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Best Wooden Cutting Boards for Safe, Hygienic Food Preparation

Best Wooden Cutting Board
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Updated January 30, 2024

Once you find yourself well and truly bitten by the cooking bug, it’s astonishing just how much kitchen stuff you’ll end up investing in. But consider, for a moment, the humble chopping board: If you’re overdue for an upgrade, take a look through our list of the best wooden cutting boards for every kind of chef and kitchen.

What to consider when buying a wooden cutting board

Grain style

“The first thing you should consider when comparing wood cutting boards is the grain style,” says Fahad Javaid, general manager, operations at Zanduco. “Edge-grain wood cutting boards are cut with the grain, whereas end-grain wood cutting boards are created by fusing cross-section pieces together, making them more challenging to construct. While end-grain cutting boards tend to be more durable to knife indents, they also can be more porous, making them susceptible to moisture. These cutting boards require more care and cleaning to ensure the wood does not hold onto moisture that could potentially harbor bacteria.”

Wood type

“Cutting boards are made from dense lumber that has closed grains, such as cherry, maple, and walnut, which will cut flat and not have excessive knots,” says Javaid. “You may also consider bamboo, which is actually a grass material that’s quite durable and more sustainable. However, bamboo cutting boards tend to dull knives faster with constant use. For more advanced chefs who do lots of chopping with chef knives, you should lean toward a tighter-grained wood [maple, cherry, oak, or walnut] that will be less porous and more durable without dulling your knives.”

Additionally, April Marie, founder of The Curvy Italian sauce range, advises that you, “Avoid softwoods such as pine or cedar, which are less hygienic and more prone to damage.”

Size

“Think about the size of the board and how it will fit into your workspace and cooking needs,” advises Lauren Allen, founder of Tastes Better from Scratch. “Larger boards provide more room but small boards work well in limited spaces. Determine how you’ll primarily use the board as well (meat vs. produce) to choose one suited for the task.”

Our picks for best wooden cutting boards

Best affordable wooden cutting board: Maison Rodin Cutting Board With Juice Groove

Wooden cutting boards can get surprisingly expensive, but for a more affordable option that will actually last, this is a solid bet. “The Maison Rodin cutting board with a juice groove is an excellent, affordable option for anyone looking for a high-quality wood cutting board,” says Javaid. “It’s constructed from maple and can collect up to two fluid ounces of liquid in the groove. It does, however, require regular application of mineral oil for protection.”

Specifications:

  • Wood type: Maple
  • Construction: Not listed
  • Dimensions: 20 inches long x 14 inches wide x 0.75 inches thick
  • Weight: 5.3 pounds
  • Price on publish: $45.99

What we like:

  • Has juice groove on one side for collecting run-off
  • Solidly made
  • Reversible

What we don’t like:

  • A small number of customer reviews note that the surface isn’t as smooth as they expected

The bottom line:

A reasonably-priced, sturdy cutting board with the added bonus of being reversible.

Best affordable wooden cutting board
MAISON RODIN Extra Large Wood Cutting Board 20"x14"x3/4", Canadian Maple Wood, Carving & Chopping XL Wooden Board with Juice Groove, Made in Canada, Charcuterie boards, Kitchen Essentials

MAISON RODIN Extra Large Wood Cutting Board 20"x14"x3/4", Canadian Maple Wood, Carving & Chopping XL Wooden Board with Juice Groove, Made in Canada, Charcuterie boards, Kitchen Essentials

Best large wooden cutting board: John Boos Charcuterie Boos Block

Recommended by Allen, this is a seriously hefty cutting board that works equally well for serving and displaying food as it does for chopping it up. (It also makes a great wedding gift.) As someone who owns a Boos board myself, I can attest to the quality and durability. The only proviso is that, as you’d expect from a large, solid piece of wood, it may be too heavy for some cooks to handle comfortably.

Specifications:

  • Wood type: Maple
  • Construction: End-grain
  • Dimensions: 30 inches long x 23.25 inches wide x 2.25 inches thick
  • Weight: 41.29 pounds
  • Price on publish: $326.95

What we like:

  • Simple, elegant design
  • Reliable and durable

What we don’t like:

  • Extremely heavy
  • Expensive

The bottom line:

A huge, heavy, and pricey option, but one that you’ll enjoy using every day.

Best large wooden cutting board
John Boos Charcuterie Boos Block

John Boos Charcuterie Boos Block

Most durable wooden cutting board: John Boos Maple Wood Cutting Board

If you’re investing in a wooden cutting board, you want to know that it’s going to last, which is why we went with John Boos’ maple board for this entry. “This is a durable, hard maple, edge-grain board that features a beeswax finish (for protection, so it doesn’t need mineral oil treatment) and hand grips,” says Javaid. “As well as being reversible, it's a larger size and has an au jus groove, which is helpful for slicing large cuts of meat and other watery foods.”

Specifications:

  • Wood type: Maple
  • Construction: Edge-grain
  • Dimensions: 20 inches long x 15 inches wide x 1.5 inches thick
  • Weight: 12 pounds
  • Price on publish: $129.95

What we like:

  • Sturdy
  • Has recessed handles
  • Reversible

What we don’t like:

  • A minority of customer reviews note that the surface could have been sanded down a little more to make it smoother

The bottom line:

A heavy duty cutting board that should last forever if you take care of it.

Most durable wooden cutting board
John Boos Maple Wood Cutting Board

John Boos Maple Wood Cutting Board

Best low-maintenance wooden cutting board: Ironwood Gourmet Acacia Wood Cutting Board

This entry comes recommended by Marie, who says that these boards are, “known for their resistance to moisture, and ease of maintenance.” Another attractive board that would work equally well as a serving platter, it requires just a quick hand wash and air dry before being back in action.

Specifications:

  • Wood type: Acacia
  • Construction: End-grain
  • Dimensions: 20 inches long x 14 inches wide x 1.25 inches thick
  • Weight: 7.2 pounds
  • Price on publish: $94.89

What we like:

  • Stylish design
  • Durable

What we don’t like:

  • Not reversible

The bottom line:

An attractive, sturdy wooden cutting board that will stand up to multiple washes with minimal maintenance.

Best low-maintenance wooden cutting board
Ironwood Large Prep End Grain with Channel, Wood

Ironwood Large Prep End Grain with Channel, Wood

Best upgraded wooden cutting board: Smirly Bamboo Cutting Board Set with Holder

Allen’s pick for best upgraded wooden cutting board is this set from Smirly, featuring three bamboo boards in different sizes, which all stack neatly together into their own matching holder. Both extremely practical and an attractive kitchen display piece, they’re also much less expensive than many of the options on this list.

Specifications:

  • Wood type: Bamboo
  • Construction: Not listed
  • Dimensions: 17 inches long x 12 inches wide x 0.8 inches thick (large), 15 inches long x 11 inches wide x 0.8 inches thick (medium), 13 inches long x 10 inches wide x 0.8 inches thick (small)
  • Weight: 7.3 pounds
  • Price on publish: $39.99

What we like:

  • Inexpensive
  • Practical

What we don’t like:

  • Requires regular oiling

The bottom line:

An inexpensive and convenient option for those with minimal storage space.

Best upgraded wooden cutting board
SMIRLY Wood Cutting Boards For Kitchen - Bamboo Cutting Board Set with Holder, Wood Cutting Board Set, Cutting Board Wood, Wooden Chopping Board, Wooden Cutting Board Set

SMIRLY Wood Cutting Boards For Kitchen - Bamboo Cutting Board Set with Holder, Wood Cutting Board Set, Cutting Board Wood, Wooden Chopping Board, Wooden Cutting Board Set

Best wooden cutting board for meat: Lipper International Acacia Carving Board

If your wooden cutting board purchase is being inspired by some serious carnivore urges, this is the one for you. “The Lipper International 1240 Acacia Carving Board is a great option for meat,” says Javaid. “It uses Acacia wood, which is stronger than oak and has natural moisture resistance, much like maple. The groove on this board is a bit wider, too, for effectively catching the juices from meat.” Shopping tip: While you’re at it, consider upgrading your meat thermometer to ensure the best possible results.

Specifications:

  • Wood type: Acacia
  • Construction: Not listed
  • Dimensions: 18 inches long x 12 inches wide x 1 inch thick
  • Weight: 4.4 pounds
  • Price on publish: $39.99

What we like:

  • Extra-wide groove for catching stray meat juices
  • Sturdy

What we don’t like:

  • Nothing–all customer reviews are glowing!

The bottom line:

A meat-lovers board, made from thick, sturdy acacia and featuring an extra-wide jus groove.

Best wooden cutting board for meat
Lipper International Acacia Rect. Herringbone design Chopping board, side grooves, deep well, 18x12x1 Inches

Lipper International Acacia Rect. Herringbone design Chopping board, side grooves, deep well, 18x12x1 Inches

Best end-grain wooden cutting board: Crate & Barrel Rectangular Acacia End-Grain Cutting Board

As mentioned earlier, end-grain cutting boards are more durable than edge-grain, and due their more complex construction process, may also be more expensive. But while this entry is certainly pricey, you’re getting a truly solid piece of kitchenware. “The Crate & Barrel Rectangular Acacia End-Grain Cutting Board is an intricate end-grain design that is hand-carved and 3.2 inches thick,” says Javaid. “The board certainly embraces the aesthetic choice of end grain designs, although it is at a higher price point.”

Specifications:

  • Wood type: Acacia
  • Construction: End-grain
  • Dimensions: 20.75 inches long x 14.25 inches wide x 3.2 inches thick
  • Weight: 18 pounds
  • Price on publish: $149.95

What we like:

  • Beautiful design
  • End-grain construction

What we don’t like:

  • Heavy

The bottom line:

A superbly-constructed, elegant wooden cutting board, albeit a hefty one in terms of both weight and price.

Best end-grain wooden cutting board:
Crate & Barrel Rectangular Acacia End-Grain Cutting Board

Crate & Barrel Rectangular Acacia End-Grain Cutting Board

Best edge-grain wooden cutting board: TeakHaus Edge-Grain Cutting Board

For a more elevated edge-grain board, Javaid recommends checking out the TeakHaus Edge-Grain Cutting Board. “It’s made of durable teak wood, which is a good choice for edge-grain models,” he says. “This model has hand grips for convenience and has a more interesting aesthetic design than most other edge-grain cutting boards, almost resembling an end-grain model.”

Specifications:

  • Wood type: Teak
  • Construction: Edge-grain
  • Dimensions: 24 inches long x 18 inches wide x 1.5 inches thick
  • Weight: 15 pounds
  • Price on publish: $139

What we like:

  • Good-looking
  • Durable

What we don’t like:

  • A minority of customer reviews complain that it arrived slightly warped

The bottom line:

A high-end edge-grain option with the look of an end-grain cutting board.

Best edge-grain wooden cutting board
Teakhaus Reversible Teak Edge Grain Cutting Board, Tan at Sur La Table

Teakhaus Reversible Teak Edge Grain Cutting Board, Tan at Sur La Table

Best luxury wooden cutting board: John Boos Large Walnut Wood Reversible Cutting Board

If you’re planning on doing more than chop stuff up on your board—using it to serve charcuterie alongside instead of breaking out your best dinnerware sets for example—then a high-end option might be better for you. “This is another option from John Boos that offers a more luxurious feel,” says Javaid. “It’s made from high-quality walnut, which not only gives it a rich color and grain but also makes it durable and resistant to knife marks.”

Specifications:

  • Wood type: Walnut
  • Construction: Edge-grain
  • Dimensions: 24 inches long x 18 inches wide x 1.5 inches thick
  • Weight: 17
  • Price on publish: $326.95

What we like:

  • Recessed handles
  • Reversible

What we don’t like:

  • Expensive

The bottom line:

A luxuriously-designed wooden cutting board with a luxury price tag to match.

Best luxury wooden cutting board
John Boos Large Walnut Wood Reversible Cutting Board

John Boos Large Walnut Wood Reversible Cutting Board

How we selected the best wooden cutting boards

Our selections were made through a combination of expert advice, personal experience, and ensuring everything on our list has majority positive customer reviews, especially in terms of longevity, construction, and value for money.

Wood versus plastic cutting boards

“The bottom line is that wood and bamboo cutting boards last longer than plastic, making them much more sustainable,” says Javaid. “Plastic tends to be a more affordable option in many cases, and they do not dull knives, which is a bonus. They can, however, become warped if you put them in the dishwasher, making it harder to complete food prep as the board does not lay flat.”

Wooden cutting board maintenance

“Caring for a wooden cutting board includes hand washing only with hot water and mild detergent, drying thoroughly with a towel, and applying food-grade mineral oil monthly to condition and protect the wood,” says Allen. “Occasional light sanding can refresh the surface if deep grooves develop.”

The best way to clean a wooden cutting board

First off, avoid the dishwasher with wooden cutting boards. “It's best to initially scrape off debris with a damp cloth, then wash, avoiding soaking or using harsh detergents which may damage the wood,” says Allen. “You should also periodically sanitize a wood board using a diluted vinegar solution or food-safe disinfectant spray, in order to kill lingering bacteria. The best oil to apply is USP-grade mineral oil, which is odorless, tasteless, and specifically intended for cutting board conditioning.”

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What’s the best type of wood for cutting boards?

“You will most commonly see maple, cherry, and walnut, which are dense woods that are the most durable,” says Javaid.

Do you need to sanitize a wooden cutting board?

“Wood naturally has antimicrobial properties, but it’s still important to keep it clean from moisture,” warns Javaid. “Sanitizing the wood with soap and water or vinegar and water will be effective for keeping it clean and food-safe.”

Which type of oil is best for a wooden cutting board?

“Mineral oil is the industry standard for wooden cutting boards,” says Javaid. “It’s often also called liquid paraffin and is the best food-safe option. You can also use a beeswax finish, which will give your cutting board some shine and is water-resistant.”

Which cutting board is the safest to use and keeps bacteria away?

“As long as you care for your cutting board properly, wood, bamboo, and plastic are all safe options,” says Javaid. “Proper cleaning will be essential for keeping bacteria away.”

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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