There’s no doubt that marble looks really nice. It’s easy to clean, slick, and adds a high sense of decor to any kitchen setting. However, when it comes to practicality, it doesn’t mesh well when it comes to food prep and cutting.
Are Marble Cutting Boards Bad for Knives?
Marble cutting boards are not very knife friendly, but it also goes beyond that. They’re not very practical in any sense, with the exception that they clean up easily. They can ruin the edge on a good knife, and worse, it’s much easier to slip while cutting on a marble surface.
If you just want to use marble cutting boards for rolling dough or prepping foods like biscuits, it’s perfectly fine, so long as you don’t need to use it to cut on anything. There are other alternatives, such as plastic and wooden cutting boards, as far as prepping foods that don’t need to be cut.
Advantages Of Marble Cutting Boards
Despite their tendency to annihilate your knives, there are some advantages to using marble cutting boards—outside of pure aesthetic appeal, and they are the following:
- Cleans Easily
- Great for Hot Pans/Pots
- It Will Never Warp
- Resistant to Bacteria
Marble cutting boards are not as porous as wood, which is very helpful when it comes to food sticking. You don’t have to do much in the way of applying non-stick sprays, butter, oil, or Crisco before using one.
A welcome side-effect of their non-stick advantages, marble-like any glass or stone type of cutting board—is very easy to clean. You can’t scorch it or burn food to it, and even foods that are high in sugar (when sugary foods harden, they’re a nightmare to clean) won’t stick.
Granite and other stone countertops and stovetops are excellent spaces when you need to set down a hot pot or pan. Keeping a marble cutting board around will help you avoid mad scrambles around the kitchen looking for a potholder to set a hot pan on.
It’s marble, after all, and it will shatter long before it ever breaks. Harder than steel, marble is also very brittle and will break if you try to bend it. So you never have to worry about marble warping. Just don’t drop it on your toe.
Wooden cutting boards will absorb juices from foods you are prepping on them, including bacteria. As a result, wood will hold onto a nasty portion of salmonella, while mild soap and water will wipe this violent, gut-destroying bacteria right off.
Disadvantages Of Marble Cutting Boards
Marble cutting boards are an advantage when it comes to counter space for hot items, cleanliness, longevity, and they won’t warp. However, that’s where the love affair ends.
Over time you’ll begin to notice that marble cutting boars will:
- Will Dull Your Knives Fast
- Are Overly Expensive
- Not Eco-Friendly
- Are heavier than other boards
- Don’t hold on to food well
- Are brittle
If you have an overwhelming desire to cut up some veggies or meats on your nifty and expensive marble cutting board, do yourself a favor first. Take your knife outside and spend the next few minutes hacking a rock because you might as well if you’re going to use it on marble.
Not only does marble not get along with knives very well, but it will also cost two to three times more money than a wooden cutting board, which will welcome your knife set with open arms.
In addition, a lot more labor goes into marble cutting boards, and the material isn’t as prevalent as wood.
This leads us to our next point: marble is difficult to extract and requires a lot of energy and intensive labor to remove, which has not-so-friendly consequences for the environment.
Marble is also heavy. After all, it is made out of rock, and while dropping a wooden cutting board may be aggravating. But, if it falls on your toe,
there’s likely not going to be much in the way of damage.
Drop a marble cutting board, however, and it’s going to cause damage to itself, possibly gouge your floor or chip your tile, or break one of those aforementioned toes.
Non-stick is great until it’s not. Marble doesn’t hold onto food very well, so it’s easy to knock your food prep off and onto the counter, you haven’t cleaned in a few days.
Lastly, hard doesn’t mean unbreakable. Like any other rock or glass substance, marble is prone to chipping, cracking, or just outright breaking completely if it’s dropped.
Do Chefs Recommend Marble Cutting Boards?
Marble and granite countertops or cutting boards are glamorized in commercials and movies. However, it would be a rare chef indeed who recommended the use of marble cutting boards.
That includes anything, really, as it pertains to food prep in the kitchen.
Most chefs recommend wooden or plastic cutting boards, with wooden cutting boards beating out plastic by a pretty wide margin. The following cutting boards are generally the kind you will see professional chefs using:
The great thing about wooden cutting boards is that they come in a large variety of choices.
You’ve got wide plank, edge grain, end grain, and rustic, just to name a few. They all come with their own specific advantages. Wooden cutting boards are also naturally anti-microbial, which is always a plus.
Bamboo cutting boards are, of course, wooden cutting boards as well. But they do deserve their own particular category because they are kind of a go-between for a marble cutting board and wooden. They’re very durable, standing up to the bamboo name and reputation.
Rubber cutting boards are your knives’ best friend. They won’t dull out your knives because they absorb each stroke without negatively interacting with the cutting edge. They’re also easy to clean up and far safer, as it’s difficult to slip.
Perhaps the best part of rubber cutting boards is that the things seem to last forever. It’s tough to damage them. They don’t rot or interact negatively when not cleaned immediately and are resistant to most household chemicals.
Lastly, plastic cutting boards have their own place in the “what chefs prefer” playbook. They’re very lightweight and won’t take up a lot of space in the dishwasher or sink. They’re also easy to clean because they don’t stubbornly cling to particular types of foods.
Plastic cutting boards are similar to rubber as well—when it comes to knives—as they are more prone to absorb the cutting strokes from the knife rather than resisting and wearing down the edge.
Will Knives Scratch Marble?
According to the Mohs Hardness Scale, steel knives stand at about a five hardness factor, whereas marble is a 3.5. Since marble is softer than steel, it is very much prone to scratches and gouging.
As marble works to dull your knife, another unfortunate aspect of cutting on a marble cutting board is that it will mar and destroy that slick, gleaming marble surface as well.
Essentially, if you use a knife on a marble cutting board, it will ruin the knife’s edge and will destroy the surface of your marble cutting board. It’s mutually assured destruction at a cutlery level.
In other words, if you want to use a cutting board that’s excellent for slicing and dicing all of your favorite meats and veggies, stick with rubber, plastic, and wood. Marble may be pretty, but there are far better tasks to set it to rather than as a cutting board.
- How to Remove Stains from a Wooden Cutting Board?
- Do I Need Separate Cutting Boards for Meat and Vegetables?
Gritzer, D. (July 23, 2019). Wood Versus Plastic Cutting Boards Retrieved from: https://www.seriouseats.com/best-cutting-boards-are-plastic-or-wood
Hardwood Lumber Company. (March 28, 2019). 5 Benefits of Wood Cutting Boards for Your Kitchen Retrieved from: https://hardwood-lumber.com/blog/5-benefits-of-wood-cutting-boards-for-your-kitchen/