Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Advantages of Wood Cutting Boards

You may wonder if it is better to buy a wood cutting boards or a board made from another material.

There are several arguments in favor of using wooden cutting boards, including that they…

  • absorb less water and bacteria
  • are less porous than other materials
  • are more attractive and functional
  • fight bacteria
  • have special bacteria-fighting properties
  • keep your knives in good working condition
  • last a long time
  • self-heal

However, there are also several arguments against using wood cutting boards, including that they…

  • can be cumbersome to wash
  • cannot be washed in the dishwasher
  • harbor bacteria
  • need to be oiled regularly

Types of wood…Wood cutting boards can be made from several different woods—such as acacia, oak, beech, chestnut, cherry and black walnut. maple, and teak. Teak is a great option because it absorbs very little liquid and so it will take longer for the board to wear out.

Grains of wood…There are two choitces as far as wood grain—end-grain and edge-grain.

End grain means that the board consists of many small pieces of wood assembled in a checkerboard pattern. Advantages of end-grain cutting boards include…

  • able to use more force when cutting without damaging your board
  • allowing the knife to slide between the vertical wood fibers
  • absorb the sharp edges of your knife without dulling them
  • being a bit easier on knives
  • being more durable
  • less likely for pieces of the board to break off into splinters
  • less risk of warping
  • typically thicker than edge grain

The only major disadvantage to end grain boards is the fact that the boards are usually much more expensive than other type of cutting board.

Edge grain means that strips of wood are laid side-by-side, in a similar fashion as bowling alley flooring and most butcher block countertops.

Advantages of edge-grain cutting boards include…

  • sturdier
  • last longer
  • less risk of warping
  • thicker

As far as disadvantages, edge grain boards show scratch and knife marks more easily and over time these can become permanent. Also, these boards can dull knives faster than end-grain cutting boards.

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