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Glass Cutting Board versus Wood Cutting Board

Updated on November 7, 2013

Glass Cutting Board Debate

Many cooks debate over what is the best type of cutting board – a Glass Cutting Board or a Wooden Cutting board. Both materials have their qualities and their faults but neither material can demonstrate a clear superiority. In this article we will explore the differences and let the reader decide which material is better suited for their cooking needs. To be fair, there are other materials used to create cutting boards – Hardened metals, stone material like Granite and molded plastic. These cutting boards tend to be less popular than wood or glass and therefore have been left out of this discussion.

Usage

The main use of cutting boards is to prepare food but that encompasses a wide assortment of food substances. Some cutting duties require precision cuts like slicing garlic cloves while others need brute force like chopping steak. Wooden cutting boards handle heavy duty cutting chores much better than glass cutting boards. The wood material absorbs heavier blows with the knife while glass is much more rigid and receptive to breakage after sustained knife strikes. On the other hand, a glass cutting board performs much better with precision cutting chores because of the rigid surface. It is important to understand that both wood and glass cutting boards will handle the entire spectrum of cutting duties but certain food preparation chores are completed more efficiently with either wood or glass.

Sharpness

It is surprising how many good cooks do not keep their knives sharp. The best chefs in the world will sharpen the knives many times during a cooking day. The cutting board plays a significant role in keeping your knives sharp. Wooden cutting boards allow the knife to ever so slightly penetrate the surface of board. This slight penetration allows the blade to stay sharp for longer periods of time. Because of the smooth rigid surface of a glass cutting board, your knife edge will dull quicker. Dull knives increase the chance of cutting yourself due to the extra force applied during any cutting task. Of course, a simple investment in a good knife sharpener alleviates this discussion.

Slippage

Some foods contain higher amounts of liquid. When preparing these types of food, the food item can shift during the cutting chore and thus increase the chance of an improper cut or even worse a cut finger or hand. Wooden cutting boards “hold” food items much better than glass cutting boards. Tomatoes are my favorite example. Dicing a dozen tomatoes on a wooden cutting board is far easier than on a glass cutting board. Food item slippage becomes even more significant when using a dull knife. Overall, this may be one area where the wooden cutting board has a clear advantage over the glass cutting board.

Style

Cutting boards are visible when you enter a kitchen, especially in a busy kitchen. For most cooks the functionality of the cutting board far outweighs the style. However, presenting an elegant kitchen is a contributing factor in the quality of the food. Wooden cutting boards do not offer much in the style category. Glass cutting boards, on the other hand, are almost always decorated with elaborate artwork. A tastefully displayed glass cutting board can enhance the eating experience. Here, the glass cutting board has a significant advantage over wooden cutting boards.

Cleanup and Maintenance

Cutting boards are cleaned daily, perhaps more than any other utensil in the kitchen. Proper care of the wooden cutting board requires effort. Most wooden cutting boards are not rated as dishwasher safe. Water and soap will dry out the wood and the heat from a dishwasher will warp the wood. In addition, wooden cutting boards require regular application of natural oils to maintain their surface. Glass cutting boards eliminate these hassles. They are dishwasher safe and require no regular maintenance. Then again, with the price of wooden cutting boards so low, you can simply buy new cutting boards. Some cooks actually consider slightly warped and scarred cutting boards as a badge of honor per se’. I might accuse these cooks as being slightly warped but we all have our small quirks.

Great Cutting Board

We use our cutting board for many purposes.
We use our cutting board for many purposes. | Source

My Opinion

For me, I prefer a wooden cutting board. I grew up using a wooden cutting board, so glass cutting boards don’t feel right. For me, the noise the knife makes when it strikes the surface is not natural and the fear of dropping the glass cutting board is always in the back of my mind. I do like the easy cleanup and the cutting preciseness that glass cutting boards offer but when all is said and done, I use my bamboo cutting board on a daily basis and my glass cutting board once a week.
The conclusion is simple. Buy both types of cutting boards. This will eliminate all debate. I am somewhat of a cutting board “junkie” as I regularly use five different cutting boards and I try to tailor the choice of my cutting board to the cutting task at hand. Hopefully, this article has shed some light on your choices and armed with these considerations, you can make wise purchase decisions based on your personal preferences and your cooking needs.

Remember…Cook well, Live well.

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    • 4FoodSafety profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 2 years ago from Fontana, WI

      A friend asked this question just the other week, does anyone use the wood cutting board anymore? For me, I still prefer the wood board for all the reasons you stated.

      Fortunately, we have the ozonated food washer in our kitchen so the boards are always sanitized. But just in case, I purchased a set of three thin boards that work beautifully - they are easy to clean, cut on and simple to sanitize with the ozonated water.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      wood board collects fungus, never try on glass yet

    • chefmancave profile image
      Author

      Robert Loescher 4 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks for the links. Amazon had a few really cheap sets. I don't know if I willing to give up that sensation of having the knife in your hand and chopping onions or slicing tomatoes or mincing garlic. I will buy a set and give myself two months with it. Then I will write a hubpage about my experience.

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      Only place I have ever seen them is at antique shows. My sister got one there. You have to hunt for the right bowl for the blade. Mine was given to me when I asked the lady where she got hers. She had half dozen of them that her father had made for her and she never used them. This is similar but mine has a wood handle that fits the hand. http://www.etsy.com/listing/88869703/vintage-curve...

      This is a new one. I have one like it too but it is smaller than I like. I have large hands. http://www.amazon.com/Block-Chopping-Alaskan-Birch...

    • chefmancave profile image
      Author

      Robert Loescher 4 years ago from Michigan

      Sounds like I will be hunting around for a new kitchen tool - a cutting bowl with a curved blade. I wonder if any of the big names in cutlery make such an item? As far as plastic goes, I just can't bring myself to use them. I grew up in Midland MI (World Headquarters of Dow Chemical) and everything in our house was plastic or styrofoam. Most of my kitchen is wood, steel or ceramic. I guess I am a bit of a snob. LOL

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      I like a wood board or my plastic ones. The plastic one is great because it does not dull the knives, does not require oiling and can go in the dishwasher. I also have a chopping bowl with an antique curved blade that was my grandmothers. It is a wooden bowl and I use it almost daily. Since I got it, I have used the cutting board a lot less. Chopping things in it is more fun and reminds me of my grandmother. That is a good thing, I used to go stay with her and make her fresh cole slaw almost daily. She loved it.

    • chefmancave profile image
      Author

      Robert Loescher 5 years ago from Michigan

      Seems like wood is the winner so far. I am going to grill some corn on the cob today. I love using a meat cleaver and a wood board to trim the corn cobs after they have been grilled.

    • cookaholic profile image

      Kate Harris 5 years ago from Kent UK

      Ah!...now I have spotted the thumbs up tool...learning all the time!

      Isn't this a fun place for Foodies...a really useful hub about chopping boards anyway and my favourite is wood for feel and sound

    • chefmancave profile image
      Author

      Robert Loescher 5 years ago from Michigan

      I label nothing. I guess I like surprises and a good hunt now and then.

    • chefmancave profile image
      Author

      Robert Loescher 5 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks for the thumbs-up on Wood Boards.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 5 years ago

      Wood all they way! As you mentioned, glass ones really dull my knives. They are also really loud which bugs me! Great idea for a hub!

    • cookaholic profile image

      Kate Harris 5 years ago from Kent UK

      Lucky you she sounds a real treasure and she would love my kitchen...I label everything in clear containers , Im not obsessive..just too lazy to hunt for things! As for shoes that is a girl thing ...don't go there...stay in the kitchen!

    • chefmancave profile image
      Author

      Robert Loescher 5 years ago from Michigan

      Being a mancave type person, I don't consider color coordination to be very high on my list. I know an Italian woman who would be all over this idea. Last I checked she has 4 closets full of shoes. She is my fashion consultant.

    • cookaholic profile image

      Kate Harris 5 years ago from Kent UK

      Im a bit of a board freak....i have separate boards for veg, meats, fish and breads so they are either different colours of plastic, my wood board and glass board...Im not a proffesional chef but I think that it is standard in the Uk for chefs to have different coloured boards ..is that system used in the States too?

    • chefmancave profile image
      Author

      Robert Loescher 5 years ago from Michigan

      Like I said, the sound of my knife hitting the glass cutting board is close to the infamous "nails on the chalkboard".

    • chefmancave profile image
      Author

      Robert Loescher 5 years ago from Michigan

      I read a lot of articles about the hygiene of glass but I wash my wood boards thoroughly after preparing any kind of raw meat.

    • cookaholic profile image

      Kate Harris 5 years ago from Kent UK

      Yes, I have both boards too, I prefer the feel of wood but I do use the glass one for cutting meat as it seems more hygenic

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 5 years ago from Thailand

      Although I know that glass is often cleaner, easier to clean and capable of doing the same jobs, I tend to use a wooden board too.

      Shared, up and interesting.