Types of Cutting Boards

Publish Date April 5, 2024 2 Minute Read

Types of Cutting Boards: Which is Best?

Though knives and mixers get most of the attention when it comes to shopping for kitchen tools, cutting boards are one of the most essential elements for any home chef. These handy tools give you a large area to safely chop veggies, slice steak and prep food. Now that you’re thinking about it, are you using the best cutting board for your needs? Let’s go over the most popular materials and the benefits of each.

Wood Cutting Boards

Wood is one of the most popular options for cutting boards. Naturally antimicrobial and resilient to cuts and scratches, wooden cutting boards can last years, especially if you know how to care for them. Though they feel dense, wood is gentle on knives and helps keep them sharper for longer. The best wood for cutting boards comes from hardwood trees such as maple and oak. Walnut cutting boards are also a popular hardwood choice due to their durability and elegant look. Wood cutting boards can also be used as serving boards for cheese plates or apps, since they tend to look nicer than their plastic counterparts.

  • How to Clean a Wooden Cutting Board
    To take care of your wooden cutting board, always hand-wash it with soap and warm water. Oiling your cutting board will help prevent the wood from drying and cracking. Not sure how to oil a cutting board? After washing and drying, pour some food-grade mineral oil onto the board. Gently rub it into the wood using a clean dish towel or cloth. Let the board sit overnight before wiping away any excess oil that hasn’t been soaked into the wood.
  • Best Uses
    Since wood is porous, it’s possible for bacteria to get into your board. Because of this, avoid using your wooden cutting board for slicing raw meat or seafood.

Bamboo Cutting Boards

While it’s technically a type of grass and not a wood, bamboo also makes for a fantastic cutting board. Bamboo is an eco-friendly option that has a highly attractive light wooden appearance. Like wood, bamboo is resilient to cuts and scratches; however, its harder material makeup may blunt your knives a little more quickly.

  • How to Clean a Bamboo Cutting Board
    To clean your bamboo cutting board, wash it with soap and warm water, then dry it immediately. Treating your board regularly with food-grade mineral oil will preserve the look of it and help prevent water from getting into the board. If properly taken care of, a bamboo cutting board can last a lifetime.
  • Best Uses
    Since bamboo is less porous than wooden boards, you can feel better about using it to cut raw meat. Just make sure to thoroughly clean your board and replace it if you notice any cracks, deep cuts or warping.

Plastic Cutting Boards

Lightweight and relatively inexpensive, plastic cutting boards are another great option. Since plastic is such a strong material, these cutting boards are usually much thinner and lighter than their wooden counterparts. Plus, the material is still soft enough to prevent damage to your knives.

  • How to Clean a Plastic Cutting Board
    Plastic cutting boards can go in the dishwasher and don’t need oiling, making them the perfect multi-use, quick cleanup kitchen tool.
  • Best Uses
    You can use plastic cutting boards for all your kitchen needs since the nonporous material keeps bacteria out. However, plastic is prone to scarring and those cuts and divots provide places for bacteria to hide. If using plastic cutting boards, you should replace them once a year or when you notice visible damage from repeated use.

Butcher Block Cutting Boards

Originally used only as meat cutting boards, butcher blocks have become popular options for everyday use. They’re large enough to prep all your ingredients at once, and though they’re made from thick, solid hardwood, they’re easy on your blades. Clean and treat this heavy-duty cutting board the same way you clean any wooden cutting board.

  • How to Clean a Butcher Block Cutting Board
    Always hand-wash it with soap and warm water and oil it regularly to prevent drying and cracking. Many people leave their butcher blocks sitting out on their counters. If you want to show off your butcher block, just make sure to wipe the surface down before using it.
  • Best Uses
    Like with the other wooden boards, we recommend not using it for raw meats. Especially with its size, this board could be difficult to clean as thoroughly. Instead, use it as a multipurpose prep space for produce or even to protect sensitive countertops from ingredients that could stain them.

Tips That Are a Cut Above the Rest

Whether you’re looking for something lightweight to store in a cabinet or a heavy-duty serving platter, there’s a cutting board for the job.
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