When you want a tool that’s durable, functional, and beautiful, it’s always best to go with wood. From spoons and spatulas to live edge wood cutting boards, wood turns up in the kitchen more often than other materials. That’s because wood lends a natural charm to food preparation that other materials can’t. This is especially evident with cutting boards, which, when made of other materials, can cause injuries and ruin your knives. With that in mind, here’s how to choose the best wooden cutting board for your kitchen.
Wood Beats All Other Materials
Most other cutting board materials have their benefits, but they also come with specific weaknesses. Glass is highly breakable. Plastic is prone to look bad after short-term use and can also retain harmful bacteria if it’s not properly cleaned. Other cutting board materials such as marble, metal, and stone can appear very chic and upscale, but they can also dull the edge on your knives in no time at all. Wood not only provides a solid cutting surface, but it can also self-heal, even after years of use. Of course, different types of wood have different features, and some cost more than others, but overall, wood is the best material for the job of slicing, dicing, and more.
Which Wood Is Best?
Think about how much of a workout your cutting board(s) get. Most folks can get by with bamboo cutting boards, which are lower-priced and don’t require much upkeep. If you’re a professional or a gifted amateur chef who prepares fine meals every night, though, splurge a little on a better grade of wood for your cutting board.
The best woods are teak, cherry, maple, cypress, or walnut. These hardwoods are incredibly tough and harder to damage with regular use. They also have fewer pores than other woods, meaning there’s nowhere for bacteria to lurk and fester. Higher grade wood requires maintenance. You should never machine wash a cutting board. Some need periodic treatment with mineral oil. But the extra cost for live edge wood cutting boards made with the above wood types is worth it. Also, as an interesting side note, most of these woods come from trees that produce fruits, nuts, and other edibles and don’t produce toxins that can seep into food.
Wood Just Looks Better
When deciding how to choose the best wooden cutting board, remember that wood is one of the few materials that develop character and beauty the more you use it. As mentioned, many wooden cutting boards require some upkeep, such as getting beeswax or other kinds of food-grade mineral oil rubbed onto their surface. This prevents warping, shrinking, or splitting and helps the wood retain its nice color. While you may not feel the need to display many of your kitchen tools, you might want to leave your nice cutting board out in the open for all to see and admire. And they make great cheese and charcuterie boards, too!