Wood vs. Plastic Cutting Boards: What to Use & When

Wood vs Plastic Cutting Boards

When it comes to professional and high-quality cooking, the surfaces that you cut on with your knives make a lot of difference.

So how about it? Should you go with wood cutting boards, or a plastic cutting board set? What about bamboo and other materials?

In discussing wood vs. plastic cutting board options and more, we’ll break down a lot of the debate for you to help you get the best resources for your kitchen.

Wood vs. Plastic Cutting Board Choices – Bacterial Protection


Bacterial Protection is one of the biggest factors and most interesting aspects of choosing the right cutting board.

Lots of us think that plastic cutting boards are much safer in terms of bacteria. However, studies have found that wood actually cleanses some bacteria on its own, according to its texture and surface presentation. So either one of these can be a good fit for your kitchen, depending on how you work day to day.

Dishwasher Safe?
Now, let’s talk about one of the other biggest factors in determining whether you want wood cutting boards or plastic cutting board surfaces.

If you’re going to be putting cutting boards in the dishwasher, you probably want plastic. You might get by with a single piece wood or bamboo cutting board, but you don’t want to subject wood-glued cutting boards to dozens of rounds in the dishwasher. Eventually they will fall apart, which is not true for most of the plastic models.

On the other hand, if you want to have a high-quality cutting surface that you clean by hand, wood is an excellent option, which we’ll get to right now.

Maintenance and Seasoning


There’s a big maintenance difference when it comes to wood vs. plastic cutting board surfaces. Plastic just gets cleaned with soap and water, i.e. in a dishwasher. Wood, on the other hand, should be seasoned with natural oils every so often, to keep it in good shape. Another way to decide on wood versus plastic is to think about what you’re cutting – a lot of high-end butchers like to use wood, while those who are doing a high volume of cooking may favor plastic for its convenience.

No matter which kind of cutting board you get, you want to make sure that it’s durable and doesn’t flake or chip, or fall apart over time. Inferior wood or plastic cutting boards can experience this kind of wear, and even flake off into your food if you’re not careful. Perfecting your cutting technique will also help, and being gentle with your chosen cutting board goes a long way.

At Chefs’ Toys, we are “for chefs, by chefs” and we have the advice to help you to create the best kitchen operations for commercial or home cooking success. Take a look at our entire catalog to really outfit a commercial or home kitchen well. We stand behind our products, with a dedication to excellence and a passion for what you are doing – cooking!