Cutting Board Comparison
|11.25 x 17.25||10.50 x 14.50||6.00 x 8.00|
/ 8.50 x 11.00
/ 9.50 x 13.00
|15.00 x 11.50||18.00 x 12.00||14.50 x 10.00||16.00 x 10.00|
/ 13.00 x 8.00
/ 10.00 x 6.00
|15.00 x 11.00||13.75 x 8.75|
/ 11.40 x 7.00
/ 10.00 x 6.30
|16.50 x 13.40|
Cutting Board Buying Guide
Cutting boards are a kitchen essential. Many home cooks have a collection of boards that include both polyurethane and wooden cutting surfaces as there are advantages to having both designs in your kitchen. In order to choose the right options for your kitchen consider how you cook and what you will be using the boards for.
What is a Cutting Board?
A cutting board is generally a rectangular kitchen appliance that will help with food preparation. By cutting food on a board designed for the task you will prevent food and food juices from contaminating your counter tops and tables, while safely preparing food. Using a separate board for meats and other foods will help prevent cross contamination and will make the clean-up process easier. Most kitchens have several cutting boards that are different sizes and possible different materials, in order to meet all of your cooking needs.
Cutting boards can be made out of several different popular materials. These include plastic (polyurethane), wood, bamboo, glass, and composite materials.
Plastic Cutting Boards are most commonly made from polyurethane material. This creates an inexpensive and durable board. The plastic material does not dull knives quickly and creates a surface than can absorb the cuts without harboring bacteria from the food. It is generally dishwasher safe and easy to clean. The downside is that the cut marks can create stains and discoloration and they must be replaced after a few years of use.
Wooden Cutting boards are traditional boards. They are very attractive, heavy duty and easy on knives. The biggest challenge with wooden boards is that they are difficult to keep sanitized. The knife cuts can trap bacteria. Boards should be cleaned immediately after use and bleach can be used to sanitize. Wooden boards can also be very heavy and will begin to warp after heavy use. These boards are also expensive.
Bamboo Cutting Boards are a common substitute for expensive wooden cutting boards. They are environmentally friendly option to wood and because it is generally a harder surface the wood will not capture bacteria like traditional wooden boards. This also makes them less susceptible to warping and cracking. They generally must be cleaned by hand and should be cleaned immediately after use, especially when used with cutting meats. The bamboo boards are often attractive enough to use for both food preparation and serving. When using bamboo, because of the harder surface, knives will dull faster than with plastic and wooden surfaces. They are lighter weight than traditional wood and often less expensive.
Glass cutting boards are the heaviest and hardest surfaces. They can come on decorative designs and are generally better for serving foods than cutting. Because of the very hard cutting surface glass will dull knives quickly. The other disadvantage of glass is the surface is generally slick. These are the most beautiful boards, but not necessarily the most practical for everyday use.
Composite cutting boards can be made from a range of materials including recycled wood or paper or a popular resin material. Composite boards will often offer durable surfaces that are gentle on knives. If they are made from recycled materials you get the environmentally friendly benefit as well.
The size of the board you need will depend on the size of meals you prepare. For a larger family you need a larger board. Meats and vegetables need a medium to large sized boards where fruits and spices generally do better with a smaller size. Having one board that is 8 ½ X 11 or larger will meet most of your needs. When buying a board consider where you will store the cutting board as this may dictate the size you buy as well.
How Many Boards Do You Need?
The quantity of cutting boards will be decided by the amount of cooking you do. If you will be preparing both meats and vegetables in a single meal then two boards would be a minimum. You do not want to cut meat and vegetables on the same board as it will result in cross contamination. Many home cooks dedicate a single board for meats and then use another board for fruits and vegetables and a third board for cheeses and spices. If you want a board for serving it may mean having both wooden and bamboo boards along with a polyurethane board or two on hand.
Groove or No Groove
Some cutting boards have a groove around the edge to capture juices from the prepared foods. If you are cutting meat or fruits frequently, having a grooved edge will make clean up easier and prevent the juices from getting on your countertops or table.
Often cutting boards will offer a groove on one side and the opposite side will not have a groove. This offers the benefit of a larger cutting surface on the un-grooved side and a catch for juices, when that is needed.
When preparing foods having a board that will stay in place is will an added convenience you will be glad to have. Some cutting boards have built in non-slip surfaces on the back side of the board. Others, like wooden boards, are often cut very thick so that the weight will create a non-slip surface. If you purchase a board that have non-slip feet, it is possible that the board will not be reversible (being able to use both sides). Some have grips at the end of the board that will serve as a non-slip surface regardless of which side of the board is used.
Some cutting boards are built more for display than use. Glass and wooden cutting boards will often have designs that will create a piece of art, then can be used in the kitchen for either food preparation or serving. You can find bamboo boards cut in various shapes from a pineapple to a guitar. Glass boards can have decorative designs built into the glass. Generally these are better used for serving or displaying, than for actual food preparation.
Cutting boards are a kitchen essential. When deciding which boards will be most useful consider your current cooking habits. They you can select how many boards and what sizes and material will best meet your needs. All cutting boards should be replaced after a few years of use because bacteria will eventually build up over time. Even the most durable plastic boards will become discolored and the knife cuts will begin to harbor bacteria. Cleaning after each use and using bleach to disinfect the boards will extend their life. Having cutting boards that are dedicated to using with meats and a separate one for fruits and vegetables will also help to prevent cross contamination.
Find a cutting board that you will enjoy using and will be easy to clean and store and you will enjoy your cooking and food preparation much more.
- Prepworks from Progressive International PCB1812 17.38″ X 11.25″ Cutting Board Image: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/
- Prepworks from Progressive International PCB1812 17.38″ X 11.25″ Cutting Board: http://progressiveintl.com/
- OXO Good Grips 101/2by15Inch Utility Cutting Board Image: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/
- OXO Good Grips 101/2by15Inch Utility Cutting Board: http://www.oxo.com/
- Totally Bamboo 207930 3Piece Cutting Board Set Image:http://ecx.images-amazon.com/
- Totally Bamboo 207930 3Piece Cutting Board Set:http://www.totallybamboo.com/