Wood vs Plastic Cutting Board Which is Best for Food Safety

Wood vs Plastic Cutting Board: Which is Best for Food Safety? Complete Guide 2023

When it comes to the kitchen, one essential tool stands out: the cutting board. But with the vast array of options available, the age-old debate between wood and plastic cutting boards continues to ignite culinary conversations. It’s a clash between tradition and modernity, durability and convenience. Are you team wood, with its natural appeal and time-tested reliability? Or do you lean towards the sleek and practical plastic cutting board? Join us as we take on a culinary journey to unravel the secrets behind these two kitchen companions and discover which one reigns supreme in the battle of wood versus plastic cutting boards.


Wood vs Plastic Cutting Board: Which is Best for Food Safety? 2023

Wood vs Plastic Cutting Board: Which is Best for Food Safety? 2023

When it comes to slicing and dicing in the kitchen, the choice of cutting board can make a world of difference. Wood and plastic, two popular contenders, each bring their own set of advantages and considerations.

What is a wooden cutting board used for?

What is a wooden cutting board used for?

A wooden cutting board is a versatile kitchen tool that serves various purposes in food preparation. It provides a stable and sturdy surface for chopping and slicing various ingredients, including fruits, vegetables, herbs, and meats. The flat and durable surface of a wooden cutting board protects your countertops and helps maintain the sharpness of your knives.

A wooden cutting board offers ample space and grip when prepping ingredients, ensuring precision and safety while cutting. Its natural texture helps prevent slippage, allowing for controlled and accurate knife work.

Wooden cutting boards are particularly well-suited for carving large cuts of meat like roast, turkey, or ham. The density and durability of wood withstand the pressure of slicing through cooked meats, while its gentle surface minimizes the risk of damage to your carving knife.

For bread and pastry work, wooden cutting boards are ideal. The slight texture of the wood prevents excessive sticking, making it easier to knead dough, shape bread, and roll out pastry. This promotes better consistency in baked goods.

In addition to their practical uses, wooden cutting boards can be used as elegant serving platters for cheeses, charcuterie, fruits, and other appetizers. Their natural beauty and warm tones add a rustic charm to your table setting, making them perfect for entertaining guests.

Beyond their practical applications, wooden cutting boards can also serve as decorative elements in the kitchen. Whether hung on the wall or displayed on a shelf, they bring a touch of natural warmth and character to the culinary space.

Check: How to Prevent Wood Cutting Boards from Cracking?

What is a plastic cutting board used for?

What is a plastic cutting board used for?

Plastic cutting boards are a hygienic choice for general food preparation. They provide:

  • A smooth and non-porous surface.
  • Ensuring easy cleaning and maintenance when chopping.
  • Dicing.
  • Slicing various ingredients, including fruits, vegetables, meats, poultry, and fish.

One key benefit is their ability to prevent cross-contamination. By utilizing color-coded plastic cutting boards, with each color assigned to a specific food group, such as red for raw meat and green for vegetables, the risk of cross-contamination is minimized, thereby maintaining food safety in the kitchen.

Check: How Often Should I Sand And Refinish My Wood Cutting Board?

Plastic cutting boards are particularly suitable for handling raw meat and fish due to their non-porous nature. They resist absorbing juices or retaining odors, significantly reducing the chances of bacterial growth and foodborne illnesses.

Convenience is enhanced as plastic cutting boards are dishwasher safe, allowing for effortless cleaning and sanitization. They exhibit durability, withstanding high temperatures without warping or cracking over time.

The versatility and organizational benefits of plastic cutting boards are noteworthy. Their lightweight nature, varied sizes, and shapes make them easy to store and stack. Moreover, they can be conveniently used as portable surfaces for food preparation during outdoor cooking or grilling.

In commercial settings, such as kitchens, restaurants, and food processing facilities, plastic cutting boards are favoured due to their affordability, ease of cleaning, and ability to withstand heavy use. They are a reliable choice for maintaining food safety standards in professional environments.

Read: Can You Sand An Oiled Cutting Board?

Wood vs plastic cutting board for meat

Choosing between a wood and plastic cutting board for meat has its benefits and drawbacks.

Wood cutting boards are gentle on knives and have natural antimicrobial properties, which can help inhibit bacterial growth. However, 

These cutting boards need regular maintenance, such as hand washing and periodic oiling, to keep them in good condition. Wood cutting boards are not dishwasher safe.

Plastic cutting boards are easier to clean and can be sanitised in the dishwasher. They are also more resistant to staining and warping. 

Remember, plastic cutting boards can develop deep grooves that harbor bacteria, especially when heavily scratched.

Wood vs plastic cutting board for vegetables

Wood vs plastic cutting board for vegetables

Both wood and plastic options have their advantages regarding cutting boards for vegetables.

Plastic cutting boards are easy to clean, dishwasher safe, and resistant to staining. They are also less likely to harbor bacteria due to their non-porous surface.

Plastic cutting boards can develop deep grooves that may be challenging to clean thoroughly.

Wood cutting boards are gentle on knife blades, reducing the chances of them becoming dull. They also provide a natural and aesthetic appeal. 

Wood cutting boards need regular maintenance, such as hand washing and occasional oiling, to keep them in good condition.

Consider your personal preferences and maintenance routine when choosing between wood and plastic. Both can serve you well for vegetable preparation, so select the one that best suits your needs and ensures food safety by keeping it clean and well-maintained.

Which is better wood or plastic cutting board?

Take a look at a table comparing the key factors for wood and plastic cutting boards.

FactorsWood Cutting BoardsPlastic Cutting Boards
Knife FriendlinessGentle on knife bladesCause knife dulling
Bacterial ResistanceNatural antimicrobialLess likely to harbor bacteria
MaintenanceRegular hand washing, periodic oilingEasy to clean, dishwasher safe
DurabilitySusceptible to warping and stainingResistant to warping and staining
AestheticsNatural beauty and warmthLack natural appeal
CostMore expensiveMore affordable

Final words

In the eternal battle of wood and plastic cutting boards, the choice ultimately comes down to your needs and preferences. If you value knife friendliness and the natural charm of your kitchen, wood cutting boards take the crown. They’re gentle on knives and boast natural antimicrobial properties, although they require regular maintenance. On the other hand, plastic cutting boards shine in terms of convenience and durability. They’re easy to clean, dishwasher safe, and less likely to develop deep grooves harbouring bacteria. Plus, they won’t break the bank. So, whether you’re a wood lover seeking rustic elegance or a practical chef prioritizing ease of use, wood and plastic cutting boards can serve you well. Embrace the board that suits your style and keeps your kitchen cutting-edge.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are plastic cutting boards more hygienic than wood cutting boards?

Plastic cutting boards are generally considered more hygienic due to their non-porous surface, which makes it harder for bacteria to penetrate and multiply. However, proper cleaning and maintenance are crucial for both types of cutting boards to ensure hygiene.

Which type of cutting board is more resistant to bacterial growth, wood or plastic?

Studies suggest that wood cutting boards have natural antimicrobial properties that can inhibit bacterial growth. However, plastic cutting boards are less likely to develop deep grooves where bacteria can hide, and both types can be resistant to bacterial growth if cleaned and maintained properly.

Do wood cutting boards need more maintenance compared to plastic cutting boards?

Yes, wood-cutting boards need more maintenance than plastic ones. They should be hand washed with mild soap, dried thoroughly, and occasionally treated with food-safe mineral oil to prevent drying and cracking. Plastic cutting boards are easier to clean, dishwasher safe, and do not require oiling.