Which One Is The Best Wood For Cutting Board? Extensive Guideline
Ever wondered which is the best wood for cutting boards?
Makers of cutting boards use wood that is among the most suitable for whatever rigors modern kitchens and workspaces will put them through. Undoubtedly wooden cutting boards add a certain beauty to your kitchen and work space.
Ideally, your wooden cutting board should be made using solid woods that are tightly grained. You’ll, therefore, find that the best wood for cutting boards are derived from trees that are classified as hardwoods.
You might be a little confused by the classification of trees as it is not about how tough the wood is, but rather, what kind of tree it is.
So, hardwoods are typically trees that have broad leaves. Birch, maple, and oak are examples of broad-leaved trees that belong to the hardwood family. Of course, softwoods are generally known to have small or fine leaves. Firs, pines, and redwoods are good examples of softwood trees.
What makes hardwoods perfect for cutting boards is their greater density. That means these woods are solid and are not easily cut or scratched. You know that scratches and cuts will result in an uneven cutting surface that may attract bacteria that affect your food.
Cutting boards made from wood can be found in many different varieties – including walnut, cherry, maple, teak, pecan, and oak. Maple is clearly the hardwood most popular for making cutting boards.
Let’s learn more about the best wood for cutting boards that we have checked out for you.
With the walnut, you can be sure to have a sturdy and stable wood that is attractively colored from chocolate brown to yellow. The color relates to the area of the tree from which the wood is taken – darker color from the center and lighter color from the external parts. This hardwood has straight grain which makes it very easy to work with. While this wood can be used in making cutting boards, it is not as cheap as other wood. Some persons may, however, not appreciate the color mix from light to dark that can be found on a single walnut board.
You might consider the Cherry cutting board if you can afford the cost as it is usually quite expensive. This hardwood is easily identified by its thin, straight grain and its blond to reddish brown hues. You’ll find this wood used mostly in carved chairs as well as in some styles of cabinets and tables. This wood is easy to shape and it takes polish very well. You will not lose its strong, vibrant color if you don’t stain it. It’s color sometimes gets darker with age.
There’s a lot to say about maple as the best wood for cutting boards. From all indications, this wood is coming out a winner!
The more commonly known maple used for cutting boards is the Hard Rock Maple, also called the Sugar Maple. It is a common sight in Canada and the upper Midwest United States. So, if you’re from the Canadian cities of Ontario or Nova Scotia, or from the US cities of Wisconsin, Manitoba, Ohio or all the way south in Missouri, you’ll find maples.
The best thing about maple wood for cutting boards is that it is a native wood species that is more solid than softwoods. You can tell by its heavy weight that the Maple is a dense wood that is great for cutting boards. It is also a valuable wood for making cutting boards that are not easily damaged.
Maple cutting boards are usually light colored with subtle grain marks that make them quite an attractive item in the kitchen. They are also safe against the growth of bacteria around food. In fact, the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) has approved maple cutting boards for use in commercial kitchens!
If you’re concerned about cost, maple cutting boards are less expensive than other woods like pecan and walnut.
You may already know that Teak is a valuable tropical hardwood that is quite beautiful and durable. While you’ll find teak utilised in making high-end furniture or boats, in recent years there has been a growing popularity of this hardwood in the kitchen. This is owing to how well it performs as a kitchen cutting board. Teak is filled with rich oils and is naturally water resistant, and is not easily stained or does not attract bacteria. Generally, it’s a good idea to avoid wood that contains sap or oils when making cutting boards as some may not be such good choices. So if you’re sensitive to natural wood oils, you may want to try another wood for your cutting board.
Pecan is most common in the Eastern US and the commercial areas of Southern and Central states. This wood is popular for its strength and durability against shock. You can also get them easily from various suppliers. Pecan can be used as a cutting board although it has a tendency to break. It is regarded as the heaviest hardwood in the US, but it is not easy to work with using machines or hand tools. One good thing about this wood though is that you can sand it to a smooth finish. It is, however, hard to dry and it shrinks easily.
People ask the question, is oak the best wood for cutting boards? The thing about the Oak is that it is a grainy hardwood which comes in two varieties – the red oak and the white oak. The red oak is distinctively coloured, from pinkish red to light brown and you will recognise its swirling pattern. The white oak has a striped pattern, just like a tiger’s and has flecks and yellow rays. The fact is, white oak seems to be preferable for cutting boards compared with the red oak. The downside for using oak is that this wood is open grained, which means that it is prone to bacteria caused by food bits getting into the grain. If you don’t intend to use your cutting board around food then it’s OK. Oak is a sturdy wood that can be cut to prevent warping. You really don’t need to do much to oak to make it attractive as the natural waves and swirls are what make this wood quite distinctive.
Taking care of your wooden cutting board
It’s easy to take care of your hardwood cutting board. Simply use a mild soap or liquid soap with warm water. Avoid soaking your cutting board in water as this will cause shrinking, swelling, or warping.
Oil your cutting wooden board each month with a mineral oil that is food grade. This will keep the board fresh and not dry and cracked.
In a nutshell
You have received a quick overview on some of the best woods for cutting boards that are used in kitchens and restaurants across the country. The main thing to remember about these wood is that they are hardwoods that are most suitable. Cutting boards are meant to take a lot of action with knives and other cutting implements so it must be tough. The hardwoods we highlighted are the more popular woods that are well recognised as the best for use by housewives, chefs, or other persons who use cutting boards. Maple is a clear winner for cutting boards. Cherry and walnut are also close favourites. You might know of other suitable hardwoods that are excellent for cutting boards that are not included here. Simply comment and let us know what they are.