Which cutting board should you choose? The most common materials
Cutting boards made of wood are, without a doubt, the most common. The following lists the different types that are often available:
Beech cutting boards
This is the most common cutting board. They are relatively strong and do not warp much when they come into contact with water. Choosing a cutting board made of beech is a sound investment.
This rot-resistant and very resilient type of cutting board is pleasing to the eye but not very ecologically friendly. Manufacturing products made of exotic wood, even if it is for a small-scale production, contributes to the deforestation of tropical forests in Asia, Africa and South America.
Bamboo is robust and completely waterproof and therefore does not get worn out easily. It is stronger than beech. However, it sometimes has a surface that is not perfect, which is not totally smooth and can appear to be rather rough or bumpy.
Plastic cutting boards
Plastic cutting boards are often made out of one of the following two materials:
- PVC (polyvinyl chloride): this nonporous and very solid material is flawless in terms of its positive hygienic qualities. Big disadvantage: certain specialists dislike the fact that it is toxic… PVC contains lead, chemical agents and phthalates that may contaminate your food through contact. All of these elements are harmful to your health and the environment.
- HDPE (High-density polyethylene): this material is also nonporous and uniform and has similar features to those of PVC.
This material is capable of resisting high temperatures, is easy to maintain and is dishwasher safe. Tempered glass does not get marked by kitchen knives and lasts a very long time. Be sure to choose a cutting board that has non-slip feet to hold the board in place when cutting. A word to the wise: the sensation you get while cutting food on one of these boards is different and may be uncomfortable. We advise testing one of these cutting boards before purchasing one. However, in terms of hygiene, you cannot find anything better. You should also be aware of the fact that very few cutlers suggest using this type of cutting board…
Marble is similar to glass in terms of its advantages but professionals in the cutlery world reproach it for its capacity to wear out kitchen knives.
Making a selection that corresponds with the type of blade your kitchen knife has
Steel and ceramic kitchen knives
In principal, all cutting board surfaces are adapted for being used with kitchen knives with steel blades. Your chances of breaking or damaging them are practically non-existent. When using a steel blade the different variety of cutting surfaces or boards to choose from is large: glass, marble, wood or plastic. When it comes to these materials there is nothing stopping you from using your most beautiful steel knives.
However, it is quite a different story when it comes to ceramic kitchen knives. Ceramic is rather supple but it can break easily. Ceramic knives are made of zirconium dioxide, which is a mineral that is similar to diamond in terms of its strength and abrasive qualities. This material is relatively brittle, so choosing a cutting board that is made of glass or stone is not recommended. Wood and plastic cutting boards are the best match for ceramic knives.
Tips for washing and maintaining your cutting boards
In order to keep your kitchen knives’ blades in top shape for a long period of time you must also use and maintain your cutting board properly.
Clean your cutting board after you use it by following the directions below:
- Wash it with dish soap and be sure to rub hard
- Rinse it with hot water
- Leave it to air dry or wipe it dry with a clean and dry kitchen towel
Quick tip: try using different cutting boards for different types of food in order to prevent the transfer of odors and contamination. For example, keep a cutting board that is for meat only, one for vegetables, etc.
Don’t hesitate when it comes to replacing kitchen utensils that are worn out, especially plastic cutting boards.