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Jun 3, 2010 12:28 PM

Cutting boards- plastic or wood or bamboo? Need suggestions!

I'm thinking of replacing my two plastic cutting boards. Neither are that old and are of decent quality but i hate the idea of plastic. I just bleached and washed them really well but just not sure anymore. I have a giant bamboo cutting board but it's too big for my counter or everyday use.

Can anyone recommend some decent small (like 8x4) cutting boards? not sure if I should go back to plastic.

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  1. What are you looking for in a cutting board?

    1. Personally, I like a plastic one for meats and a wooden one for fruits and veggies. But just a few days ago, I picked up a small bamboo board by TruBamboo at Target. It was $10, and I'd say it's about 8x11. Perfect size for when I'm cutting just one apple or just one onion, etc. I don't think I've ever seen any as small as 8x4, but that might just be me.

      1. Merely because of experience, I tend to prefer a big, heavy old wooden board for home use. In our restaurants, we use the advanced plastic that responds like wood does; not the slippery, dangerous plastic available in home-kitchen stores. For me, it's all about how the board responds to subtle pushes on the food when you're doing intricate knife work. Why not buy one wooden one, first; try it out and see if you can tell what I mean.

        1. You may be able to find some listed as bread boards or cheese boards for something close to an 8x4. Personally I think that size would have pretty limited use (sandwiches, some breads, cheeses) and require something underneath to prevent movement while cutting. Plus I get annoyed with stuff leaving the cutting board. I prefer wood as I find plastic in the long run requires as much work as wood to clean.

          3 Replies
          1. re: SanityRemoved

            ok, i underestimated. 8x11 is fine. i need an everyday board for a small kitchen which means a small sink. that's why i can't use my big bamboo board b/c i can't wash it! it doesn't fit in the sink!

            1. re: trolley

              I agree that an 8x11 is a great size for cutting something small. But I also have a wooden board that's 15x20, and I love it for when I'm cutting a lot of stuff.

              I can't fit it in my sink either, but you really don't want to submerge a wooden board anyway. I use my regular kitchen cloth to clean mine, then a wet paper towel to rinse it off. Then I dry it with my regular kitchen towel. All while the board is still sitting on the counter. Works great!

              1. re: trolley

                I've never used a bamboo cutting board but I have bamboo utensils which seem to require more frequent use of mineral oil than my 35+ year old wood cutting board with equal amounts of washing.

                While I prefer wood and purchased an 18x24 Boos today, I will probably rely on a plastic board for raw poultry mainly because I find myself having to increase the amount of food I need to prepare as the guest count can suddenly increase. The change in number of guests means I have less time and two boards are easier and faster than one. I've bought a good amount of plastic boards, but to me, wood and steel just feel more harmonious.

                I know that Carlisle makes a cutting board scraper/refinishing tool for their commercial Sparta Spectrum plastic cutting boards but at a cost of $25 and up I wonder how cost efficient it would be for the home cook. One of the things I don't like about plastic boards is their trapping of food as they get more use. That generally means a good scrubbing prior to the dishwasher. Whereas wood I can clean and sanitize in a shorter amount of time.

                You should be able to find a nice quality 8x11 wood board for a reasonable price when compared to plastic boards and with proper care should outlast the plastic boards. Stay away from single piece boards as they are more prone to warp.

            2. I'm a plastic fan. We have about 6 of them, two large heavy ones, two small heavy ones and two large thinner ones that are nice for chopping veggies and then being able to bend them to neatly get the food into a bowl, mixer, etc. Any board we use goes into the dishwasher.. That way they keep clean and safe. You can't really do that with the wood boards.