How To Choose The Right Cutting Board
Cutting boards are among the essential kitchen appliances. If you're a pro, you can get a lot done with only a pair of knives, but for dicing, chopping, and mincing, there's no match to a sturdy cutting board.
However, choosing a cutting board can be tricky. There are a variety of shapes and sizes to choose from, not to mention the various types of plastic and wood materials they come in. But which cutting board is best, and what factors should you consider to choose one that will last? Making that decision will be even simpler if you learn why it is important to choose the right cutting board. So, here it goes:
Why choosing the right cutting board is important?
When you're new to cooking, it seems like any cutting board will work. But once you become more adept at prep, you realize just how much of a difference a good cutting board makes for slicing and dicing all types of foods.
Using a high-quality cutting board will simplify and improve the food preparation experience. Additionally, it is your most valuable resource for keeping your blades razor-sharp. If it's maintained properly, it can last longer and is far more hygienic than a cheaper model. And lastly, it can add a touch of sophistication to your kitchen.
Today, we'll discuss choosing a cutting board based on its quality, convenience, maintenance, material, size, and what a board with extra features brings to your kitchen.
If you're wondering how kitchen factors, such as counter size, sink size, or storage space, can affect your cutting board choice, check out this guide to choosing the right cutting board.
What makes a good cutting board?
The four main factors to consider when choosing a cutting board are its quality, material, ease of storage, and maintenance. These four factors will affect the board's aesthetics, how well it ages, retains sharpness, and whether it is susceptible to odors and stains.
Here's a closer look:
Wood or Plastic?
Regarding quality checks, remember that good-quality cutting boards won't warp or crack easily, nor will they dull or break your knives. A thick and spacious board will give you the comfort you need to work. While wood cutting boards minimize knife blade damage, especially in comparison with plastic or ceramic, wood types vary, and each wood has its characteristics. Just like picking any kitchen essential, you must make your choice of choosing a cutting board with careful consideration.
The strongest cutting boards are made from hardwoods like beech, cherry, walnut, maple, and teak. Small pores in these woods prevent bacteria from infiltrating, making it harder for knives to form crevices where bacteria can hide. In addition, wood contains natural antimicrobial compounds, such as tannins, which have antibacterial effects.
Choosing the right wood is important. One of the most popular woods is maple, and for a good reason. The cutting boards made from maple are strong as well as beautiful. They are resistant to the elements.
Walnut is also a good option, but some people might find it more appealing than maple due to its darker appearance.
Acacia and teak woods have become popular because of their affordability. These Asian wood boards have also proven extremely durable and easy to maintain.
The bamboo cutting board is also an option. However, the wood is abrasive to knives, so you may want to reconsider purchasing one, particularly if you have an expensive collection of knives.
End Grain or Edge Grain?
There are two types of wooden boards: edge grain and end grain. But when considering convenience, end grain boards are the clear winner. With end grain boards, the tree rings are visible as you cut, which keeps your knives sharper since you are cutting between fibers.
End grain boards, sometimes called butcher boards, are easier to clean and more durable than edge grain boards. While these boards are more prone to expansion, they can also self-repair as the fibers return to a natural state after chopping.
If you are looking for a board that is easy to maintain, edge-grain boards are the right choice. These boards display tree rings along the edges and are more cost-effective.
Even though edge grain boards are more likely to suffer surface cuts than end grain boards, they are less vulnerable to water and juice damage. Hence, they will not expand or warp like end grain boards.
How Do You Choose the Right Size Cutting Board?
Cutting boards come in various sizes and shapes, but rectangular cutting boards are typically the most useful. A 12 by 18 inches conventional size is ideal for regular kitchen use. But if you want something bigger, you can choose between 15 by 20 and 24 by 36-inch boards.
Rubber boards typically range in thickness from 0.5 to 1 inch and are lighter and less dense than wooden boards. A well-made wooden board has a thickness of 1.5 to 2 inches. Make sure the end-grain board is at least 2 inches thick if you want to use one.
Ultimately, you ought to select a cutting board based on your requirements.
Should You Go For a Multifunctional Cutting Board?
Cutting boards with extra functions are simple to find, but often they come with limitations.
Suppose you frequently cut juicy vegetables like tomatoes or large quantities of meat. In that case, cutting boards with liquid-catching grooves are great. However, if you mostly chop onions or do simple preparation, they are not required.
If you choose a board with rubber feet, remember that they increase board stability and promote freer airflow. When turned upside down, they prevent boards from being used both ways. You can stabilize your shifty board by placing a dish towel underneath.
Any board that folds in half or has other similar effects will inevitably break, tear, or crumble. When moving prepped ingredients, you are better off using a bench scraper.
Cutting boards are available in many materials, including wood, plastic, and ceramic. Selecting the right material is the first step in selecting the best cutting board. Choosing different cutting boards may be beneficial if you plan to prepare different foods on them. Aside from size, type of grain, and maintenance level, there are other factors to consider. Reviewing these options in this guide will allow you to choose the right cutting board for your kitchen.