A chopping board is a basic essential in any modern kitchen, which goes hand in hand with the kitchen knife. On this kitchen tool, any chef can slice, chop, and dice fruits, veggies, and meat. Additionally, you can opt to improvise it as a base for making a sandwich and cleaning salad leaves. With this vital kitchen appliance, you can quickly, safely, and efficiently work on most food ingredients.
If you happen to choose a high-quality chopping board, it will provide a reliable surface for the edge of your knives. Similarly, a poor quality chopping board might also encourage the existence of harmful bacteria. However, choosing a high-quality chopping board might look cumbersome. Therefore, it is imperative to understand the factors to consider when choosing the most suitable one for your kitchen.
Here, we will check on some of the factors buyers can consider before the purchase of this kitchen item. Some of these factors are size, material, cost, durability, color, style of construction, and sanitation. On this platform, we will go deeper into some of these factors.
Table of Contents
Chopping Board Size
The size of a particular chopping board is a significant factor that can really determine your efficiency in the kitchen. It would be best if you went for a larger cutting board where you can chop both large and small food materials. For instance, it is simpler to chop coriander on a large board than slicing huge chunks of meat on a small board. Equally, most of the large chopping boards have a drip-groove space, which is a bonus in preventing juice run-off. Before opting to purchase a particular cutting board, it can also be wise to consider the size of your sink. Ensure that the width of this kitchen kit fits in the sink for easier cleaning.
It is also reasonable to go for a board size that can fit your storage space with no hassle. In case you opt to purchase a plastic one, consider whether it can fit in your kitchen’s dishwasher. However, if you are a regular cook, you can go for different sizes of chopping boards. With such boards, you can deploy each of them when slicing specific food items. For example, you can slice cheese and onion on a small board and work on a whole chicken on a large board.
Chopping Board Material
Notably, the material of a cutting board is a prime feature that every user should consider. Chopping boards come in materials like wood, glass, plastic, steel, silicone, bamboo, and composite. You can opt to purchase a board of your preferred material after looking at the advantages of each type.
Wood Chopping Board
In particular, the kitchen cutting board made from wood remains beautiful and fits nicely on a countertop if well maintained. Those that are made from hardwood like sugar maple are durable and can resist the existence of bacteria. Equally, those made from other hardwood like Olive, White Ashwood, and bamboo are quite sturdy. Similarly, softwood such as Walnut, Larch, Cherry, Teak, and Hinoki make good quality cutting boards. However, it is worth to avoid cedar and pine softwood boards for they are prone to damage.
- The wooden cutting block is sturdy.
- Preserves the blade of your knife.
- Less prone to harbor bacteria.
- Made from natural material (wood) and, therefore, health-safe.
- Can be heavy to move on a countertop.
- It can easily absorb stains and odors.
Bamboo Chopping Boards
Since bamboo is a fast-growing plant, bamboo chopping boards are great alternatives and are relatively cheaper. To come up with a high-quality bamboo cutting board, one requires to consider it bamboo’s size, maturation, and markings. Chopping board made from bamboo are quite sturdy and not susceptible to water absorption. Less rate of water absorption of this board makes it a hygienic option, for it won’t harbor bacteria. Moreover, it would be easier for anyone to move this board within the kitchen countertop since it is a lightweight model. It is worth noting that the bamboo board requires oiling at least twice a week using food-safe mineral oil.
- It is an affordable board model.
- It is light to lift when working on it.
- Has laminated strips and hence less prone to warping.
- Can easily blunt your knife due to its hard surface.
Stone or Glass Chopping Boards
Significantly, these chopping boards are known to be attractively possessing a fashionable and beautiful appeal. However, glass cutting boards are health-hazard since they might add some glass pieces which might chip off while cutting food ingredients.
Marble boards bear visual appeal but are more expensive. Their features are relatively similar to those of glass. Note that it is advisable to use the glass chopping board for food serving purposes.
- Can be used for both serving and chopping.
- It is hygienic and easy to clean.
- They are light models.
- Discourage germs build-up
- Are fragile models.
- Can quickly blunt the knives blades.
- Cannot support the slicing of some food ingredients like meat.
Plastic Chopping Boards (HDPE)
Plastic cutting boards are among the most common models that most people prefer in their kitchen. Some come in varying colors, and chefs can pick the suitable board for specific food items and discourage cross-contamination.
However, plastic boards with large knife marks might eventually harbor germs that risk your health.
- Are dishwasher-safe.
- Retains knife blade sharpness.
- Are inexpensive
- Are durable if well maintained.
- Some are too light and keep sliding on countertops.
- It can easily warp if regularly washed in a dishwasher.
Composite Chopping Boards (Wood-fiber/Phenolic resins)
Generally, Composite chopping boards are made from wood fiber, recycled paper, and cardboards. They come in two main versions from which a particular user will choose from. The first model is of high quality, for it is heavy and thick. Alternatively, a customer can opt to buy a medium quality version which is thin and light. In some cases, you may note an odd smell from these boards though the smell eases away after frequent cleaning.
- Most of them are affordable.
- No issues of warping.
- Made from sustainable resources.
- Wood-based boards can damage knives’ blades.
- High-quality models are expensive.
Chopping Board Hygiene
Since a chopping board is an integral part of your kitchen, thorough cleaning and sanitization are vital for the maintenance of hygiene. Cleaning should be done after each chopping, aiming at the cutting marks and crevices on the board’s surface. The user focuses on these cutting marks, for they are the primary habitat for pathogens and bacteria. Cleaning cutting boards can be done using a sponge and a soapy solution. Additionally, if you need to eliminate foul smell from the wooden boards, rinse it thoroughly with a saline solution. Besides, you can use salt and a half-cut lemon to rub against the board’s surface.
Alternatively, you can opt to deploy different cutting boards while working on food items like vegetables, raw meat, and others. This will reduce the risk of cross-contamination. Moreover, avoid the tendency of cleaning the boards with a piece of cloth as it can spread the germs from the cutting board to the entire kitchen. Specifically, the wooden board is perceived as more hygienic than plastic board models since they have anti-microbial properties. However, it is worth noting that some wood types are toxic and are not suitable for making cutting boards. But if you are to purchase a chopping board from popular and reputable manufacturers, this should not worry you.
Chopping Board Maintenance
In general, every chopping board model requires proper maintenance for it to remain in good condition. Good maintenance practice will elongate its service life and make your work more efficient. Glass boards are the easiest to clean compared to plastic and wooden ones. Additionally, it lacks the cutting marks that harbor pathogens. However, the glass board requires a lot more care when handling since it is brittle. Both bamboo and wooden boards require oiling to protect them from harmful micro-organisms and water.
Mainly, oiling of cutting boards requires either wax or any food-safe oil. All you need is to apply this oil on the board’s surface and polish it using a clean cloth after some minutes. Also, proper storage of your board is quite paramount. Simply ensure your board is clean and borne dry, then afterward keep it upright to ensure it does not hold moisture. Most chopping boards last longer, but this is also determined by the level of maintenance. Always check the size of the cuttings on the surface of the board to examine the level of damage done it. This can assist you to know whether you are to replace the board or to re-oil it.
To conclude, choosing the best chopping board for your kitchen can be more than one might think. It is almost impossible to purchase a great board model with no information about the factors to consider while buying one. For instance, size is a significant factor that any customer should consider. Bearing this factor in mind will eliminate the issue of storing this appliance in your kitchen. Similarly, purchasing the right size of a board will ease its cleaning in the sink. Additionally, choosing the suitable material for your cutting board will assist you in getting one that serves the purpose. These and other factors will keep you in the know about what to pick and what to leave in the market.