds itself very well. So, wooden cutting boards will give a few good years of use without any hassle. However, most cheaper boards are made from softwoods, which are vulnerable and end up with the knives’ spots. So, we recommend using a hardwood cutting board made from something like cherry wood. Although they’re heavier in weight, they hold themselves very well and don’t get damaged from regular knife hits.
Furthermore, due to the wood’s structural integrity, they have pores that can easily dry out. If the pore gets dry, the board becomes brittle, and it might bend or break if it dries out. Therefore, wooden boards require to be seasoned with mineral oil at least once every week. Also, they might get molds quickly, so keep them away from too much water or moisture.
Wood is an easy choice which doesn’t involve a lot of effort. However, if you feel like regular maintenance is an issue, don’t go for it.
The second most common material for cutting boards after the wood is plastic. They’re easily affordable and just as good as wood. Although many people think plastic is better than wood.
When it comes to plastic, the first significant caveat is that the plastic used in the board must be food grade in nature. Always make sure you’re buying from a trusted seller and stay away from knock-offs.
Furthermore, plastic is relatively weaker than wood, so they might get knife spots if too much pressure is applied. So, be gentle with the board and use it carefully.
One significant advantage of plastic boards is that it doesn’t create mold, and the light color of the board makes it easy to notice any remainings of meat on the board. So, plastic should be the first choice when it comes to working with protein.
Although plastic boards don’t mold, they create spots. The spots can be very hard to deal with as well as annoying. So, they require regular washes and specialized washes with bleach and detergent once every week or two.
One thing most people tend to overlook is the risk posed by plastic cutting boards. To begin with, plastic boards are susceptible to knife damage easily. Once a part of the board is largely damaged or scarred, micro bits of plastic can easily seep into your food. This can cause severe health hazards if the plastic is of bad quality. So, if you see knife spots and scars on your board, it’s an excellent time to get a new one.
Bamboo is the future. It’s more pungent than almost every variety of wood while it’s significantly lighter. Also, they’re cheaper and grow a lot faster than wood. So, most people are shifting to bamboo from wood since it’s a more sustainable option. In a world where every decision we take will help shape the future, and we’re already at risk with the climate, bamboo is definitely a good idea.
However, it’s only been a few years since bamboo made it to the mainstream shelves. So, very few companies are dedicated to making bamboo cutting boards, and they are somewhat pricey. However, in a few years, bamboo will be getting mainstream, making more shelves and more affordable.
While bamboo is more robust than wood, it’s also harder. So, it’s a bit hard on your knife. So, using them for long hours can be really painful. But bamboo doesn’t attract water, so there’s no chance of moisture seeping in and causing mold in the board.
Bamboo is still relatively niche in the cutting board arena. While they might not be the best thing to buy now, they have the potential to make it big in a few years easily.
Rubber cutting boards, yes, they exist! Generally made from polyvinyl acetate, they’re a solid, high-end category of cutting board that’s very easy to use. They’re flexible, soft and kind to the knife.
Most cutting boards are very hard in nature. So, using them for too long can be painful and tiring. However, rubber cutting boards are soft, so they give your arms some bit of support. They prevent your arms from getting tired, so you can work for long hours. However, even the best rubber cutting boards aren’t dishwasher safe. So, you have to wash them physically after every use and give a deep wash once every week. If that’s a deal-breaker for you, don’t go for it.
Cutting boards are excellent kitchen appliances even though we underrate them a lot. We often choose a cutting board without actually thinking about what we need and thus struggle with it. In this article, we’ve thoroughly discussed the ins-and-outs of four of the most popular cutting board materials to give you an idea about what you’d need. We hope you find this helpful!