Cutting boards are a requirement for any solid home or restaurant chef, but there’s a good variety of them (a surprising amount for something that equates to “flat piece of material”) and some rules you need to follow with them. With some simple guidelines, you can maximize the use and lifespan of your cutting board.
Plastic will always be the best; you can put something hot on it and it won’t be negatively affected, sure, but the most important reason for using a plastic cutting board is purely for safety. Wood boards can get cuts that can harbor bacteria and glass can shatter (alongside being bad for your knives), but plastic can be washed, abused, and brought back for more.
Avoid Food Contamination
No real issue if you’re going from cutting onions to peppers to carrots, and plan to throw them all in the same roux. The real issue comes in when poultry, or any food that will leak a flavor into others, gets involved. If you’ve got to chop poultry and other ingredients, you should either do the poultry first and clean the board thoroughly, or just do it after the other ingredients (onions aren’t going to make the chicken unsafe).
1 tablespoon of bleach to a gallon of water will help sanitize boards (using unscented bleach only), and no matter how well the board is cleaned, it’ll have to be replaced after time due to various nicks, dents, and cuts. If you must use wood, make sure to dry it after you clean it.