The best way to protect both your cutlery and your countertops when slicing food is with a cutting board. Knife edges are delicate, and they can easily be chipped or blunted if they’re used on an abrasive surface. It’s also important to use a designated clean cutting surface for food safety. Here’s how to choose the best cutting board for your kitchen.
Types of Cutting Boards
A good cutting board is sturdy, with enough cushion to protect your kitchen knives. It should also be easy to clean. Choose a double-sided board to help avoid cross-contamination of raw and cooked foods. Consider the following types of kitchen boards:
• A wood cutting board can heal itself, meaning that shallow cuts in the wood can close on their own. There are also natural antiseptic properties in wood that make it a safe choice for handling food. Bamboo cutting boards are safe because they’re antimicrobial, while butcher block cutting boards are beautiful enough to move from kitchen to table as a serving board for guests. Look for cutting boards with tightly-grained wood and small pores, which will reduce any liquid absorption.
• A polyethylene cutting board is easy to clean. You can use bleach or other disinfectants without worrying about damaging the board. Many of these plastic chopping boards are made specifically to prevent damage to knife blades.
• Granite cutting boards are pretty enough to be displayed on the countertop. Use them for cutting soft foods, as there is a higher risk of knife damage.
• Rubber cutting boards provide a non-slip surface for safe cutting and are resistant to moisture and bacteria. Choose a rubber kitchen cutting mat, which is flexible enough to be rolled up and stored away, if you’re short on space.
Choose a cutting board set to have multiple size options and to designate them for specific foods. It’s best to cut meats and veggies on separate boards.
Cleaning Your Kitchen Cutting Board
Diluted bleach is the best bet for cleaning plastic carving boards (especially if you use them to cut raw meat). Many of them are also dishwasher safe. Check the label before washing them, as some can be warped by high water temperatures.
Wooden boards should never be put in the dishwasher, as they can crack and warp. Hand-wash them with hot water and dish soap. Then, dry them off immediately. Every two or three months, treat wooden boards with linseed oil to avoid dryness and cracking.