Choosing the perfect cutting board can be tricky. Something that touches food has the potential to contaminate it and make people sick. Choosing a cutting board that stands the test of time can be challenging with a wide range of wood and plastic options. In this recommendation to choose olive wood cutting boards over plastic ones, four major issues are addressed.
- Bacteria and meat contamination of wood cutting boards
- Wear and tear on wood cutting boards
- Cost of olive wood cutting boards
- Proper maintenance of wood cutting boards
Bacteria and Meat Contamination
Extensive research from numerous kitchens and agencies reveals astonishing results. It was hypothesized that plastic boards were less hospitable to bacteria and harmful molecules responsible for food-borne illnesses and did not harbor them.
Bacteria contamination is the most concerning factor in the decision between an olive wood and plastic cutting board. The College of Agricultural Research Division of the University of Wisconsin conducted a study that showed wood kills bacteria instead of harboring it.
Three bacterial strains – enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli, listeria, and salmonella – were tested. After three minutes of contaminating a wood board, 99.9 percent of the bacteria had died. The same three bacterial strains on a plastic board did not die.
When held at room temperature, there was a growth in bacteria. While you can sanitize plastic cutting boards more easily, the grooves on the surface provide areas for bacteria to hide. By nature, wood is tougher.
It is harder to sanitize, but deep grooves and scratches on the surface of a wooden cutting board are not as prevalent. Bacteria have poorer life conditions on wood, especially dry wood, than synthetic materials, such as plastic. The conclusions drawn include wood has a natural defense mechanism that keeps it healthy and growing when alive. Wood continues to fend off bacteria when it is made into a cutting board.
Wear and Tear on Olive Wood Cutting Boards
Many consumers worry about wooden cutting boards wearing out due to overuse. Thin cutting boards made of cheap China designs and bamboo will wear out and be unusable. They split and crack. As the wood dries out and absorbs water, it expands and shrinks, causing movement in the wood fibers.
The grain patterns cannot keep up and separate from each other. Over time, the pattern causes defects in the wood cutting board. The dryness in a home is another factor that affects the wear and tear of a wooden cutting board.
When they are not properly seasoned, they shrink and cause cracking and splitting, especially in dry winter. You can avoid it by maintaining and seasoning the cutting board as it is used. A good conditioner and proper cleaning methods assist in keeping the board stable and preventing cracking and splitting.
Cost of Olive Wood Cutting Boards
There is no doubt that plastic cutting boards are cheaper than wooden cutting boards. Some people prefer having several cutting boards to use for different tasks. They use one for fruits and vegetables and another for raw meat.
A couple of plastic boards are much cheaper than one wooden cutting board, but plastic boards have limitations. The surface of plastic boards damages more than a wooden one. Many grooves develop when cutting on a plastic cutting board. An olive wood cutting board is more resilient.
A frugal suggestion for using wooden cutting boards is to dedicate one side for cutting meat and the other for everything else. It turns a board into a two-in-one item and provides a more even use of the board. If multiple wooden boards do not fit your budget, one board’s proper care and maintenance will make it last much longer than any plastic board.
Proper Maintenance of Wood Cutting Boards
Do not submerge a wood cutting board in water because it causes stress on the wood. Gently wipe the board with water, using mild soap only if necessary. When disinfecting a board, use a combination of hydrogen peroxide and water.
Keep an eye on the board. If it seems to be drying out, use some wood conditioner and elbow grease to address the problem. A routine application of a wood conditioner builds the resilience of a wooden cutting board. You will see water bead up on the board instead of soaking into it. Store the cutting board upright. It allows air circulation and drying between uses.
Precautions to Take
Here is a list of ‘Don’ts’ when it comes to the care of olive wood cutting boards. Do not
- Let a cutting board become extremely dry
- Leave a cutting board to sit wet or soak
- Cut continuously in the same area
- Use only one side
- Use razor-edged cleavers
- Leave a cutting board sitting uncleaned after cutting meat
- Deface the surface
The cutting board made of wood can burn. Even if they do not catch fire, they can crack or break when becoming too dry. Extreme humidity causes wood to swell and weakens the structure of a cutting board. Placing an olive wood cutting board in a dishwasher is wholly and utterly a terrible idea.
Distribute cutting over the whole work surface, so it wears evenly. Turn the cutting board over periodically to ensure even usage on both sides. A razor-edged cleaver can splinter or chip the wood and create soft spots. The best cleaver to use has a duel-sharpened edge.
After cutting fowl, red meat, or fish on the work surface, wash it with soapy, warm water and air dry before storing it. Cutting off ends, drilling holes, making cutouts, or defacing a surface exposes unfinished wood that needs to be refinished.
Other Reasons Olive Wood Cutting Boards Are Better than Plastic
Wood is gentler on knife blades, especially if you chop and cut a lot of vegetables. The blades on good knives stay sharper longer when a wood cutting board is used. Over time, removing stains from plastic boards becomes more difficult.
Like to one pictured here, a wooden cutting board with a juice ring captures the run-off from juicy melons and meat. It also keeps small pieces from rolling off the board when you chop or cut. That is a detail not found on a plastic board.
Selection of Olive Wood Cutting Boards
Forest Décor has a selection of olive wood cutting boards wholesale or retail. Some have paddle-style handles and others juice rings, such as the above-referred cutting board. That board is a beautifully handcrafted steak board that provides lots of space for slicing, dicing, chopping, and cutting.
It is a three-in-one olive cutting board that can be used to prepare meals, as a steak board or a serving board. The stunning piece is handcrafted from genuine olive wood. It features a thick cutting surface, an exclusive finish and pattern, and an original style that is both functional and captivating.
The high-quality board is versatile and durable enough for slicing steak and poultry, cutting vegetables and fruit, or serving cheese along with a favorite wine. A cheese and cutting board is among the best additions to a kitchen. It protects surfaces and counters, helps in the more efficient food preparation, and adds charm to a dining or kitchen experience.