A kitchen cutting board is one of the most versatile and practical tools in the kitchen. Its primary purpose is to be the surface upon which all the slicing, dicing, and cutting, and chopping, among other things, happen. The cutting board is also called a chopping board. As with any tool in the kitchen, finding the best cutting board is imperative.
For chopping boards, the focus is primarily on utility, hygiene, and knife care. With so many options in the market, it can be a challenge picking the best cutting board, so herein is a guide to help you make the right choice.
What kind of cutting board is best?
When it comes to choosing the best cutting board, it boils down to these main things: material, size, thickness, and price. The material often impacts the price, and you can also be on the lookout for sale offers on the most quality of utility knives. The things to consider when getting a cutting board include;
Is the cutting board surface knife friendly?
The surface of the cutting board should not be too hard that it can dull or damage the knife's blade. This is often the problem with most materials like glass, ceramic, and some hardwood cutting board options. Softer surfaces are the best option as the kitchen knife can strike at them without harming their blades.
Ease of cleaning and maintenance
Cleaning and maintenance are vital for hygiene and the longevity of the cutting board. Plastic cutting boards win here because you can easily place them in a dishwasher. However, since they chip and do not naturally heal like wood cutting boards, they may form a habitat for bacteria and other pathogens.
Most wood cutting boards will also require occasional conditioning with board oil to maintain their appearance and surface, which can be demanding for some.
The price of the best cutting board may be out of your budget, so it helps to window shop and research your options beforehand. Doing so allows you to allocate or save enough funds for your kitchen cutting board. When considering the price, look at the value you are getting in terms of durability and general quality of the board.
The cutting board sizes
The size refers to both thickness and the flat surface of the cutting board. Thickness generally varies from 1 ¼ to 2 inches for wood cutting boards and ½ to 1 inch for most other materials. Sizes depend on what you will be using the board for, with options from small to large board sizes. Small ones measure anywhere from 19cm x 27 cm, while large boards can measure around 42cm x 30cm.
The durability of the cutting board
The kitchen environment will subject plenty of items to knocks, and with the nature of the cutting board function, it needs to be durable. Wooden cutting boards excel here because they have natural healing qualities, so any cuts in them naturally heal, and they are not prone to breaks.
Is it better to cut meat on wood or plastic?
The choice for many shoppers usually comes down to a choice between plastic and wood cutting boards. They are readily available options and accommodate a wide budget range. However, they are not equal when it comes to kitchen use, especially for cutting meat. The best kitchen cutting board options when cutting meat or overall are those from wood. Here is a look at their pros and cons;
Wooden cutting board pros
- Wood is the material easiest on knives preventing them from dulling
- Wood has the best aesthetics
- Wood has natural healing properties, so they do not easily create crevices from cuts.
- Most woods have anti-bacterial properties.
- Wood can be totally disinfected; thus, it will not keep bacteria
- You can always sand or shave down wood in case of excess grooves.
Wooden cutting board cons
- Wood is not dishwasher safe
- You need to regularly oil woods
- Wooden cutting boards from hardwoods can be expensive
Plastic cutting board pros
- It is dishwasher safe
- It does not absorb water and juices
- It not expensive
Plastic cutting board cons
- Plastic cutting boards can dull kitchen knife blades
- Plastic cutting boards do not have long term durability
- Plastic board form crevices in which bacteria and other contaminants can easily stick and hide
- It is difficult to completely disinfect plastic cutting boards.
- Plastic kitchen cutting boards are not friendly to the environment.
Under wooden kitchen cutting boards, there are several options from simple domestic woods to hardwood boards and, lately, bamboo kitchen boards. Any chef will attest to the usefulness of bamboo as an option as it adds to the traditional wood benefits but without some of the setbacks of some options.
For example, it does not absorb water, yet it is harder than expensive options like male and teak. For anyone that is looking for chef-quality standards, then the best option is a bamboo cutting board.
What are the uses of cutting boards?
Besides being used as a chopping and cutting surface, the cutting board has several other uses in the kitchen. One of its best features is its versatility, and you can use it for several functions, including the following;
As a serving platter
Some dishes, from barbecues to baked dishes, fruits, and cheese, will require a large place to serve. While you may want it on a large platter, if there is any cutting, then the knife will need a softer surface. Usual plates can also suffer damage if you cut on them.
A stand for hot plates and pots
While cutting boards are certainly not roasting planks, nor can you place them in the oven, they can be excellent as a trivet for hot pots, pans, and plates that would otherwise scorch your table and your countertop. You can also use it as a surface for handling frozen food.
As a Cake Plate
While it is easy to find big round plates for your cake, then it easy, the same is not true for rectangular options. Large cutting boards will make it easier for you. All you need to do is cover them with a piece of butcher paper with the shiny paper up to protect the board. It also gives you a blank backdrop for your cake.
As a photo backdrop
If you are taking photos around the kitchen, your wood cutting boards provide an excellent way to enrichen the background. It has warm tones, and its grain patterns will complement any food you are preparing and most dishes and food containers.
What cutting boards do chefs use?
There are many options in the market, yet any chef will tell you the best cutting boards come from top knife-making brands. Among the top names are Tojiro and Furi, and they make some of the best knives around. Here is a look at their top options.
Tojiro Pro Kiri Wood Japanese Cutting Board Square 32.5cm x 35cm
Furi Pro Hardwood Chop & Transfer Board Medium 35 x 25 x 4cm
The Tojiro cutting boards are among the best because of the wood they use. They make use of Kiri wood, also known as paulownia. The boards are constructed in Niigata, Japan. The wood has anti-bacterial properties, and it is also warp-resistant and kind to the knife blades. Other properties include fast-drying, lightweight, and that they are fine-grained. The knives come with a lifetime manufacturer warranty.
Furi has made a name for its precision engineering of knives, and their cutting boards provide an excellent match to their knives and others. They are an excellent selection, especially if you are looking for an aesthetic cutting board.
They are made from hardwood and use end grain construction for higher durability. The boards also have non-slip feet and allow you to easily place your hands underneath the board when transferring food. In addition, the boards come with a 25-year manufacturer warranty.
How do you properly use a cutting board?
While it may seem a straightforward thing to do, you could be making some mistakes while using your cutting board or failing to make the most of it. So here are some tips on how to properly use a cutting board.
Have different chopping boards for different foods
One chopping board is not enough for a chef-like kitchen. And even then, any kitchen will be underserved by one. You need a different cutting board for each of the following, produce, poultry, fish, beef, pork, and miscellaneous.
In addition, you can use the miscellaneous cutting board for dry foods like nuts and grains. Not using different chopping boards risks contamination and transferring bacteria from one food source, especially meats, to another.
Use a clothing table for stability.
You do not need to get boards with feet or stands but instead, use a clothing table to keep the chopping board from slipping. A chopping board with feet prevents you from using both sides.
Clean the cutting board immediately after use
Wash the chopping board immediately after use with dish soap and warm water solution. After this, scrub the cutting board with a soft piece of cloth for about 60 seconds. Then leave it to air dry. Never immerse wooden boards in water as they absorb it and can grow molds, and it weakens them.
Disinfect the boards
You should prevent bacteria from breeding on your boards by disinfecting them once a week by using either bleach or vinegar.
Season the chopping boards
Finally, use mineral oil to periodically season your cutting boards. It prevents them from staining and absorbing odors. You can also use coarse salt to rid the boards of any stains and odors it may have picked up.
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