You may think it doesn’t matter what you reach for when prepping ingredients to cook, but if you’ve ever stopped to ask yourself “should I use a wood or plastic cutting board?” heed our advice. Your choice does indeed matter.
First, what are you cutting? There’s no definitive rules that dictate that meat goes on plastic, vegetables go on wood, serrated knives go on plastic, butcher’s cleavers are for wood, etc. It’s more about practicality and food safety than anything.
Wood cutting boards are great for vegetables and protein alike…just not all protein. You don’t want to prep chicken on a wooden cutting board because the bacteria will sink into the wood grain and be hard to scrub out. Clean-washing plastic boards are better for chicken and fish for this reason, and if you’re just cutting an onion or smashing a few cloves of garlic, go with plastic too. The smell doesn’t sink into plastic so deeply and is easier to wash out.
For hard vegetables like carrots, turnips and potatoes, stick with wood. The thicker, sturdier surface grips the vegetable better and the solid surface of the wood makes for cleaner cuts than the often textured plastic of synthetic cutting boards (also meant to grip its subject). But honestly as long as you’re practicing good food safety, the material of your cutting board matters less than the sharpness of your knife and prep skills.
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