One of the most popular kitchen accessories today, wooden cutting boards, aren’t just heat-resistant, but also keep your knives safe by not blunting them like glass or marble boards tend to.
What’s more, they’re also a frequent choice for serving different foods and are said to be aesthetically pleasing and long-lasting. The heat resistance properties of wooden cutting boards make them suitable trivets.
However, the dishes that are cooked at a temperature higher than 350 degrees F should be cooled down a bit before they’re put on the board.
Everything lower than this temperature is said to be fine for placement on wooden cutting boards without fearing any spots or marks. Wooden cutting boards aren’t the most popular cutting board without a reason. In fact, there are plenty of them!
Below, learn more about why investing in this type of cutting board is a smart decision!
Are Wooden Cutting Boards Heat Resistant?
Generally speaking, wooden cutting boards are heat resistant. They’re usually made to withstand up to 350 degrees F, without causing heat marks.
But this isn’t 100 percent the case.
Sometimes, due to a combination of moisture and heat, hot marks may develop on wood. When heat contacts real wood, the pores open up and water enters the surface.
As the temperature cools down, the pores close too and trap the moisture. This moisture changes the wood’s appearance by causing a stain and a change in color.
The spots on the wooden cutting boards from heat are white. When they’re black, it’s probably a mark from charring or oxidation. These marks are more common in older wood. Prevention of any type of stain is always better than removal.
Therefore, always keep wooden surfaces safe by using coasters, heat mats, trivets, etc.
What Are the Pros of Wooden Cutting Boards?
Wood is considered among the top materials for cutting boards. It’s praised for its strength, without being hard on knives, and its smoothness without being slippery.
Wooden cutting boards are firm, while still able to absorb shocks.
There are plenty of reasons to choose a wooden cutting board, in addition to its heat-resistant properties. Here are some of the best ones:
A quality wooden cutting board may not last for a lifetime, but it will last a long period of time.
Even if it gets damaged by scratches, you can save it by sanding these depths away. Without a doubt, wood is really forgiving, which isn’t the case with plenty of artificial materials.
- Doesn’t damage precious knife blades
Wood isn’t just pleasurable to cut on, but the cutting boards made of walnut or maple tend to be very gentle on knives than some other options.
Technically classified as hardwood, walnut, and maple are durable, yet soft enough on knives.
People often worry that wood’s porosity makes it less sanitary because it can trap bacteria and unpleasant odors; however, a lot of studies often conclude the opposite: wood absorbs bacteria, but traps and kills it.
In one study, it was concluded that this may occur as fast as three to ten minutes after the board’s surface is contaminated with bacteria. And, washing the board using warm and soapy water was enough to eliminate the bacteria.
But not every study supports these claims. In one, it was found that when plastic and wooden cutting boards were put in a machine-washing cycle, wood was the riskier material since it broke down under the strong washing.
Anyhow, cutting boards are never recommended as dishwasher-safe so users usually clean them by hand. When treated with care, they last and are safe.
- Aesthetically beautiful
Let’s face it, wooden cutting boards look awesome.
This may not be the most important feature, but it’s a lie to say it doesn’t affect us. Most people like their kitchens to enable enjoyable cooking and to be a place that looks and feels nice!
What Are the Cons of Wooden Cutting Boards?
Despite its popularity, a wooden cutting board isn’t ideal, like no other cutting board out there. Here are some of the major drawbacks:
- More maintenance
Wood is a natural material and as such, it requires frequent, proper maintenance.
It benefits from being conditioned with mineral oil to reduce the risk of cracks, warps, and dryness.
By oiling it, you also lessen the risk of stains and minimize the absorption of liquids and unpleasant smells.
To be certain you’re choosing a quality wooden cutting board, invest in ones made by skilled craftsmen because the cheaper options tend to have a higher risk of breakage and damage.
- More complex cleaning needs
Wooden cutting boards may be a bit more demanding to clean than plastic or glass. They don’t go in the dishwasher and neither are left to soak because the prolonged exposure to harsh chemicals, high heat, and water will shorten their lifespan.
These boards benefit from gentle washing under warm running water and cleaning with mild dish soap and then being replenished with mineral oil.
- On the heavier side
A quality wooden cutting board tends to be heavier. The lighter ones are usually more prone to warps so they should be avoided.
However, this may make the moving of the board around the kitchen or home more challenging, especially if the person can’t lift heavier things due to joint or bone issues or injuries.
How to Care for Wooden Boards?
If you invest in a wooden cutting board and want it to last, always choose the proper cleaning supplies.
Never wash these boards in the dishwasher or leave them soaking in water. Wood is porous and prolonged exposure to chemicals and water can cause it to crack and expand, resulting in unpleasant cracks and warps.
Rinse the board under running water and clean it gently using dish soap and warm water. Avoid any abrasive sponges. A soft one is better, especially the ones with plastic bristles.
Sanitization of your wooden board is recommendable after cleaning to keep it food-safe. For this, opt for a kitchen sanitizer that you can spray on the board and wipe it off after 30 seconds with a clean cloth. No rinsing is needed.
What’s more, always disinfect your wooden cutting boards, particularly if you use them to prep raw meat. You can use chlorine-based bleach that has been diluted. Put a tsp to every two pints of water. Spread it over the surface and leave it for several minutes.
Then, rinse the board using warm water and dish soap. Any traces of bleach need to be thoroughly removed. Dry the underside of the board by placing it on a clean cloth or towels. Store it in an upright position.
When there are stubborn smells on cutting boards, rub the board with half a lemon to make it smell fresh and sanitize it.
Monthly seasoning of the board using food-grade mineral oil is recommendable. This will decrease the risk of cracks and warps. Wipe several drops of the oil onto the board and leave it like that for several hours and then wipe away any surplus.
Wooden cutting boards are heat resistant and have so many other benefits to offer and that’s why they’re one of the most popular cutting boards in professional and home kitchens.
They’re durable and easy on knives and are also able to trap and kill bacteria according to some studies.
Although they require more maintenance, they’re a long-lasting investment that’s not just aesthetically pleasing, but also has a positive effect on your budget thanks to its longevity!