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Nowadays, wood cutting boards have become sleeker, smaller, and easier to store. They are polished and aplenty. Today, there is a variety of store aisles and web pages full of options, so it’s not easy to locate the right cutting board.
In this post, we will let you know how to choose the best wood for cutting boards. Here are some important features you should consider when choosing your cutting board.
- Benefits of Wood Cutting Boards for Your Kitchen
- Things to Look for in a Good Cutting Board
- The Best Choices for Cutting Board Wood
- The Types of Wood Grain
Benefits of Wood Cutting Boards for Your Kitchen
Variety of Options
There is a variety of cutting board options from hardwood to match any homeowner’s style or preference such as end grain butcher block, edge grain butcher block, wide plank, rustic edge, and a live edge.
Each of these options offers its unique characteristics of style and construction. Each of them looks great and works at a high level.
Durable and Reliable
One of the most important benefits of wood cutting boards is the durability. These cutting boards are capable of withstanding heavy daily use. You just need to give them the right attention and maintenance, they will last for years.
Therefore, it’s a great excellent investment in a wood cutting board. It’s also a safe tool for your kitchen. It offers a sturdy and reliable surface that helps to prevent you from getting injuries.
Easy to Maintain
Compared to other materials like plastic, wood is easy to clean as well as maintain. Due to this, these products don’t contaminate. Therefore, they are fully ready to prepare food.
When using cutting boards made of other materials, you may get in stuck with limited options. Woodcutting boards are made to meet your individual needs. There are some design options such as customized handle length, juice grooves and finger slots, as well as holes for hanging.
Add to Your Kitchen’s Style
Besides their functions, these cutting boards are also aesthetically pleasing. When using wood cutting boards, you can add natural warmth and beauty to your kitchen.
If you want to make a traditional appearance in your kitchen, it’s a good idea to choose a wood cutting board. Moreover, it can help to add some rustic flair to your home as well.
Things to Look for in a Good Cutting Board
There are many sizes of cutting boards from 6×8 inches to 24×18 inches. You should choose bigger cutting boards. In spite of being great for slicing cheese and mincing garnishes, small ones are limiting. If you use a too small cutting board, you may get even a dangerous accident.
Check whether the unit you choose is big enough to lay the knife diagonally across the cutting board surface.
Wooden boards are not different much in terms of thickness, just about 1/2-2 inches. You should choose the thicker one since they will less warp or split. The fact is that these units can also retain their shape through time because they take longer to absorb liquid.
Moreover, thicker ones are heftier as well. They are capable of holding their place on countertops. Therefore, they offer a safer work environment in the kitchen.
Wood comes in two major types, softwood and hardwood. Softwoods are evergreen trees such as cedar, hickory, redwood, and pine. Hardwoods are leaf-bearing trees that produce nuts or fruits such as mahogany, cherry, oak, maple, and teak. Softwoods tend to grow faster. That’s why hardwoods are the best choice for cutting boards.
In fact, too soft wood will be scratched and damaged easily. However, if you choose one that is too hard, it can cause a knife to come down hard on the surface. It’s best to choose a number between 900-1,500 such as bamboo, walnut, and maple.
The fact is that woods are always food safe. There are some common forms of wood toxicity such as irritation, runny nose, swelling, rash, and poisoning or intestinal disorders. You can stick to varieties known to produce edible fruits, leaves, nuts, or sap.
There are some pretty exotic woods out there, so you need to leave them out of your kitchen. Otherwise, their toxins may be absorbed into the food.
In addition to the wood, all cutting boards also should be non-toxic. You should remove substances with fights orders and others with triclosan or petroleum distillates.
Some cutting boards have a few nifty added features. Some models come with handles that allow you to carry and store. Some models have textured grips on the bottom side that helps to avoid any slips and slides while chopping.
If you have a lot of raw meat or fruit, you should choose cutting boards with juice grooves around the perimeter. They are great for collecting any liquid runoff.
Some models even have feet. This feature helps to clean and dry the board much easier. However, these products only are recommended for heavier styles.
The Best Choices for Cutting Board Wood
Depending on the criteria above, you want to get a hardwood with a closed grain. This is a good choice for those who want a durable cutting board. Moreover, it’s scratch-resistant. It also doesn’t get grimy. Here are a few best wood species:
This is actually the industry standard when we discuss wooden cutting boards. At 1,450 lbf on the Janka scale, it offers a great cutting surface which prevents daily chopping but doesn’t ruin a good cutting edge. There are also dense closed grain and small pores in it. They can help to effectively block bacteria.
Although maple has a neutral color and a subtle grain that are suitable for every kitchen, it’s not easy to hide stains on its lighter-toned surface. Therefore, you shouldn’t leave freshly sliced beets or turmeric roots on this cutting.
Another great option is the walnut. Actually, it’s almost the exact opposite of maple. The walnut is one of the softest closed grain hardwoods. Although they are good on knives, they are more prone to scratches. This unit is popular for its rich-dark hue. This feature can help to mask everyday stains effectively. Therefore, you can get a chic look to your countertop.
If you want to get color alone, it’s a good idea to choose the cherry. It’s always a good decision to choose a thick slab of deep redwood no matter what you will do with the cutting board.
This tree is from Europe. It is known for many similarities to maple. This has the same hard. Actually, it’s not only hard-wearing but also effective at warding off the dirt. It comes with a creamier and soft-pink tone.
Teak cutting boards have been popular a few years ago. This hardwood is grown in Southeast Asia. If you want to get a solution with the resistance to mold and warping, this is a good choice for you. It’s ideal for outdoor furniture, boat fixtures, as well as kitchen cutting boards.
Because of teak’s closed grain and rich natural oils, it is waterproof. Compared to other wood types, you will need to use less mineral oil or conditioning.
Teak is rich in silica. It comes with a hardness of 1,070 lbf. It offers a scratch-resistant surface. However, if you use it frequently, it may dull your knife blade as well.
This is a good choice for the environment. This is not wood. However, it’s a hard grass that is renewable and sustainable. There is no chemical required to grow or harvest. Bamboo is known for a hardness rating of 1,380 lbf. It’s rich in silica and resistant to water. However, bamboo is relatively hard on knives.
Bamboo cutting boards have light hue and fine grain, so they are beautiful and modern. This is a good consideration for those who don’t use their beloved knife when slicing bread or cheese.
The Types of Wood Grain
Any piece of lumber comes with three surfaces, including edge grain, face grain, and end grain. The option of the grain determines the appearance of the cutting board. Also, it will affect your kitchen knives.
Face grain is known as the most attractive since it displays the full fibers of the wood. Their shorter ends include narrow slats glued together. There is the grain running horizontally along with the board.
This is considered as the most affordable of all the grains. In spite of it, this one is also the most susceptible to scratches from a knife’s blade.
This is a good choice in both quality and price. It is the same as face grain in construction. However, it comes with the thicker side. You still see a fair amount of scratches from the resulting board. However, edge grain is more durable and less prone to warping when compared to the face grain. This is an ideal place to start, especially if you are going for a thinner and lighter unit.
Many professionals choose the end grain because of its hard-wearing characteristics as well as the traditional chopping block silhouette. Instead of long slats, these models take the smallest side of the wood slats. Also, they are arranged in a checkerboard pattern.
In these boards, the wood fibers are exposed. This is to make a self-healing surface. It is known for its catch-and-release mechanism. Therefore, it can decrease the number of scratches on the board. Moreover, it’s much gentler on knives as well.
However, these cutting boards often are made with a nice amount of glue seams. The oil will evaporate very quickly because of the fibrous surface. Also, you have to give more conditioning to keep it in fine cutting form.
When it comes to a cutting board, there are many more things than just offering a flat surface. They are available in many sizes from board size to pore size. So, it’s not easy to make a decision on which one is suitable for you. Start with your ideal in mind. What will you use your cutting board for? How often will you use the cutting board? Then, you can be sure to look for the right wood cutting board.