Cutting boards are essential pieces of equipment that every kitchen has. At the same time, it seems to be one of the items that get replaced most often.
So, when you are in between boards, we have made a list of some great substitutes!
What are the best alternatives for cutting boards? We highly recommend using laminated wooden boards often used for shelving or cupboards. Other great and easy-to-find household options are kitchen plates, laminate sheets (for books, counters, or walls), plastic container lids, and some arts and crafts cutting mats.
In today’s article, we are exploring the many options for cutting board alternatives when you are in a pinch.
Believe us, they will come in handy when you need them most!
What Is The Purpose Of A Cutting Board?
While this may seem like a very silly question, there are hundreds of reasons you may not have a cutting board.
It could be that you are renting a home for a while, currently moving and lost yours in the process, or you haven’t been able to find the perfect one yet.
Either way, a cutting board has a very specific function. That is to provide a surface on which you can cut and slice ingredients.
It is meant to act as a protective barrier between the knife’s blade and your beautiful counters’ surface area.
The cutting board takes quite a beating over the years. But, it is well worth the use and is much cheaper to replace than an entire countertop! Especially if you are renting!
Cutting boards are often made from some type of strong material. It doesn’t necessarily have to be very thick, but it has to be able to withstand slices from sharp knives.
They are usually made from wood or hard plastic. These tend to work the best. You do also get chopping boards made from glass or marble.
The most important thing about cutting boards and which to choose is that should all be made from food-safe materials.
This is because the food comes directly into contact with the board. So, if it is made from toxic materials, your ingredients will be exposed to that.
How To Choose A Cutting Board Alternative
Choosing an alternative for your store-bought cutting board is actually surprisingly easy! There are only a few “rules” the alternative has to adhere to.
The first, and most important, is that it should be food safe. Not necessarily that it should be safe to ingest, but more that it won’t affect the ingredients in any way. For example, it shouldn’t discolor the food.
Another very important element to consider is the durability of the alternative. Even if you are only using it as a one-time substitute, it shouldn’t break, chip, or flake away once you start slicing.
And, if you plan on permanently using the substitute, just make sure that it can withstand use over time.
And finally, the best alternative is arguably the one that is easiest to find. You don’t have to spend money on it. Otherwise, you may as well just buy a new cutting board!
So, have a look around the house for any potential cutting surfaces. Just make sure they are safe to use and not more expensive to replace (if you want to) than an actual cutting board.
The 5 Best Cutting Board Alternatives
Let’s get to the fun part! Here are some of the best cutting board alternatives that you can easily find at home. And, even if you cannot find an exact match, these will surely give you some inspiration as to what will work.
1. Wooden Boards
If you love doing projects around the house, you likely have a stash of wooden boards laying around in the garage. The boards that have been laminated will work best, but if you’re feeling up to another project, here’s what you can do.
For raw wooden boards, you can simply sand them down using a very fine paper grid. This will create a smooth surface without any splinters.
Then, if you really want to, you can stain and seal the wood using food-safe materials. These are easy to find in a hardware store.
And just like that, you have two equally fun and easy solutions. One that you can make from scratch and one you can simply clean with some food-safe disinfectant.
We have all done this one before, but it’s because it works so well! This is possibly the quickest alternative you can find. The biggest downside is that not all of your ingredients will be able to fit onto the plate.
Furthermore, the sharp knife could scratch up the plate. So, don’t use your most expensive dishware for cutting on.
Other than that, by directly cutting into the plates you are preparing the ingredients in advance while keeping them separate. Try using plates that don’t have a very deep lip (rim).
There are many different types of laminating out there. The ones we are specifically talking about are either wall laminate, book laminate, or small pieces of floor laminate.
Laminated book covers are by far the cheapest, and you are most likely to have some laying around the house. This coating isn’t a long-term alternative, but will temporarily protect your counter from scratch marks.
If you don’t have laminate, you can also just use any type of stick-on plastic. You also get a ton of options for counters from the dollar store.
4. Large Container Lids
Do not use your very expensive Tupperware lids! What we mean by using plastic lids, are lids from platter containers, ice cream tubs, or similar items.
These lids cost you nothing and are disposable whenever you’d like them to be.
And, they are surprisingly sturdy! Their biggest downfall is that they are quite small and don’t provide a ton of chopping surface. But, for any small vegetables, fruits, or herbs, they will work just fine.
5. Cutting Mats
Last, but certainly not least, you can invest in some easy-cutting mats. These are also not meant to be the ultimate long-term solution, but they are extremely cheap, don’t take up a lot of space, and are very easy to find.
Now, cutting mats don’t necessarily have to be designed for the kitchen. Cutting mats are also often made for arts and crafts projects. You can easily use these as a temporary fix.
Just make sure you don’t slice through them. Although they are meant for cutting, many designs aren’t all that slice-proof.
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