Weighing Up Bamboo Cutting Boards: The Good and the Bad

Bamboo cutting boards have become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. They offer a number of advantages over traditional wood and plastic cutting boards. However, they also come with their own set of drawbacks.

In this guide, we will explore the pros and cons of bamboo cutting boards, and help you decide if they are the right choice for your kitchen.

Pros of Bamboo Cutting Boards

  1. Sustainability: Bamboo is a highly sustainable material. Unlike trees, bamboo is actually a type of grass that can regenerate itself within 3 to 5 years. It is also biodegradable, unlike plastic cutting boards. While wood cutting boards are also biodegradable, the trees they are made from do not regenerate themselves as quickly as bamboo.
  2. Lightweight: Bamboo cutting boards are much lighter than hardwood cutting boards. If you only need a surface less than 1 inch thick, a bamboo cutting board will meet your needs well. They can be made extremely thin and are much less likely to crack than hardwood cutting boards.
  3. Environmental friendliness: It's uncommon to take the various varieties of bamboo used to make bamboo cutting boards from giant panda habitats. If you're a big fan of conservation, this is another plus to using a bamboo cutting board.
  4. Non-Porosity: Bamboo is not as porous as other woods, so it will not soak up as much water or bacteria as other woods might. Therefore, it won't shrink or swell.
  5. Knife-Friendly: Bamboo cutting boards are easy on your knives. It's hard to scar a bamboo cutting board with a knife, and at the same time, it's soft enough not to damage or blunt your knives.

Cons of Bamboo Cutting Boards

  1. Seasoning Required: You need to "season" bamboo cutting boards regularly, which can be time-consuming. Seasoning will prolong the life of your bamboo cutting board. To season your board, first, wash it with hot, soapy water. Then, wait for the board to dry. Once it's dry, saturate the board with food-safe mineral oil. Wipe the mineral oil off. Repeat this process at least 2 more times before using it for the first time. After that, you'll want to re-season the board every month.
  2. Hand-Washing Only: Bamboo cutting boards have to be washed by hand. They cannot be put in the dishwasher because there are more glued pieces that could come apart than with regular wood cutting boards.
  3. Cost: Bamboo cutting boards are more expensive than regular wood cutting boards. In fact, they're among the most expensive cutting boards on the market today.
  4. Potential for Formaldehyde: Some bamboo cutting boards are glued together with adhesives that have formaldehyde in them, which could eventually leak into and contaminate food. When buying a bamboo cutting board, make sure that it has a non-toxic label on it to avoid this.
Bamboo Cutting Board Pros And Cons


Overall, bamboo cutting boards are a great option for those who are looking for a sustainable, lightweight, and environmentally friendly cutting board.

They are also non-porous and easy on your knives. However, they do require regular seasoning, can only be hand-washed, and are more expensive than regular wood cutting boards. Additionally, some bamboo cutting boards may contain formaldehyde in the adhesives used to glue them together.

As long as you're comfortable with hand-washing and remember to get one that was made with non-toxic glue, a bamboo cutting board can be a great addition to your kitchen.

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