The first thing you need to know about rubber cutting boards is that silicone is a type of rubber, so these two terms are often used interchangeably.
The next thing you need to know about rubber cutting boards is that they’re amazing.
It’s the most common choice for professional kitchens and completely reasonable to be the best choice for your own home kitchen, whether you’re a meat lover, vegan, or baker. These boards are good for everything.
If you’re already convinced that a rubber cutting board is for you, we’ll jump right into our favorites, from ergonomic designs to Sani Tuff and even a top of the line Japanese premium board.
However, if you’re the curious type, keep on reading because we go in-depth on why hard rubber cutting boards are so great and how you can maintain them to make the most out of your investment.
So, what are the best rubber cutting boards for your home? Let’s take a look at our top 3 choices.
3 Best Rubber Cutting Boards
1. IMEKO Ergonomic Design TPU Cutting Board
We’re kicking off our top three with a product that isn’t quite rubber and isn’t quite a cutting board.
It’s actually made out of TPU, which is kind of the missing link between plastic and rubber.
It’s got all the benefits of being a rubber board, but it’s super thin and flexible, making it almost a cross between a mat and a board. It’s kitchen-changing.
- It’s so safe that countries all around the world are rushing to give it their stamp of approval, with food and even medical safety standards in mind
- One side of the mat has non-slip grooves and the other has juice catching grooves, so you know your food and all its juices are going to stay right where they belong
- It’s heat resistant up to 300F and flexible, making it the most versatile cutting board you could get your hands on, and you can even color-coordinate it with your kitchen and cooking habits
2. Sani-Tuff All-Rubber Cutting Board
Sani-Tuff lives up to its name – this cutting board is tough!
It won’t crack, splinter, or peel which, in itself makes it more resistant to bacteria and better for your knives, but it’s also manufactured with MicroStop technology.
This rubber cutting board is actually anti-microbial, which is good enough to get the NSF’s approval.
- Even though rubber cutting boards are among the most durable boards out there, this one can even be resurfaced by sanding, should you need it to be
- Unlike the flexible IMEKO option above, these boards are thick and solid – in a good way
- They don’t have juice grooves, but they do come in some pretty impressive sizes to more than make up for it
3. Yoshihiro High-Performance Professional Grade Cutting Board
This is a cutting board for the home chefs out there who want nothing but the best in their kitchens.
This professional-grade cutting board is made to meet the legendary high standards of a Japanese sashimi chef.
Any board that can hold up to the killer blades of a Japanese chef will certainly stand the test of time in almost any kitchen.
- It’s made from Hi-Soft, a synthetic rubber, that gets pressed by fabric to give it the ultra-soft texture that’s so desirable
- The company claims that not only will it not get damaged by your knives, but it will actually give them a longer life to live
- The low density of the board also helps protect the cutting arms of chefs home cooks alike because it doesn’t bounce back like an average super hardboard
Why Choose A Hard Rubber Cutting Board?
Woodcutting boards can be beautiful works of art and they’re made from natural materials, which is always nice. But they’re porous, which means bacteria can seep in and hang out for a while, potentially poisoning anything else you cut on the board.
They also need a special cleaner to wash and should be oiled occasionally. They get scared, stained and warped if they’re not treated with the utmost of care.
Wood is a lot of work.
Plastic is a lot easier (and cheaper!), but they also scar and crack and peel. If your board has a lot of grooves and dents from your knives, bacteria can collect inside them.
It’s also hard on your knives. You don’t want to be replacing knives on a regular basis, so anything you can do to protect them is worth the investment.
Rubber may not be as pretty as wood or as inexpensive as plastic, but it has perks to make up for both those downfalls.
It’s non-porous which means it won’t let bacteria in and it won’t split, crack or peel. This is safer for you and your knives. It also means they will live a good long time without having to be replaced, which makes up for their slightly higher initial investment price.
Another benefit to being non-porous is that the board won’t absorb liquids, making it more resistant to stains and smells. There’s nothing worse than a smelling, dingy-looking cutting board.
They’re also really easy to maintain.
How To Maintain Your Rubber Cutting Board
One of the best reasons to invest in a great rubber cutting board is because of the minimal maintenance required. Unlike a wood board, you don’t need to oil them and most of them are dishwasher friendly, so you can let your dishwasher do all the hard work.
Some cutting boards are simply too big to fit in a dishwasher, so if you end up hand-washing here’s a simple 1-2 for you:
- Scrub it with dish soap
- Pour boiling water over it
Not to labor-intensive, right?
How To Resurface A Rubber Cutting Board
Depending on the type of rubber cutting board you choose, some of them can be sanded down every so often to bring them back to their practically new state.
Place a drop cloth on your counter or table, and then clamp your cutting board to the workspace. Use some steel wool to even out any jagged edges before you start sanding.
Start with a coarse grit sandpaper, like 25, and then continue getting higher for smoother results. Ending up at around 80 grit will give you a lovely finish. As you switch each grit, give your board another scrub with your steel wood.
When your board is perfectly smooth again, you’ll want to make sure you re-bevel your edges and get any sharpness out of them.
Remember to wear protective eye gear and gloves while you’re sanding. The dust from these boards can be itchy on your hands and might scratch or otherwise damage your eyes, so be careful.
When you’re completely satisfied with your resurfacing job, you want to wash, wash, and wash your board to get rid of any dust. Rinse it really well first, scrubbing it with your steel wool.
Next, take some dish soap and massage it into the board with your hands. This will help get any dust off the board without letting it collect on your dishcloth or sponge. Rinse well.
Finally, wash it once more with your dishcloth or sponge and another dose of soap.
Are plastic cutting boards safe?
Yes, plastic cutting boards that are well cared for are among the safest of cutting boards you can buy. They’re durable, inexpensive and usually dishwasher safe.
More importantly, they resist bacteria, so long as they don’t have a lot of deep scars or grooves in them. Because they’re relatively inexpensive, you might want to consider getting a collection of different colors that you can use for different purposes – keeping your meat, fish, and vegetables extra safe.
What is the best wood for a cutting board?
Maple, specifically Sugar Maple, is the most popular option for cutting boards, mainly because it’s a very abundant and versatile wood, and tends to be one of the least expensive options while still being high quality. It also has a fairly neutral grain and will fit in well with just about any kitchen décor.
Perhaps the better question to ask is whether you should be looking for edge grain or end grain. Edge grain fuses parallel pieces of wood together whereas end grain boards are made the end pieces of wood cut into blocks. You can usually tell by the checkerboard pattern.
End grain boards are easier on your knife and have somewhat self-healing abilities because when you slice, instead of cutting across the grain, like edge grains, you cut with the grain, allowing the fibers to simply spring back into place.
Are bamboo cutting boards safe?
With the right care, bamboo can make a great choice for your cutting board. Did you know it’s a grass and not wood? It’s very fast-growing and is considered a renewable resource, so it’s on the eco-friendly side of the equation.
They’re also harder than wood, and less porous, so they are more resistant to bacteria and won’t scar as easily as your wood boards do. They’re not considered non-porous though, so if you still need to be very careful not to cross-contaminate and to wash it well after use.