I won’t disagree with the fact that glass cutting boards look good right out of the box. They also will not get grooved in after a lot of cutting is done on them, so they have lesser chances of storing bacteria that would affect your next meal.
That, and they are easy to clean. With all that said, though, are glass cutting boards bad for your knives or should you keep using them?
Glass cutting boards are harder than the knife’s steel, ruining the knife edge on every cut and making it go duller faster. There are also safety concerns that come with hardened, non-porous cutting glass as used in most kitchens.
Read on to find out more about just how safe glass cutting boards are for you, why you should avoid them and why you might need them too.
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Why Are Glass Chopping Boards Bad?
There are a series of valid reasons, beyond the sentiments that I get from some knife users, why you should stay away from glass cutting boards.
Here, we discuss some of those reasons and throw in a few sentiments just for good measure.
#1 Glass boards are tough
You want your cutting board to be tough but that is not a good thing on glass materials.
I understand that glass has to be tougher in this case so that it doesn’t break to hurt you, chip into your food, or crack. However, that also means the glass is hard to score and would dull the knife whenever it comes in contact with its edge.
Even if you were using one of those high carbon stainless steel knives known to retain their edges for longer, you would see a poorer performance on your blade.
#2 Glass boards can cause chipping
One of the things I discussed in my guide to how knives chip is how that would happen when the knife is used on hard surfaces.
Glass boards have been determined hard already so I won’t go back there. After a series of cutting on the board, some micro chipping starts appearing on the edge of the knife.
Depending on the kind of cutting that you do, the chips might not be so obvious at first till they ruin the knife.
If you have been using knives for a while now, you know that chipping causes it to get dull. This means more hours spent honing and sharpening the knife – and you run the risk of ruining it faster this way too.
#3 Glass boards are noisy
This is a personal opinion but one that you should not rule out anyway.
Put a vegetable on a glass board and slice it in a rocking motion. By the end, I’m sure you must have cringed at the insistent sound of the metal on glass over and again.
Of course, you could get used to it but I would rather the dull, familiar thud that I get with my bamboo or plastic boards.
#4 Glass cutting boards are slippery
Some glass cutting boards come with graining on them to prevent slipping but most are not like that.
With glass cutting boards, you always face the risk of your food slipping out and the knife cutting dangerously close to your fingers. In unfortunate cases, you might even nick or seriously cut your finger in the process.
This is something I would rather prevent from happening at all rather than try to control by gambling with a glass board.
Get the plastic or bamboo type and you have an even better grip.
#5 The glass might chip
I know that the majority of good glass cutting boards are made such that they never chip, but what about the ones that do?
If you were cutting raw food on plastic or bamboo boards, for example, I see no harm if a little bit of the material chips and enters the food. You can safely ingest them without any issues at all.
You and I know how damaging and injurious glass can be so the same doesn’t hold here.
I wouldn’t take that chance if I were you, and I would stick to other materials instead.
#6 Glass boards might shatter
There is a limit to what glass can do, and what abuse it can take. One day, the glass might shatter on you and I don’t want to be the one to tell you what happens.
While I am not advising that you abuse your kitchen tools, I know my plastic chopping board has dropped a couple of times and I didn’t even worry about it.
If I had a glass board that was making its way to the ground, I would probably flee the scene so fast before it touches down. I don’t want to be there when the fragments start flying all around.
Why Glass Boards Could Be Good Options
Don’t let the above make you think glass boards are the second worst thing since the common cold.
While I would generally not recommend them, they do have some strong pointers going for them as to why you could use one:
#1 Glass is easy to clean
This alone makes the material sound like a responsible option when choosing a cutting board.
Bacteria and microorganisms tend not to dwell on glass materials and you can easily wash them off in the sink. They don’t require any special treatment either, so they can be said to be foolproof enough for anyone who doesn’t know how to take care of their chopping boards extensively.
#2 Glass boards don’t get grooved in
If your glass board is getting grooved in, you run the risk of having some of those glass chips in your food.
That is why the good manufacturers make the glass hard such that it doesn’t chip at all. This feature brings another advantage with it in that the glass won’t harbor bacteria within those grooves.
One of the reasons why it is very important to thoroughly clean your plastic and bamboo cutting boards (which I recommend) is that they get grooved. A simple wash might not be able to get into those grooves which are potential breeding spots for bacteria.
#3 The aesthetics don’t lie
Even if you won’t make it your main cutting board, I am all for having a glass cutting board that you can break out on occasion.
If you have used one of these boards before, you will agree that they bring a certain character to them. Whether they are just lying on the countertop, waiting to be used, or hung away in storage, they can improve the look and appeal of your kitchen.
Besides that, you could also slice some cheese, fruits, desserts or anything else on them to serve among friends and visitors. While a cutting board, it has doubled as a fine, unconventional yet attractive serving plate.
What Is the Best Cutting Board Material?
Plastic and wood do it for me every time, and that is neither speaking from bias nor sentiment
I have been using plastic boards of different types (had one thinner than the one above before) and they have served me well.
Likewise, bamboo can be great – but be careful as to the kind of bamboo chopping board that you choose. Some bamboo boards are so hard that they ruin your knife too, so they are not worth any advantages that the manufacturer is trying to sell you.
Furthermore, I read a piece of research sometimes about how wood kills bacteria off. For those who cut raw meat, I think it would be best to go with wood for that reason too.
Finally, make sure to clean your cutting boards properly after use. My plastic boards can go in the dishwasher and I’m sure some wooden boards can too. Confirm that on your unit before you go for it.