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What Are the Advantages of Walnut Cutting Boards?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 03 December 2016
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Walnut cutting boards have several advantages over glass and plastic cutting boards, though some advantages also depend on the design of the cutting board itself. Compared to glass cutting boards, walnut is easier on the edge of the knife used on the cutting board, as glass can easily dull the edge of a sharp blade. While plastic cutting boards are advantageous in that they can be easily cleaned in a dishwasher, walnut boards can actually be more sanitary and last longer. Walnut cutting boards do require some extra care, however, and should be treated regularly with food-safe mineral oil to retain an attractive surface.

There are a number of companies that produce and sell walnut cutting boards, and such cutting boards have a number of advantages. Wooden cutting boards in general are usually preferable to glass cutting boards, even though a number of glass boards are available at stores. Glass cutting boards are very hard, and the sharp edge of a knife blade rocking against such a surface during cutting is likely to become dull quite quickly. By comparison, walnut cutting boards are quite a bit softer and allow the edge of the blade to retain a sharp edge that needs only frequent honing, rather than full sharpening.

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Plastic cuttings boards are also quite popular, though there are some advantages that walnut cutting boards have over these as well. The edge of a knife on a cutting board can often leave gouges and cuts in the board itself. On plastic cutting boards, these cuts eventually lead to the surface of the board being fairly difficult to work on and having an unattractive appearance. Walnut cutting boards can be more resilient to cuts, especially when made from “end-grain” materials. These boards use the ends of longer wooden boards, creating grain that runs along the cutting board, which is separated as cuts are made and then closed again to effectively “heal” the cutting board after use.

There are concerns that some people have, however, regarding the cleanliness of walnut cutting boards, because they cannot be placed in a dishwasher. These boards can be wiped down using a rag with soap and hot water, and a very weak solution of bleach can even be used on them without damaging the board. Research has even shown that the surface of walnut cutting boards kills bacteria within a few minutes of exposure to the wood, making them potentially more sanitary than other surfaces. These cutting boards should be treated about once a month with food-safe mineral oil, to maintain the proper condition of the board; vegetable oil should never be used as it will go rancid over time.

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