Cutting Boards

All about kitchen cutting boards

A cutting board is an essential kitchen "must-have," because it protects your expensive countertop surface from damage by knives. Here are a few things to consider when choosing the right cutting board for you.

Types of Kitchen Cutting Boards

Wooden cutting boards are highly popular and have been around for ages. A quality wood cutting board won't last forever; but if it's cared for properly, it will give you years of use. Wood boards are simple, beautiful and durable enough to resist warping. They can be stored on kitchen countertops without interfering with the decor. However, wood boards are porous, and the juices from meats and produce can soak into the wood and hold dangerous bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli if they're not sanitized properly.

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Plastic cutting boards, on the other hand, are nonporous, so those juices will sit on top of the board instead of being absorbed. Plastic cutting boards also have the advantage of being lightweight and less expensive than wooden boards. However, these boards wear out faster than wood, and the knife cuts are easily visible and unsightly. Too many knife grooves in your plastic cutting board can make it difficult to clean properly, and can serve as a breeding ground for bacteria.

Tempered glass cutting boards are beautiful and can be found in plenty of decorative designs to match the decor of any kitchen. Glass cutting boards can double as hot pads because they are heat-resistant, but tempered glass cutting boards can dull kitchen knives faster than wood and plastic.

How to Sanitize Cutting Boards

Regardless of the type of cutting board you choose, proper sanitation is important to prevent cross-contamination. Cutting boards should be washed with hot soapy water, rinsed thoroughly and dried with a clean paper towel after each use – particularly after using it to cut raw meat.

A mixture of bleach and water or vinegar and water can also be used to sanitize kitchen cutting boards. If you use a bleach/water solution to kill germs on your cutting board, be sure to rinse it thoroughly when you're done. To prevent the growth of bacteria, let cutting boards dry completely before storing them in cabinets. To minimize the risk of illness due to cross-contamination, it's recommended that you use separate cutting boards for raw meats and produce.