- Food and Cooking
Glass Cutting Board versus Wood Cutting Board
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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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