(This site is reader-supported. When you buy something using retail links on our articles, we may earn a small commission.)
When it comes to buying kitchen tools, a cutting board is one of the most important tools to consider. However, sadly, it is also among the taken-for-granted ones. Very few people realize the importance of investing in the right board.
It is a fact that a cutting board is not the most visually-appealing tool. It neither shine nor has any tech appeals. Regardless of the model and make, a kitchen board sits there. So, then why to choose the right model? Why not any board?
Importance of Selecting the Best Cutting Board
Despite this plain avatar, a cutting board in the kitchen needs to be of high quality, the right quality. Such a board in the culinary arsenal can maintain the good health of you and your family members by keeping food-borne diseases at bay.
It will also provide a sturdy surface to slice, chop, dice, and cut any food and keep the kitchen counter durable by preventing the damage otherwise caused by a sharp knife blade. Such a board also keeps the countertop surface clean by preventing it from coming into contact with bacteria and liquid.
At the same time, it takes care of the knife’s blade in use by preventing it from becoming quickly dull. While a quality knife set is a valuable investment, investing in the right cutting board makes the former investment worthwhile by increasing the knife’s lifespan.
The right model also makes cleaning after food preparation easier than expected. This is because you only need to scrape off the residues to restore the cleanliness.
Thus, while cutting boards are not tech innovations, unlike other kitchen gadgets, they certainly play a significant role in healthy cooking as well as knife maintenance. This is true, regardless of whether you are a professional chef or a mother.
So, if you still perceive a cutting board to be a mere piece of lumber, it is time to change this perception and consider it as important as a knife.
2021’s 5 Best Cutting Board Reviews
To get the most from a cutting board, you will invest perhaps in the most necessary qualities such as durability, easy maintenance, and knife-friendly operation. While there are many varieties of cutting boards in the market, each one has its own pros and cons. To make your selection task more comfortable, here are the top 5 cutting boards to consider and compare.
- OXO Good Grips Utility Cutting Board- Best Overall Board for Versatility, Healthy Cutting, and Affordability
- Teakhaus Edge Grain Rectangle Cutting Board -Best Teak Board for Cutting
- John Boos Block RA03 Maple Wood Edge Grain Reversible Cutting Board -Best Aesthetical and High-End Wood Board
- Totally Bamboo 3-Piece Bamboo Serving and Cutting Board Set-Best Bamboo cutting board with serving Set
- Epicurean Prep Series Cutting Boards -The All Knife Friendly Set
OXO Good Grips Utility Cutting Board- Best Overall Board for Versatility, Healthy Cutting, and Affordability
Anything that comes into contact with your food may be a potential source of contamination leading to food-borne diseases. This also includes a cutting board.
For example, if you cut a raw green vegetable on a board and then use the same for slicing onions, the risk of cross-contamination is always there. Here, the pathogens from the vegetable get transferred to onions. This is something you will always avoid.
Cross-contamination is common amongst wooden boards if they are not maintained or sanitized well. While wood is harder to sanitize, its tough and durable nature does not leave many deep scratches if maintained well.
On the other hand, plastic boards are more comfortable to sanitize. While they are infamous for leaving many grooves where microbes can hide, the plastic board from OXO eliminates this risk as well.
This board is made of durable polypropylene, which is non-porous, durable, and resistant to odor as well as scratches. The red or black lining on the sides not only contributes to an aesthetic appeal but also prevents it from slipping onto the counter.
Due to a good grip, this board defies the fact that plastic boards tend to move much while in use on the counter. Further, the soft, tapered handles facilitate effortless lifting.
One of the most commendable features of this board is that it is reversible. Its lightweight build allows an easy and quick switch from front to rear for cutting two different things on different surfaces to prevent cross-contamination.
Another commendable feature is its juice grooves on the corners that contain the liquids and elevate this board over other cutting boards. The board also prevents your knife from becoming dull. The overall size is generous if using a chef’s knife, although there are three sizes for you to choose from.
- Light and thin
- Versatile enough to cut a myriad of things
- No food contamination
- Thick, non-porous, and durable
- Non-slippery sides
- Resistance to scratches and odor
- Carving support
- Easy to clean
- Juice grooves
- Big size
- Highly affordable
- Somewhat slippery on a wet countertop
- Warping if used in the dishwasher
Teakhaus Edge Grain Rectangle Cutting Board -Best Teak Board for Cutting
A traditional look with a modern and stylish touch makes this cutting board quite appealing. Yes, it is not as stylish as other modern cutting boards, but it has its own unique charisma. Thanks to the rustic look, which is likely to make you recall the board of your grandmother.
The main attraction of this board is it’s built using teakwood, a material that renders only high-quality boards. This tropical wood provides several benefits such as moisture resistance, scarring and warping resistance, termite and fungus resistance, and water repellant due to inherent oils.
In terms of longevity, teak is a reliable build material. However, heavy cutting is likely to damage its surface. Still, it is a good option for those who need a big cutting board that can ensure operational as well as storage convenience.
Its big size is ideal for preparing food for a big group of people and for serving different slices of bread and cheese. It’s another feature that is a convenient handle in the middle, which is useful for those working in limited kitchen space.
You can simply use the handle for safe serving while at work and for hanging on a wall while not in use. Due to its size and versatility, it is worth considering this board. Although teakwood is widely available in South-East Asia, Teakhaus can deliver its board to your home.
- Ample space for cutting and bread serving
- Smooth surface
- Attractive and durable build
- Oily that eliminates oiling the surface frequently as a part of maintenance
- Convenient to hang due to handle
- NSF-certified (ensures health standards adherence)
- Not for heavy usage/butchering
John Boos Block RA03 Maple Wood Edge Grain Reversible Cutting Board -Best Aesthetical and High-End Wood Board
Consider this board if you wish to buy from an esteemed brand established since a long time in the industry. John Boos is perhaps a century-old brand and is admired even by chefs for manufacturing cutting boards of different sizes and styles.
This reversible board is recognized for its visually-appealing edge grain build. The look is so stunning that you can just keep it on the counter after use. It is thicker than many other popular boards considering its 2.25-inches of thickness.
The board is both thick and heavy due to which it does not glide or slip while in use. It is made using maple wood, which is known to give one of the most durable and finest cutting surfaces. This maple board is reversible, which means you can use both flat sides for cutting to keep cross-contamination away.
The build also features slightly circular edges and a cream finish. Further, the inset handgrips on each end ensure effortless moving, lifting, and cleaning this big, generous board. They also make it easy to rotate or flip the board.
For maintenance and longing functionality, it is essential to wash the board by hand in warm soapy water and dry it instantly. To maintain its rich look, weekly oil treatment is required.
- Aesthetical and strong build
- Big size
- FDA-approved and NSF-certified
- Very costly
- No handles
Totally Bamboo 3-Piece Bamboo Serving and Cutting Board Set-Best Bamboo Set
Bamboo boards are gaining more popularity these days, as they are environmentally friendly. Bamboo grows quickly due to which hardwood timberlands are preserved.
When it comes to cutting boards, bamboo provides a solid, dense cutting surface. It is also admired for being more longevity, as knives cannot easily scratch such a board. So, if you prefer a bamboo made board, this set is worth considering.
This pack comes with three boards of different sizes, namely, small, medium, and large. This means you can use these boards for various purposes.
The flat-grain build leads to a visually appealing surface that is friendly to knives and ensures consistent quality cutting. The bamboo material in use is organic Moso bamboo.
It is essential to take good care of the bamboo surface. Cleaning is easy with a simple hand wash with soap and warm water. It is also advisable to apply oil monthly for retaining its visual appeal. You can use these boards even for servings and platters due to its glossy finish.
- Great look
- Different sizes
- Harder surface than wood
- Highly maintainable material
- Not highly durable
- Not dishwasher-friendly
Epicurean Prep Series Cutting Boards -The All Knife Friendly Set
If simplicity is your way and a visual appeal is not what you crave for, consider this prep series from Epicurean. Many homemakers look for a set of cutting boards so that they can use boards of different sizes by paying an affordable rate. This is exactly what this simple package gives.
Ideal for plain interiors or minimalist kitchen spaces, this package comes with three wood composite boards, each of distinct size. The build material in use is wood composite, which makes these boards eco-friendly.
The material is also safe for any kind of knife and makes the surface resistant to heat up to 350-degrees. The wood color is natural, which does not seem as elegant as other boards, but it has its own charisma.
The different sizes keep cross-contamination at bay. Some more features of this set include handle opening, no harboring of bacteria, easy cleaning, and minimal recyclable package.
- Different sizes in one set
- Resistant to heat
- Easy to store due to thin size
- Not highly durable
How To Choose The Best Cutting Board
Cutting boards and knives have one thing in common: everyone will get certainly something. Professional cooking setups employ color-coded plastic, while homemakers prefer wood or bamboo. This handy kitchen tool is not just for display; it is highly functional as well in terms of security and versatility.
Thus, when it comes to selecting the right cutting board, you truly have factors or options to consider. After all, no two cutting boards are identical. For choosing a cutting board that is the best fit for your kitchen as well as cooking style, it is essential to consider the factors that affect your selection process.
Selecting the best board is not a simple decision. You need to consider factors such as material, size, and grip. Let’s check out these factors.
Various materials are used in making culinary cutting boards such as wood, artificial composites, bamboo, glass, and plastic. While plastics are dishwasher-friendly, wooden boards are rich in biological antibacterial properties due to which handwashing is required.
A visual appeal is not essential if you need a board only for cutting. However, if you wish to serve appetizers, bread, or cheese, a good look is important. The United States Department of Agriculture says that a solid piece of wood, plastic, bamboo, marble, glass, or pyro ceramic are options for cutting boards.
- Wood: A wood material for a cutting board can be one of the naturally available options such as teak, maple, cherry, and walnut. Even composite materials belong to this category. Boards made using a hardwood material such as walnut, cherry, or maple are costly and heavy. However, they are highly dependable and durable enough to be used in restaurants. They typically need frequent maintenance and are not dishwasher-friendly. Another material belonging to this group is wood fiber composite. Boards by Epicurean are made up of one such durable material that encompasses recycled paper and food-safe resin. They are affordable, durable, and dishwasher-safe. The Epicurean boards, thus, give the best of both worlds: dishwasher cleaning and an elegant finish look for which woods are traditionally admired. Above all, these boards are sustainably manufactured in the U.S. using the wood pulp that has a low impact on the environment. The more the dishwasher-safe your product is, the more elegant it appears. Further, they do not dull the knives at all.
- Plastics: This is the material to choose if you wish a highly functional or utility board and are not bothered about the looks. Most plastic boards are made using polypropylene, a high-density material. They are sturdy and durable. Being non-porous, plastics do not allow bacteria to hide in crevices, corners, and cracks. Thus, in this way, it helps in preventing cross-contamination. While okay on knives as compared to wood, they are likely to shelter bacteria even more than wood after long-time use. On the plus side, these boards are safe to wash in a dishwasher and are more affordable than wood counterparts. While buying a plastic cutting board, ensure that you buy a soft one so that it does not harm your knife and is tough at the same time to endure the wear and tear. It is time to buy a new plastic board if it outlasts its usefulness.
- Bamboo: This material has been recently introduced in the world of manufacturing cutting boards. It is undoubtedly due to its low environmental impact that comes from the fact that bamboo is a quick-growing grass, not a tree. Bamboo is sturdier than most wood types due to which it is highly functional for cutting tasks in the kitchen. It is resistant to moisture, cracks, scarring, and warps. Further, bamboo is also lightweight. Still, the end grain of such boards is softer and is prone to split. USDA recommends bamboo as it’s less porous to absorb water.
- Glass, Slate, and Marble: These materials are certainly easy to clean and maintain. However, they end up shortening the sharp life of your knives. As a result of their high densities, it takes no time for your knives to become dull. These materials also end up chipping the blade. These materials are only fine for your cheese spread and kneading. A few cooks feel that tempered glass cutting boards add a fantastic look to the counter. However, glass is subject to breaking, even if it looks cool. In the case of chipping, the pieces can get mixed with the food. A glass board is okay only as a serving tray. Even if there is pastel hue mixed with glass to reflect elegance, a glass board should not be used for daily cutting. For dicing, slicing, and chopping, other materials are worth considering.
Cutting boards are available in different sizes, ranging from small to big. Generally, the bigger the board, the better it is. However, a greater size means more effort to keep it clean and store. Further, on a small countertop, you seriously would not keep the board hanging over it. In such cases, a small board will be useful for you.
However, if you need to prepare meals for a big group, then a big board must be your choice. A small board is also useful for slicing veggies and fruits.
Risk of Cross-Contamination
This risk exists when you are cutting, chopping, slicing, and dicing a variety of things, ranging right from veggies to herbs. Well, this is a common scenario in any kitchen, even if the user is not a professional chef.
Now, all these different ingredients in their raw form are likely to have bacteria or germs. While it may not sound serious, the bacteria-rich juices of a raw item that is cut can get into another raw item to be cut. This happens if you do not clean the board by washing properly.
This is called cross-contamination, which can lead to food poisoning and salmonella, an infection affecting the intestinal tract. Even if you wash well, bacteria can get stuck in crevices and corners. Thus, it is always wise to clean and sanitize.
However, even better, you should consider dedicating a board to each ingredient category — for example, a different board for veggies and a different one for herbs.
This should be non-toxic. It is recommended choosing a board with a finish that is edible. Such finishes are coconut oil, beeswax, walnut oil, carnauba wax, linseed oil, and organic oil. You should avoid choosing even the food-grade petroleum-based mineral oil. Just ensure that you are not sensitive to any of these non-toxic oils. You may even by a non-finish cutting board and finish yourself.
Grooved vs. Flat
A groove is ideal for holding juices of juicy items such as tomatoes. On the other hand, flat boards are suitable for dry ingredients such as cauliflowers and radishes. So, you can choose as per the ingredients you are more likely to deal with
Friendliness with your Knives
The right cutting board is the one that not only has a friendly cutting surface but also defends the edge and blade of a knife from being short-lived. Materials such as a few plastics, composites, and wood are excellent caretakers of your knives.
Slip resistance is an ability that any board user will look for. Check out the lightweight boards with plastic feet at the base or grip strips on sides. These boards prevent slipping while ensuring a secured grip as you are cutting. In their absence, you can consider placing your board on a wet towel.
How many boards do I need?
This depends on how frequently you use the board or cook. To prevent food contamination, it is better to have more than one board. A set of three each with a different size is ideal so that you can use for handling different ingredients.
Are all cutting boards dishwasher-safe?
No! A common mistake that most new owners make is putting the cutting board of wood in a dishwasher. While it may initially sustain itself, it will gradually degrade, crack, or split.
Is it necessary to oil a wooden board initially after buying it?
Yes! It is the first step. Any food-safe oil will do.
The best cutting board for you is the one that does not become rancid, prevents food contamination, and lasts longer with little maintenance. You can find this board by choosing the right material, size, knife friendliness, and reversibility.
Hi, I am Jay. I am the creator of Knife Guides, your one-stop site for everything related to knives. I am a computer engineer by profession, knife aficionado by passion. Here I work with a group of people who’ve always had a passion for knives and blades. Over the years we’ve kind of become experts and decided to share our knowledge and ideas. I am also an avid hiker and enjoy offshore gamefishing.