A marble cutting board is certainly an uncommon sight in a home kitchen but this unconventional cutting board material is not without merit. It comes down to three main benefits: food safety/hygiene, aesthetics and being naturally non-stick. Consider the following factors on deciding which marble cutting board is for you.
Nothing beats a smooth, non-porous surface for food safety and marble perfectly fits the bill. Rough, porous surfaces allow germs to get trapped in the board where they become hard to kill with standard cleaning. This is the problem with using wood cutting boards (and to a lesser extent plastic) for meats.
Marble is an undeniably beautiful stone. There’s a reason it’s a top choice for countertops in high end homes. Presenting hors d’oeuvres on a decorative marble cutting board will take your hosting skills to the next level and make your instagram photos pop.
The best practical use for a marble cutting board is baking. The stone works well for manipulating dough because it is naturally non-stick and stays cool at room temperature. Just a tiny amount of flour and dough will practically slide off your stone. Dough is very sensitive to temperature, too warm and you’ll accidentally accelerate the fermentation process and end up with yeasty loaves. A stone surface just makes life easier for you whenever dough is involved.
Drawbacks of marble cutting boards
Marble has some unique benefits but it is by no means a good all around cutting board material. I’d highly recommend having a second cutting board for your everyday cutting needs. Keep your marble cutting board around for occasionally use on tasks where it is particularly well-suited. Here’s where marble falls short.
Hard on knives
The worst thing you could do with a brand new marble cutting board is take out your most cherished set of knives and start chopping anything and everything. This is a surefire way to ruin your knives. While it might be called a “cutting board” you should think of it as more of a marble platform. Roll dough on it or serve elaborate cheese spreads but please don’t chop up food with your best knife.
Most people recommend never using a knife on your marble cutting board but I think this is taking it too far. The USDA suggests only using a non-porous cutting board material like marble for meats. Personally, I would cut riskier meats like pork on a marble cutting board but use a cheap knife that I wouldn’t mind replacing semi-regularly.
Not only is marble hard on knives but it can be a dangerous cutting platform too. Unlike wood where the knife sticks into the board, marble is solid and slippery. Fast chopping is pretty much impossible. If you’re doing heavy duty work like processing a chicken this might not be an issue but for slicing and dicing it gets quite annoying.
Marble is a stone after all– and a very heavy one at that. You just won’t be able to throw around your marble cutting board the way you would with a plastic or even wood one. This might not seem like a big deal but considering this probably won’t be your main cutting board you’re likely going to be lugging this heavy thing in and out of storage every time you want to use it. Just something to think about…
Q: Are marble cutting boards dishwasher safe?
A: NO. Seriously there is no reason to do this. Marble is exceptionally easy to clean by well by hand but will crack if exposed to the extremes of a dishwasher.
Q: Do marble cutting boards dull knives?
A: Yes absolutely. Any hard service like marble, granite or glass will quickly dull a knife.
Q: Do marble cutting boards scratch or stain?
A: Marble stains and scratches more easily than other stones like granite. It’s a good idea to treat it with care and avoid letting food remnants sit for too long. Acidic foods and liquids like coffee are especially likely to stain.
Q: How do you remove stains from a marble cutting board?
A: Scrubbing with a store bought poultice made specifically for marble can get out most tough stains.
A marble cutting board isn’t for everyone but they can be a fun addition to a kitchen. If you’re an avid baker, are particularly concerned about food safety or are looking for a conversation piece, it might be worth looking into. For everyone else, a wood cutting board is a better all around option. And much cheaper too. I’d recommend the Teakhaus Edge Grain Carving Board or the Ironwood Gourmet 28218 Square Charleston End Grain Chef’s Board if the budget is tight.