- John Boos Medium Maple Wood
- OXO Good Grips Carving Board
- Epicurean Gourmet Series Cutting Board with Juice Groove
- Thirteen Chefs Cutting Boards
- Tempered Glass Cutting Board by Surface Save
- Sonder Los Angeles Teak Wood Cutting Board
- Hiware Extra Large Bamboo Cutting Board
- John Boos Walnut Wood Cutting Board
It’s Thanksgiving and you’ve volunteered to cook dinner at home. And after nearly forgetting the turkey last year, you’re ready to make up for it. Yet, as the oven rings and you lift the cooked bird out, there is one glaring thing missing. You’ve forgotten to buy a cutting board!
In a pinch, you run to the store and grab the first thing you can find, because like many folks, you assume that all cutting boards are made equal. Think again, friend! There are many factors to consider when purchasing your cutting board, and that’s what we’re here to help you figure out.
When it comes to buying the best cutting board for meat specifically, you’ll want to find a board that’s tough enough to handle the slice of your knife, yet one gentle enough to to not damage your silverware. And don’t forget about hygiene standards.
Did you know bacteria can squeeze and hide in those slices your knives cut on your board? And what about all the different types of material out there? What’s the best for meat? It’s a lot to consider, but fear not–the ideal cutting board is out there, and we’re here to help you find it.
Our best overall choice, John Boos Medium Maple Wood stands out for its balance of durability, quality, and functionality. Let’s explore the variety of cutting boards out there, what essential features to consider when making your purchase, and answer some of the questions you may have.
Let’s get the chopping block ready and narrow down which cutting board is best for you.
Quick Look at the Best Cutting Boards for Meat
- John Boos Medium Maple Wood (Best Overall)
- OXO Good Grips Carving Board (Best Utility)
- Epicurean Gourmet Series Cutting Board with Juice Groove (Best For Easy Cleaning)
- Thirteen Chefs Cutting Boards (Best Bang for Your Buck)
- Tempered Glass Cutting Board by Surface Saver (Best Budget)
- Sonder Los Angeles Teak Wood Cutting Board (Best Teak Wood Board)
- Hiware Extra Large Bamboo Cutting Board (Best Eco-Friendly Board)
- John Boos Walnut Wood Cutting Board (Best High-End Pick)
Best Cutting Board for Meat
Material: Reversible maple cutting board
Product Dimensions: 18″L x 12″W x 1.25″Th. 8 pounds.
Additional Feature: Beeswax finish. Reversible. Purchase includes oil to enhance longetivity.
Best For: Any type of chef seeking top-quality, versatile wooden cutting boards.
There’s a reason John Boos pops up as a brand more than once on our list. This wooden cutting board is a testament to the love affair chefs have with food. Wood boards are often touted as being the best boards for cutting meat, and this one is no exception.
The smooth surface radiates longevity. While wood’s natural properties are an ideal material for a chopping board, when it comes to carving meat, you really can’t beat the durability of a maple cutting board. And for an added bonus–it’s also gentle on your knives.
At 8 pounds, you’re also getting a heavy cutting board that won’t slack on durability. Considering maple boards are a favorite of professional chefs, if you add this wooden board to your kitchen, get ready to up your cooking game.
Material: Non-porous plastic, BPA-free.
Product Dimensions: 14.75″L x 10.4″W x 0.5″Th
Additional Feature: Double sided and non-porous. Non-slip feet.
Best For: Those looking for a quality reversible plastic cutting board at an affordable price
What exactly does utility mean when it comes to the best cutting boards? It’s all about practicality and versatility. Yes, you’re going to use your cutting board to cut meat, but can you also use for chopping vegetables? What about when you’re handling raw or cooked meat?
Even the pickiest chefs know that when speed is of the essence and there’s limited counter space available, it’s not always possible to use multiple cutting boards to prevent cross contamination. That’s where a reversible utility cutting board comes in.
Oxo’s utility plastic boards are durable, double-sided and have non-slip rubber feet. Compared to other plastic boards, Oxo’s wont dull down your knife’s sharp edge. It also comes with the added perk of resisting odors, making it the best plastic option if you’re seeking something easy to use.
Material: Composite wood fiber.
Product Dimensions 17.5″L x 13″W x 0.25″Th
Additional Feature: Dishwasher safe, resistants heat up to 350°F. Will not absorb odors. Includes juice groove to capture liquids.
Best For: Cooks who value keeping their space sanitary and want an easy clean up
If you’re a busy chef or stay at home parent, then you probably know the dilemma of cooking healthy meals regularly. Cleaning can be a serious pain in the butt. Enter the Epicurean Gourmet cutting board, your easy cleaning solution.
Composite cutting boards, like the Epicurean, are made of wood fiber, which is not only dishwasher safe, but also resist heat up to 350 degrees. Unlike other cutting boards, it doesn’t absorb odors, and also includes an juice groove.
Juice grooves are specifically designed for cutting meat on a chopping board. Essentially, when you’re carving into juicy meat, an ingrained runoff can catch liquids and meat juices. Not only does it keep your counter sanitary, it makes cleaning up your mess so much easier.
Material: High Density Polypropylene (HDPP)
Product Dimensions: 24″L x 18″W x 0.5″Th
Additional Feature: Long lasting, heat resistant, extra large
Best For: Those seeking to spend a little extra to ensure a long-lasting cutting board
It might be easy to grab a cheap cutting board off the shelf and think you’ve got everything you need for your chopping tasks. However, you might think twice when that cheap option starts to degrade, or even worse, you realize how much bacteria can hide between knife marks in your board.
So what’s the solution? When searching for a good cutting board, material matters when it comes to how long it will last. Investing in a chopping board for some extra durability. And the good news is that you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to do so.
The Thirteen Chefs cutting board is constructed from high-density polypropylene. In layman’s terms: of all cutting board materials, this one is designed to last. And while it’s heat resistant like some of the other boards on our list, this one takes the lead when it comes to size.
Material: Tempered glass, resistant to stains and odors.
Product Dimensions: 14″L x 12″W x 0.25″Th
Additional Feature: Scratch resistant, break resistant, heat resistant.
Best For: A budget friendly unique twist on more traditional cutting boards
Now that we’ve covered plastic cutting boards and wood boards, let’s explore a new material. Glass cutting boards might not sound like the best option for catching knife edges, but that’s where the Tempered Glass Cutting Board comes in.
Not only is it a stylish addition, it’s the most affordable cutting board on our list. If your plan is to cut meat on a budget, then this may be the board for you. It’s scratch-resistant, meaning no knife marks on this baby. Oh, and did we mention it’s break resistant?
Material: Teak wood edge grain boards.
Product Dimensions: 23″L x 17″W x 1.5″Th
Additional Feature: Reversible. Deep juice groove.
Best For: Culinary enthusiasts who prefer quality wood boards.
When it comes to dealing with raw meat, some chefs won’t touch anything other than a wood cutting board. For one, wood boards are softer than other surfaces, meaning it’s safer to use on a range of tools, from Western-style knives, all the way to thin Japanese knives.
But what kind of wood specifically? Teak cutting boards, like the Sonder Los Angeles Teak Wood, is considered one of the best cutting boards for cutting meat. These teak cutting boards are constructed of edge grain wood, which makes them an extra level of durable.
Teak wood contains natural oils to repel moisture and bacteria. Compared to other wood cutting boards, a teak cutting board is also low maintenance and water resistant. For an extra perk, this teak cutting board includes a juice groove, making it one of the best wood cutting boards on the market.
Material: Organically-grown bamboo wood
Product Dimensions: 18″L x 12″W x 0.8″Th
Additional Feature: Knife friendly surface. Features a deep juice groove.
Best For: One of the best cutting boards for eco-conscious consumers
If you prefer a wooden cutting board, but are seeking a more sustainable option, then check out Hiware’s extra large bamboo board. Bamboo cutting boards like Hiware’s are made from natural organize bamboo, making it an eco-friendly option.
A knife edge won’t effect the durability of this board either. It includes a juice groove, and with its extra large size, you’re guaranteed ample space without being too heavy. Even better, it’s so stylish, you may even decide to swap it for your typical serving board.
Material: High-quality walnut wood
Dimensions: 20″L x 15″W x 1.5″Th
Features: Gentle on knives. Reversible design for versatile use. Hand washing only.
Best For: Professional chefs or consumers who value long-lasting quality, style, and functionality.
If you’re seeking a wood board that boasts high quality, then look no further than the John Boos Walnut wood cutting board. Walnut is considered an upscale wood for cutting boards because of its durability, antibacterial properties, and moisture resistance.
Although this board requires hand washing, it’s ideal for those seeking an upscale product that is built to last. Unlike a plastic board or rubber cutting boards, walnut wood is gentle on knives and has high aesthetic appeal.
You’re likely to find a Walnut Wood board in an upscale restaurant and it’s often used by top-scale chefs who pride quality in their food preparation. Don’t let it’s classiness fool you, though, it’s still a practical tool. With reversible sides and an edge grain design, you’re guaranteed to get your money’s worth.
What To Consider When Choosing The Best Cutting Board For Meat
Choosing a cutting board is more than just picking random plastic board. It’s about hygiene, preserving your knives, and ensuring cleanliness in your kitchen. So let’s carve into the details of the important features you might want to consider before purchasing a cutting board your culinary adventures.
So what kind of material should your cutting board be made of? As you can see from out list, there’s a variety to consider, and each has their own purpose. What you ultimately decide will depend on your personal preference. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each material.
- Wood: Wood boards are a favorite among chefs for a variety of reasons. They’re softer than other surfaces, meaning they’re nicer to your knives. Most woods also have natural oils that lend natural antibacterial properties.Look for hardwood like maple, walnut, or teak. End grain boards, where the grain faces up, are extra gentle on knives.
- Plastic: Plastic boards are lightweight, versatile, and usually dishwasher safe, and are probably the most common cutting boards you’d see in a modern kitchen. They’re less porous than wood, which is a plus when it comes to prepping meat.However, their hard surface tends to dull knives faster than other materials, and bacteria can hide in the knife marks. They will likely need to be replaced more often.
- Bamboo: Bamboo may have more of reputation for serving boards, but they make a great material for cutting boards for a variety of reason. They’re harder than most woods and are consider a renewable eco-friendly and sustainable choice.However, unlike other woods, bamboo is tougher on knives, one of the downsides of this more affordable option.
- Composite: Composite wood is made from a combination of wood fibers and resin, making these boards durable and moisture and odor resistant.Although composite is better on knives than plastic, natural wood is still a better option if you’re concerned about the longevity of your knives. Unlike natural wood, composite wood is not biodegradable.
- Glass: As a nonporous surface, glass cutting boards are the most sanitary you’re probably going to find. Tempered glass is unlikely to stain, and although the material is durable, it can chip under high pressure. Glass is often an affordable option, but can be harder on knives than other materials.
The size of your cutting board is entirely up to you. Make sure to consider the counter space you’re working with and how much food you plan to prep.
The board’s thickness an be found under product dimensions. The thicker the board, the more stable it will be, and the less like it is to warp over time or move while you’re cutting.
A larger board will give you more working space but keep in mind, unless you plan to leave it out 24/7, you’ll need to find a good place to store it when it’s not in use. Pro-tip: Measure the space before you make the purchase.
Hygiene and Maintenance:
Believe it or not, cleanliness and longevity actually go together. Hardwood boards have natural antibacterial properties, which makes them great options if high sanitary is a priority for you.
Most types of wood also have self-healing properties, meaning that those knife indentations will fix themselves over time. The downside to this? Because natural wood is soft, they’re usually not dishwasher safe, so will need to be hand washed and oiled to prevent cracking and drying.
On the flip side, plastic, composite, and glass boards are typically dishwasher safe so if you’re looking for a quick clean, this is probably your best bet. And while they require little maintenance, over time those knife cuts will start to harbor bacteria, meaning it’s likely you’ll have to replace it sooner than later.
For these reasons, most chefs prefer to use separate cutting boards for their raw meat to prevent cross-contamination. Pro-tip: If you go this route, color-code your boards to remember which is for meat and which is for other types of food.
Finding a cutting board that doesn’t damage your knives is a balance, one that may require some trial and error. Your board should be hard enough to resist cuts, but soft enough to not dull your knives.
If you don’t have expensive knives, or if you have a sharpening block, this might not be one of your top concerns. However, if it is, check out end grain wooden boards or plastic composites. These typically strike a good balance or hard vs. soft to keep your knives as pointy as the day you bought them.
What other features should you look for when buying a cutting board? When it comes to cutting meat, there are some features that can enhance and improve this.
- Juice Grooves: Especially useful for meat, juice grooves catch any liquid runoff, keeping your countertop clean and stopping those meaty juices away from potentially contaminating other areas of your kitchen.
- Non-Slip Edges or Feet: When you’re cutting meat, the last the thing you want is your cutting board to slip. You might end up cutting your counter, or worse, yourself. Non-slip feet or rubber edges can improve the safety quality of preparation when handling slippery meat.
- Reversible Surfaces: If you care about sanitation, but don’t have the room to store multiple boards, then look for options with reversible surfaces. You can color code each side, so you know which side you can use for meat, and which side you can use for other types of food.Reversible surfaces can also extend the life of your board.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that you have an idea of the types of cutting boards out there, and what to look for before you make your purchase, let’s explore some commonly asked questions.
What’s the best material?
Honestly, the cutting board material depends on your needs and preferences. If you care about sanitation, knife-friendliness, and investing in a board that will last, then natural wood like maple, walnut, or teak is your best option.
If an eco-friendly option is your priority, than bamboo boards are your best bet. However if you’re seeking an affordable, durable option that requires little maintenance, then glass or plastic is right up your alley.
Keep in mind that wood blocks can be time-consuming to clean, whereas plastic cutting boards are as easy as slipping them in the dishwasher.
I want a wood cutting board but how do I oil it and what do I use?
Wooden cutting boards often require specific oils to stop them from cracking. While some brands will suggest oil that you can purchase separately, you might be able to save some money by going with generic food-grade mineral oil.
It’s safe, affordable, and won’t go bad like some other oils. The good news? You won’t have to oil them often. Just give your board a good slather once a month, and you’ll stop it from drying out. If you prefer natural, eco-friendly options, try beeswax or coconut oil for your regular maintenance.
What’s the difference between End Grain Wood and Edge Grain Wood?
In end grain wood, the fibers run vertically and are softer for knives. In edge grain boards, the fibers run horizontally and requires less maintenance.
Which is more sustainable: wood or plastic?
Sustainability-wise, wood has the upper hand, specifically bamboo wood. Bamboo grows quickly (faster than natural wood like maple or teak), making is a great renewable material for an eco-friendly cutting board.
Other types of wood cutting boards, when made from responsibly sourced wood, can last for years if taken care of properly. Composite boards are one of the less sustainable options.
Plastic, while durable, will eventually wear out and because it’s non-biodegradable, when it does, it can be harmful to the environment. If you’re leaning green, wood is the way to go!
Care and maintenance
For wooden cutting boards, hand-wash with warm soapy water and make sure you dry them upright. Try not to soak them. An easy trick: Water and wood – bad. Oil and wood – good. Feel free to oil them regularly.
Plastic cutting boards are typically dishwasher safe, but make sure you double check that. Pro-tip: To get rid of stains or smells on plastic cutting boards, rub them with lemon or baking soda!
While wood often has self healing properties, meaning those knife marks will disappear over time, plastic and glass don’t. Overtime, bacteria will hide in deep grooves in your cutting board, meaning you might need to replace them sooner than later.
How often should I replace my cutting board?
On that note, knowing when to replace your cutting board is an important part of the cooking experience.
For wooden boards, look for deep cuts or warping, which can happen over time. Plastic boards, on the other hand, can degrade faster, and will need to be replaced more frequently.
Regardless of the material, check your board for knife cuts and deep grooves. This is where bacteria hides. As a general rule, if it’s hard to clean it, then you probably need a new one.
Can cutting boards affect the sharpness of knives?
Absolutely! Hard surfaces like glass can quickly dull knife blades, while wood is softer, meaning it won’t damage the sharpness of your silverware. Plastic boards are somewhere in between.
Is it better to have multiple cutting boards?
Having multiple cutting boards is great if you’re handling raw meat and want to prevent cross-contamination. You could also use different materials for different types of food, like a plastic board for raw meat and a wooden one for vegetables and bread.
If you don’t have the counter space or storage for multiple cutting boards, reversible boards are a great alternative.
There you have it! Now you’ve never been more prepared to choose a cutting board for meat. Just make sure you’re considering the cutting board material, size, the amount of maintenance.
The John Boos Maple Wood Cutting Board is our top pick for its quality and durability. As an alternative, try out the OXO Good Grips Carving Board, the best plastic cutting board on our list.
The right cutting board will enhance your cooking experience, contribute to kitchen hygiene and help ensure the longevity of your knives. Make every cut count in your culinary journey. You got this!