Selecting the perfect cutting board for your kitchen

Chopping boards can be made from a variety of materials like wood, plastic, glass, marble etc. We have ranked all of these materials to tell you which one works best as a chopping board.

One of the things you need, to prepare cuisine that’s healthy, tasty, and a cut above the rest is a great cutting board. And while choosing a cutting board for your kitchen isn’t rocket science, it is still a advisable to make an informed decision because when it comes to food, you can’t be too careful.

What kind of cutting board makes the cut:

Chopping boards can be made from a variety of materials like wood, plastic, glass, marble etc. We have ranked all of these materials to tell you which one works best as a chopping board. The parameters used are:

  • Aesthetics
  • Maintenance
  • Cost
  • Personalisation
  • Safety
  • Secondary Use as a Serving Platter
  • Durability

Plastic / Polymers / Acrylic Cutting Boards

The base materials are processed and not biological in nature. They are thus not friendly to the human body. When a stainless steel knife (always recommended for all kitchen applications – please do not use knives made from other metals) is used to chop food on a chopping board made from Acrylic or Polypropylene or other polymers, the downward pressure on the knife tends to slowly scratch and chip away the surface material. This gradual scratching of the surface of the board is harmful in more than one way. The material that is scraped away from the board enters your body along with the food as the scrapings are sometimes barely visible to the naked eye. You will end up adding the plastic materials to your pan or baking dish where at high temperatures the polymers will become part of your food without your realising it. This ‘embedding’ of the polymer scrapings is dangerous and can be carcinogenic if the body is unable to excrete the same. Other than the chemical toxicity and its effects on the human body that arise from the use of such chopping boards, the crevices caused on synthetic boards are irreparable and will harbour bacteria over time. Most bacteria will perhaps be cleaned out in a typical hand wash (or a dishwasher cycle where recommended by the manufacturer). However, there are species of bacteria that will stay on and colonise the crevices gradually. Bacteria are invisible to the naked eye and hence you may not realise that there is a colony of them until they have done some damage to your health. Even if one were to assume that most bacteria have been removed from the crevices on the board, some bacteria have the ability to release spores and such spores can survive in harsh conditions of wet, dry, high and low temperature environments and when the time is right, they germinate to cause disease. Some harmful genera of bacteria include Salmonella, Pseudomonas, Coliforms. Once the board is scratched enough where crevices are more than a millimeter deep and plastic shreds can be seen hanging loose on the board, it is time to discard the board.

Source: Relix

Here’s our scorecard for plastic cutting boards:

Glass Cutting Boards

Glass is a material that is widely used across the world for food-safe applications as well. While food-safe glass is the ideal material, not all glass used for making chopping boards can withstand scratching. It is likely that glass scrapings may be ingested by users over time in small quantities thus leading to health issues including internal injury. Also, glass is brittle and can shatter thus increasing the risk of physical injury. The additional care and replacement costs involved make glass a lesser preferred material for chopping boards. Also, depending on the quality of the chopping board, some glass chopping boards may not be dishwasher safe.

Source: Relix

Here’s our scorecard for glass cutting boards:

Wooden Cutting Boards

Not all wood species are suitable for the manufacture of chopping boards. It is important that you carefully study wood chopping boards and make enquiries about the wood used in its construction before you purchase them. Compared to all other materials that can be used in chopping boards, wood seems to better all. A natural material, that is not hard on your knives, can be maintained relatively easily than bamboo and does not need as much processing as does bamboo (thus more environmentally friendly in terms of energy saved in the treatment process for bamboo chopping boards), wood is the preferred material for professional as well as domestic chopping boards around the world today. While some of the limitations listed for other materials also apply to wood, such as bacterial build up, proper maintenance of wooden chopping boards means that they serve the longest and are the safest among all alternatives. If kept dry, not subjected to the dishwasher and if rules of hygiene followed (use separate boards for veg and meat) meticulously, wood chopping boards are the best choice you can make.

Source: Relix

Here’s our scorecard for wooden cutting boards:

Marble Cutting Boards

While marble cutting boards are perfectly safe and easy to clean, why would anyone be willing to sacrifice their set of sharp knives by cutting into a stone? After all, marble is a STONE. Another disadvantage is that marble is heavy. However, you may want to keep one for sparse use during special occasions (hey, marble looks great) as it’s an excellent material for a platter – even allowing you to set pans and keeping them from scorching your table or countertop.

Here’s our scorecard for marble cutting boards:

So the next you are about to chop your veggies, meat, fruit and what not, keep this handy and choose wisely. You can scour through our entire range of cutting boards here and select your pick. Happy Chopping!

Avinash Subramaniam

Avinash has been an advertising writer, fiction writer, poetry writer, freelance writer and serial wronger. Other roles he has been in include those of an editor, brand builder, and teacher. His interests include advertising, scrabble, body building, chess, cinema, making money, reading, internet culture, cricket, photography. To hear him air his thoughts, follow him on Twitter @armchairexpert.

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