Benefits of a Wood Cutting Board

Functional Beauty: The Benefits of Wood Cutting Boards
Professional and amateur cooks all know that the right tools in the kitchen are essential to preparing culinary delights. The right combination of ingredients, a set of high-quality knives, and a perfect cutting board can help us create safe and delicious meals for guests and loved ones. When it comes to choosing the right tools for your kitchen, wood cutting boards are a must-have for every chef.

Wood Cutting Boards are a Food Safe Choice

For years plastic cutting boards were a required staple in commercial kitchens. The prevailing belief was that plastic was more sanitary than wood; however, when it comes to food safety, wood cutting boards consistently outperform plastic ones. 

A University of Wisconsin study tested food poisoning-causing bacteria on several different kinds of wood and plastic cutting boards. The study found that after just a few minutes, there were almost no detectable bacteria found on the wood cutting boards. However, that was not true of the plastic cutting boards, which still displayed high amounts of bacteria. It was discovered that the antimicrobial compounds found in wood help kill bacteria and wood binds the water that bacteria need in order to grow. In short, for a safer kitchen wood cutting boards are the better choice.

Wood Cutting Boards Enhance Your Kitchen

Wooden cutting boards are not only highly functional but are a visually appealing tool that can add style and beauty to any kitchen. Wood is a naturally warm material and neutral enough to match most decor — from rustic farm kitchens to modern minimalist designs. Rather than store the cutting board when you are not using it, wood cutting boards can be displayed and used as a part of the kitchen design. There are a wide variety of styles of boards to choose from, each offering their own aesthetic value to commercial and residential kitchens. 

Wood Cutting Boards are Customizable

Whether used as food prep countertop installations or as stand-alone pieces, wood cutting boards are versatile and customizable. From the universal appeal of sugar maple cutting boards to the red glow of the softer cherry wood, the commercial or at-home chef can be assured of a stylish cutting board that works best for their needs. Furthermore, in the hands of a skilled craftsman, wood cutting boards can be designed to include finger slots, juice grooves, or holes for hanging storage.

Wood Cutting Boards are Durable

Plastic cutting boards scar easily. Once the plastic has become scarred, it becomes practically impossible to disinfect, which means that you will need to replace a plastic cutting board more frequently. Not only do plastic cutting boards become more and more unsanitary over time, but tiny bits of plastic end up in your food after being prepared on a scarred plastic cutting board. 

Unlike plastic or glass cutting boards, wood cutting boards are known for their durability and ability to withstand heavy daily use. This is one of the reasons that wood is the preferred cutting board of choice for professional chefs.

Wood Cutting Boards Are Knife-Friendly

In a kitchen, a sharp knife is essential for safety and ease of food preparation. Any time a knife passes through a hard surface the blade becomes a bit duller, and that is especially true when we use plastic, glass, or ceramic cutting boards. When a knife becomes dull, it requires that we press harder in order to cut, which can leave deep grooves in the cutting surface where bacteria and food particles can hide from even the most diligent cleaning. Heavy softwood cutting boards — like maple and beechwood — are gentler on knives, which will keep them sharper longer, and the kitchen cleaner and safer.

Wood Cutting Boards are Easy to Clean and Maintain

Keeping your kitchen sanitary is a top priority. Food-borne bacteria and other contaminants can lead to food poisoning and other serious illnesses, which is why it is best to skip the plastic cutting boards and opt for wood cutting boards. Unlike plastic, which requires a great deal of caustic chemical disinfectants, simply using hot water and soap will help sanitize and clean your wood cutting boards.

Simply wash the cutting board with warm soapy water and rinse in hot water, but avoid using a sponge, as these tend to be laden with bacteria. Allow the cutting board to dry upright — preferably overnight. The natural antimicrobial properties of the wood will help to further disinfect the cutting board.
To prevent your wood cutting board from warping and drying out, every few weeks apply a generous sprinkle of coarse salt over the surface of the board then rub it with a halved lemon. Rinse with hot water and allow to dry. Depending on the type of wood your board is made from — butcher block, for instance — once a month, apply food-grade mineral oil or beeswax to the wood. Moving in the direction of the grain and using a lint-free cloth, rub the oil or wax into the wood until it no longer absorbs the oil.

Wood Cutting Boards are an Eco-Friendly Choice

Environmental sustainability is one of the many reasons that many people opt for wood cutting boards — and it is no wonder. With the diversity of options available on the market today, we do not have to choose between being environmentally conscious and having beautiful and functional wood cutting boards in our kitchens.

Many commercially available wood cutting boards found in home goods stores are made from waste wood — the leftover wood at the mill that would have otherwise been thrown away — or are made from renewable sources. Custom wood cutting boards can be sourced from reclaimed wood and turned into one-of-a-kind statement pieces that are not only beautiful but functional. 

Whether updating an existing kitchen, designing a dream kitchen, or simply looking for accessory upgrades, wood cutting boards are essential. The durability, cleanliness, and aesthetic appeal of wood make it a clear front runner in the cutting board market. For the professional or amateur cook, there is no better option than a wood cutting board.

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