Nowadays, you can get a huge variety of cutting boards of different colors and finishes. You can find aisle upon aisle of cutting boards in a big supermarket. The internet abounds with options as well. So, how do you choose a good one? A light or heavy one? What type of wood is best? Should it have feet? You would do well to consider these factors to find a suitable cutting board for your requirements:
Cutting boards come in various sizes. However, unless you have space constraints, the rule of thumb is, the bigger, the better. Ensure that you get an additional inch of the board on both sides of the knife.
Regarding thickness, the only thing to keep in mind is that they should be 1½ inches to 2 inches in thickness. That way, your cutting board will be less likely to warp, take in moisture less readily, and will sit firmly on your countertop.
The two significant types of wood that we find are hardwood and softwood. Softwoods include evergreens like pine, Douglas fir, and cedar. Examples of hardwoods are cherry, maple, and teak. Hardwoods make the best cutting boards.
Technically speaking, when we talk about wood grain, we refer to the direction of the wood fibers. Close-grained wood has tightly-packed fibers with tight pores, whereas open grain wood has larger pores. Close-grained wood makes good cutting boards because it does not readily absorb water. Hence, there is less accumulation of bacteria, mold, or stains with cutting boards made of close-grained wood.
Some types of wood can cause allergies due to the small amounts of toxins they may contain. Hence, it’s a good idea to use cutting boards made from fruitwood or wood from nuts like cherry, maple, or walnut.
Once the essential requirements are met, look for a few additional features that you might find useful – for example, holes for hanging and handles. If you work with a lot of raw meat or juicy fruit or vegetables, cutting boards with “juice grooves” may appeal to you. Then, you may prefer a cutting board with feet. So, look out for some extra features.