Whether you’re cutting meat, chopping vegetables or slicing bread, you will need a cutting board. When shopping for cutting boards, you would find a lot of options. Cutting boards come in different shapes and sizes. They also come in different materials like plastic, wood or bamboo. What are the benefits and drawbacks to using these cutting boards? Which board is most durable? Which board is easiest to clean? Below is a comparison of different types of cutting boards.
Plastic Cutting Boards
Plastic cutting boards are lightweight and cheap, so they’re quite popular. They also have the advantage of coming in variety of shapes, sizes and colors. They are easy to mix and match. You could use different colors of cutting boards for different food items. You could use a red board for meat, a yellow one for poultry, a green one for vegetables and fruits.
They are incredibly easy to use. You can easily just throw it in the dishwasher, so they’re quite easy to clean. Another advantage is that there is less chance that your knife will cut deep grooves into the plastic board. Grooves tend to create a place for bacteria to thrive.
You can use thick plastic cutting boards as a hot pad. When you need to put a hot pan somewhere other than the stove, you can use your board to protect your tabletop or counter.
Many people also believe that they’re the most sanitary choice. However, a recent study from the University of Michigan proved otherwise. The study showed that plastic surfaces accumulate more bacteria than wood surfaces. New plastic surfaces could be disinfected, but once they’re heavily scarred, they are difficult to clean and sanitize.
Another drawback to using plastic cutting boards is that they aren’t as durable as your other options. They are also rough on knives. They do not have self-healing features, so you will need to replace them as often as needed. The thinner ones may not last as long as the thicker ones. Knives can eventually create grooves in them, thus creating a breeding ground for bacteria.
Bamboo Cutting Boards
In recent years, bamboo cutting boards have become quite popular. Bamboo has been known to have many advantages over traditional wood. So, it is not surprising they’re quite popular with home chefs and cooks. There are just so many advantages to using a bamboo cutting board.
For one, bamboo is a low maintenance wood. Traditionally, wood cutting boards are made of denser-type of woods like maple, walnut or red oak. Dense wood is important as it keeps out water. Unfortunately, this means maintaining the wood to keep it from cracking or warping. Bamboo is practically maintenance free because of the wood’s hard density. Bamboo does not resist retaining water, so it does not give in easily.
Even the hardest maple can be scarred by a sharp knife. This leaves grooves and pockets for moisture, food particles and bacteria to accumulate and thrive. Bamboo is dense, so it can resist scarring. It also resists staining. That said, it is still important to clean the board with soap and hot water. You also need to condition it regularly.
Bamboo features of light wood with fine grain, so it is quite elegant, chic and tasteful. Many home cooks now display large boards that look sleek for quite a long time. Bamboo is sustainable. It is a renewable resource that doesn’t require anything to thrive or grow. In three months, they can be harvested. On the other hand, maple trees can take 30 years to mature.
Wooden Cutting Boards
A wooden cutting board is everyone’s standby. People swear by them because they are reliable and they boast of an old-fashioned, rustic beauty to them. Not surprisingly, they are quite popular no matter how many new designs come out on the market. They are often made of acacia, teak or maple. These things are less absorbent than other cutting board material. They absorb less water. Wood also possesses special bacteria-fighting and self-healing properties. They don’t scar as easily as plastic. A well-conditioned board can last you for years.
Wood is a renewable source, but it takes years before they can be harvested. This is the drawback to wooden cutting boards. They are not as environmentally-friendly as bamboo. Eventually, they get worn out. They get grooves which become breeding ground for bacteria. They are also not easy to clean.