The diversity of cutting boards
When I bought my bamboo cutting board, I was just looking for something basic and inexpensive. At the time I didn’t know much about the benefits of bamboo. But now I probably wouldn’t buy any other kind of cutting board for everyday use.
There’s nothing I love more than a clean living material that I don’t have to worry too much about when cleaning or maintaining. Well, maybe there’s a few things I love more than that, but it’s close!
If you need a little more room in the kitchen, an across the sink model is great for extra space. If you’re having a cocktail party with some charcuterie, a sleek wood model makes for an awesome presentation.
The best type of cutting board for your needs really depends on what you want to get out of it.
What are some benefits of bamboo cutting boards?
One of the best reasons to use bamboo products is just how eco friendly and sustainable they are. It is the fastest growing plant in the world making it even more renewable than regular wood.
Cutting boards are meant to take a beating over their life. The hardness and durability of bamboo makes it a great choice. But remember, this also means more of a beating back onto your knives!
My favorite reason for choosing bamboo is the antibacterial properties. Bamboo wood is naturally antibacterial. It’s also non porous. So not much of the food, moisture or bacteria will stick around after washing. Basically, the bamboo helps me do the cleaning. And I’ll take all the help with that I can get.
All these bamboo benefits pretty much ensure I’ll always recommend bamboo cutting boards. There’s so many kinds out there. You can get a beautiful one or just a run of the mill one and they’ll both work just great.
But the main reason I’ll recommended bamboo is the sustainability of it. Such a resilient and eco friendly material that’s also antibacterial? Win-win-win!
Other clean materials for cutting boards
Naturally, plastic is one of the worst materials for cutting boards for several reasons. Many plastics are manufactured with toxic chemicals, such as BPA. Plastic will get cuts in it from your knives creating little crevices for food particles and ultimately bacteria to accumulate. Gross.
This is why I won’t buy plastic cutting boards anymore. One slight upside about plastic cutting boards though is that there are so many clever and innovative designs. Sometimes they’ll be more than just a cutting board.
Glass cutting boards are a good clean living choice. They’re non porous, easy to clean, and can be attractive looking. Glass boards have the tendency to be a little too hard if you ask me. If you’re not well versed in chopping or your knife is a little dull, glass cutting boards can make your veggies go flying if the knife comes down too hard.
While this is a very avoidable problem, if you have kids trying to learn or significant others doing their best to help, it can be a little frustrating.
Regular wood is up there with bamboo as a great choice for cutting boards. It’s renewable, some varieties are also antibacterial and can be relatively inexpensive.
However, when you get into the beautiful higher end cutting boards, not only are they pricey, but you might be hesitant to use them as an everyday item to avoid scratches and cut marks.
Like I can’t even tell you how much I love this Mario cutting board but would probably never even want to cut on it!
But there’s good basic wood models too.
When choosing a material for your cutting board, you’ll want to weigh all these aspects. Do the pros outweigh the benefits of a bamboo cutting board?
How do bamboo cutting boards hold up to everyday use?
I’ve had my Lippert International cutting board for at least 4 or 5 years now. It’s stood up to a lot over the past several years. Although there’s many blemishes on it, I don’t feel like I need to get another yet.
You can see all of the cuts and scratches on the surface but when you feel it, it doesn’t feel as rough as it looks. Any cutting board will look like this after several years.
Because of its antibacterial properties, I can generally just give it a good scrub with warm water. But when it’s really dirty, it’ll get a good scrub with some mild dish soap.
This particular model has silicone around the edges, mostly for creating friction to grip to the counter, but maybe a little bit for aesthetics too.
It would’ve worked better if the silicone was covering more of the back of the board instead of just the edges. This is something you’ll want to look out for when shopping for a cutting board to avoid slippage.
Most of the time, it slips around on the counter when I’m using it. I fix that by putting a silicone mat under it. It’s definitely not perfect. It never really lays flat on the counter. But it’s not enough to render the cutting board useless.
I am a bit skeptical about this silicone though. I have an inkling there might be some lower quality fillers in it. Most silicone can withstand temperatures up to 450° (some manufacturers even say up to 500°).
See those two little notch holes on the side of my cutting board? They’re telling me either those temperature ranges aren’t accurate or this isn’t pure silicone. I’m guessing the latter.
If I remember correctly I was roasting something on my steel baking rack between 400° and 425°. So, with my kitchen being kinda small, I put the baking rack onto the cutting board to cool. In retrospect, probably not the best idea. I was most likely juggling 5 different dishes at the time and just saw the open spot on the counter. Regardless, high quality silicone should have been able to handle that temperature.
I actually didn’t notice the little notch holes until a few days later and pieced together what caused it (it was from the little “legs” of the baking rack). Clearly, I still use it every day and the melting silicone has little effect on it. But it is worth mentioning.
Do the benefits of bamboo outweigh other materials?
There’s no right answer here. It just depends.
If you’re looking for a great clean living material then, in my opinion, yes! But your needs are what matters when you’re looking for a new cutting board.
Do you care about longevity? Do you care about sustainability? Do you care about aesthetics? Do you care about price?
Aside from being made from a nontoxic, sustainable material, I personally look for ease of use and ease of cleaning. All of these particular benefits of bamboo put it at the top of my list.
While most manufacturers recommend treating your bamboo boards with oil, I’ve never really gotten around to doing that with mine. And even without that maintenance step it holds up just fine. Plus the antibacterial aspect is a no brainer for me.