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From plastic to wood to other materials, here is how you can find the right cutting board for your vegan kitchen!
A few kitchen accessories are as elementally essential as cutting boards. So, before you start chopping, mincing, or dicing, you must ensure that you are working on an appropriate surface. It means you should ensure that you have the correct cutting board in your kitchen.
While durability and versatility are qualities at the top, choosing a non-toxic, right-sized cutting board that responds well as you chop is also essential. For such a simple kitchen accessory, you must consider many factors. Moreover, while a cutting board seems relatively benign, incorrect use can make it a bacteria-laden item in your vegan kitchen.
As a vegan, you may look for the best cutting board to make your kitchen tasks easier. There are many different types of cutting boards on the market, so it can be difficult to determine which one is right for you. In this blog post, we will recommend some of the best options for vegan cooks. We’ll also provide some tips on how to care for your cutting board properly. Let’s get started!
Since there are plenty of cutting board types to choose from, keep these factors in mind and choose a cutting board that makes sense for your lifestyle.
Why Do You Need a Good Cutting Board?
While a cutting board might not draw the attention of a new set of knives in your vegan kitchen, an appropriate cutting board is an essential kitchen accessory in any kitchen. For years, your chopping and dicing companion will be a high-quality, non-toxic, and adequately sized cutting board.
A set of cutting boards in your kitchen can give you a reliable and sanitary surface for food prep while also maintaining the sharpness of your knives. So, throwing a few extra dollars on a high-quality, non-toxic cutting board will pay dividends.
Moreover, if your kitchen already has a glass or plastic cutting board, these can get the job done too. However, I recommend keeping more than one cutting board for different food preparation. In addition, if you want to step into the more serious business of chopping and slicing veggies, a high-quality wooden cutting board can be your best ally.
Furthermore, you need a good cutting board because it is more hygienic, durable, and provides an elegant presentation of your kitchen.
What Should You Know About Cutting Boards?
Some key points about cutting boards that every food enthusiast should know include:
· Prevent the Risk of Cross Contamination
Having at least two (if not more) cutting boards in your kitchen is a great idea. This will allow you to use separate boards for different foods and ready-to-eat items, such as vegetables, fruits, and bread. Moreover, it will also help you avoid cross-contamination.
For instance, having more than one cutting board will help you prevent the risk of transferring salmonella or other hazardous bacteria from the kitchen to your fruits or veggies by using different cutting surfaces.
· Clean Thoroughly after Every Use
Even if you are just slicing a piece of bread, cleaning your cutting board thoroughly with hot, soapy water is an excellent idea. While plastic boards are easy to clean and can go in a dishwasher, periodical sanitizing by submerging the surface with a diluted bleach solution will prevent bacteria buildup.
Moreover, it is also essential to let your cutting board thoroughly dry before you store it to prevent moisture-loving bacteria accumulation.
· Know When to Replace Your Cutting Board
Regardless of what type of cutting board you have (wood or plastic), it can develop deep grooves or scratches that may accumulate bacteria, which could then be transferred to your food. However, more rigid material cutting boards, such as glass, bamboo, or maple, are less susceptible to scarring compared to plastic or wood. To prevent bacteria buildup, it is vital to replace your cutting board when it becomes heavily scarred.
What to Consider in a Cutting Board?
When purchasing a cutting board for your kitchen, make sure to consider these factors:
When buying a cutting board, you want something durable, doesn’t crack and warp easily, and that shouldn’t dull or damage your knives. In addition, you should also look for a thick, spacious cutting board to give yourself enough space to work comfortably.
While a wooden cutting board is excellent for reducing the damage to your knife’s blade, it is also a better option, especially when compared to marble, glass, or plastic cutting boards. However, remember that not all wooden cutting boards have the same quality. So, make sure to invest in a high-quality cutting board.
Size is a crucial factor. While you can always chop smaller items on larger cutting boards, you cannot cut oversized items on smaller boards. The size of your cutting board means you should also consider the space in your kitchen where you can store your cutting board, and you plan to clean it.
So, if you want a plastic cutting board, consider the size of your dishwasher. However, if your kitchen doesn’t have a dishwasher and you want a wooden cutting board, make sure you have a plan to wash it after every use.
In this regard, selecting a cutting board with a width less than the width of your dishwasher will ensure a smooth cleaning process. Moreover, another factor when determining the size of your cutting board is the place in your kitchen where you will store the board. Keep in mind that your kitchen has a dry, clean storage space when your board is not in use.
The material of your cutting board is one of the most crucial factors. While buying a wrong cutting board made of cheap material can seriously affect your health and cooking style, it can also damage one of the essential kitchen accessories – your knives.
That said, there are plenty of things to consider when choosing the right cutting board made of high-quality material. So, with plenty of options, ensure your cutting board is lighter for easy cleaning. While high-density polyethylene cutting boards are famous for their light weight and durability, some people prefer wooden boards due to their environment-friendly nature.
The shape of your cutting board should represent your preferences. You can have a cutting board that you find suitable. Two main shapes of cutting boards are circular and rectangular cutting boards. While some people prefer circular cutting boards since they don’t take up much space in the cabinet or refrigerator, others prefer rectangular or oval-shaped cutting boards due to their ease of use.
Moreover, if you have Asian cuisine, a circular-shaped cutting board is perfect for keeping your food representation neat and tidy. Similarly, rectangular-shaped cutting boards are more popular due to their longevity and versatility.
Different Types of Cutting Boards for Vegan Kitchens
1. Wood Cutting Boards
Wood cutting boards top our list, and they are the most popular ones among chefs. These boards are deemed a timeless kitchen accessory. In addition to providing a classic look, wooden cutting boards are trendy if you maintain them properly and care for them.
Moreover, one of the most significant benefits of wooden cutting boards is their durability, as they are known to withstand heavy-duty use. While the longevity factor makes wooden cutting boards an intelligent financial investment, they are also more stable and safer than other types of cutting boards.
Furthermore, there is a myth that wooden cutting boards provide a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. However, this is deflated by recent research showing that scratches on your wooden board that accumulate over time aren’t hazardous for harvesting bacteria like those on plastic cutting boards.
That’s mainly because the bacteria get so deep down into the wood that they cannot reproduce and eventually die off. So, using a cutting board is the perfect option without worrying about bacterial accumulation, as long as you keep it clean.
Pros and Cons of Wood Cutting Boards
|Why Should You Use A Wood Cutting Board||
Why Shouldn’t You Use A Wood Cutting Board
|They are readily available in various colors, shapes, sizes, and designs, meaning you can quickly get one to match almost any kitchen.||A wood cutting board may be hard to clean in a dishwasher.|
|Wood is more reliable and doesn’t require to be replaced more often.||Wood cutting boards made of cheap wood may quickly become crook and warp if not cleaned properly.|
|Unlike glass or a plastic cutting board, a wood cutting board does not dull knives as quickly.||It may also lose its color if not cared for properly.|
|A wood cutting board is pretty easy to clean and maintain.||A high-quality wood cutting board can be heavy and hard to move around the kitchen.|
|It doesn’t quickly accumulate or harbor hazardous bacteria.||Because wood is a natural organic material, it needs proper care and frequent conditioning with food-grade mineral oil to prevent drying out.|
2. Plastic Cutting Boards
Plastic cutting boards were prevalent when plastic became an industrial material. Some notable benefits of plastic cutting boards are their affordability, ease of cleaning, and dishwasher-friendliness. Since the cost of plastic cutting boards is budget-friendly, it is easy to go out and buy one or more of these in different colors, sizes, and shapes for various food preparations.
However, replacing your plastic cutting board when its surface is deeply scarred is essential. One of the notable reasons for that is the deeply scarred surface of these cutting boards encourages bacterial accumulation, making them a favorite place to grow. They can quickly transfer to your food and can cause serious health issues.
Moreover, the grooves triggered by the knife cuts are impossible to disinfect and clean. Even if you wash our plastic cutting board thoroughly, bacteria can cling to the creases, which means you cannot be that confident using the same cutting board again is safe.
That said, regardless of how dishwasher-friendly your plastic cutting board is, leaving it in the dishwasher during the drying cycle can cause it to warp or bend. It also means you will have an unstable surface for cutting and chopping the veggies, increasing the risk of an injury when using a knife.
Also, consider the possibility of plastic materials contaminating your foods,
Pros and Cons of Plastic Cutting Boards
|Why Should You Use A Plastic Cutting Board||Why Shouldn’t You Use A Plastic Cutting Board|
|Plastic boards are straightforward to care for, maintain, and clean.||Plastic cutting boards are usually made of cheap-quality materials that can trigger various healthy and food problems.|
|The blade of your knife on plastic surf dulls slowly, meaning the chances of an injury is rare.||If not cleaned thoroughly, the knife scars on a plastic cutting board surface are a favorite place for harmful bacteria accumulation.|
|They are versatile and inexpensive, so you can easily buy more than one for different food preparation.||Unlike a wood board, a plastic cutting board lacks the ability to self-healing.|
|These boards cause minimal to no harm to your knife blades.||You may need to replace it more often if your board becomes too scarred to sanitize.|
3. Bamboo Cutting Boards for vegan kitchens
One of the most notable benefits of having a bamboo cutting board is its environment-friendly nature. These cutting boards are hard grass and a renewable, sustainable resource that requires no chemicals to be harvested and thrive. However, not just for environmentalists, bamboo cutting boards are also an extensively preferred option for the general public.
While a bamboo cutting board strikes an excellent, stylish appearance, it is also a much better option than wooden boards for not absorbing liquid quickly. It also means bamboo cutting boards are less prone to warping and cracking than wooden ones.
Moreover, since they are naturally non-porous, a bamboo cutting board is incredibly moisture resistant and can last for years compared to wooden and plastic cutting boards in the same price range.
However, it doesn’t mean that there are no drawbacks to this type of cutting board. For instance, the material is incredibly hard, which can quickly dull your knives. Furthermore, if you’re not careful while cutting or chopping veggies, any small knife cut can cause your knives to catch. It means enjoying a smooth action while preparing food on a bamboo board can be challenging.
Pros and Cons of Bamboo Cutting Boards
|Why Should You Use A Bamboo Cutting Board||Why Shouldn’t You Use A Plastic Bamboo Board|
|Unlike plastic or wood, a bamboo cutting board is far more durable and has tensile strength.||A bamboo cutting board is usually far more expensive than a wood or plastic cutting board.|
|The surface of it is more scratch and nick-resistant.||Some of these boards may be glued together with adhesives containing formaldehyde which could leak and contaminate your food.|
|Bamboo cutting boards are versatile as you can use them for chopping, cutting, mincing, and slicing.||It is hard to clean these boards in a dishwasher. You will need to clean manually to prevent glued pieces come apart.|
|It is naturally a fine grain and tight-colored wood and can match any kitchen décor.||Caring for and maintenance of a bamboo cutting board is a time-consuming process.|
4. Glass Cutting Boards
A glass board is another type of cutting board for vegan kitchens. While these types of tempered glass cutting boards are elegant and aesthetically pleasing, they are the least recommended and for all the good reasons.
For instance, a new set of your knives aren’t made to withstand cutting or chopping veggies on a tempered glass surface, regardless of how rarely you use it. In addition, a glass cutting board is also fragile and features a slipper surface, meaning the chances of an injury are just waiting to happen. However, despite the lack of a sustainable and unstable surface, a glass cutting board does allow an aesthetic food presentation.
Pros and Cons of Glass Cutting Boards
|Why Should You Use A Glass Cutting Board||Why Shouldn’t You Use A Glass Cutting Board|
|A glass cutting board is usually more hygienic than some other board types.||Chopping on your board’s glass surface is likely to cause your knife to be dull quickly, making them dangerous to work with.|
|It is less likely to cause any foodborne illness.||Since the surface is more rigid than wood or plastic, it can break your knives if you are not careful.|
|The non-porous surface of a glass cutting board is easy to clean and doesn’t amass harmful bacteria.||You will need to sharpen your knife’s blade more often.|
|A glass cutting board is also a perfect option for placing hot foods down and resistant to fungus.||The screeching noise can be annoying, making your food preparation experience uncomfortable.|
So, what type of cutting board should you buy for your kitchen?
Why are wood cutting boards the Best?
I think wood cutting boards are more hygienic, safe, and sustainable. Let’s compare a wood cutting board with other materials.
You want a smooth, sterile surface when preparing food in your kitchen. You imagine a shiny metal surface of your frying pan and a crystal clear mixing bowl glass. However, with its porous surface and natural grain, wood deserves a proper place in any kitchen.
Of course, heavy-duty kitchen accessories, such as knives and cookware, take a lot of tolls and should be built hard to do the job at hand smoothly. Anything that comes into contact with these should not be as hard. A complementary material that would be dense with a slight yield and withstand daily use without damaging your knives is ideal – it would be something like wood.
There are a variety of wood and many benefits of using a wood cutting board. Apart from being naturally solid and hard-wearing, some wood boards have self-healing characteristics against knife scratches and grooves.
So, what’s the best cutting board for your vegan kitchen? Let’s compare different cutting boards.
· Wood vs. Plastic
While wood cutting boards are the most hygienic and perfect for any kitchen, plastic cutting boards are the second best choice. Remember that there are two types of plastic boards; Polyvinyl Acetate (PVA) and High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE). While both plastic cutting boards are rigid, they are still gentle enough on knives.
Moreover, plastic cutting boards also have a few drawbacks. For instance, unlike a wood cutting board with self-healing characteristics, a wood cutting board lacks this ability, meaning cut areas can host bacteria. In addition to that, while plastic boards are easier to clean, they are more susceptible to stains, retaining dirt, and smells.
Furthermore, plastic boards’ lighter and thinner surface has unstable work surface. Compared to wood boards, plastic cutting boards are also harder on knives. Plus, while newer materials claim to provide a softer cutting surface, they aren’t the standard and may wear quickly.
Pro Tip: Make sure your plastic cutting board is NSF-Compliant, and FDA Approved before making a purchase.
1. Wood vs. Rubber
You have probably spotted a few rubber boards on cooking shows or in open-kitchen restaurants. Rubber cutting boards are dull, beige-colored, thick, and increasingly popular. While rubber cutting boards can stimulate the same characteristics as wood, durable and heavy weight, they are gentle enough to retain knife cuts.
Moreover, rubber boards are also famous for their self-healing properties, low maintenance, and for holding up against different food-safe cleaning solutions, but they do melt. Unlike a wood cutting board, you cannot use a rubber board for hot serving platters.
Furthermore, they also have the same price as wood cutting boards, so most home cooks or chefs are better off with a quality wood cutting board.
2. Wood vs. Glass
Many photos are flooding around online mood boards featuring seed-crusted loaves, fresh seasonal berries, and soft white cheese on an aesthetic glass or marble cutting board. Those photos look gorgeous, and you might feel inclined to get yourself one of your own.
However, those who tried a glass board for slicing or chopping veggies or fruits will agree that these aren’t meant to be a cutting board. For instance, unlike a wood cutting board, an uncomfortable and unpleasant sound that glass boards create is enough for dulling a new set of your knives. Plus, the slick glass makes a slipper surface that can increase the chances of getting a knife cut.
Moreover, while most wood cutting boards are lighter and easy, glass or marble boards are heavy and hard to store and move around the kitchen. However, a glass or marble cutting board can serve as an aesthetic serving tray and a beautiful surface for rolling dough.
3. Wood vs. Bamboo
It is worth noting that bamboo is not wood but tough grass. In fact, bamboo cutting boards are far more rigid and less porous than wood cutting boards, falling between maple and walnut. The natural density of bamboo boards is incredibly resistant to absorbing liquids and knife scars and grooves, meaning it is less likely to accumulate bacteria.
Moreover, bamboo cutting boards are also renewable and make an aesthetic cutting board. However, the rigid nature of bamboo means you will have a tough cutting surface that can dull your knives with every cut.
Furthermore, bamboo boards have a higher price tag than wood cutting boards. Plus, they are often glued together with adhesives containing formaldehyde, which can cause food and health effects.
How to Keep Your Wood Cutting Board Germ-Free?
While a dishwasher is perfect for cleaning and sanitizing most kitchen items, you should avoid putting your wood cutting board in the dishwasher. The reason is simple – water can cause your board to warp and crack. Eventually, those tiny cracks can become breeding grounds for bacteria, potentially causing food-related illnesses.
Instead, washing your wood cutting board manually after every use is highly recommended. Here’s how to keep your wood cutting board germ-free:
Clean it with Dish Soap
- Use Dish Soap: Make sure to discard any food scraps and rinse your board with hot water. Now, apply some dish soap using a sponge or dish brush. If you see any knife cuts, scratches, or grooves, scrub those areas thoroughly.
- Wash Both Sides: When cleaning your wood board, scrub both sides, even if you use one side for cutting or chopping. Remember that veggie juices can drip and contaminate the other side.
- Rinse Thoroughly: Use warm water and rinse both sides of the board.
- Let it Dry: Once you are done washing and cleaning your wood cutting board, use a dry cloth or towel to dry it. Also, ensure to let it air-dry before storing it away.
Clean it with Lemon and Salt
Using lemon and salt for cleaning your cutting board once a month is an effective way to keep it germ-free. This will help you eliminate stains and remove chopping smells of garlic and other veggies.
- Scrub the Board: Sprinkle coarse salt like kosher or sea salt on the board. Cut and rub the lemon over the sprinkled salt on your board for a few minutes. While scrubbing, make small circles and work in the grain direction.
- Let it sit: After thoroughly scrubbing the board with lemon, allow the solution to set for 10 minutes.
- Remove the Solution: Now, use warm water and rinse the board, ensuring all the solution is removed. Let your board dry thoroughly before putting it away.
Are you ready to add a new cutting board to your kitchen?
Yes, there is plenty to consider when choosing the best cutting boards for vegan kitchens. I have explained hygienic protocols along with the pros and cons of each cutting board, so you can choose what’s suitable for your kitchen. However, regardless of what cutting board you want, make sure to have a few of them to prevent cross-contamination.
So, which cutting board is the best for you? It depends on your needs and preferences. If you’re looking for a durable board that can withstand a lot of wear and tear, go with a wooden or bamboo model. If you want something low-maintenance that doesn’t require regular oiling, choose a plastic or silicone board. And if safety is your top priority, select a glass or ceramic option. No matter what type of cutting board you decide on, just be sure to read the care instructions carefully so you can get the most out of your investment. Thanks for reading! Please leave your comments and questions below.
FAQ’s about cutting boards for vegans, from vegan chefs
What size cutting board should I buy?
Most chefs agree that the best size cutting board is the largest one that will fit on your counter. You will be amazed at how you find you really need that extra space!
Should I have more than one cutting board?
We recommend at least the largest one you have space for, and then 2-3 smaller ones for more portability around the kitchen. These smaller boards usually rest well on end behind your appliances or can even be hung on the wall. Keep them handy as we find we use ours frequently.
How do you keep your cutting board from slipping during use?
The simple method is a damp paper towel or damp dish towel. Set it under the board and you’ll be able to cut safely with no slippage.
What cutting board material is best for knives?
Wood is by far better for your knives. Most materials dull knives with continued use. Wood protects your knife cutting surface longer.
Which wood is best for cutting boards?
Most prefer either maple or teak. Hard maple is the industry standard and ranks high with most chefs. With proper care and oiling, they last for many years and are least apt to dull knives.
Are end grain cutting boards better for knives?
Yes, they are. As you cut, the knife stays sharper because you are actually slicing between the wood fibers.
Do end-grain boards last longer than other wood types?
Yes, most chefs find they do. In fact, those wood fibers tend to bounce back into place after use as the knife cuts between the wood’s fibers. Thus, although the end-grain board costs more than other cutting boards, it usually lasts much longer and therefore retains its value making it a good investment.