Wood Cutting Board Versus Plastic Cutting Board

As I've written in my review of plastic cutting boards, many of the assumptions about plastic being a more sanitary material than wood for cutting boards have been undermined by research. Yes, plastic is less porous than wood, and yes, it can be sanitized more easily—at least initially.

But as scratches pile up, plastic begins to look less appealing. Unlike wood, which can close back up around more minor knife scratches, plastic holds the evidence of each and every bit of damage like a stubborn grudge. Those scratches in plastic are great places for bacteria to fester. Eventually wood can get scratched up, too, to the point where it also becomes an unsafe food preparation surface; the bright side is that it can then be sanded back to like-new condition.

While wood's porous nature may seem unappealing, studies have shown that wood sucks harmful microorganisms into it via the capillary action of its fibers. There they remain, locked away until they die.

On the flip side, wood requires more careful maintenance and frequent oiling, and, unlike some more durable plastic boards, can never be put in the dishwasher.

It can be handy to have both in your kitchen, but I prefer to use wood as my primary work surface.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published