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July 13, 2022 5 min read

 

A cutting board is something that everyone needs in their kitchen, whether or not you cook frequently. You can use it for anything from slicing fruits to chopping onions to raw chicken. The majority of us are aware of how vital having a cutting board is, yet it can be difficult to decide between wood and plastic cutting boards.

Does it really matter which one you buy, or can you just pick the one you think looks better? It turns out that there are a few clear differences between both wood and plastic that must be taken into account before making a purchase.

 

Wooden Cutting Boards: The Pros and Cons

 

The following are the pros and cons of buying a wooden cutting board.

 

Pros

 

1) They Are Durable

 Some fruit and vegetables that are on a wooden chopping board

Credit: HGTV

 

Since wood is far more resilient than plastic, a cutting board made of wood won't need to be changed as frequently. A good cutting board made of wood can last for many years. Even if you significantly damage the surface, the board can be saved by sanding away scratches.

 

2) They Are Good for Your Knife Blades

 

A cutting board made of hardwood will make your knives very happy. Even soft wood, like maple wood, hardly ever harms your blades. Your blades will remain sharper for a more extended period of time if you use a hardwood board.

 

3) Wood Cutting Boards Are More Hygienic Than Plastic

 A wooden chopping board being washed under a kitchen tap

Credit: Wachiwit/Getty Images

 

Because wood has anti-microbial qualities, it offers several benefits. The bacterium from food is drawn into the wood, where it eventually perishes since it is unable to grow there.

This may ease your mind by reducing the likelihood that food-related pathogens, such as those from raw meat, will remain on your cutting board and bother you later if you eat it or, worse yet, if the people you cooked for do!

 

4) A Wood Cutting Board Looks Better

 

You'd be lying if you said this feature didn't matter in the least when selecting a cutting board. It may not be the most important factor to consider, and it certainly isn't important enough to overshadow any severe flaws. Appearances do matter and wooden cutting boards definitely outperform plastic ones in this regard.

 

Cons

 

1) They Cost More Money

 An array of different size and shapes of wooden chopping boards

Credit: Designing Idea

 

You must be prepared to spend some money if you want your wooden cutting board to last. If they are produced by skilled artisans, they are very resilient whereas less expensive versions are relatively fragile and develop cracks in the wood.

 

2) They Are A Challenge to Clean And Absorb Flavors

 

Cutting boards made of wood require more effort to clean than those made of plastic. You should always handwash your cutting board since wood is not dishwasher safe. High temperatures and a lot of water can negatively affect durability.

Even after being thoroughly cleaned, wooden cutting boards continue to have lingering aromas and odors of strong-flavored foods like onions and garlic.

 

3) Wood Boards Need to be Maintained

 A person oiling a wooden chopping board outside

Credit: Home Stratosphere

 

The primary drawback of using a wood board is that it needs some maintenance. It must be looked after. Being an organic substance, it usually needs to be conditioned with cutting board oil or mineral oil in order to be thoroughly cleaned.

 

4) Wooden Boards Are Heavy

 

The most durable cutting boards are those made of thick wood, but they are also the heaviest and most inconvenient. Wood might not be a good choice for those who are not willing to move a hefty cutting board around.

 

Plastic Cutting Boards: The Pros and Cons

 

The following are the pros and cons of using plastic cutting boards.

 

Pros

 

1) Plastic Boards Come in Different Colors

 A pile of different color and sizes of plastic chopping boards

Credit: Blade Sharp!

 

Plastic cutting boards come in a variety of vibrant colors, which makes color-coding easier. Professional kitchens use color-coded cutting boards to help them prevent cross-contamination. Red boards are used for raw meats, green for veggies, etc.

 

2) They Do Not Absorb Flavors

 

Plastic boards also have the advantage of not absorbing the flavors of strong-flavored items like onion and garlic as much as wood does.

 

3) They Are Dishwasher Safe and Reasonably Priced

 A person putting a white plastic chopping board in a dishwasher

Credit: The Kitchn

 

Many plastic cutting boards can withstand the high heat cycle of a dishwasher without cracking, making cleanup simple and possibly guaranteeing that they are completely disinfected. Plastic boards are also more affordable than wooden ones. A good quality plastic board costs half the price of a wooden board.

 

4) They Are Lighter

 

Wooden boards are heavier than plastic boards. Due to their lightweight, a plastic cutting board is easier to handle and move around when compared to a wooden board.

 

Cons

 

1) They Are Not Hygienic

 A black plastic chopping board being cleaned with a white cloth on a white marble table top

Credit: The Spruce

 

Cutting boards made of plastic are typically the most disgusting. Each time you use one, a little cut is made in plastic by the knife. Bacteria frequently gather in these dents and contaminate food.

 

2) Wooden Boards Will Damage Your Knife

 

Plastic also has a tendency to damage knives more quickly unlike wood. They tend to dull a sharp knife faster than a wood board.

 

3) They Contaminate Your Food with Microplastic

 Some really scratched white plastic chopping boards

Credit: The Instructables

 

You could also consider the fact that using a plastic chopping board increases the likelihood that microplastics will end up in your meal. We don't yet know the full level of harm that swallowing microplastics can cause, but it's unlikely to be beneficial, so why would you use one if you could prevent this from happening?

 

4) They Don't Last Very Long

 

Cutting boards made of wood can last for years, however cutting boards made of plastic do not. These boards tend to quickly get scratched up from being used frequently and you might have to replace them often.

 

Summary

 

Because wood is significantly more robust and keeps knives sharper, it is sometimes believed that this cutting board material is a preferable choice. But ultimately, the decision to use plastic or wood comes down to personal taste.

For those who only cook occasionally, plastic might be a preferable option. Wood is a superior option if you don't mind investing a bit more money upfront and spending some time to maintain it properly.

 


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