Choosing the Right Cutting Board
Choosing a cutting board can be a daunting task if you don't know the basics. Fortunately it can be summed up by saying "paper or plastic?" And the answer is both.
There are two types of cutting boards that you need: wood and plastic. It's as simple as that. Do not ever EVER buy and use a glass cutting board. The only thing that will do is ruin your blades.
Wooden Cutting Boards
The good thing about wooden cutting boards is that if you take care of them, they will last you a long time. And they do not have to be the most expensive brands to be of lasting quality. One thing I would watch out for is buying a cutting board in the grocery store. The kitchen aisle of your local supermarket may have a few cutting boards for sale, but most everything on that aisle is poor quality merchandise meant for a quick fix. In fact, the only thing I have ever purchase on that aisle are those little prong things that stick in the ends of corn on the cob.
End Grain boards These are often called butcher's block boards or chopping block boards. They are usually fitted with many different pieces of the ends of the pieces of wood. This makes for an attractive pieces, but it also gives the board strength. The hidden secret to butcher's block cutting boards is that they will not dull your knives as fast as flat grain boards or plastic.
Since the pieces are made with the end-grain, your knife blade with slide between the grains of the wood instead of mashing against them. You'll find that your blades will last a long longer this way.
Flat Grain Boards These are the most common types of wood cutting boards in American kitchens. They are easy to make and are of good quality. Since they are easy to make, they are also less expensive than butcher's block.
Plastic You will want a plastic cutting board for cutting all raw meat. Plastic cutting boards can be sanitized using chemical cleansers or bleach and then washed off. Some of them can even be put into the dishwasher. Unlike wood, plastic is non-porous, so it won't soak up raw meat juice and harbor bacteria. The only thing you have to watch out for is bacteria growing in the knife cut slits. Which is why you can chemically santize.
The Two-Board System The premise of the two board system is to prevent cross-contamination and therefore prevent harmful nasty bacteria from wreaking havoc on your bowels. Because no one likes being stuck in the bathroom at 3 in the morning counting the tiles on the floor for the 10th time. (If you know what I mean).
Use the plastic cutting board for all meats, and rinse it off between uses. Then reserve the wooden board for cutting fresh vegetables, fruits, grains, and nuts.
With the two-board system you can remain safe and healthy.