Picking A Good Cutting Board For Your Kitchen
A cutting board is an important kitchen essential. They can be made of polyethylene, composites, glass, marble, or wood.
Choose a nice generous size walnut butcher block for your countertops. Too many home cooks use small boards. You need room to cut comfortably and safely. It's best to choose a large wood cutting board that is a least 15 inches wide by 20 inches long, that can easily fit on a countertop.
Wood cutting boards
If you're looking to buy a maple butcher block they will certainly look great in your home. They look a lot better than polyethylene or composite cutting boards. You can't put these boards in a dishwasher so they will need care and cleaning.
Edge grain cutting boards, also known as butcher blocks are made of blocks or pieces of wood that are glued together with waterproof glue to make a complete board. They tend to absorb water very quickly so the thicker the board the better. These boards are terrific to cut on as the block is absorbing the impact of the knife.
They can also be on the heavy side and will require oiling to maintain their performance. If your are going to buy a wood cutting board look for one with good grips and handles for easy lifting.
Teak edge grained cutting boards are specially good since teak is naturally high in oily resins which help it resists moisture and has a nice finish.
Managing moisture with wood cutting boards
Especially with end grain cutting boards, all those end pieces of woods soak up moisture like straws. When it gets wet it expands and it contracts when it dries. Over time this can lead to warping and cracking which can making the board extremely unstable. Its a good idea to never submerge your wood cutting boards in water and stand your board on its side to air dry both sides evenly after cleaning to help prevent warping. It might also be a good idea to add rubber feet to your board to help get air underneath the wood.
From time to time use a mineral oil to condition your board to reduce drying and warping and extend the life of the board.
Plastic cutting board
Plastic cutting boards are made of either 100% polyethylene or a blend of materials. They can be very durable however some can quickly dull your knives or can be too slippery for some oily foods such as meat or poultry. These boards tend to be more budget friendly, lightweight and a good dishwasher safe alternative.
Food safety tips
Whether using wood or polyethylene cutting boards it is recommended that you always have one for fresh items like vegetables and one for raw items like meat to avoid cross contamination. You never want to cut a raw piece of meat and then follow up by making your salad on the same board, that would not be safe. Keep them entirely separate entirely different.
Bacteria can build up on the top of these boards over time, it is recommend that you clean with any number of disinfectants such as lemon, white vinegar, bleach, or baking soda.