Best Cutting Board For Hygiene And Knife Protection
When it comes to the must-have tools for the kitchen, a cutting board should be at the top of your list. To be honest, without a cutting board virtually no food prep can be done. However, not all cutting boards are the same. Some may look great but might wreak havoc on your best kitchen knives, while others may appear to be the best hygienic cutting board but will harbor dangerous bacteria such as E. coli or Salmonella. So what cutting board is the best?
There isn’t one cutting board that can take-on every food prep task in the kitchen. For example, some cutting board material is far too porous to be used for preparing raw meat, fish, and poultry because they will absorb the juices and bacteria which can then be passed on to the other foods being cut on the same board (cross contamination).
Other cutting board material such as marble, granite or even solid surface counter-tops can be so hard that they'll leave your best kitchen knives dull, blunt and damaged. Buying the best cutting board has probably now become more challenging than you first thought, right?
Don’t worry, I've done the hard work for you, and I'll show you the which is the best type of cutting board to use. I've picked out the boards that are least damaging for your kitchen knives, the chopping boards that are the most sanitary and also the ones you should steer clear of altogether.
Which is the Best Kind of Cutting Board?
So which is the best kind of cutting board – Bamboo, Wood, Glass or Plastic? Let’s take a closer look.
Wood Cutting Boards
The best cutting board is heavy wood (as far as I’m concerned). Wood is not only "kind" to kitchen knives and won't dull them quickly, but it also harbors fewer bacteria than plastic cutting boards, not only that but wood is also a renewable resource (but not as easily renewable as bamboo).
With that being said, a lot of wooden cutting boards are made from waste wood which are typically leftovers at the mill that would have otherwise been thrown away.
The best wood cutting boards are made out of maple or beech and are somewhat "self-healing" and won't scar and scratch as easily as a plastic board.
To keep your wooden cutting board in tip-top shape keep it regularly oiled with food-grade mineral oil to protect it from staining or warping; a well-cared-for board will last for years. NEVER put your wood chopping board in the dishwasher.
Plastic Cutting Boards
Plastic cutting boards are often a favorite found in professional kitchens, and many people (including chefs) believe plastic cutting boards to be the most sanitary. However, a recent study out of the University of Michigan found that “more bacteria are recovered from a used plastic surface than from a used wood surface.”
The study also concluded that a used plastic cutting board that's been knife-scarred cannot be thoroughly disinfected manually and the bacteria can be passed onto the other food. If you do want to use a plastic board use it for one type of food preparation only (you can find different colors for different tasks)
Bamboo Cutting Boards
Bamboo cutting boards are an excellent choice for many environmentalists. This natural hard grass is a renewable, sustainable natural resource that requires no chemicals to be harvested or grown. When it comes to how sanitary bamboo cutting boards are, there hasn’t been any independent studies to show how sanitary they actually are.
However, when compared to wooden cutting boards they do absorb less liquid, and many cooks believe that they are just as sanitary or more sanitary when compared to wood boards. But, bamboo cutting boards are around 19% harder than traditional maple cutting boards, so bearing that in mind they will be harder on your kitchen knives and you may run the risk of your knives becoming dull quicker.
When you are looking for the best bamboo cutting board try and shop for one that has formaldehyde-free glues, such as those manufactured by Bambu or Totally Bamboo.
Glass Cutting Boards
Glass cutting boards are easy to clean, are non-porous, and there's very little upkeep such as oiling, etc. But, glass cutting boards are the worst type for your knives and will damage and dull even the best chef knife.
For this reason, we don’t recommend glass cutting boards unless you don’t care about your kitchen knives? Glass cutting boards are good for pastry chefs who work a lot with pastry and need a smooth, cool work surface.
Wood Cutting Board Maintenance
Best Cutting Board I Personally Recommend
For the home cook, your kitchen should have at least two cutting boards, one plastic and one wood. For preparing raw meats, poultry and fish we recommend a plastic cutting board. Yes, they may not be the best, but when used for one type of food such as raw meats they are a good choice to help stop cross-contamination between different food types (when they're sanitized correctly).
You can then use a wood cutting board for preparing your fruits and vegetables, keep one on your counter and clean and oil it often. But NEVER use this wooden board for raw meats. If you're someone who likes to carve their cooked meats, you'll need a third cutting wooden board, but you could do this safely on your second vegetable board as well if you have no other choice.
When it comes to the best cutting board I love the Epicurean boards; these boards are made out of a durable material which is a combination of different recycled materials including wood and plastic which was originally made for skate park surfaces.
Epicurean cutting boards are safe on kitchen knives, safe in dishwashers and are completely non-porous, meaning no bacteria. If you love your kitchen knives as much as we do Epicurean cutting boards are an excellent choice.