Best cutting boards for raw dog food

Most Practical Cutting Boards For Raw Dog Food

Have you ever considered the material of your cutting boards for raw dog food?

As in, what is the best cutting board for raw food – plastic or wood cutting boards?

I remember asking myself that question when I started making homemade raw dog food for Missy & Buzz back in 2016.

It’s not really something I was contemplating before when I fed the pups premade raw dog food.

For obvious reasons.

After all, I didn’t have to prepare it other than peel it out of its wrapper, and serve it to the pups.

But once I decided to make their own meals to save money, I stopped and pondered.

So, what chopping board should you use for raw meat? And which one for vegetables, fruits and herbs? Or can I use the same for both?

And is there a point at which I need to toss and replace my cutting boards for raw dog food?

Today, we’ll take a closer look at all of those questions and more!

Ready?

Let’s jump right in!

Most Practical Cutting Boards For Raw Dog Food

Most practical cutting boards for raw dog food

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What Type Of Cutting Board Is Best For Raw Meat?

For raw dog food meal prep, the best type of cutting board is a plastic cutting board.

At least in my humble opinion!

Plastic Cutting Boards for Raw Dog Food

Here’s why:

  1. Hygiene and Safety: Plastic cutting boards are non-porous, which means they’re less likely to absorb juices and bacteria from raw meat. This makes it easier to clean and sanitize them effectively, which reduces the risk of cross-contamination.
  2. Easy to Clean: It’s super easy to clean plastic cutting boards – just toss them into the dishwasher! And for folks who don’t have a dishwasher – it’s a lot easier to properly hand wash plastic cutting boards with a sponge and hot soapy water than it is wood cutting boards!
  3. Durability: Plastic boards are generally more durable and less prone to cracking or warping when they’re exposed to moisture. Which that’s something you just can’t avoid when you’re handling raw meat!
  4. Knife-Friendly: Plastic cutting boards are gentler on knife edges compared to some other materials like wood or glass. This can help prolong the sharpness of your knives when you’re cutting up raw meat.
Cutting up raw deer heart I got from a wildlife processor for homemade raw dog food
Cutting up a raw deer heart I got from a wildlife processor in NC

Tip: Use a dedicated plastic cutting board exclusively for raw meat to minimize the risk of cross-contamination with other food items in your kitchen.

Also, remember to replace plastic cutting boards when they become excessively scratched or worn. That’s because deep cuts can harbor bacteria.

Bacteria is not so much of a problem for healthy dogs because of their highly acid stomach environment.

But it is for us humans!

I noticed that for some odd reason, I kept using just one side of my plastic cutting boards. Maybe it’s because I was visually drawn to the more used side, I don’t know.

But either way, I made an effort to start using the “good”, non-scratched up side as well. That way, I got a lot more time out of one particular plastic cutting board.

Is mackerel bigger than herring?
Getting ready to cut up raw fish on a plastic cutting board

Can I Also Use Wooden Cutting Boards For Raw Meat?

I personally hate using wood cutting boards to cut up raw meat. Any raw meat, not just for the pup, but also for us humans.

OK, to be fair, I have to admit that the bf does most of the meat cutting and handling for human consumption here in our home…but I’m the one who does the dishes. And I don’t care for hand washing wood cutting boards.

I just don’t feel like I can do as good of a job at getting rid of meat juices from a wood cutting board when I hand wash it.

BUT if you want to, you can use a wood cutting board for raw meat preparation, yes.

You’ll just have to make sure to properly care for and maintain it!

The best wood cutting boards for handling raw meat seem to be those made from high-quality hardwoods like:

Side note: Those types of wood cutting boards are not exactly inexpensive!

But either way, here are some key considerations regarding wood cutting boards for raw dog food.

Proper Maintenance

To ensure safety, it’s crucial to properly maintain your wood cutting board.

This includes regular cleaning and oiling.

That said, don’t soak the board in water and definitely don’t run it through the dishwasher.

That’s because excessive moisture can lead to warping and cracking.

Dedicated Use

Consider using a dedicated wood cutting board and cleaning sponge exclusively for raw meat.

That way, you minimize the risk of cross-contamination with other food items.

Regular Oil Application

Apply food-grade mineral oil or a specially formulated cutting board oil to the wood surface regularly.

This helps prevent moisture absorption and keeps the board in good condition.

To learn more about how to oil and maintain a wood cutting board, click here.

Treating a wood cutting board with food-safe mineral oil
Treating one of my wood cutting boards with mineral oil

Cleaning

After each use, wash the wood cutting board with hot, soapy water and scrub it thoroughly.

Rinse well and allow the board to air dry.

Knife Maintenance

Wood cutting boards don’t dull knife edges as quickly as harder surfaces like glass or stone.

However, be prepared to sharpen your knives more often compared to using a plastic cutting board.

Visual Inspection

Regularly inspect your wood cutting board for deep cuts or excessive wear.

If you notice deep grooves or cracks that can’t be sanded out, it’s time to replace the board.

How I Use Wood Cutting Boards For Raw Dog Food

I personally use wood cutting boards for chopping, slicing, and dicing vegetables, fruits, and herbs.

So yes, I do include about 10% of plant matter in my pup’s raw meals.

To learn more about vegetables and plant matter in general in raw dog food, click here.

Removing watermelon rinds and seeds for homemade watermelon dog treats
Cutting up fresh watermelon for Wally on a wood cutting board

Plastic Cutting Boards vs. Wood Cutting Boards for DIY Raw Dog Food

Here’s a quick summary of the pros and cons of each type of cutting board.

AspectPlastic Cutting BoardsWood Cutting Boards
Hygiene and SafetyNon-porous, easy to cleanPotential for grooves, trickier to clean
DurabilityGenerally more durableCan be durable with proper maintenance
Knife-FriendlyGentle on knife edgesMay require more frequent sharpening
AestheticsPractical designNatural beauty, enhances kitchen aesthetics
Environmental ImpactLess eco-friendly (non-biodegradable)More eco-friendly if sustainably sourced
MaintenanceDishwasher-safe, low maintenanceRequires regular oiling, no soaking or dishwasher use

Most Practical Cutting Boards For Raw Dog Food: Bottom Line

In summary, both plastic and wood cutting boards have their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to preparing raw dog food.

Plastic boards are generally more convenient in terms of hygiene and maintenance, while wood boards offer aesthetic appeal but are a bit more tricky to wash.

I personally prefer using wood cutting boards for my plant matter, and plastic cutting boards for raw meat.

But ultimately, the choice depends on personal preference, maintenance commitment, and your specific needs for preparing raw ingredients.

Now I’m curious, what cutting boards for raw dog food do you use? Let me know in the comment section below this blog post!

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Barbara launched her blog K9sOverCoffee in 2014 and has been feeding her dogs raw dog food since 2015. As a former professional dog walker, she’s passionate about balancing species-appropriate exercise with healthy dog nutrition. Barbara is raw dog food nutrition certified from “Dogs Naturally Magazine” and the author of several e-books about minimally processed, balanced raw dog food.


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2 responses to “Most Practical Cutting Boards For Raw Dog Food”

  1. Jacob Neil Avatar
    Jacob Neil

    I LOVE wood cutting boards! I used to work in a restaurant that had butcher block counter tops…a big no-no to food inspectors. When we got audited the guy wanted to fail us on those countertops…until he watched our cleaning process. I have always remembered this process and apply it with my own cutting board (an absolutely STUNNING piece of craftsmanship gifted to me by my best friend).
    Of course, having been a chef for many years, I am drawn to wood (grin).
    The process goes like this:
    Rinse and wipe to remove visible debris.
    With the cutting board still wet apply Comet (or other equivalent product).
    Scrub with a “kurly-kate” (a stainless steel metal wire scrubber-NOT STEEL WOOL)
    Let the scrubbing set for about 3 minutes then rinse well and towel dry.
    Set the cutting board aside to completely dry out and then oil liberally with walnut oil (or other high quality oil)
    IF the board was originally sealed with tung oil, boiled linseed oil, shellac, danish oil (or other high quality sealer), you can refresh that from time to time (I do mine about every other month). All of these are food safe once dried.
    I do not worry about cross-contamination. I use that same board for preparing my own food and never fret.
    Plastic ones may be a little less effort to clean, but they sure do not stand up to a cleaver! Wood does. And there is a lot of cleaving going on around here!
    But while we are on the subject of making our own food, I would appreciate a blog post where you tell us about what, if any, changes, and why, you have made to your meals since taking the online Dogs Naturally Magazine course. I think that would be a great blog post!

    1. Barbara Rivers Avatar

      Hey Jake, thanks so much for your blog post topic suggestion, I’ll work it into my content calendar for sure!

      Thanks also for sharing your thoughts and cleaning process for wood cutting boards! Super interesting for sure.

      I will say that I’m not a huge fan of using bleach for cleaning, so I wouldn’t have thought to use it for cleaning a wood cutting board. Is there a specific reason that you use walnut oil over mineral oil?

      Also, what parts of your meat do you use a cleaver on?

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