The best cutting board for one cook may not be the best for the next one. Any cutting board you choose will save damage to your countertops. Some of the things to look for include size, style, and material used for construction, along with safety.
Depending on your countertop, your cutting board may be prone to slipping when you use it. In that case, you may need one with rubber feet or a non-slip base. Without either, you might wind up cutting your fingers along with the celery when using it on a wet countertop — and nobody likes blood in their celery. Speaking of blood, that leads us to one of the most important considerations when choosing the best cutting board: sanitation.
If you cut raw chicken, that board and the knife will be contaminated, and you need to sanitize them thoroughly before using them on other food. Otherwise, you risk cross-contamination with the other foods in the meal. You could easily transfer the bacteria from the chicken to whatever you cut next. Salmonella, staphylococcus, and listeria bacteria from chicken can make you and your family quite ill. Some fruits and vegetables also contain bacteria that can be transferred by your cutting board.
What research shows about cutting board sanitation
People have been debating which kind of cutting board is most sanitary for many years. For quite a while, wooden cutting boards ruled the kitchen. When plastic cutting boards came along, they were found to be less porous and much easier to sanitize, thus, safer. However, in the 1980s, a researcher named Dean Cliver from the University of California performed exhaustive research to determine if plastic cutting boards were actually more sanitary. The resulting conclusions proved that they were not.
Cliver’s research determined that, while easier to clean, using a plastic board for cutting resulted in many more small grooves on the surface for bacteria to grow. He also found that wood, while more difficult to clean, was much tougher and resisted the formation of micro-grooves and gouges.
Finally, the research proved that different kinds of wood resulted in either more or fewer cuts and scratches on the surface. Also, they determined that the type of wood in your cutting board also makes a difference.
When to replace your cutting boards
Eventually, even the best, most robust cutting boards reach the end of the line. Once your board has accumulated several deep grooves and scratches from years of use, cleaning and sanitizing become less effective. As the number of cuts and gouges increases over time, there are more places for bacteria to breed, and the harder it will be to clean every single one.
How We Choose the Best Cutting Board in Each Category
If we only determined the best cutting board overall, that would be a reasonably easy task. As you will see, while we’ve chosen the best cutting board overall, we have also broken them down in a few specific categories. We gathered product information from retailers and individual manufacturer websites. We also considered factors such as price, durability, and specifications for each board.
Finally, and most importantly, we researched the ratings and reviews by actual customers who have purchased and used these boards regularly. We’ve found that customers will not hold back when either praising or pointing out flaws in consumer items. Not that sometimes customers have problems with products because they’ve manufacturers recommendations or instructions. In this case, we didn’t allow their appraisal to influence our results.
Is One of These the Best Cutting Board for You?
Choosing the best cutting board for your cooking style and kitchen depends mostly on your personal preferences. Some people swear by plastic boards due to their light weight and ease of cleaning. Some prefer wood for its intrinsic beauty, sanitation considerations, and because they are less damaging to expensive knife edges. Others choose bamboo cutting boards because of the combination of attractiveness and the construction from an easily renewable resource.
You’ll find a variety of options to choose from. You may even need more than one type. For example, you may want a wooden board for fish, meat, and poultry, while preferring a plastic board for fruits and vegetables. This can help prevent cross-contamination.
After examining the data results for many top-rated cutting boards of all types and materials, here are the five we chose as the best cutting boards in these different categories.
Best Wood Cutting Board: Terra Teak Wooden Cutting Board
Not only will this beautiful board accent your kitchen, but it also rates as our best wood cutting board. Almost any teak cutting board offers a combination of stylish looks, knife protection, and environmental sustainability. This offering from Terra Teak touches all the bases.
Teak is some of the most durable woods available and only grown in certain parts of the world. Well known for its ability to resist water, you’ll find teak incorporated into expensive sailboats and high-quality outdoor furniture. Teak performs beautifully anywhere you need wood that stands up to the elements.
Upon first look, you notice how beautiful the pronounced grain stand out. Terra Teak never uses stains or varnishes. The striking coloration of the teak is the result of the inherent beauty of the wood itself. The Terra Teak board resists damage from water, but also mold and bacteria.
The outer groove catches errant juices and keeps them off your countertops, preventing stains and slippage. This reversible board can be used equally well on either side. The Terra Teak board is easy to handle, beautiful, and functional.
Because this board has a reasonably low Janka hardness score of just 1000, you’ll find less likely to damage your cutlery than harder woods like oak or walnut. You can trust it even if you are the proud owner of a set of genuine Sabatier knives. The blades will not chip or roll the edge of your knife, meaning you’ll do considerably less sharpening.
Besides being easy on your cutlery, the Terra Teak boards, constructed of “first-use” wood rather than salvaged or recycled wood, comes certified as sustainable by the Forest Stewardship Council.
- Material Type: Teak Wood
- Weight: 9.7 pounds
- Dimensions: 20 by 15 by 1.2 inches
- Dishwasher safe: No
Reviews and pricing
Customers most often praised the Terra Teak board for its solid feel. Also mentioned was the knife-friendly surface and environmental sustainability. Some users, however, said they had issues with scarring, which is often the result of Teak being softer than many other kinds of wood. Some boards warped when exposed to very hot water. In cases of split or cracked boards, customers were pleased with speedy action from customer service to solve the issue. The Terra Teak cutting board boasts a respectable 4.5 out of 5.0 stars on Amazon, and prices online range from $80 to $90.
Best Plastic Cutting Board: OXO Good Grips Prep Cutting Board
The OXO Good Grips carving and cutting board is an old favorite. Large enough for almost any chopping job, the OXO is easy to clean and has non-slip rubber edges to prevent slipping on the countertop. While perfect for either home kitchen or professional use, this stylish and sturdy cutting board fits any kitchen décor.
Because it is plastic, you can sanitize it with bleach — something manufacturers don’t recommend for wood or bamboo. Its lightweight and very low price point made the OXO Good Grips our choice for the best plastic cutting board.
Constructed of polypropylene, the durable and nonporous OXOX also resists odors, and the surface protects against deep scratches. However, it’s still easy on your cutlery and won’t dull your edges. Just like the Terra board, the OXO has a juice groove around the edges to contain liquids. You can use it on both sides for a quick fresh cutting surface to guard against cross-contamination. Ideal for medium to large cutting tasks, the OXO is dishwasher safe when on the top rack and comes with either red or black trim.
- Material Type: Polypropylene
- Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Dimensions: 14.5 by 10.5 by 0.5 inches
- Dishwasher Safe: Top shelf only
Reviews and pricing
Customers say they were most impressed with how well the juice groove contained liquid. They also found this cutting board light-weight and durable. Some mentioned that it stayed fixed even on smooth countertops and resisted warping, stains, and odors. A few customers expressed concerns about ceramic knives becoming dull faster than steel knives. With over 2,000 customers reviews on Amazon, the OXO rated 4.4 out of 5.0 stars. Prices online ranged from $16 to $25, although some retailers include free shipping.
Best Flexible Cutting Board-Flexible: Cooler Kitchen Plastic Cutting Board Mats
These flexible cutting boards from Cooler Kitchen provide an excellent option for easy, routine use. While also up to the task of larger cutting board tasks, they are best for quick jobs. They are perfect for slicing snack items like apples, celery, and cheese.
They come in three colors with distinct graphics featuring animals and food products, none of which reflect the type of food you should cut on each board. Even very sharp knives won’t cut through these tough, flexible mats easily, and they won’t dull your blade edge.
These mats are BHA-free and dishwasher safe. They remain sturdy and durable even though they maintain their flexibility. You can also curl them into a conical shape to help you transfer your freshly chopped items into your pot without losing them to the floor or family dog. In a pinch, they can also fill in as placemats.
- Material Type: Plastic
- Weight: 10.6 ounces
- Dimensions: 15 by 12 by 0.1
- Dishwasher Safe: Yes
- Reviews and pricing
Reviews and pricing
Customers seem most impressed with the light-weight flexibility of these cutting mats. They were also pleased they could put them anywhere in the dishwasher without warping, melting, or losing their countertop grip. Some customers, however, found them too thin and were uncomfortable with the idea of cutting board this flexible. Amazon buyers gave them 4.3 out of 5.0 stars, and Walmart shoppers rated them a full 5.0 out of 5.0 stars. You’ll find them online from $12 to $18 from various retailers.
Best Cutting Board for Carving Meat: The J.K. Adams Traditional Carver with Spikes
The Adams Company has been producing wooden cutting boards, racks for wine and wine glasses, knife racks, and knife storage blocks in America since 1944. They also have a reputation for quality wooden salad bowls, wooden kitchen islands, and even slate serving trays. When they produce cutting boards and carver blocks, they apply the same level of classic New England quality and craftsmanship.
Explicitly designed for cutting red meat, the J.K. Adams Traditional Carver comes in solid maple. The board has juice channels to drain the liquids away from the meat and into a well for easy collection for gravy, basting, or au jus. Add the permanent steel spikes for securing the meat, and you have a first-rate carving board.
The solid maple Carver board containing a traditional “well and tree” groove pattern for draining juices. The spikes, permanently affixed, will not rust or corrode. Handcrafted in Vermont, it boasts of a lifetime warranty.
- Material Type: Maple Wood
- Weight: 8 pounds
- Dimensions: 20 by 14 by 1.2 inches
- Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Reviews and pricing
Customers, expectedly, were most impressed with the secure way the board holds meat for carving. They also mentioned that the juice well holds plenty of drippings. Other customers said they were impressed with the warranty as well as the excellent customer service. Some customers, however, noted that they were disappointed that the spikes were not removable for cleaning. Amazon customers gave the Traditional Carver 4.2 out of 5.0 stars. Pricing online ranges from $95 to $110 online, with some retail shops offering free shipping.
Best Cutting Board Overall: Greener Chef Bamboo Cutting Board
Finally, we present our pick for the best bamboo cutting board, and also, our pick for best board overall. We chose this beautifully crafted Greener Chef Bamboo cutting board as the best cutting board you can buy. The 100 percent Moso, extra-large organic bamboo cutting board will never dull your knives. And no chemical treatment, stains, or varnish was used in the construction of this board.
This is one of those boards that you will want to leave on your countertop to enhance your kitchen décor. You may even consider using it as a serving tray to impress your guests. It will serve as your go-to cutting board for many years to come.
Aside from the looks, the organically pure surface and the soft, knife-friendly texture, the Greener Chef bamboo offers a lifetime replacement against cracking, separating, or splintering. The non-slip, FDA-approved board also boasts a drip trough to catch juices. You’ll find it perfect for everything from carving a pot roast to dicing carrots
- Material Type: Bamboo
- Weight: 3.15 pounds
- Dimensions: 10 by 12.5 by 0.7 inches
- Dishwasher Safe: No
Reviews and pricing
Over 1,250 Customers reviewed this board on Amazon, and many were pleased with the versatility and ease of cleaning (even though it is not dishwasher safe). Many thought it was a perfect size and well worth the price. We noticed several very positive comments regarding the friendly and responsive customer service. Although some customers made negative comments regarding the finish looking dull after a few cleanings, the manufacturer recommends oiling the board after cleaning to prevent this.
Amazon buyers rated our choice for overall best cutting board an impressive 4.6 out of 5.0 on Amazon. Prices online range from $20 to $35, and you can often find special bundles from the manufacturer that include seasoning oil, knives, and other items.
Did You Find the Best Cutting Board for You?
The purchase of the best cutting board requires as much consideration as any other appliance or tool in your kitchen. Now, more than ever, researching the best of anything, despite the internet and YouTube, can be an arduous and time-consuming task. Hopefully, we have made that task a bit easier for you by doing some of the investigative legwork for you.
If you decide to choose one of our recommendations as the best cutting board for you, please let us know that we were helpful in making your selection. If you should select another model, please share what influenced your decision so that we can consider your experience in our next review. It will also help our readers choose which is the best cutting board for their kitchen tasks.