The Counters Blog

The Best Boards – Reviews By Wirecutter Wood Cutting Board



Both boards feel good under a knife, and stood up to many sharp cuts, dark stains, and strong odors better than the competition.

We were also impressed with how effective the juice groove was at holding liquid. The teak is hard enough to allow for smooth cuts, but not so hard that it dulls your knife’s edge. Unlike our main pick, its juice groove doesn’t have the capacity to hold the drippings from a whole roast chicken, but it’s still useful when chopping a couple of juicy tomatoes. In our tests, it stood up to spills and messy ingredients better than most of the competition.That said, it still requires regular oil treatments and needs to stay mostly free of moisture.

He scoured hundreds of customer reviews, knife and woodworking forums, blog posts, and microbiology and culinary journal articles. Having multiple boards on hand is especially convenient when preparing a lot of food for family gatherings or holiday meals. For those that want an inexpensive surface that’s easy to clean and maintain, we’d recommend getting a plastic cutting board. When asked what board they’d most want to cut on, the chefs we spoke with tended to pick wood blocks. Some of our testers hated the look of plastic boards and didn’t like the way the knife made contact with the board.


5 Ultimate All In One Cutting Boards Forever Solving Messy Countertop Cleanup #1 | Duration 11 Minutes 57 Seconds

Choosing between wood and plastic depends on your cooking and cleaning preferences. Plastic boards are typically thinner and lighter than most wood boards, so they’re easier to move and store. Cuts and gouge marks from knives will show more on plastic boards than wood boards. Cuts and gouge marks from knives are more forgiving on wood boards because they tend to close up and self-heal over time. Thicker wood boards are often quieter when chopping compared to most plastic boards. Wood boards are generally heavier and thicker than plastic boards, so they may be more cumbersome to move and take up additional space in a cupboard. Wood boards come in two styles, end grain and edge grain, and we considered both for this guide. These boards tend to be harder on knife edges than end-grain boards, but they also withstand moisture-based cracking and splitting better, and they are easier to clean. The very short version of the differences between the two types of polymers is that polypropylene is harder but more brittle, while polyethylene, particularly high-density polyethylene, is softer but more flexible. Granite and glass boards are very hard and will dull a knife’s blade.

We avoided plastic boards with a handle cut into the side because it reduces the usable chopping surface area.

The best boards sit solidly without sliding on a countertop. Heavier wood boards move less but can also be a bear to move for cleaning or storage. It was certainly considered—and one of our chef experts was particularly concerned with it—but if you regularly sharpen (and steel) your chef’s knife, none of the cutting boards we considered will cause you to lose your knife edge midway through dinner prep.

We discarded those that were too small, too big or thick for most kitchens, or difficult to reliably locate and buy.

We recorded each board’s performance in specific tests.

We noted whether the boards stained or retained odors after letting beet juice and garlic paste sit on them for 30 minutes. To see how well the boards healed after heavy knife use, we cut crusty bread with a serrated knife. The juice groove on the board holds roughly 9 tablespoons of liquid, an impressive amount compared to other boards we tested. After a run through the dishwasher, the board showed no stains from beet juice and we couldn’t detect any residual odor from garlic paste. Most of our testers agreed that it looks professional and more presentable than the other plastic boards we tested. That said, if you’re going to a lot of chopping, we’d still recommend placing a thick towel underneath the board for added stability.

Your knife won’t gouge the plastic on most chops and slices, but if the knife blade comes down particularly hard on the board, it can lock in place as if it’s cutting on a rail. It stays in place with minimal help, but it’s not so heavy that you can’t easily move it.

The Best Boards   Reviews by Wirecutter Wood Cutting Board

The teak was hard enough to allow for clean cuts, but still soft enough to maintain a knife’s sharp edge. Teak wood fights off moisture more effectively than the most common wood-cutting-board materials, so it requires less oiling. Plus, after years of long-term testing, neither board has split or egregiously warped from misuse. The rubber feet keep it stationary, and the juice groove does an excellent job collecting liquids. Teak also resists moisture buildup better than other types of wood. Because it’s thicker than other boards this size, it’s less likely to warp from misuse. This block is also thicker and heavier than most other wood boards in this size range, so it remains stable on the counter while chopping, and won’t warp or split easily. If aesthetics are important to you, a handsome wood board can be left on your counter and will go seamlessly from kitchen to table. All of our testers agreed that wood boards feel better than plastic under a knife. Plastic boards that are used frequently should be replaced about every two years, since lingering bacteria can hide out in deep cuts or scratches (when a sponge or dishcloth snags on the board, or your knife skips over deep cuts, it’s time for a new one). If properly cared for, wood boards will last longer than plastic boards (and can be sanded down after they start to look rugged). Wood is prone to warping and requires more maintenance than plastic—the boards must be hand-washed and oiled frequently. End-grain boards are made of a number of board ends glued together, and they can be more gentle on knives because the edge slides between the vertical wood fibers.

We tested both polyethylene and polypropylene boards for this guide. They are food-safe and easily maintained, but generally quite tough on knife edges.

We looked for plastic and wood boards with a groove around the perimeter that collects juices from roasts and ripe tomatoes.

We still recommend placing absorbent towels underneath a board with a groove if you’re carving a juicy roast.

We looked for thicker wood boards with finger grooves on the side, which makes them easier to pick up and transport. Plastic boards tend to be more squirrelly because they’re thinner and lighter than wood boards.



Wooden Countertop Cutting Board | Duration 10 Seconds

The differences in how one plastic board affects your knife edge versus another is small and offset by many other factors: acids, interactions with different foods, and other kitchen happenings.

We also noted how much each board slipped across a countertop, with and without a towel placed underneath. And the grippy feet on the sides of the board keep in place better than other plastic boards that lack this helpful feature.

Our testers had plenty of room to chop, even with several ingredients piled on the board. The board feels great under a knife and doesn’t cause the blade to slip. For returns and replacements, contact the company’s customer service department. It’s a small issue that only happens once in awhile, but it’s something our testers experienced. The bamboo boards we tested were too hard on knife edges, while others, like the hinoki boards we tried, were too soft. Sliding even just one or two layers of damp paper towels underneath eliminates any minor movements.

Butcher Block by kitchensource.com

If the intended use of the surface is to prepare and cut food, an oil finish is the only option, as varnished tops cannot be cut on.Additionally, accommodations can be made for sink cut-outs, backsplashes and more. From small portable kitchen carts, to large stationary kitchen islands, butcher block is being used in a variety of applications in today’s kitchens. To prevent this, it is recommended that you regularly (once monthly) apply a heavy coat of mineral oil to your butcher block. To clean your oil finished block, only a dish towel dipped and wrung in a very mild dish soap mixed with warm water should be used. Polyurethane coated blocks should also be cleaned with mild soapy water.

You should never cut directly on a varnished butcher block as it will scratch the surface causing exposed wood to become vulnerable to further damage.



Kitchen Countertop Cutting Board Inlay With Cutlery Storage | Duration 2 Minutes 4 Seconds

The look is more rustic and the uses for an oil finished butcher block are more versatile. There are both pros and cons to an oil finished butcher block. Thus, cutting boards and heavy duty chopping blocks are often made from this material. It’s certain to make the home chef’s experience more rewarding. Unfinished or oiled butcher blocks are susceptible to cracking or splitting in dry environments. Vegetable oils and/or olive oil are not recommended as they can cause the block to give off a foul odor. Never use chemicals or abrasive cleaners on your butcher block.

You should always avoid allowing spills to remain on the surface of the finished block as liquid can cause damage if left to stand.

Cutting Board by wood-countertop.glumber.com

Continue reading to learn the proper way to clean cutting boards to keep them looking like new, while preventing cross-contamination in your kitchen. Butcher block cutting boards are resistant to nicks and scratches and even self-heal over time, as the fibers will push back into place. Wood is porous and moisture will seep in to it and damage the board. Knife slots are built-in knife storage custom crafted into a wood butcher block countertop.End grain is the premium construction style and our recommended surface for food preparation. The knife slots were cleverly placed behind the sink, making the knives easily accessible but also out of the way as to not interrupt the food prep space. Choose something that you and your date will both enjoy and that you have confidence to make to ease stress. The most important tool is the surface that you will be using to prepare the food. Butcher blocks are very hard surfaces and knives keep their edge far better because the blade slides between the wood fibers much like cutting into a firm brush. The base of the station includes five drawers for convenient storage, each 150 lb rated undermount drawer slides with soft close. This construction style is the kindest to knives and keeps their blades sharp. The butcher block adds warmth and ties in the flooring and floating shelves. This is because wood surfaces can be easily sanded and renewed of knife marks caused from food preparation. The ascending wall keeps flying vegetables, like carrots, at bay and confined to the cutting surface. The flat reverse side of the cutting board can also be used for general chopping and prepping tasks. Only weighing 6 pounds, it can be easily transported from one area to another. To learn how to properly oil the cutting board, read the instructions here. It is biodegradable, has a very low toxicity, no chemical fumes and no petroleum or solvents. The timeless recipe is colorless, reassuring it does not change the color of the wood after application.

You will need a tin of our polish and two clean cloths.

You can apply our natural wood polish when minor scratches appear on the wood surface. The depth and width can be adjusted to meet your specifications. The cutting board pictured below includes juice grooves around the outside of the board and in the center of the board creating an image of a tree.



Rustic Wood Cutting Board On Marble Countertop. From Shutterstock | Duration 10 Seconds

This is because most food preparation applications include cutting or chopping, which would scratch the finish. The case may be custom stained or may include any of our stock stains if desired. A good rule of thumb is a minimum of once a week for the first month after you receive your box and monthly thereafter. Oiling will help keep that beautiful sheen and create the desired patina.

You can wash your surface by hand using anti-bacterial dish soap and warm water. For deeper cuts, start with 150 grit sandpaper and then use to 220 grit sandpaper to finish. Do not expose cutting boards to excessive heat, cold or moisture!

It’s important to keep them up to the task by making sure they’re properly cleaned and sanitized. If the cutting board is small enough, it is recommended to wash both sides. Knives stay sharper longer when used on butcher blocks because the knife blades slide between the wood fibers, much like cutting into a firm brush. Knife slots free counter space by eliminating the need for a knife block. Knife slots take many different forms, from a single slot to a series of slots that fit different size knives. Once you have selected the recipes you are going to make and purchase all of the ingredients, it is best to ensure that you have all of the tools you need for preparation. Grothouse solid wood butcher blocks are the surface preferred by top chefs at home and in restaurants.

You can prepare your meal with no concerns if your date has any nut allergies. Together, you can start the night by preparing a delicious meal and end it by enjoying it together!

The best stations function as both mobile food preparation spaces and storage centers. End grain construction style is preferred by chefs because it keeps knives sharp and can be sanded down and oiled to look like new. Parker explains that what sets one space apart from another is often not a big, grand gesture, but rather a small, thoughtful addition that stays with you even after you’ve left the room. End grain butcher block countertops are the chef-preferred surface material for chopping stations. In addition, butcher blocks tend to be self-healing and most knife marks disappear after cleaning and re-oiling. Easily transfer freshly washed fruits and vegetables from the cleaning area to the food prep area. This cutting board includes a trash hole for easy clean up after food preparation. For best results or first time use, consider waiting overnight before buffing. Clients can customize the topography of each board based on the intended use. Juice grooves are great for carving meat because all of the juices collect in the grooves, allowing a clean preparation space.The frequency will vary based on the environment and amount of use. Letting a board dry out because of a lack of oil is the #1 cause of problems of cutting boards. If required, add a small amount of bleach or vinegar to water for extra bacteria killing power. When required you can use 220 grit sandpaper to keep the top smooth and free of knife marks.

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