Wood, bamboo, glass, plastic… there are a lot of different types of cutting boards on the market. With so many options and a large variance in price, you may be wondering what type of cutting board is best?
We’re going to break down the pros and cons of a few popular types to help you decide.
Hard wood cutting boards, including Maple, Walnut and Acacia, are our number one recommendation. Why? In addition to being durable and easy on your knives, they are proven to be the safest type of cutting board.
According to North Carolina State Food Safety Specialist and Associate Professor, Benjamin Chapman, “Hardwoods, like maple, are fine-grained, and the capillary action of those grains pulls down fluid, trapping the bacteria – which are killed off as the board dries after cleaning.”
Wood cutting boards do require a little more attention than other types. You will need to hand wash and oil your boards on a regular basis. But, as long as they are properly cared for, they will last a long time.
Bottom line: Wood boards are more expensive and need more TLC; however, they are likely to last longer, do not damage your knives and are safer than other types of cutting boards.
Bamboo is one of the most popular types of cutting boards. Like hard wood, it is less porous and; therefore, less likely to absorb water and bacteria. Because it is a sustainable, renewable resource, bamboo cutting boards are considered an eco-friendly option. Plus, they are affordable!
On the flip side, bamboo is a hard grass that is glued together to form a board. Due to this process, they are more prone to cracking and splitting, especially if they are not cared for properly. Plus, the hardness of the bamboo and glue can be really damaging to your knives.
Bottom line: Bamboo is an eco-friendly, affordable and safe option; however, they will likely need replaced more often and they are harder on your knives than wood boards.
Most people assume that plastic is the safest type of cutting board because it isn’t porous and it can easily be cleaned. However, in a study by UNC Davis Professor, Dean O. Cliver, plastic boards contained more bacteria than wood.
Wondering how this is even possible? In the study, the bacteria on the wood boards sank beneath the surface and eventually died, but on the plastic boards bacteria was caught in the knife scars and became almost impossible to clean.
So, are plastic cutting boards completely off limits? Not necessarily. The USDA states that consumers may use plastic boards; however, they need to be replaced often.
Bottom line: Plastic cutting boards are less expensive; however, they are more prone to bacteria and will need replaced more often than wood or bamboo boards.
Glass cutting boards are nonporous, so they will not absorb water or bacteria which makes them a safe choice. Plus, they are incredible easily to clean and dishwasher safe. And, from a price standpoint, they are generally inexpensive.
With so much going for them, you’re probably wondering why they aren’t at the top of our list?
Here’s why… they will destroy your knives! Cutting on a glass surface is probably one of the worst things you can do to your knives. Not to mention, it makes an awful sound!
Bottom line: The pros of a glass cutting board do not outweigh the damage it will do to your knives.