Sunday, July 28, 2013

Cooking: Different Types of Cutting Boards (Wood vs Plastic/Synthetic)

For a budget conscious newbie chef, the cheaper one is sufficient for the job to be done. You may consider spending a little more for a wood and synthetic combination (wood on one side and synthetic on the other). I researched the different types just to see the pros and cons to see if there is any real value differences for a green chef.

As for health, I did not find the arguments to choose one over the other. Scientifically, the synthetic can be proved about the germ count. Science could not prove that wood is bad for you although it could not be proven. I also cannot refute the long history of wooden boards. On the other hand, synthetic still gets cut up so who knows if micro-bits of the synthetic material gets in the food? I did not find any article that discusses this risk but I think there are greater risks in the frequency of eating greasy, fried, and other unhealthy foods.

As for cutting experience, they both seem to be about the same although it may have been slightly easier to cut through foods on the wood. Synthetic does seem to move around more when I cut certain foods. I feel more likely to chop harder on synthetic because psychologically I think it can take more force than wood. Although not possible, I am still afraid that I may just split the wooden board.

As for maintenance, both seem to be cut about the same amount. Synthetic does seem to stain more, so don't expect it to always return to its original color. I tend to over-clean the synthetic because I keep thinking that the stain will even fade away if I do but doesn't appear to be. The wood cannot be left in water which is not good if you have a tendency to leave things in the sink. The board gets especially warped if it is one of those wood and synthetic combinations when left in water for a long extended period of time.

Overall, I like a bigger and heavier synthetic cutting board if price is not considered. Grooves around the edge is nice for meats or foods that contain liquids. I do not like having holes for easy handle or storage because it makes the board larger but not my cutting area. Cosmetically, I like wooden boards when in storage but prefer a plain white board because it is easier to see the food. If anything, I'd like to have a ruler on the board. I have not seen that design.

Reference:
http://reluctantgourmet.com/tools/cutlery/item/268-cutting-boards-wooden-or-plastic