Wood or rubber cutting board for protein?

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Xunzi

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I'm on the hunt for a new cutting board and I'm debating between wood and Asahi rubber for protein.

I found this thread wood cutting boards in a commercial kitchen that debates the sanitary merits of wood vs plastic and the conclusion seems to be that there's no difference.

The rubber boards are touted as being more sanitary because they're less porous and water-repelling than wooden boards, but is anyone aware of actual evidence that rubber is superior in this regard?

Thanks!
 

daveb

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Welcome.

I think the wood vs rubber vs other is a more subjective thing than an objective one.

At my house it's wood for veg, wipe it clean, and it looks good between uses. Kitchen furniture if you will.

It's rubber for protein, less absorption, considerably easier to toss in the sink (not dw), may warp a little if 1/2" or less, ugly as sin.

For chicken and cleaning fish outside, I usually go to an Epicurean board that I can get dirty and throw in the dw.

With a little google-fu, you can find many threads that you may find applicable.
 

Cliff

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Hasegawa says some of their boards can go in the DW. I like Asahi for heavier prep (as a home cook).
 

Delat

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I use old cheap plastic boards and an Epicurean for protein just because we can stick them in the dishwasher. I don’t cut proteins very often though; if it was a regular thing I’d probably get a small Hasegawa because my main board is a little unwieldy and heavy to lug over to the sink frequently (and soap tends to strip off my board oil).
 
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I'm on the hunt for a new cutting board and I'm debating between wood and Asahi rubber for protein.

I found this thread wood cutting boards in a commercial kitchen that debates the sanitary merits of wood vs plastic and the conclusion seems to be that there's no difference.

The rubber boards are touted as being more sanitary because they're less porous and water-repelling than wooden boards, but is anyone aware of actual evidence that rubber is superior in this regard?

Thanks!
I like asahi (synthetic rubber) cutting board feel. Not slippery when you slicing fish. Also does not make your knife dull quickly
 
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Jovidah

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It can be done responsibly on any material, whether it's wood, plastic or rubber. In the end it all comes down on the sanitation regime. But personally I prefer the convenience of using something I can just toss in the dishwasher for my raw meat boards. A two hour cycle at 70 degrees is guaranteed to kill anything, and they don't care if they're being tossed in the sink under boiling water or all kinds of funny business wood doesn't take kindly to.
And ideally it's a seperate board. Also makes it easier for yourself; because I seperate my meat to a different board I can just be lazy on the maintenance regime for my veggie board.
 

NotAddictedYet

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Used to be a wood guy but use rubber for protein now. Rubber board is thinner and lighter than end grain, way easier to toss in sink and scrub off the slivers of meat that sticks to the board. No worries about how much soap/water you use to clean rubber.
 

parbaked

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I also use Epicurean boards for raw proteins because it goes in the DW or sink.

I like hinoki and an edge grain Boos for everything else.
I like being able to scrape the board "clean", with a dough scraper, in between things like onions and potatoes.

Growing up in Hong Kong we used one board for everything, but Cantonese don't eat a lot of raw vegetables.

The friends and family I cook with in Japan use one board but change sides for proteins and vegetables. Some Japanese cutting boards, for home use, are marked with meat and vegetables icons on alternate sides so the user can keep track of which side of the board is for protein.
 

Jovidah

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That whole flipping the board thing always seemed a really silly suggestion to me. You're essentially just spreading that raw chicken around your kitchen...
 

Xunzi

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Thanks for the responses. The consensus seems to be that, while such sanitation studies might not have been done on rubber specifically, any board will be sanitary if cared for appropriately so the choice is rather a question of convenience vs aesthetics and what feels good to cut on. It's interesting though that rubber boards are marketed as being more sanitary due to their water-repellent properties...

I have a hinoki board now but I use it exclusively for veggies - got a plastic thing for protein that's been fine for the occasional use but planning on doing a lot more protein - I might just try a rubber board and see how it goes...
 
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Xunzi

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I like asahi (synthetic rubber) cutting board feel. Not slippery when you slicing fish. Also does not make your knife dull quickly

I actually intend to use it primarily for fish so the anti-slip bit is helpful - hadn't heard or thought about that!
 

M1k3

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Plastic when I'm not feeling lazy or only cutting meat. But about 90+% of the time, I just cut everything on the wood one. Clean afterwards.
 

adam92

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for sushi, vegetable & fish I use hasegawa , before hasegawa using asahi, but I feel hasegawa is much better, at home use hi-soft. Better don’t use wood cutting board for meat, the bacteria can get into wood & mould over time.
 

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Another thing I forgot to mention, I used my end grain to cut some very very nice salmon sashimi about 4 months ago. Unfortunately the (delicious) salmon oil got into the board and I tried everything but failed to completely get rid of the smell. Repeated Baking soda soak, sea salt scrub, lemon wedges, vinegar spray, washes with dish soap, re-oiling with mineral oil and it still smell somewhat fishy today. A rubber board probably wouldn't absorb all the oil.
 

Xunzi

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Another thing I forgot to mention, I used my end grain to cut some very very nice salmon sashimi about 4 months ago. Unfortunately the (delicious) salmon oil got into the board and I tried everything but failed to completely get rid of the smell. Repeated Baking soda soak, sea salt scrub, lemon wedges, vinegar spray, washes with dish soap, re-oiling with mineral oil and it still smell somewhat fishy today. A rubber board probably wouldn't absorb all the oil.
That’s a really helpful anecdote. Sounds like exorcism is the only option left to expel the soul of that salmon from your board.
 

Ruso

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I use wood for vegetables and plastic for protein. Wooden boards get vinegar cleaning, plastic boards go to dishwasher.
 
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I use wood for everything.

The bad rep wood got for bacteria was largely based on a study of restaurants in NYC where nasties were found in the wood. Next thing ya know, the world believes wood is bad and plastic is best. But the devils in the details. Subsequent studies have shown the issue in the restaurants were the commercial dish washers. The very hot water and drying cycles caused the wood to dry and split allowing for bacteria to get absorbed/trapped.

When studied on the home scale, the results didn't translate and wood was found to be as good or in some cases, better than other mediums. I've even seen some suggestions that it is actually safer than plastic as the nicks and cuts tend to close up.
 

Xunzi

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I use wood for everything.

The bad rep wood got for bacteria was largely based on a study of restaurants in NYC where nasties were found in the wood. Next thing ya know, the world believes wood is bad and plastic is best. But the devils in the details. Subsequent studies have shown the issue in the restaurants were the commercial dish washers. The very hot water and drying cycles caused the wood to dry and split allowing for bacteria to get absorbed/trapped.

When studied on the home scale, the results didn't translate and wood was found to be as good or in some cases, better than other mediums. I've even seen some suggestions that it is actually safer than plastic as the nicks and cuts tend to close up.

I’ve seen this argument / these studies in terms of wood vs plastic, but I haven’t seen any studies with relation to rubber?
 
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I’ve seen this argument / these studies in terms of wood vs plastic, but I haven’t seen any studies with relation to rubber?

I haven't either. Conversation had begun to include plastic so I tossed it out there. That said, the properties of wood are still relevant so it might be a question of how comfortable you are with wood?
 
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Xunzi

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I bought a rubber board in the end. Not so much out of the belief it’s more sanitary but more because it’s easier to maintain, won’t get mixed up with my wood board, and just to try something new :)
 
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