A kitchen knife is a chef’s main tool. But without a cutting board, it’s a useless accessory. After all, you will not cut products on weight or directly on the table. Of course, in ancient times people did just that. But we live in the modern world. And in the kitchen there should be several boards. One for meat, another for fish, another for vegetables and a separate one for cheese, bread and other products. Then the smells of the products will not mix, and the bacteria after cutting raw meat or fish will not get into the finished food.
Buying a kitchen knife is the first step. The second will be the choice of cutting board. It seems to be very simple. However, if you do not know the nuances, then you can make a mistake. And cutting products from a pleasant pleasure will turn into flour.
The main criteria for choosing boards:
- Ability to withstand high temperatures
- Moisture resistance
- Stability (does not slip on the countertop)
- The ability not to absorb the smell of food and dyes
- Antibacterial coating.
Stone served as the first cutting board. People have been cutting food on stone blocks for a long time. A little later, people learned to make boards from wood.
This material is still popular today. Every kitchen has wood products. After all, this option has stood the test of time.
Wooden boards (or bamboo ones) are eco-friendly, durable, and aesthetic. They are stable and can be used as a tray or stand for hot dishes, a lid for pots.
The type of tree matters. Hardwoods such as beech, oak, cherry, walnut, hardwoods are suitable for cutting meat, but they damage the sharp blade and are very heavy. Soft – birch, hevea, pine swell from water, and the blades leave dents on them.
The most optimal material is paulownia. Products from this tree are light, soft, do not swell from water and prevent sticking of products. The material of the product has bactericidal properties, which has a detrimental effect on microbes. Boards are easy to clean and dry well. Wash boards by hand using soap and water. Then dry thoroughly.
With proper care, wood planks are resistant to moisture. They are impregnated with mineral oil and do not absorb food odors. There is a myth that bacteria accumulate in the pores of a tree over time and, with further use, get into food.
However, the top layer of a natural wood product has antiseptic, antibacterial properties and has a detrimental effect on microbes. Bacteria in the deeper layers do not get on food and die soon.
Do not forget that wooden and bamboo cutting boards require maintenance. They need to be periodically lubricated with special oil:
Wooden boards have been replaced by plastic boards. Buyers are attracted by the bright color and low price. Although they are hygienic and practical, they have a serious drawback – they dull the sharp edge of the knife. With prolonged use, the board quickly becomes covered with cracks, in which invisible bacteria accumulate.
But science does not stand still. Scientists have come up with a new material – thermoplastic polyurethane. It is resistant to temperature extremes, elastic, and keeps its shape well when heated up to 80C. Possesses high durability at deformation on a bend and damage. And most importantly, it does not affect the sharpness of the knife.
Boards made of polyurethane are famous for sound absorption and vibration damping, and are wear-resistant. They can bend. For the kitchen – this is a godsend. From the board, you can make a funnel and transfer the chopped foods to a frying pan or pan. A high degree of wear resistance is a definite plus when choosing polyurethane boards.
Thermoplastic polyurethane is non-toxic and does not release harmful substances when heated or in contact with food. The boards are light and may have grooves where excess liquid flows.
Polyurethane boards can be washed by hand or in the dishwasher with mild detergents without chlorine and façade. They are easy to disinfect. The surface of the boards is covered with a bactericidal coating. They do not absorb odors, they are easily washed from dyes. The non-slip material makes cutting food easier. But the biggest plus is the price. Such products are much cheaper than wooden counterparts.
Glass cutting boards are aesthetic, hygienic and durable. The main drawback is the heavy weight. When cutting food, they make an unpleasant sound and quickly dull the sharp edge of the knife. In addition, they slide on the table or vice versa stick. Chopped foods are inconvenient to shift into a pot or pan. When falling from a height, the board breaks.
Porcelain stoneware or marble stone boards are very bulky and heavy. When cutting, the sharpness of the knife suffers greatly. They are more suitable for working with dough. They are durable and easy to care for. They look spectacular when serving dishes and as a hot stand.
To choose the perfect board, you need to weigh all the pros and cons. And it is best to buy several boards from various materials.