Cutting Boards are kitchen products that are highly valuable when it comes to preparing meals and food items. They are ideal in helping to maintain any countertops and surfaces, ensuring that they stay unscathed when chopping or slicing through food products. The last thing anyone wants is to ruin expensive and visually appealing granite surfaces with chips or scratches. Enter the cutting board. These products are absolutely essential for helping keep the blades of your cutlery well-functioning and sharp. In addition to being a buffer, cutting boards also help create tension when attempting to cut through slippery items, which decreases the chance of any accidental cuts your hands or fingers that could occur with an errant knife slip.
Types of Cutting Boards
These days cutting boards come in a wide variety of materials to choose from. Wood, plastic, bamboo, glass, and even stone or slate are all available and can be found in just about any kitchen centric store or website. Each of these material can offer various benefits in terms of both functionality and aesthetics, so it is important to zero in on what you deem to be most important when considering the type of board best suited for the kitchen.
One of the most vital aspects to consider when researching the right cutting board is its durability. As the name of this product implies, you use the board to assist in the cutting and preparation of food items, and as such, they can take quite a beating over time. Plastic and wood provide a reliably forgiving surface for your blades to go to work. These materials are hard enough to provide enough resistance when cutting, yet flexible enough to not treat the edge of your blade too harshly. A cutting board should be a piece of kitchen equipment that you enjoy for many years. As such, the majority of cutting boards tend to be made from plastic or wood.
Plastic cutting boards are a quick, easy, and cheap option that can prove appropriate for any kitchen. A primary benefit to using a plastic cutting board is they are non-porous, which means that bacteria can’t enter below the surface unlike wood. This make them a wonderful choice for preparing meats and fish, as you won’t have to worry about leaving behind any unwanted residue.
Bamboo has become a very popular choice of cutting board, especially for many environmentalists. It is a sustainable and renewable resource that needs no chemicals to be harvested. Bamboo cutting boards also absorb less liquid than wooden boards which lead many to believe they are at more as sanitary as wooden boards, and more easily cleaned.
Why we love wood boards, aside from their aesthetic appeal, is that they possess a heavy, softwood surface that is very forgiving to knives. This helps keep cutlery sharp for a long period of time, while also decreasing any nicks or chips in the blade. A good maple or beech cutting board will be extremely durable and won’t scar as easily easily as some other products. Wooden cutting boards are an excellent choice when it comes to fruit and vegetable preparation.
Some of our favorite brands make high quality wood boards such as John Boos and TeakHaus below. A wood board is a staple for any kitchen and a great item to leave out on the countertop even when not in use. These cutting boards are often gorgeous and add a much desired visual appeal to any kitchen or home.
Glass cutting boards are amongst the most sanitary and easiest to clean products on the market. These cutting boards are generally non-porous and feature no hiding spots for bacteria to grow, and are super easy to clean by hand or in the dishwasher. While glass cutting boards are great for preparing food by hand (think kneading dough), the slick nature of glass means that slippery food items such as raw meats and fish can be difficult to gain traction with when attempting to chop, cut, or slice. Glass can also be extremely tough on knives, and can often cause your favorite blades to dull and degrade quickly.
Quickly emerging as a trendy option, there is no denying that slate cutting boards are visually stunning, quickly elevating the appearance of any kitchen or dinner party. Slate cutting boards are wonderful display boards, and pop nicely when paired with charcuterie or other spreads. However, slate and stone in generally can be some of the most harmful surfaces for knives. These cutting boards can easily chip your blades, and thus we recommend using them for less strenuous and more visual endeavors.
Although the utility of a cutting board can not be denied, these products are often an afterthought when it comes to proper research and preparation when looking to make a purchase. Most people might spring for what appears directly in front of them, choosing to grab whatever is the cheapest or most readily available. We’ve all been there. Perhaps you are strolling through the isles at Bed, Bath, and Beyond and simply grab the first one that catches the eye. But it should not be that way, and the truth is, materials and reliability matter. These days there is an impressive abundance of reputable brands that produce high quality cutting boards. Below are a few of our favorites.
Arguably the most notable brand in the industry. With over 125 years of adaptation and a perfected craft, John Boos & Co. has become a primary provider of gourmet products and foodservice equipment throughout the professional restaurant industry. They make both wood, plastic, and metal cutting boards manufactured all at the same location. This ability to fabricate and manufacture both wood and metal, gives them a large variety of opportunities to expand their product offerings to our customers in the foodservice industry.
An exciting, environmentally friendly company that specializes in making wooden cutting boards. As the name implies, they use Teak, a specialized tropical hardwood to create visually stunning boards. As a company, TeakHaus cares deeply about sustainability and their products, and any cutting board purchased through Teak is guaranteed to be of the highest quality. TeakHaus is special not just for their incredible products but for the mission that they live by; They grow their own trees in previously underdeveloped locations, helping to create a sustainable and environmentally friendly effect that can not be beat. Their products are extremely durable and serviceable, and they also make an excellent addition to any dinner party with their unique designs and timeless look.
A company revered by professional and amateur chef’s alike, Epicurean makes some truly beautiful cutting boards. The company, which is based in the United States, produces eco-friendly cutting boards made from a wood composite called Richlite. Their products are durable, eye catching, and extremely easy to clean. The Richlite wood is also easy on your blades, so you won’t have to worry about compromising the integrity of your favorite knife during repeated use. The cutting boards they produce are also dishwasher safe, so you don’t have to worry about spending an exorbitant amount of time hand washing after your meal prep.
Specializes in…you guessed it – bamboo cutting boards. Interestingly enough, this company started out making directors chairs for the film industry, searching tirelessly to find a lighter, more resilient material than oak to produce their chairs. They certainly stumbled on something great, and now Totally Bamboo has re-channeled their focus to produce some of the best cutting boards on the market for the last 20 years. The company works directly with family-owned bamboo farms to not only help support small businesses, but also to get access to the finest material bamboo that exists today. Their products are dishwasher safe, environmentally friendly, and long lasting. It also doesn’t hurt that each cutting board is a beautiful piece of equipment that will last in your kitchen for years to come, and wow friends and family alike.
Has spent the last 40 years perfecting the craft of beautiful yet functional kitchenware. While this company specializes in a broader set of products than only cutting boards, they boast an impressive array of cutting boards and mats that come are produced from plastic. We have found their boards to be durable and forgiving on kitchen knives, and exceedingly easy to clean.
Where To Shop
Cutting boards are available at almost any home and kitchen store from Bed Bath & Beyond, Sur La Table, to Target and Walmart. However, there are a ton of speciality stores online that we recommend checking out for a broad range of products. Here are some of our favorites:
Cuttingboard.com – Specializing in unique cutting boards and butcher blocks there are many to choose from at reasonable prices.
Brooklynbutcherblocks.com – Hand crafted in Brooklyn, NY these speciality blocks delivery quality without the premium price tag.
For more of our favorite products visit our Kitchen Essentials Buying Guide.
Maintenance & Care
Keeping a well maintained and clean cutting board is essential, as they can easily become a breeding ground for bacteria and grime. Cutting boards are often used in the preparation of raw meats or unwashed produce, so it’s vital to properly clean after each use. If not cleaned properly, we run the risk of contaminating the food that we are preparing. Wood can be especially porous, and provides ample nooks and crevices for bacteria to hide and multiply. While using a dishwasher may seem to be the most convenient way to clean your cutting board, it is not always the recommended method of cleaning. Below we will highlight the ideal way to clean cutting boards made from a few of the most common materials.
Plastic Cutting Board
Most plastic cutting boards can be tossed in the dishwasher to decent effect. However, try to ensure the removal of a plastic cutting board before the drying cycle begins; during this time plastic can often become warped.
When hand washing, be sure to clean with hot, soapy water. Once complete, use a disinfectant to ensure the removal of all bacteria. While a chlorine bleach works just fine, we prefer to use organic products. Our favorite method uses 1 tablespoon of baking soda, 1 tablespoon of water, and about 3 drops of lemon juice combined with 1 tablespoon of salt. Combine the elements to make a paste, and then slather it over the board. Once applied, allow to sit for about 2-3 minutes. After the time is up, simply wash the substance away with a towel or brush, and viola! A perfectly clean and disinfected cutting board awaits.
Wooden Cutting Board
These days, most wooden cutting boards on the market are advertised as being dishwasher safe. But we disagree. The only way to ensure a properly washed cutting board is the old fashioned way. Simply use a bit of dish soap, some hot water, and wipe clean with a towel or coarse brush. Once completed, allow your cutting board to dry and it will be good to go. For extended maintenance and upkeep, some coarse salt does a world of good. Every few months try to apply a pinch of salt to the surface of your board. Take a slice of lemon, and use to rub the salt into the cutting board for a good, deep cleanse. Once completed, wash off and dry.
Glass Cutting Board
Glass is probably the easiest product to clean. These cutting boards can be easily washed by hand with warm water and dish soap, and also can be run through the dishwasher for a complete cleaning. There are no crevices or nooks for bacteria to hide, making them exceptional easy to sanitize after each use.
Slate Cutting Board
Slate is also an extremely easy material to clean, as the nature of the cutting board makes for an extremely inhospitable environment for bacteria. While slate cutting boards do not belong in the dishwasher, they are simple to clean using warm water, some dish soap, and a sponge or brush. In order to maintain slate in the long term, we recommend to rub the board down with mineral oil every so often. In addition to keeping your slate vibrant and fresh, it can also help mask any cracks or scratches that might emerge over time.