If you want to improve your prepping skills and cook like a professional, it is time you own the best wood for cutting boards.
A cutting board is a crucial piece of equipment for a kitchen. It can be your chopping block, food preparation surface, or serving station at any given moment.
A cutting board saves you from creating a mess in your kitchen. With its confined space, your mind refuses to go beyond its boundaries.
You can find kitchen cutting made of different materials like plastic, metal, wood, & others. However, if you ask about professionals, most swear by the wooden ones. Wooden cutting boards are more resilient, highly durable, eco-friendly, and hold more variety than any other material.
You can find wooden cutting boards made from different kinds of wood. On the one hand, it is a good thing, but on the other, it creates a problem for you to find the right one.
Today we bring you this guide to help you with this kitchen emergency. You will learn about the best type of wood for cutting boards, buying guide, and some of the best choices to consider in 2022.
So let us explore the best-suited wood for the cutting board for your kitchen.
Why A Cutting Board?
A cutting board is a kitchen utensil specially used as a prepping food surface.
Whether you want to mince your herbs, chop your veggies, cut that big chunk of meat, or move your ingredients, a cutting board assists in all. It helps make your prepping work more organized and your kitchen less messy.
All kinds of chopping boards are available in the market made from different materials like wood, plastic, glass, & others. Out of all the materials, wood is the most prominent and the best material for a cutting board.
Top 7 Reasons You Should Own The Best Wood For Making Cutting Boards
What makes the wood so special is probably the first thought that comes to your mind. As buyers, we tend to go over every aspect and accept something just because someone else says it is unsatisfactory. Wood has many advantages over plastic, glass, and other building materials.
Here we have a detailed list of seven crucial reasons why you should be a proud owner of a wooden cutting board.
Wooden cutting boards come in many designs and styles. You can choose wood types, finishes, sizes, and other features. There is a whole range of wood cutting boards compared to other materials.
Wood is one of the most durable and reliable building materials. A cutting board made from wood can easily last for years, even decades, with good maintenance.
Wooden chopping boards are not easy to break. So, if you drop them on the floor, the chances of breaking are negligible. Also, there won’t be any pieces scattered on the floor that can cut you like glass cutting boards.
4. Protect Your Knives
With regular usage on cutting boards, your knives tend to go blunt. Blunting of knives is common in the case of glass & plastic boards.
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However, a wooden cutting board does not harm your knives. And even if your knives get blunt, it will be once a year, while with other materials, it will be a frequent one.
Wood cooking boards are easy to handle. No amount of greasy food can make the thing hard or slippery to handle. Wooden boards are strong, easy to carry, and will not slip away from your hands, even if your hands or the board are wet.
6. Easy To Maintain
Maintaining a wooden cutting board is effortless. All you need to do is regular oiling and washing to keep it in the best shape.
If you are too lazy to perform the oiling task, you can always buy pre-treated boards, which reduce your maintenance requirements further.
7. Enhance Your Kitchen Style
One of the best things about wood items in your kitchen is that they boost its aesthetic in the best possible way. A simple wooden board can compliment your kitchen way better than a customized glass or plastic board.
You can go light to dark color shades and rustic to modern looks with wood.
Factors To Consider When Looking For The Best Type Of Wood For Cutting Board
Wood is the best material for cooking boards but not all wooden boards are the same. There is a huge variety in the wood family used to make cutting boards, and not all are the ideal ones.
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You need to be alert and access your options carefully before making a final decision. You can get the best addition to your kitchen, which will assist you fully in boosting your cooking skills if you keep all the mentioned factors in your mind while making a purchase.
A. Janka Hardness Rating
The hardness rating implies the wearing resistance of a wooden board. The higher the rating, the more resistant the wood is to scratches, dents, and other incisions from knives. You will come across hardwood & softwood cutting boards, which hold their unique properties.
Hardwoods have a higher hardness rating and are less prone to damage. But an extremely hardboard can dull your knives with regular use. So, look for hardwood cutting boards with hardness ratings between 900 and 1500 Janka.
B. Porosity/Grain Type
The porosity of a wooden cutting board indicates how much liquid it can contain. The higher the porosity, the more it retains juices from your food, leading to microorganisms buildup.
You can check if the wood is highly porous or not by examining its grain type, namely, open-grained or closed-grained.
A cutting board made from closed-grain wood has small pores which work impressively in keeping the liquid & microorganisms from entering the surface.
On the other hand, open-grained woods have visible pores that easily soak up all the moisture on their surface. Thus, opt for closed-grained wood as it has low porosity, which helps you avoid mold growth, wood warping, or stains.
Conditioning is necessary if you want to keep your wooden cutting board longer. You will require to condition your wooden cutting board as per its wood formation.
Conditioning helps suppress the natural tendency of your chopping board’s wood to shrink, warp or split with time.
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You can use food-grade mineral oil to perform the task at home. Just remember that some woods shrink more than others and thus require more frequent conditioning. If you are not okay with frequent oiling rituals, look for wood with low maintenance demands.
Wood may be natural, but it contains its fair share of toxins. While using your cutting board, your food can easily absorb its chemicals & other toxins it contains.
Indirectly you are consuming these toxins, which in the long run can harm you. So, it is better to stick with the woods that produce edible fruits, leaves, nuts, or sap as they are considered food safe.
Exotic woods like purpleheart are a big no. They might be endearing in looks but contain too many toxins that can easily get absorbed in your food.
You should always buy only those items in your kitchen that you can move without any external help. This way, you can ensure you can handle an item independently. When it comes to wood for cutting boards, the heavier is better, as they are more stable & durable.
However, it is not good if you can not carry one easily enough to put all the ingredients in the pan. Remember that your food will add extra weight to your cutting board. So, going for a wood that is too heavy will only be a burden.
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Opt for the weight you can easily carry while anticipating how much extra weight on it you can manage easily. Going for wood that is too heavy or too light is always the worse choice.
F. Blunting Knives
Look whether wood will blunt your knives or not. Generally, with prolonged use, your knives will go dull, but some wood makes this happen much quicker than the others. Woods like Maple, Beech, Teak, and Walnut are less likely to blunt your knives.
The wood used in making a cooking board plays a huge role in its final price. Along with this, style, customization, and size also play a crucial role.
You can find items from cheap to extremely expensive. On average, you can purchase a single board for about $30. But with rising prices, the features, quality, and satisfaction also increase.
9 Best Wood For Cutting Boards You Can Consider For Your Kitchen
Now that you are familiar with how a wooden cutting board is a great fit for your kitchen, we move forward to find the best wood for it.
Every cook is different. What works for one may or may not be ideal for another. So, instead of getting swayed by features, you need to take your requirements & practicality into consideration.
Below we have the nine best wood for making cutting boards. Each wood type is discussed in detail along with its respective pros & cons. Explore each type to find the ideal match for your cooking and kitchen.
If you want the best wood for cutting boards, then Maple is all you need. Maple is the industry standard among cutting board makers and is available as both soft & hard.
The hard closed-grain maple is highly popular, with about a 1,450 lbs rating on the Janka scale. Maple offers an excellent cutting surface for daily use. It is highly durable and resistant to bacteria, moisture, and stains.
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Maple wood is light and mainly neutral in color, making it coordinate well with almost every kitchen color scheme. However, this neutral color makes it impossible to hide stains if you have them. So, instant cleaning is much needed.
Furthermore, red Maple is toxic. So, if you are thinking of making your chopping or butcher board, use sugar maple instead.
Another food-safe wood you can choose for your cutting board is Beech. It measures 1,300 lbs on the hardness scale and is the second-best choice.
This closed-grained hardwood is highly durable and does not get damaged by strong impacts. In addition, the dense wood grain pattern makes this wood extremely resistant to scratches.
The small pores make Beech greatly effective at warding off bacteria, moisture, and stains. It makes cleaning this wood easily.
The thing to remember is that Beech shrinks more than any other hardwood. Thus, your cutting board would require conditioning at least once a month.
Also, Beech has a cream to pink or brown color, which displays the stains easily. Besides this, it is a brilliant wood for making a chopping board. Lastly, it is one of the most affordable wood. You can buy a beech wood chopping board for less than $15.
The teak wood holds a hardness rating of about 1,070 lbs, making it a good choice for building a cutting board resistant to scratches & impacts. It is one of the best wood choices, only inferior to Maple & Beech.
This tropical closed-grained hardwood is highly durable, especially in adverse weather conditions. It means that prolonged exposure to wet conditions will not harm this wood. Teak wood has a high oil content, giving it the highest decay-resistant property among all natural woods.
In addition, the teak is highly resistant to shrinking, meaning no frequent conditioning. Do it once every three months & you are good to go.
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Despite all these advantages, teak holds some serious downsides too. Teak wood contains a significant amount of silica, making your knives dull faster than any other wood on the list.
Also, its large pores make it more vulnerable to bacteria & moisture buildup, and stains. Teak is available in light, orange-brown to dark brown hues.
If you are amused to find walnut on this list, then you are not alone. Very few people know that apart from giving us delicious dry fruit, the walnut tree has more to offer.
Walnut wood is greatly used in making cutting boards and countertops. It is the softest closed-grained hardwood you can buy, which will never harm your knife blades. Walnut is also food safe and holds a hardness rating of 1,010 lbs.
This wood is not quite strong as Maple or Beech and is more susceptible to scratches & dents. But if you take good care of them, you can avoid them.
It has medium to large pores and a closed-grain pattern that offers good resistance to bacteria & moisture than teak but less than Maple & Beech. Walnut does not shrink much, so you must condition it once every two months to maintain them.
Furthermore, its dark-colored hue helps in masking everyday stains and makes it a classic, high-end choice for your kitchen. Lastly, walnut chopping boards can cost you from $20 to $200.
The cherry is a medium hardwood with a Janka strength of 995 lbs. It is a good choice for cutting boards, especially if you want something to boost the aesthetics of your kitchen. Cherry wood will hold up well against your everyday work, and its soft texture will not dull your knives.
It has a tight grain that prevents water absorption and warping, making it resistant to moisture and bacteria buildup. Cherry wood is more prone to damage from your cutting tools than other woods.
Also, cherry wood darkens over time which may not appeal to every consumer. Furthermore, it needs frequent conditioning to avoid any mold buildups.
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Lastly, cherry wood is more costly than Maple & Beech. And always look for a cutting board thicker than two inches.
Acacia is a hardwood that is not quite common for making cutting boards but holds superior properties making it an ideal choice.
It rates hardness levels around 1,170 to 1,1720 lbs on the Janka scale, ensuring it is sturdy enough to handle the roughness across your kitchen. In addition, Acacia comes in various shades, making it suitable for every kitchen, from modest to fancy.
Also, the acacia wood cutting board can handle all the heavy impacts and can last for years in your kitchen. Furthermore, acacia wood has harsh climates of origin, which makes it well suited for water. It means this wood is highly mold & insect resistant.
Lastly, this wood will not damage your knives and can be used as a stylish serving platter.
Opting for a Bamboo cutting board is a good idea if you are looking for a more eco-friendly choice.
You might know bamboo is technically a hard grass that is highly sustainable. Bamboo is an excellent choice for making a cutting board for your kitchen as it has a hardness rating of 1,380 lbs. It can withstand a hard fall and all the hardships you put your chopping board through.
It is high in silica and resistant to scratches and water. However, regarding relationships with knives, bamboo is most likely to make them blunt faster than many other kinds of wood.
Furthermore, bamboo has great aesthetics with its light hue & fine grain. It makes it perfect for modern kitchens. Lastly, it needs proper maintenance like regular washing & oiling for long-lasting.
The oak is a hardwood with large pores. It can easily withstand the toughness around your kitchen, but its high porosity makes it an inconvenient choice. The large pores lead to high water absorption, which leads to mold & bacteria buildup.
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To avoid this, you need to maintain them well. An oak wood kitchen board will require weekly conditioning to ensure good working. When it comes to knives, oak is like a true friend. It will not dull them like glass or ceramic cutting boards.
The ash wood is another great choice for your chopping board. Ash rates about 1,300 lbs on the Janka hardness scale, making it hard, durable, and
Tough to withstand everyday use in your kitchen. Ash wood is ring-porous, making it more prone to moisture absorption, but you can keep it for a long period with proper care.
It is a durable, lightweight, and aesthetically pleasing choice for your kitchen. Also, ash absorbs wood stains well, ensuring it does not lose the quality of its beige to light brown hue.
Different Types Of Best Wood For End Grain Cutting Board Patterns
Despite hardness & food safety, there is another thing that you need to know or consider when looking for the best wood for cutting boards.
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Some people may think of grain patterns as a design to make the wood look attractive. However, those patterns on your chopping board indicate different levels of durability.
Check out the different wood grain patterns you can come across when looking for your next kitchen prepping board.
– End-Grain Cutting Boards
The chopping boards having the end-grain pattern are made by fusing cut wooden boards. The reason is to get the leveled surface from the short ends of the bords. You will see that such a chopping board has a surface looking like a checkerboard.
The edge grain cutting boards are more fibrous and hold an open wood-cell structure; their cutting surface is softer and gentler on your knives.
Furthermore, the wood can heal from minor impressions due to its open wood-cell structure. Lastly, this type of cutting board is expensive compared to the other grain types.
– Edge-Grain Cutting Boards
These cutting boards are made from the fusion of cut wooden boards so that their side edges form a level surface that faces up. The pattern is like long, lean strips. This type of cutting board is heavier, offering more stability.
However, this strength leads to the blunting of your knives over time. Also, it has poor self-healing abilities, meaning it is more likely to retain the cutting marks. Lastly, regarding price, the edge grain is a cheaper choice.
– Face-Grain Cutting Boards
The face-grain cutting boards are edge-grain cutting boards with one side wider than the other.
The wider side of the board is referred to as the face, which is generally kept up during use. These are also called flat-grain boards.
Top FAQs About What Is The Best Wood For A Cutting Board
Which is the healthiest cutting board wood?
Any wood extracted from a tree producing edible fruits is safe to build kitchen essentials.
Thus, the words like Maple, Beech, walnut, & Beech are all food-safe wood options to consider.
What kind of wood should not be used for cutting boards?
Some woods are toxic and should be avoided for making cutting boards.
The woods, like red oak, are open-grained. It means they easily trap too much dirt & water and are hard to clean.
It is why they are more prone to harboring germs, making them unsafe for your health.
When it comes to sanitation, which is the best cutting board type?
Plastic is the best choice if you are looking for the most sanitary cutting board material. It does not absorb water, is easy to clean, and requires no conditioning.
However, suppose you are looking for these properties among wooden cutting boards. In that case, Maple is the best as it is the most resistant to bacteria & mold.
Which is the best wood for the end grain cutting board?
Maple is the best wood for making end-grain cutting boards. This hardwood is food safe, sturdy, holds a Janka hardness rating of around 1,700 lbs, and is highly resistant to moisture & bacteria.
You can do all the tough cooking jobs on this wood without worrying about damaging it.
What is the best wood for a cutting board?
There are different kinds of woods available that you can choose for your chopping board. The only thing you need to look for is that the wood should be non-toxic, hard enough, and resistant enough to handle regular kitchen jobs.
Check out our top nine choices for the woods to build kitchen cutting boards.
When it comes to refined cooking, a chopping board is a must for your kitchen, and a wooden one is the best option.
We hope that with our list of the nine best wood cutting boards and the simple buying guide, you can make an informed decision to enjoy your cooking.
Which wood did you find most suitable for your kitchen?