Wooden boards have made a comeback in recent years, having been out of favour in the 1990s when plastic chopping boards were recommended as more hygienic. However, as long as wooden boards are properly washed and cared for, experts now believe they are perfectly hygienic and of course they are better for the cutting blade of a knife as they do not blunt it so quickly. A wooden chopping board should be washed after use in hot soapy water and dried. Wooden boards should not be washed in a dishwasher - if they become soiled, marks can be removed by scraping with a steel scraper. To keep the wood in good condition, oil the board occasionally with a light cooking oil.
The Jamie Oliver Groovy Chopping Board is made of beech and, as its name suggests, has grooves on one side. This allows liquids to drain off the board and is also useful for catching crumbs and other debris. This board is manufactured from sustainable sources. It is a good sized board with dimensions of 40cm by 30cm and is 4cm deep.
Jamie Oliver has also produced an oval board that can be used for food service as well as preparation. The Keep it Simple Chop-n-Slice board is made of Hevea wood from sustainable forests and has a recessed edge which makes it easy to pick up. It is very attractive and makes an excellent cheese board.
The hardwearing Typhoon Butchers Block is also made from Hevea wood and is 6.5cm deep. The rectangular board measures 44cm x 33cm.
Also available are wooden chopping boards made from sustainable bamboo. These are attractive enough to be used for serving food as well as for chopping and preparing food. Choose from an affordable board that is 34cm by 26cm with a handle or a plain chopping board by Sorted which is slightly larger at 34cm by 29cm.
Plastic boards are possibly the most popular for food preparation and have the advantage of being dishwasher safe so they are very easy to keep clean. Zyliss coloured chopping board sets are made from polypropylene and are available in yellow and green as well as white. These stylish boards incorporate a channel to collect excess liquid and a ramp on the reverse to make it easier to tilt food from the corner of the board into a pan. The green board is 25cm by 35cm whilst the yellow board measures 20cm by 25cm. These products have a convenient handle and have the advantage of a 5 year guarantee.