How to Choose a Cutting Board

Choosing the right cutting board helps make food prep a snap

How to Choose a Cutting Board

Next to the coffee pot, the cutting board is a kitchen’s main workhorse. This guide will show you how to choose and care for a cutting board that can stand up to your daily kitchen tasks.
 

Tip: Increase stability in your cutting board by placing a kitchen towel or slightly damp paper towel underneath before you begin slicing and dicing.

Size: 

A large main cutting board can be augmented with smaller boards.


A 15-inch by 20-inch cutting board will provide ample space for food prep and is large enough to stretch across a sink to create extra work space. Smaller cutting boards are often sold in multipacks; these can be useful for more detailed tasks, such as creating food decoration.

Size

Material: 

Choose a wood, bamboo or plastic cutting board to protect your knives

Tip: Glass or stone cutting boards should be used for display or serving purposes only. They can nick or damage blade edges and can make cutting more dangerous since the smooth surface provides less traction for the knife.

Wood cutting board
  • Provides excellent traction for knife edges
  • Small surface cuts self-heal 
  • Lasts years, when properly cared for
Bamboo cutting boards
  • Gentle on knife edges 
  • Harder than wood 
  • Renewable resource; eco-conscious
Plastic/Poly cutting boards
  • Lightweight 
  • Easy to maintain; inexpensive to replace 
  • Available in a variety of colors

Tip: Purchase multiple plastic cutting boards of different colors and designate one color for each type of food (e.g red for meat, yellow for chicken, green for veggies). This will prevent cross-contamination and each board will last longer since it won’t get daily use.
 

Cleaning and Care:

Keep your cutting boards in top shape with the right care

Clean your cutting boards after every use and you will not only extend their life, but keep salmonella and other food-borne bugs at bay. Wood and bamboo cutting boards should never be soaked for any length of time, but all cutting boards benefit from a good scrub under hot water to loosen any fats on the surface of the board that might give bacteria a place to hide. For lingering odors or stubborn stains, sprinkle a teaspoon of coarse salt onto stained area and rub the surface with half a cut lemon. Then, wash and treat as usual.
 

Tip: Do not use olive or other food oils to treat wood cutting boards; the oil can become rancid, creating unpleasant odors and flavors that can transfer to food.

  • Hand wash with hot, soapy water
  • Air dry
  • Treat surfaces with food-grade mineral oil or beeswax
  • Hand wash with hot, soapy water
  • Air dry
  • Lightly oil surfaces with food-grade mineral oil
  • Pre-scrub by hand, then run in dishwasher for sanitizing
  • Air dry
  • Resurface periodically, replace when needed