Wood vs Plastic Cutting Boards
Find the best cutting board material for your kitchen!
Cutting boards are a staple of any kitchen, but they aren’t something we typically think about too deeply. Every tool in the kitchen is important, especially one you will use with nearly every meal. Wooden and plastic cutting boards both have their strengths and require different methods of care to keep them clean and intact.
We have prepared a simple video guide here, or you can view our detailed text guide below:
Wooden Cutting Boards
Wooden cutting boards are a beautiful and useful addition to any kitchen. A nice wooden cutting board isn’t just a tool, but also a beautiful decoration, and a sign of how well you care for all your equipment. They come in a variety of sizes, from the larger standard cutting boards, to smaller serving boards and cheese boards. What is great about having a nice big cutting board is that they weigh enough to remain stable while cutting, can take many cuts and scrapes, and they have a nice texture, which makes cutting more comfortable. Their nice, smooth texture and color also make them better for making dough if you do not want to spread flour over your kitchen counter.
The downside is that wooden cutting boards can collect bacteria due to their porous nature. For this reason, it’s advised to avoid cutting meat on this style of board. For wooden cutting boards, you should stick to safer foods like fruit, veggies, and starches.
How to Clean a Wooden Cutting Board
Cleaning a wooden cutting board requires some care. Although they can be put into a dishwasher, this can cause damage, even cracking, over time. It’s best to wash a cutting board by hand with soap to maintain the board's integrity. Every few weeks you can also spread some coarse salt across the board's surface and rub it in with lemon juice to get a deep clean.
Plastic Cutting Boards
While a plastic cutting board may not have the visual appeal of wood, it can be a more flexible and durable option. Many professional kitchens utilize plastic cutting boards because of how many uses they have and how easily they can be cleaned. These boards are non-porous, which makes them the best cutting board for meat products. To be extra safe, it’s a good idea to have colored boards. Have a red one for meat and a green or white one for less dangerous foods. This way you can be sure to avoid cross contamination.
However, even though plastic boards are not porous, they do start to build up cuts over time, and these cuts can trap bacteria. For this reason, plastic boards need to be replaced more often, especially if you are using them for meat, primarily.
Plastic cutting boards are fortunately very easy to care for. You can throw one in the dishwasher, and you’re good to go. They can stand up to heat and water quite well. They also tend to be more affordable than the glamorous and beautiful wooden cutting boards, which makes the occasional replacement easier to swallow.
In the end, what matters most in your choice between plastic and wood, is how useful the board is to you. Optimally you would have both a nice wooden cutting board for fruit, veggies, starch, and decoration, as well as a plastic cutting board for meats and other tougher uses. However, if you are on a budget, have very little space, or need something that is easy to clean, a couple of plastic cutting boards will serve you well. Happy cooking!