Cutting boards are a staple of any kitchen, but they aren’t something we typically think about too deeply. Every tool in the kitchen is important, especially one you will use with nearly every meal. Wooden and plastic cutting boards both have their strengths and require different methods of care to keep them clean and intact.
There is really only one kind of cutting board you should buy, and that is a wooden one. The idea that plastic can be cleaned and disinfected more thoroughly than wood is wrong. Wood absorbs residual food-borne bacteria after manual cleaning with soapy hot water, but it holds the bacteria inside, where it cannot multiply and eventually dies. Studies have found that, even when a ‘contaminated’ wooden cutting board is sliced open with a sharp knife, the bacteria do not come out.
Wooden cutting boards are a beautiful and useful addition to any kitchen. A nice wooden cutting board isn’t just a tool, but also a beautiful decoration, and a sign of how well you care for all your equipment. They come in a variety of sizes, from the larger standard cutting boards, to smaller serving boards and cheese boards. What is great about having a nice big cutting board is that they weigh enough to remain stable while cutting, can take many cuts and scrapes, and they have a nice texture, which makes cutting more comfortable. Their nice, smooth texture and color also make them better for making dough if you do not want to spread flour over your kitchen counter.
Wooden cutting boards make sense from a financial and environmental standpoint. A plastic board should be thrown away once it’s damaged, which is terribly wasteful. As far as I know, they’re not recyclable. A hardwood cutting board, which costs more up front, can easily last decades, even an entire life. Bamboo boards, which have come into vogue since Cliver’s study was first published, are harder than hardwood, which means they dull knives faster, but they do come from a faster-growing source, making them more environmentally friendly.
Talking about the wooden cutting board, it is a renewable resource and is more durable. Most people prefer using it since it doesn’t scar as easily as plastic. Not only do wood boards last longer, they also help in keeping the knives stay sharp for a longer time. Wood boards don’t make the blades blunt as quickly as plastic boards. Wood shows the ability to halt the growth of and kill bacteria on its surface. Both new and used wooden cutting boards maintain this ability equally well.