Wood vs Plastic Cutting Board: Choosing a Cutting Board

By The Kitchen Hacker | Cutting Board Tips & Tricks

Wood vs Plastic Cutting Board Choosing a Cutting Board
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When you visit the kitchen aisle in your local store, you’ll find that there are several different types of cutting boards that you can use. These range from glass to plastic.

However, deciding between wood vs plastic cutting board can be tough for someone who has never had to choose between one or the other before.

You can guarantee that each has their own benefits and disadvantages and this guide is designed to help you make the right choice for your kitchen.

The Benefits of Wood Cutting Boards

Aside from the fact that wood cutting boards simply look better on your counter than generic plastic ones, there are a few other benefits to take into consideration.

The Benefits of Wood Cutting Boards

Easy to Keep Clean

Contrary to popular belief, wood cutting boards are far more sanitary than plastic. Woods such as bamboo have their own assortment of natural antimicrobial and antibacterial properties along with the fact that you have to handwash wood cutting boards to avoid them becoming waterlogged.

Whereas with plastic cutting boards, you’re likely to simply throw them in the dishwasher, which leads to cracks and crevices not getting the attention they need. Unfortunately, this will cause the buildup of bacteria.

Knife-Safe

Another huge benefit to using wood cutting boards is that they are much safer for your knives than any other material. This is because it’s softer than plastic or glass.

Even though wood is relatively hard, it’s not something that is going to destroy the sharpness of your knives after one use.

Has Many Uses

It’s true that both wood and plastic cutting boards can be used for a variety of tasks, such as preparing meat and other ingredients. However, plastic cutting boards aren’t the most stylish option for displaying meats, cheeses, or even baked goods.

Wood cutting boards are far more versatile in this aspect, as you can easily transport ingredients to the board and use it for serving as well as preparation, thus saving you time and effort.

Looks Better Over Time

At the end of the day, no matter what cutting board you choose, it’s going to show signs of wear and tear. With that being said, the idea of weathered wood is far more aesthetically pleasing than a sheet of plastic filled with score marks.

Even if your wood cutting board starts to get marks, it’s still going to be one of the focal points of your kitchen. On the other hand, with a plastic cutting board, you might be more likely to stow it away once it experiences a little bit of damage.

The Benefits of Plastic Cutting Boards

After learning about those four advantages of wood cutting boards, you might be wondering, what’s left for plastic to offer? Luckily, plastic cutting boards have their own advantages that you might want to have in your kitchen.

Cost Efficient

Simply because plastic is easier to cultivate and manufacture, you can bet that plastic cutting boards are going to be more cost-effective than wood. This is perfect for the homeowner who is looking for a simple accessory that they can grab and use without having to worry about the amount of money they spent.

Relatively Maintenance-Free

As another difference between a wood vs plastic cutting board, plastic boards are relatively maintenance-free. Aside from making sure that you thoroughly sanitize the front and back of the cutting board, as well as any nooks and crannies, you won’t have to worry about splintering, cracking, or warping as a result of improper oiling and hydration.

With wood cutting boards, on the other hand, they need to be regularly oiled with food grade mineral oil, beeswax, or coconut oil to stay in their pristine condition.

Dishwasher-Safe

Even though it’s highly recommended that you avoid putting your plastic cutting board in the dishwasher, as it won’t be cleaned as well as you would be able to do with your hands, they are dishwasher-safe.

Wood cutting boards, on the other hand, cannot be submerged or exposed to a lot of water, as wood is a very porous material and excessive absorption of water can lead to significant damage. When it comes time to clean up after dinner, plastic cutting boards are simply easier to get clean.

Slight Knife Protection

If you’re looking for a plastic cutting board that is going to protect your knives to the best of its ability, we recommend searching for a cutting board made out of high-density polyethylene, also known as HDPE. This type of plastic is designed to emulate the softness of wood when it comes to your cutlery.

However, these cutting boards are going to be equally as expensive as wood. It’s typically recommended for people who like the idea of plastic more than wood.

​Final Thoughts

In terms of performance, higher quality plastic cutting boards perform similarly to wood, and both give you the ability to work easily with a wide variety of ingredients. However, wood cutting boards have a higher sanitization rating than plastic, especially as you are forced to wash them by hand.

If we are to decide between a wood vs plastic cutting board, a wooden word would be our preference. This is because, more often than not, they are 100% natural, easy to keep clean, and looks great in any kitchen.

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