The kitchen is not just a place where you cook. Today, it's a space in the house which people decorate and maintain as beautifully as their living room or bedroom. That's why, be it shelves or counter-tops, special attention is paid to the material used to construct them. Speaking of counter tops, since people are spending so much money in getting the counter tops made, any kind of cooking activity, such as chopping and cutting, should be avoided on them, as they can spoil the beauty of the counter tops. This is where cutting boards come in.
The cutting boards that are available today are either made of plastic or wood. Anything, right from vegetables to fruits to meats can be cut on them. There are diverse views with regards to which is a better option, plastic or wood. In this HomeQuicks article, we compare plastic and wood cutting boards, on various counts.
Which is Better - Wood or Plastic Cutting Boards?
Research has shown that wooden cutting boards are porous, which makes it easier for bacteria to enter them. However, the bacteria is not able to reproduce itself in wood and experiences a natural death. On the other hand, plastic cutting boards are not porous and thus, bacteria sit on top of their surface, making them slightly less hygienic, in comparison to the wooden boards. Secondly, when you chop vegetables or cut meats on a board, it is but obvious that it will develop nicks and cuts. However, there is a difference when cuts develop on a wooden board as compared to on a plastic board. The nicks that develop on a wooden board, get closed up after a while. On the other hand, the nicks and cuts that develop on a plastic board, do not get closed. This results in accumulation of bacteria in the plastic boards, which can transfer onto the vegetables, making it hazardous to eat them.
The life of a wooden board is greater as compared to the plastic one. Plastic boards need to be discarded after a while, as they develop deep cuts and nicks, which makes it inconvenient to work on them. Wooden boards can last a long time, provided they are not kept in water for long while cleaning.
Since these days, all the kitchen accessories are coordinated with the decor, plastic cutting boards offer much more variety in terms of the colors, sizes and shapes available. Moreover, plastic boards are lightweight and hence look sleeker in comparison to the wooden cutting boards, when placed on top of the kitchen counter.
When it comes to cleaning the cutting boards, wooden boards have an upper hand. The reason being that the cuts and nicks in a plastic board are deep, making it difficult to fully clean the leftovers in them. At the same time, washing plastic cutting boards is comparatively more convenient than wooden cutting boards, as the former can be washed in the dishwasher, while the latter cannot be. However, to completely get rid of the bacteria and germs, the cutting board needs to be kept under hot water for some time. This is true for both wooden as well as plastic boards.
With a wooden cutting board, one does not need to buy knives again and again. As plastic is a much harder material than wood, when knives are used to cut meats and vegetables on it, they tend to become dull quicker. So, one needs to invest in knives much more frequently when using a plastic board. However, plastic boards are much cheaper as compared to wooden ones. So, one needs to spend very little money to get a plastic cutting board for the kitchen.
As you can see, both types of cutting boards have their own pluses and minuses, so choose the one which suits your cooking and kitchen requirements. One last advice before I sign off - If you are really particular about maintaining hygiene in your cooking, a good idea is to have four cutting boards, instead of one i.e. one each for chicken, other meats, fish and fruits/vegetables. This will ensure that no contamination of food occurs!