Cutting boards are an essential part of the kitchen; they go hand in hand with your kitchen knife. They can be made from different materials, including plastic, wood, glass, and bamboo. It is essential to note that each of these types has its pros and cons, making them suitable or not for food prepping.
In this article, we would be focusing on bamboo cutting boards, answering the vital question: is bamboo good for cutting boards? The quick answer is yes, they are. There are several benefits as sanitary conditions, require low maintenance, aesthetically pleasing, and eco-friendly.
Types of Cutting Board
Cutting boards are classified based on their component material. As a result, we have four types of cutting boards; they are wooden, glass, bamboo, and plastic cutting boards. To save your money, it is good you know the importance of each of these types of cutting boards; learn their strength and weaknesses. This is crucial because each cutting board has specific food items it is used for; some cannot be used for raw meat, fish, or poultry. Some are very hard and can damage your blade in the long run. So, all these you must consider when getting yourself a new cutting board.
1. Wood Cutting Boards
These are cutting boards made of wooden material. They are very popular and high in demand and keeps your knife blade sharp for a long time, i.e., they do not dull the blades. However, they are porous and as such, can easily absorb whatever you place on top of them. This way, it is easy for bacteria to be retained and then transferred into your vegetables and others. Great for herbs, vegetables, and bread only.
2. Plastic Cutting Boards
These are made from polythene material and are used commonly by professional chefs. They last long and are very easy to wash (hand washing or using a dishwasher). They, however, harbor bacteria more than wood cutting boards and are thus not ideal for long-term usage. Hence, this cutting board is ideal for prepping different types of protein, like poultry, fish, and meat.
3. Glass Cutting Boards
These are essentially made of glass. They are not porous and thus easier to clean than the two types mentioned above. However, they are not ideal for your knives as the blade of your knife dulls faster.
4. Bamboo Cutting Boards
As the saying goes, the best is often left for the last. And yes, the bamboo cutting board is the best there is amongst the different types. It has the same features like the wood board; it is hard to clean, and it is porous, trapping in food and microorganisms. However, it is harder than wood, thus making it less porous compared to wood. It requires constant oiling to prevent the bamboo from splitting open. Proper care and maintenance make them the best option, seeing as they protect your food ability. This type of cutting board is our major point of focus in this article.
Why is Bamboo good for cutting boards?
Over the years, the popularity of bamboo cutting boards has skyrocketed to the extent where it is now easily the favorite type of cutting board available. Industry specialists figured that since bamboo is known to possess more benefits than traditional wood, it was possible to process it into flat timber and harness that benefit, hence the emergence of bamboo cutting boards.
There are several benefits attached to purchasing a bamboo cutting board, and they include:
This is the first and most essential benefit of the bamboo cutting board. Bamboo is a highly dense material, and as a result, it does not easily get scarred by knives while in use. They are also able to resist water penetration. This is beneficial because there will be no openings on the cutting board surface where bacteria and microorganisms can stay. Use of soap and hot water is all that is therefore required to keep your cutting board in a top healthy condition. As often as you can, you should also make use of bleach diluted with water to keep it clean and free from germs.
Requires Low Maintenance
Every cutting board made of wood needs regular maintenance by constant oiling to prevent the wood from splitting or warping.
However, bamboo cutting boards don’t need this as much as traditional wood cutting boards. The reason for this is due to the dense nature of the wood, making them water-resistant. They thus do not warp or crack easily. This gives them an edge over the traditional wood cutting boards made of maple or other wood types. You should, however, avoid washing with a dishwasher to prevent damaging the cutting board from extreme heat conditions. And ensure you wipe it dry after washing, do not leave it to soak in water.
They are Durable
Another reason why you should purchase a bamboo cutting board is its unrivaled durability. With a bamboo cutting board, you are guaranteed to have fewer marks and ridges left due to the impact of the knife on your cutting board.
Besides, they do not crack or warp easily, and as a result, the board remains smooth, looking as good as new for a longer time than any other cutting board type.
Bamboo has a natural look accompanied by a touch of elegance. This makes it pleasant to the eyes and is thus amongst the reason it is loved by top chefs. It adds a sense of style to your kitchen and continues to do so for a long time, so you don’t have to worry about losing the appeal it has. Moreover, they are well able to resist food stains and thus safe for cutting or dicing even the most acidic food item.
Eco-Friendly Cutting Board
If you are an environmentalist like me and are concerned about keeping the environment green, then you should purchase a bamboo cutting board. Unlike traditional wood cutting boards made from trees which take years to grow to maturity, bamboo plants are fast-growers and take 3-6 years to grow fully. As a result, they are renewable and can be replenished quickly. They are also easy to harvest and require little labor. Hence, they are environmentally friendly.
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Cons Of Bamboo Cutting Board
Surprised to see that? Well, we can’t disregard the fact that whatever has an advantage equally has some disadvantages most of the time, and the bamboo cutting board is no exception to the rule. Due to the nature of the material, there are some downsides to the cutting board; they are:
Not safe with dishwasher
Bamboo is a dense material and does not do well with heat. As a result, the introduction of heat or steam will reduce the material lifespan due to crack/warp. This way, the cutting board gets damaged, losing the properties listed above.
Consequently, to protect the uniqueness of the cutting board, you must avoid using a dishwasher, or any form of contact with heat.
Dulls knife edges
As a result of the dense nature of the wood, the edges of your knives are not safe with this cutting board. They can easily fold over with time when you use a bamboo cutting board to consistently prep food. Besides, there’s a high silica level content in the bamboo; this material is known to cause rapid dulling of knife edges.
They are also not as consistent as wood due to the process of binding them together, and hence they have soft portions located between the nodes of the cutting board. This causes uneven wearing of your blade, leading to the shredding of the knife’s edges. As a result, you would need to take proper care of your knife and ensure you sharpen them more frequently than you would if it was a wood cutting board.
The process of manufacturing bamboo cutting boards involves binding the bamboo together. This is done using adhesives which can sometimes be toxic. If this is the case, it would completely negate all the hygienic properties of the bamboo cutting board.
And so, when purchasing a bamboo cutting board, you must check the nature of the adhesive and its composition. This would help you avoid toxic adhesives and allow you to reap the full benefit of having the product.
Top 3 Best rated bamboo cutting boards to buy
- Royal Extra Large Organic Bamboo Cutting Board
- Greener Chef Extra Large Bamboo Cutting Board
- Farberware Bamboo Cutting Board set
How do I take care of my Bamboo cutting board?
Here are a few ways to care for your bamboo cutting board,
- Wash your cutting board immediately you finish using it, and ensure you dry before storing it.
- Avoid leaving the cutting board in your washing sink to soak.
- Do not use a dishwasher or introduce any form of heat to avoid cracking and warping.
- Ensure you oil as often as possible, using mineral oil. Avoid using cooking oils for this purpose, as they leave an unpleasant smell and taste when they turn rancid.
- For stains or smells, use a damp warm rag to scrub in baking soda or lemon juice. This gives your board a clean, fresh smell.
- Dilute bleach using warm water before applying them to your cutting board. Do not use undiluted bleach.
Cutting boards come in various types, each offering its perks to the kitchen and meal prep. However, Bamboo cutting boards are without a doubt above them all for several reasons discussed above.
Consequently, I am positive that you can answer the question; is bamboo good for cutting boards? The obvious answer is yes, they are. Therefore, it’s not just enough to have a cutting board as a kitchen accessory; you must get one that is safe, hygienic, eco-friendly, etc. And all these you can find on a bamboo cutting board.