What Is The Best Chopping Board For You?
- Corner Cutting Board - Teak Wood
- Lionswood Colossal | Teak Cutting Board
- Teak Cutting Board | Large Size | Horizontal Grain
- Teak Cutting Board | Medium Size
- Infinity Series | Wood Grain Cutting Board | Medium
- Types Of Chopping Boards
- Why Do You Need A Good Chopping Board
- What To Look For In A Chopping Board
- Chopping Board Recommendations
- How To Take Care Of Your Chopping Board?
- Frequently Asked Questions About Chopping Boards
- Extra: Basic Knife Chopping Skills
Often overlooked, a chopping board is one of the most important items in the kitchen. And very often, this is something you realize only when you finally get a good chopping board in your hands and notice the huge difference that it makes.
So let us discover more about what makes a good chopping board, good; and why should it matter to you!
1. Types Of Chopping Boards
A cutting board or a chopping board is a surface that has been designed as a kitchen utensil, so you can cut, slice or chop things on it. They come in a variety of materials, which mostly define the type of board you are getting.
Wood cutting boards
Wooden cutting boards are among the best options you can buy. They are appreciated for being very hygienic and anti-microbial. Wood cutting boards work great for bread or meat, for example, and some wooden boards are simply too beautiful. However, they require special maintenance, for example, they should be hand washed (never in the dishwasher) and cleaned properly and frequently; since they absorb odors and bacteria more than other materials.
The difference between end grain and edge grain
There are two types of wood cutting boards: end grain and edge grain. Edge grain boards are the most common. They are made by assembling parallel pieces of wood. An end grain board, on the other hand, is made from end pieces of wood and shows a checkerboard pattern. They are considerably better for your sharp knives.
Bamboo cutting boards
Just as anti-bacterial as a wood cutting board, only lighter and easier to clean. Bamboo cutting boards are environmentally-friendly because they come from a sustainable, renewable source, it’s popular among eco-activists. But, compared to wood boards, bamboo cutting boards are also harder on your knives.
Plastic cutting boards
Plastic cutting boards can be a bit controversial. While they are, in fact, easier to clean and dishwasher-safe; They’re also prone to get knife marks and scratches on the surfaces where bacteria can easily grow. Plastic’s main advantage is still that this is the most affordable option; and also the easiest to carry everywhere you go: camping trips, picnics, etc.
There are other more alternative cutting boards made of materials like paper composite, but they’re not as common. And then there’s glass, granite, rubber boards and marble cutting boards; which are not recommended because they’ll ruin your knives quite quickly.
2. Why Do You Need A Good Chopping Board?
Cutting boards are essential for preparing any dish that requires cutting meats, vegetables, fruits or bread. So basically, unless you’re having cereal and milk for dinner every night; then this is an item you’ll be using quite frequently.
But, as with everything, there is a difference between a high-quality choice and a poor quality choice.
These are the reasons why you shouldn’t take your chopping board purchase lightly:
Reason 1. To keep your kitchen clean at all times. Most flexible cutting boards come with a juice groove or moat that saves time and effort when cleaning the countertop and washing the dishes.
Reason 2. Cutting boards made of high quality materials improve hygiene in the kitchen, prevent cross-contamination, food poisoning and the spread of harmful bacteria and germs.
Reason 3. A proper chopping board will protect your sharp, high-quality knives from losing their edge quickly. So if you’re investing in a good knife; you should also invest in a good board; otherwise you’re losing money.
Reason 4. A high quality wood cutting board will offer great durability and stand up to heavy daily use for years (given that you take good care of them).
Reason 5. Some cutting boards, like a butcher block, ensure an excellent surface with the sturdiness and safety that is needed when cutting foods like raw meat.
Reason 6. Some cutting boards are multifunctional and can be used as serving trays or charcuterie boards.
Reason 7. There are beautiful cutting boards out there that look great in the kitchen and will complement your style and décor.
What are the negatives of owning a cheap chopping board?
- Plastic cutting boards are famous for being easy to clean, mostly because they can be put in the dishwasher. But your knife will easily scratch and corrupt the surface of a flexible plastic board, creating the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive. Not even your beloved dishwasher is 100% effective there. So at the end of the day, a cheap plastic board is not the “easiest” choice.
- Most cheap cutting boards absorb odors and meat juices, encouraging bacterial growth.
- Because of the previously mentioned risk; you should throw away a chopping board that develops noticeable grooves on its surface. So you will need to re-invest frequently in the same item, resulting in loss of money, time and energy.
- Some boards’ designs are based on cost or looks; made with materials that will damage your knives and make them dull.
3. What To Look For In A Chopping Board
Just like your other cookware like frying pans; when it comes to choosing a cutting board, you need to know what you’re looking for. Details like size, material, maintenance and even color can be decisive in ensuring that you end up with the perfect board for your kitchen.
A cutting board allows us to work in an organized, safe and comfortable way. And because any recipe will require that you prepare the ingredients, we always need at least one good cutting board.
First, make sure you’re getting an actual chopping board. There are some beautiful serving boards that can be tempting; but are not exactly the best surface to work with food.
The next most important thing is the choice of material. As we explained before, different materials will offer different characteristics and advantages (and disadvantages, of course).
Boards made of synthetic materials, better known as plastic cutting boards, are inexpensive, lightweight and dishwasher-safe. They also come in more “fun” presentations than other materials. But the truth is their surface is easily damaged. Our final advice here is that you get one good-quality plastic board for your repertoire, for special occasions like a camping trip; but don’t have it as your main go-to chopping board.
Traditional wood chopping boards are not only charming but also safe from possible bacteria. There is a wide variety of boards in different woods, finishes and prices. The most common are made of maple, walnut, cherry, beech, and teak.
Bamboo boards are also very popular and offer a good price-benefit ratio.
There are boards made of other materials such as stone, slate, granite, glass, rubber or marble, which are actually more suitable for serving and presentation than for kitchen use.
Size does matter when it comes to cutting boards. Of course it must be adequate to our space, so consider your available storage space at all times. But if you do have enough space, then the bigger the better!
The surface should be firm and stable; but not too hard. A harder surface will make your knives dull. We wouldn’t want that.
The ideal chopping board should be easy to clean, because you’ll have to clean it after every use. If you’re a dishwasher fan, you should look for materials that can accommodate this preference.
It is advisable to own at least two cutting boards, one for raw meat and another for foods like bread or vegetables; to avoid cross-contamination. You can get them in different designs and colors to avoid confusion.
Sometimes accessory features, like non-spill or non-slip characteristics, can make a huge difference. For example, I find a juice groove non-negotiable. This juice groove collects all the liquids from the fruits, vegetables or meats that you cut. Some boards also have a rubber or silicone base that prevents slips and therefore, accidents.
You can get a flexible cutting board at all kinds of prices. As a rule, you should be wary of the ones that are too cheap; as they will for sure end up being low-quality and even unsafe. There are high end boards, like John Boos Maple, but you can also get a board that fits your needs and expectations within a reasonable price range. I say look at the above mentioned characteristics first; and then assess your options according to your budget (instead of the other way around).
4. Chopping Board Recommendations
Although Dalstrong may not be known as a cutting board company, we certainly offer cooking enthusiasts a lot more than our premium kitchen knives. We strive to bring our customers the highest quality kitchen tool from every category. With that said, check out our beloved cutting boards below.
This is a modern cutting board made of tropical teak wood, which makes it very durable and resistant. Its clever ‘shield’ design fits into your countertop and ingeniously increases your usable space. It is stable, comfortable and safe for everyday chopping tasks, while beautifying the kitchen with its sleek and sophisticated style.
- Handcrafted from 100% natural, sustainably-sourced, environmentally friendly teak wood.
- The checkerboard construction offers a non-slip surface that absorbs impact and does not damage your knife edge.
- Slides easily and fits firmly into the corner of your counter thanks to the stabilizing block at its bottom base that keeps it securely in place.
- Highly resistant to moisture and bacteria.
- Special things require special care. You should know that this board needs frequent oiling and extra care.
- If you don’t have a corner available in your kitchen; then the shape of this cutting board may not be that interesting for you.
- Although this piece can last a lifetime, the price may be high for some.
- Some people prefer fully round cutting boards.
This luxurious oversized multi-purpose board, made from tropical teak wood and satin steel handles, is practically a cooking station on its own. This can become your butcher block, your food preparation space, your serving platter or cheese board and obviously, your favorite chopping board.
- It has two complementary steel handles on both sides for carrying, serving and elegantly presenting everything from meats to bread, cheeses or fruits.
- The board features an underside where you can put a plate for easy transfer of food.
- End grain wood and checkered construction offers a non-slip surface that absorbs impact, and protects the blade and cutting edge of your knives.
- The dense grain of teakwood ensures a hygienic cutting surface that is resistant to water, bacteria and stains.
- It can also be used as a butcher block.
- Almost big enough to become an extension of your kitchen.
- “Colossal” has its drawbacks. The large size board its weight are not for every cook. It’s only perfect if you’re looking for this kind of feel.
- Clearly oversized for some kitchens. Consider your storage space.
3. Teak Cutting Board | Large Size | Horizontal Grain
The dimensions of this board are just ideal for performing all your daily cutting tasks, even the largest preparations. Not as massive as Dalstrong’s lionswood board; but larger than your average cutting board.
- Handcrafted from 100% natural teak wood.
- Hard enough to ensure clean, precise cuts; yet soft enough to protect your knives.
- Includes measuring lines on the bottom.
- Anti-spill groove to collect food juices and other liquids.
- Easy to use, clean and store.
- Non-slip pieces on the back to hold the board firmly to the countertop.
- Not dishwasher safe; so some effort is required for proper cleaning.
- Not as easy to carry around on a trip or a special event.
4. Teak Cutting Board | Medium Size
This medium-sized cutting board is ideal for working on simple everyday preparations that call for chopping, mincing, dicing and slicing all your ingredients. The pattern on the surface is also beautiful and prone to become one of your favorite kitchen items.
- Beautiful aesthetics thanks to the contrasting patterns unique to teak wood.
- Ideal size for everyday tasks.
- Checkered construction with a non-slip surface.
- Hygienic, durable and easy-to-maintain cutting surface.
- Laser-engraved measuring lines that will not fade over time.
- Juice groove, non-slip feet and curvatures on the bottom to secure the board.
- Depending on what it is that you cook frequently; you may need a bigger chopping board.
- Not as environmentally friendly as bamboo cutting boards.
5. How To Take Care Of Your Chopping Board?
- Don’t soak your board for long periods as this could lead to weakening or warping of the wood.
- Scrub your cutting board with soap and warm water.
- After rinsing, dry immediately. Use a towel first for the excess water and then let it air dry standing up.
- Oil your board at least once a month. Ideally, you should oil it after washing it several times. Use food-grade mineral oil.
- Do not place hot pots or pans on the wooden surface.
6. Frequently Asked Questions About Chopping Boards
What is the difference between a cutting board and a chopping board?
Both terms may be used interchangeably and imply no difference regarding the cooking process. However, if you hear the term “chopping block” it may be referring to a butcher block.
What is the difference between a cutting board and a carving board?
A carving board is intended as a base for cutting meat. So, for example, while cutting boards may or may not have a juice groove; a carving board will always feature one to drain all the meat juices.
What is a butcher block?
A butcher block is a sturdy chopping surface for cutting meat; similar to those used by a butcher. They feature a distinctive edge grain on the surface. Butcher blocks are thicker than most regular cutting boards.
Are wooden cutting boards hygienic?
Wooden boards can be perfectly hygienic as long as they’re provided with proper and regular cleaning.
Are plastic cutting boards safe?
Plastic cutting boards can be safe and hygienic at first. However, if scratches and grooves start to appear on the plastic surface; it may be time to replace the board with a new one.
Are bamboo cutting boards safer than plastic?
A bamboo cutting board is a fair option for a cutting board; being as safe as wooden boards and more sophisticated than plastic. However, bamboo cutting boards are not as nice to your knives.
Should I use different colors for several cutting boards?
One common technique to ensure food safety is using color codes to identify cutting boards intended for different uses. For example, a red chopping board is meant for raw meat, yellow for cooked meat, green for fruits and vegetables, and so on.
Can I use a cutting board for rolling out cookie dough?
Yes, they’re actually one of the best surfaces for rolling out dough and even transferring it to the freezer.
Which board is better for vegetables: wood, bamboo or plastic?
More than just checking if it’s a wooden, plastic or bamboo cutting board; when it comes to cutting vegetables you should be looking for specific characteristics like size (big enough to comfortably prepare veggies) and a juice groove to drain all the water in them.
7. Extra: Basic Knife Chopping Skills
A safe use of your cutting board also includes your abilities with the knife. And since you already have your board set and your knives in hand; let’s review a few basic recommendations:
- Have a good set of knives. There are many different types of knives, each designed for different cuts or foods. One could say that you will succeed at most tasks with a standard knife set that includes an 8" chef's knife, a 4" paring knife and an 8" serrated knife.
- Keep them sharp. Use sharpening steels whenever necessary to keep your knives sharp. A dull knife is not only dangerous, but pointless.
- Learn the basic techniques. Chopping, dicing, slicing, julienne… make sure you master different knife cuts before you put on your apron.
- Place your cutting board correctly. Your cutting board should always be stable and at a comfortable height for you.
- Gripping and finger placement. Experts say you should grab the knife like you want to “choke it”. Fingers tucked behind the bolster and thumb firmly on the blade, a.k.a “the handle grip” is a good start for beginners. As for the food you’re cutting, you should press firmly with your fingers curled like a claw.