this question more times than not from our customers- why is a wood cutting
board better than a plastic one? Some of the concerns that arise when
considering wood cutting boards vs. plastic cutting boards are
and bacteria contamination with a wood cutting board
wear and tear on a wood cutting board
- Cost of wood cutting
boards vs. being able to buy a few plastic cuttting boards
- Not knowing how to
properly maintain a wood cutting board
these concerns in mind, we wanted to discuss these in depth and provide an
insider perspective to help with your decision on your upcoming purchase.
- 1.Meat and bacteria contamination with a wood cutting board
been extensive research around this topic from numerous agencies and kitchens
and the results are astounding. Basically, the thought is that plastic cutting
boards are less hospitable to bacteria and don’t harbor harmful molecules that
cause food borne illnesses.
the single most concerning factor in deciding a plastic cutting versus a wooden
cutting board so we will cover this in depth!
University of Wisconsin and College of Agricultural Research Division conducted
a study and found that wood actually kills bacteria versus the thought that
bacteria lives in a wooden cutting board. They tested several bacterial
strains- salmonella, listeria, and enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli and found
that after three minutes after contaminating a board that 99.9% of the bacteria
on wooden cutting boards had died! At the same time the bacterial strains on
the plastic cutting boards didn’t die. And actually they even increased on the
plastic cutting boards when held at room temperatures overnight.
late 1980s, a UC Davis researcher named Dean Cliver, who also headed the above
findinds, found that whule plastic cutting boards are easier to sanitize they
get lots of grooves where bacteria can hide. Wood is tougher in nature- both in
sanitization but also you won’t find deep scratches or grooves in the surface
of a wooden cutting board.
- Bacteria have essentially poorer life conditions on wood
compared with synthetic materials, like plastics
also has poorer life conditions on wood, especially dry wood
In many instances, certain species of wood exuded ideal characteristics with killing bacteria almost immediately.
going There is ongoing research around what is in a wood that makes it so inhospitable to bacteria. I think the answer lies in that wood has natural defense
mechanisms designed to keep itself healthy and growing when alive. Wood is a
living organism that fends off bacterias all the time! And there is no difference
when it comes to a wooden cutting board.
- 2.The wear and tear of a wooden cutting board
consumers are concerned about a wooden cutting board getting too much use and
it wearing out. Many thinner cutting boards, like bamboo or cheap designs from
China do wear out and become unusable. They will literally crack and split
because of how thin they are. We will cover that a bit more in depth in our
soaks up water and dries out, it shrinks and expands causing a lot of movement
in the wood fibers. The grain patterns have a difficult time keeping up and
will literally separate from each other. Over time this pattern causes more and
more defects in the wood cutting board.
important factor is the dryness of most homes during the winter time. Wood
cutting boards, when not seasoned properly, and under dry winter conditions
will shrink over time and cause splitting and cracking.
is to keep your wood cutting board seasoned and maintained as you use it.
Proper cleaning methods and a good conditioner will assit in your board staying
stable and help prevent splitting and cracking.
- 3.Cost of wood cutting boards versus buying a few plastic cutting
This is a
no-brainer for consumers. Plastic cutting boards are considerably cheaper than
wood cutting boards. Many people prefer to have a few cutting boards for the different
tasks in their kitchen. One for raw meat and others for vegetables and fruits.
While this is true, you can get a few plastic boards for way cheaper than a
wooden one, plastic cutting boards have their limitations.
cutting boards will get more damage to its’ surface than a wooden one, with
many grooves from cutting on it. Wood ones are more resilient.
dedicating one side of your wood cutting board for meat use and the opposite
for vegetables and everything else. This gets more even use but also turns your
board into a 2-in-1!
having multiple wooden cutting boards is great for business, but not on your
wallet. Take proper care and love of your wood cutting board and it will far
outlast any plastic cutting board.
- 4.Not knowing how to properly maintain a wooden cutting board
So, last but
not least. Now you’ve decided a wooden cutting board is best for your ktihcen
and for your health. But what do you do for proper maintenance?
I wrote a blog post awhile back about the best methods for maintaining wooden cutting
boards and it was wildly popular.
important factors are to not submerge your wooden cutting board in water. This
causes major stress on your wooden cutting board! And makes any cutting board
maker cry! Gently wipe your board with water and use mild soap only when
needed. When you need to disinfect your board, use a combination of salt and
lemon juice for sterilizing.
keep a good eye on your wooden cutting board. When it looks dried out, that’s your
sign to bust out some
wood conditioner and get your elbow grease on. Regular
and routine application of a good wood conditioner will build up the resilience
of your wooden cutting board. Eventually you will notice that the wood cutting
board beads up water instead of water and liquids soaking into your wooden
Third, store your board upright. Especially if it doesn’t have
any feet! When a board is stored upright it allows good air circulation and
even drying between uses.
And as always, drop me a message, I would love to help you!