Wooden, Bamboo or Plastic: Which Cutting Board to Choose?

Wooden, Bamboo or Plastic: Which Cutting Board to Choose?

April 03, 2024

Did you just take the perfect roast from the oven? Now, it is probably time to slice it using the GRIPmitt, a sharp knife and a cutting board. Which one do you use? Wooden, Bamboo or plastic? Let’s take a look at the Pros and Cons of each of them! 

Wooden Cutting Board: Durable and Aesthetic 

The wood cutting board is not only a necessary kitchen tool but also a beautiful piece that can last a lifetime with proper maintenance. They are sturdy, non-slip and easy on knives. You can choose not only from countless shapes, wood types, and dimensions but also from the different types of edge grain and end grain wood.

Edge grain cutting boards are most common and affordable. They are made by laying long strips of wood side by side and glued together. The wood fibers run horizontally so you can nicely see the wooden texture. The end grain cutting board are formed by cutting short squares of wood and then glued together. On the edge cutting board overtime you may notice knife marks that are less visible on the edge grain cutting board thanks to its self-healing function. Different parameter to consider when choosing a wooden cutting board is the type of wood. You should avoid softwoods which are not suitable for the cutting board due to the more porous nature that can easily trap bacteria.

Certain wood types can also contain natural toxins that can contaminate your food. Therefore, you should avoid: Pine, Rosewood or for example American Mahogany wood on the cutting boards. Which type of wood is then suitable? The ideal wood should posses the combination of hardness, durability and resistance of bacteria. Here are some types of wood to choose from: walnut, cherry or maple.

No matter which one type of grain or wood you prefer, they all require maintenance to last. The pores in wood are quite deep and they tend to soak the meat juices or liquid from fruit or veggies. Therefore, it is recommended to hand-wash them immediately after use. Also, let’s not forget to sanitize them frequently, even though the wood has antibacterial properties, especially if you are using them to cut raw meat. You should also oil them periodically using food-grade mineral oil (or beeswax) that repeals liquid and prevents absorption.

Bamboo Cutting Board: Eco-friendly and Light-weight

Another version of an aesthetic and durable cutting board is bamboo. Unlike wooden ones, bamboo cutting boards are eco-friendly because bamboo is a type of hard grass that grows at a fast pace making it a sustainable resource. That doesn’t mean that every bamboo is grown equally, if you can, look for organic grown bamboo. Also, when choosing the bamboo cutting board, don’t forget to check how it was made.

Some manufactures use glue that contains formaldehyde, the carcinogenic substance that can leech into food. If we compare it with wood, bamboo is a little denser so it doesn’t absorb that much liquid. Therefore, it’s a good choice if you plan cutting raw meat often. On the other hand, it can also be a little harder on a knife than some types of wood. Regarding maintenance, it is comparable to the wooden cutting board. The Bamboo cutting board should be hand-washed right after use and don’t forget to also oil them periodically. They are on the more expensive side of the spectrum, but with good maintenance can last years.

Plastic Cutting Boards: Inexpensive and Dishwasher-safe

Who doesn’t have at least one colorful plastic cutting board in the kitchen? It’s an inexpensive variant that is very easy to wash and sanitize – you can easily pop them into the dishwasher or handwash without worries. They come in a lot of color variation and therefore they are ideal for color coding. The colors help to track which cutting boards are reserved for which types of food to avoid cross-contamination (red for red meat, yellow for poultry, blue for fish and seafood, and green for veggies and fruits). We highly recommend doing the same with GRIPmit, especially if you are prepping or grilling poultry where the risk of cross-contamination is higher. 

With Plastic cutting boards, most often made from polypropylene or polyethylene, you should take into consideration that they won’t last as long as wooden or bamboo boards. When you are cutting on a wooden cutting board, the surface self-heals – that means that the fiber bounces back but on a plastic board, every cut stays forever, making a micro space where bacteria can hide. Moreover, some research studies imply that plastic cutting boards are overlooked and significant source of microplastic in food. When chopping and cutting, the plastic boards can shed nano and micro-sized flecks. In general, microplastic can affect various system in human body, including the digestive, endocrine or respiratory system but they are not thoroughly understood. Therefore, when you decide to use plastic cutting board and you notice it’s full of scars, you should replace it.

Make sure you take the time to research your board options appropriate for you cooking prep style before purchasing. If you decide to choose the wooden cutting board, don’t forget to check the type of the wood to avoid softwood and toxic types of wood. When picking up the bamboo cutting board, research the origin of bamboo and used type of glue. With the plastic, be aware of microplastic and microspaces that stays after every cut where bacteria can hide. And don’t forget that different types of cutting boards requires different cleaning method and different care.

 




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