Your kitchen ensemble won't be complete without a trusty wooden chopping board. Yes, a knife may be the shining star, but a wooden chopping board is an unsung hero. Many chefs prefer wood over other material types because it extends the lifetime of your knives. Contrary to popular belief, wooden boards prevent the spread of germs by keeping them trapped inside the grooves, eventually dying out over time.
If you're still wondering which type of wooden board should you choose for your kitchen, you came to the right place. We will give you a quick walkthrough of the things that you need to keep in mind before purchasing a competent wooden cutting block, and some tips on how to properly maintain it. Without further ado, let's begin your journey.
Hands down, wood is by far the best material for cutting boards. Let's take a look at the advantages of having one in your kitchen. But there are downsides to this material too. We'll talk about all of these points in the following section.
Wooden boards could endure a very, very long time, maybe almost to a lifetime. Many traditional chefs still use wood since damages or deep scratches can often be saved by re-sanding the board to smoothen its surface. There are very few artificial materials that can be refurbished and reused, such as wood.
A good knife will perform poorly if you have a bad cutting board. The knife cuts beautifully, but your board dulls the knife on every slice. There are types of wood that are gentle on the knife's edge, like maple or walnut. They are strong enough to be called hardwoods but not too punishing to your knives to ruin them.
Most people are skeptical about using wood materials since it's porous and could easily absorb liquid, in turn, very unsanitary. What these people may not know is that recent studies have shown otherwise.
In a study conducted on the decontamination of wood and plastic boards, wood was able to absorb bacteria, wherein it was trapped and killed eventually.
Although this characteristic isn't as important to some home cooks, getting a gorgeous wooden board wouldn't hurt. It adds personality and creates a traditional impression in your kitchen.
Putting it on display with the rest of your kitchen implements may not be your ultimate goal, yet, it might be the case when you aren't going to use it for a long time.
After use, a wooden chopping board requires some upkeep to maintain its integrity. As an organic material, it needs frequent conditioning with food-grade mineral oil. It keeps the wood from drying out, warping, or cracking. This also protects it from stains as most cut-up ingredients secrete liquids that get soaked up in the board.
Plastic boards are much easier to clean than wood boards. You cannot just pop it in a dishwasher or leave it soaked in water. Extended exposure to heat and moisture will surely end your board's life earlier than expected.
A gentle soap and running water are all you need to clean its surface but you must let it air dry. After this, mineral oil is applied to replenish the oil that was stripped while being washed.
Most chefs say that heavy wooden cutting boards are the best, yet they are quite heavy. There's no denying that thicker and bulkier boards are hard to move around the kitchen, so most of them are located at a cutting or butchering station.
Thinner and lighter boards are prone to warping and would tend to last only for months, so these aren't advisable to use in a busy kitchen.
You may have already heard several conflicting pieces of advice on which wooden board to choose. May it be the most sanitary, stable, or the least knife-damaging chopping board, you cannot fully determine which one is the right product for your needs. Below are some points to look at before you click the "Add to Cart" button.
There are several types of wooden chopping boards for different types of cutting methods. Here are some of the most common examples that you might encounter.
All home cooks have at least one cutting board in their kitchen. All kinds of ingredients are cut up on this wooden block, and it comes in different sizes and thicknesses. Generally, this type of board provides enough space to slice or chop anything you need to cook.
While carving cooked meats, it usually secretes juices that might get messy on a simple cutting board. Carving boards are characterized by a juice trough around the exterior outline of the block to catch the juice from the meat and prevent it from dripping all around.
This board is also used for cutting up juicy fruits or veggies. You can also use the board as a presentation platter during dinners or parties.
Unlike the other types of cutting boards, breadboards are significantly longer to accommodate loaves or a baguette. These have deep elongated grooves along the surface that does a good job of collecting bread crumbs.
You might need to invest in this type of board since it is uncommon and made specifically for slicing pieces of bread.
Putting your whole force on every chop could cut up thick meat slices, but it also damages the wooden board beneath it. Cutting boards are thinner and lighter, so you will be needing a Butcher's Block for this sort of kitchen action.
A Butcher's Block has more weight and thickness for stability, no more worrying about your every hack and slash. You can now concentrate on the meat in front of you.
Below are some of the most sought-after types of wood material that manufacturers use as boards. Each has its own merit that might suit your requirement.
The go-to material for wood cutting boards is the sugar maple. It is sturdy enough for daily use but not too punishing to knives.
This material has closely packed grains and smaller pores so it doesn't soak up liquids easily, making it easier to wash and dry up. Being naturally antimicrobial, it is tough on germs and stops their growth. Unfortunately, maple can easily get stained from brightly colored foods.
Yet considered as a hardwood, Walnut is the most knife-friendly of all the hardwood materials. It has a soft closed-grain and heavy hardwood that comes in dark and rich color.
You need not worry about stains and scuff marks as it just hides them. Just watch out for nut allergies since this tree produces nuts and the oil from the wood can get into the food without you knowing it.
This type of wood is water, dirt, and germ-resistant because of its small pores and hardness. Many manufacturers use this wood as it ages like wine, it improves as it grows old. The darker the red hue of the wood, the older it is in age.
This wood could last a really long time due to its hardness and durability because of high levels of silica. It has closed grain and produces natural oils, making it water-resistant.
Even on constant washing, it won't warp the wood but the hardness could greatly diminish the sharpness of your knife. Often found in Southeast Asian countries, this tropical hardwood is a good cutting board for busy kitchens as it's worth the investment.
This type of wood is popular in Japan and other neighboring East Asian countries because it is lightweight, close-grained, and warp-resistant. It doesn't absorb liquids and it dries up quickly, thus preventing bacteria build-up. This material is gentle on knife blades and reduces the load on its edge which maintains its sharpness for a longer time.
Since we're concentrating on wood in this article, we should learn how to assess if the material met certain standards to make the right cutting board.
Most board makers prefer hardwood trees that grow slower and have denser composition. Maples, teaks, or walnuts are some of the best examples of hardwoods that don't scratch easily. Softwoods such as pine, cypress, or cedar grow faster and tend to be a softer material for board use.
Porosity also contributes to the hardness of any type of wood. It refers to the size of the pores in the wood which is determined by the wood grain. The size, direction, and appearance of the wood fibers is the wood grain.
Closed-grain wood is the best setup for a cutting board since it has smaller pores and smoother to the touch. Also, it prevents liquid from getting into the wood making it safe from germs and other bacteria.
Food preparation is the main goal of acquiring a good cutting board so it's sensible to choose a material that isn't toxic to humans. There are tree species that are known to create poison in nature as a defense mechanism.
It is best to avoid those species as the toxins could get absorbed into the food. If you're not too sure which wood is safe, keep in mind that fruit-bearing or sap-producing trees make the best material.
We've already covered the characteristics of a wood board, it's time to move on to which size and shape shall be your primary concern. Selecting the right shape and size of a cutting board lies on your inclination and the dimension of your countertop. Make sure that your space can accommodate the board of your choice.
Standard chopping boards can be rectangular, square, or circular which will also depend on your preference. The thickness of the board should not be taken for granted. Two inches should be the standard on any cutting board shape or size.
This shape comes in many sizes which are commonly large enough to offer more space than you might need. Some have rounded corners and will look very elegant while resting on your countertop.
Although this shape doesn't offer much space, it is chosen for food display on a table or serving tray, like a carving board. It may be favorable to get a bigger size so there's enough space for you to work on.
A square cutting board may be aesthetically pleasing for presenting food at parties or get-togethers, it may not be the ideal shape as a chopping board. It may be oddly shaped for some chefs since it may not be too long for chopping and slicing.
These types of boards can be the shape of your favorite animal, or in some instances, your favorite cartoon character. If you're aiming to get a novelty cutting board just make sure that it is large enough to have some space for actual food to be put at, not just some piece of kitchen decor.
Take a peek at our recommended wooden cutting boards available in the market today. Make sure to click on the links provided to get the full information on the product that catches your eye.
|Material||Bamboo, Stainless Steel|
|Size||34 x 24 x 1.7 cm|
|Size||20 x 1.5 x 33 cm|
|Size||30.48 x 2.54 cm|
|Size||39.8 x 27 x 1.8 cm|
|Size||45 x 37 x 7.6 cm|
|Size||25.4 x 5.4 cm|
|Size||33 x 22.7 x 3.8 cm|
|Size||22.8 x 22.8 x 3.8 cm|
|Size||40 x 11 x 2.5 cm|
|Size||49.5 x 27 x 4 cm|
Bamboo Wood Chopping Board with Stainless Steel Handle
Beech Wood Kitchen Cutting Board
Acacia Wooden Round Chopping Board with Natural Bark
Acacia Wooden Kneading Board
Unvarnished Tamarind Wood Cutting Board
Black Walnut Chopping Board
Square Maple Wood Edge Grain Cutting Board with Feet
Beech Solid Wood Cutting Board
Narra Wood Chopping Board
The Top Choice for Budget-Conscious Homemakers
A Durable But Inexpensive All-Purpose Board
A Rustic Chopping Board to Accentuate Any Food
The Virtually Maintenance-Free Board for Any Kitchen
A Board Wide Enough for Kneading
The Butcher's Choice for Chopping Meats
The Best Carving Board Made for Feasts
A Premium Board for Your High-End Cutleries
The Right Breadboard for Your Breakfast Nook
Get the Hardest Board Material in the Market
|Price Starts at||₱165||₱388||₱580||₱795||₱1,250||₱480||₱1,655||₱6,823||₱499||₱2,400|
|Material||Bamboo, Stainless Steel||Beech||Acacia||Teak||Acacia||Tamarind||Walnut||Maple||Beech||Narra|
|Size||34 x 24 x 1.7 cm||20 x 1.5 x 33 cm||30.48 x 2.54 cm||39.8 x 27 x 1.8 cm||45 x 37 x 7.6 cm||25.4 x 5.4 cm||33 x 22.7 x 3.8 cm||22.8 x 22.8 x 3.8 cm||40 x 11 x 2.5 cm||49.5 x 27 x 4 cm|
Wooden cutting boards are the best choice when it comes to food preparation and if cared for properly, they can certainly last for decades. Here's a quick kitchen hack from Wirecutter on how to care for your cutting boards to make sure they last a long time.
Be the master of your own kitchen with top-of-the-line knives to create your next culinary masterpiece. Discover how and where you can find them with the following articles below. Happy cooking!
Knowing all the information above, you should be able to pick out the right wooden cutting board to suit your chopping style. Choosing an elegant cutting board not only relies on its aesthetic values but also its functionality in the kitchen. Proper maintenance and condition should play a huge role in keeping your board in great shape and always ready for action.
Author: Chafi Lacson
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