Whether you’re an avid fisherperson or you get your seafood from the frozen section at the supermarket, finding just the right cutting board for your fish can make all the difference to your cooking process.
When it comes to fish, stability and hygiene are the two factors that are most important to consider in a cutting board.
What are the best cutting boards to use for cleaning and filleting fish, you ask?
A non-scarred, good quality plastic cutting board with good grip and texture is going to be the safest and easiest cutting board to use to cut and prepare raw fish.
Our favorites are listed below, along with some useful advice on choosing the right cutting boards for the job at hand and maintaining it to get the most out of your investment.
The Best Materials To Use For Cutting Boards
Before we share our top 5 cutting boards for fish, it’s important to understand why you want to choose one board over another. Not all cutting boards are made equal, and some are better for certain jobs than others.
In our opinion, there’s only one choice of material to choose from when you’ve got fish prep in mind.
Plastic is durable, inexpensive and usually dishwasher safe. More importantly, well cared for plastic cutting boards will resist bacteria and protect you against foodborne illnesses.
Over time, as your knifework scars the board and creates grooves in the plastic, they can end up harboring bacteria, so you want to be sure to only use good quality, non-damaged boards when you work with any raw animal products, including fish.
Plastic boards can be hard on your knives, but they usually have a great texture which helps to grab your fish and makes for a more efficient slice and dice.
Overall, even though it has some drawbacks, plastic is the best option when you’re looking for a fish cutting board.
Cutting Boards To Avoid Using For Seafood
Safety is key when it comes to choosing the right materials for cutting boards, and there are some boards that end up being downright dangerous for certain uses. You’ll want to avoid the following for use with your fish dishes.
Wood or Bamboo
For a while, there was some misinformation circulating on the internet that wood and/or bamboo cutting boards were naturally anti-bacterial. This is definitively not true.
In fact, wood is porous and the bacteria from raw fish and meat get absorbed into it, remaining even after being washed. Bacteria can stay alive for a few hours, so as long as you don’t immediately use the board for slicing bread or chopping up your salad you’ll likely be fine, but in our books, there’s no use risking food poisoning.
Ask any chef for their opinions on glass cutting boards and you’re liable to get a Gordan Ramsey-esque response. Glass may be non-porous and relatively easy to clean, but as a cutting board they’re way more trouble than they’re worth. Slippery, hard on your knives and loud are just a few of the complaints we have against glass cutting boards. In short, they shouldn’t be used for anything, ever.
Best Cutting Boards For Slicing Fish
Now that you know exactly what you’re looking for in cutting board for your seafood meal plans, let’s take a look at some of our favorite brands and options.
|1.||Rapala Poly Fillet Board w/ Clamp||Long shape for fillets, clamp, food-grade plastic|
|2.||Commercial Plastic Cutting Board for Kitchens||Extra-large, dishwasher-safe, commercial grade plastic|
|3.||OXO Good Grips Cutting and Carving Board||Double-sided, juice groover, propylene (plastic)|
|4.||CounterArt Chop Chop Food Service Grade Flexible Cutting Mat||Commercial quality, flexible, BPA-free plastic|
|5.||Boone Fast Feat Bucket Board||Built-in ruler and knife storage, polyethylene|
Check out more of their pros and cons below:
1. Rapala Poly Fillet Board w/ Clamp
One of the trickiest parts to cleaning and filleting a fresh-caught or whole fish is keeping it in one place while you work. This cutting board from Rapala comes with a very handy clamp so that you can quickly and easily get to work.
- Made from food-grade, high-quality HDPE plastic for safety and durability
- Comes with grooves on the bottom of the board allowing it to sit securely on top of 4, 5 or 6-gallon buckets, perfect for cleaning and de-scaling
- Has a heavy-duty clamp to hold slippery fish in place while you work
- Is long enough to handle fish up to 21”
- Has a handy cut out handle for easy transportation and cleaning
2. Commercial Plastic Cutting Board for Kitchens, Extra Large
An extra-large catch requires an extra-large cutting board. This commercial-grade cutting board is designed specifically for prep jobs like filleting fish.
- Made from a special high-density poly, this board will last a lifetime without warping, staining or scarring
- It has a textured surface to add extra grip and prevent your fish from slipping around too much while you’re trying to achieve the perfect fillet
- NSF and FDA approval makes this cutting board safe even for commercial kitchens
3. OXO Good Grips Cutting and Carving Board
Sometimes it’s the smallest things that make the biggest difference. This cutting board features tapered edges which make it super simple to lift, a feature that comes in handy more times that you realize.
- This board is double-sided, with non-slip feet on one side enhancing the stability of the board, and a juice groove on the other side, to contain any runoff that may leak out of your fish
- It’s made from durable polypropylene which is non-porous so it won’t incubate any bacteria
- These boards are resistant to deep scratches which actually helps maintain the integrity of your knives
4. CounterArt Chop Chop Food Service Grade Flexible Cutting Mat
The best part of a cutting mat is its flexibility and its size. Ok, that’s two best parts, but how can we choose between them?
- 20” x 30” is a massive work surface to dedicate to your fish filleting process
- It’s commercial grade and we can picture this just as conveniently gracing the surface of a picnic table as working overtime in a food truck
- It has built-in micro ban protection, which means it actively defends against odor and stain-causing bacteria
5. Boone Fast Feat Bucket Board
We love versatility, so when we found a cutting board that can double as a seat, we were in love. This cutting board is perfect for those of you who like to catch what you cook.
- Not just for cutting, cleaning your fish will be quick and easy with this cutting board sitting on top of any 2, 4, 5- or 6-gallon bucket
- It has a built-in ruler so you can measure your catch up to 17” and it’ll even store your knife for you
- Did we mention you can use it as a seat? One reviewer says that it holds their 250lb weight with no problem!
Tips For Maintaining Your Cutting Boards
Once you find the perfect cutting board for cleaning and filleting your fish, you want to make sure it lasts and finds a good, healthy home in your kitchen.
To add an extra level of hygienic security to your kitchen, consider getting a set of color-coded cutting boards. Professional kitchens use this technique to avoid cross-contamination.
Blue is a great color for seafood, don’t you think? It’s certainly easier to reach for a blue board instead of a green or yellow board than it is to decipher between slightly different sizes or weights of boards.
Having a dedicated board for unique ingredients, such as fruits and veggies, meats, seafood, poultry, and dairy, will keep your kitchen easy to use safely.
Wash Frequently And Sufficiently
Plastic cutting boards are usually dishwasher safe, but make sure you double-check this before you put them in, just to avoid any unfortunate melting situations. Make sure you sanitize them carefully by giving them a scrub in your sink to get rid of any particles of raw fish or meat and then put them through a cycle in your dishwasher. If you prefer to handwash, make sure you scrub well with plenty of soap and rinse with hot water. Always stand your boards up to dry.
Woodcutting boards, on the other hand, should always be hand washed. Even a single cycle through your dishwasher is likely to warp the wood, making your board highly inconvenient to use. It’s really important to understand that hot water will not kill germs, especially at a temperature that you can stand to immerse your hands in. Always use a good quality dish soap when you wash your cutting boards.
What is the best cutting board for meat?
A good plastic cutting board is the best for cutting raw meats. They’re durable, easily available and usually dishwasher safe. Make sure you replace them once they get too scarred, as the broken plastic can create a safe haven for bacteria.
What is the best cutting board for vegetables?
Wood or bamboo cutting boards are perfect for vegetables or anything that is safe to be eaten raw. They’re extremely durable and easier on your knives than plastic boards. You shouldn’t put any wooden cutting board in the dishwasher though, as they’re likely to warp. Wood will also incubate bacteria, so keep them safe from your raw meats and seafood and use specifically for your vegetables!
What are the best cutting boards to bring on a boat?
If you want to clean and fillet your fish fresh onboard your boat, the right cutting board will make all the difference. Look for something that has a sturdy mount, a clamp to hold your fish in place, and plenty of room to work.
A board that fits conveniently on a bucket is handy for getting rid of the waste. You can find some cutting boards that fit on top of coolers, so your fish can go directly onto ice, or if you need something even more heavy-duty, look for a rod mounted fillet table.