Every kitchen is equipped with a cutting board; if it isn’t, it should be. But how to find the best cutting board? Should it be wood or plastic, or some other material? Should storage take preference oversize, or is it possible to find one that takes care of both? Does thickness really matter, or does it affect your cutting? Do you need to think about how easily it can be cleaned? And what-not.
When looking for one, I found 5 best cutting boards:
Comparison Of The Best Cutting Boards In 2021
1. OXO Good Grips
- Polypropylene plastic
- Medium sized
- Has juice groove
- Dishwasher safe
Material: This cutting board is made of polypropylene plastic. It is perhaps the safest of all plastics. Polypropylene has a high heat resistance and is safe to be used with food e.g. storage etc. So the fact that this cutting board is made of plastic is nothing to be worried about. Since it’s not a polycarbonate, it doesn’t contain bisphenols at all, so it is completely BPA-free. This means that you can pop your hot roasts on it and carve them up quite safely. It can go up to 340F before melting, so it’s not dangerous at all. Still, you should keep it away from hot stove-tops and avoid putting hot pots and pans on it because let’s face it, cutting boards are not designed for that.
Size: This is 10.5” by 14.5” which makes for a good – sized cutting board, and will take care of most of your chopping needs.
Juice groove: One side is flat and the other has a grooved rim, so essentially it packs two for the price of one; you can use whichever side you wish to. If you are chopping up tomatoes, you can go for the grooved side, and if you are chopping up some peppers, flat it is.
Handles: True to Good Grips’ name, the OXO cutting board has soft handles on either side for a firm, non-slip grip. So after you are done chopping up your stuff, you can carry it to the stove or wherever without any fear of the board slipping out of your hands. The handles are also tapered so they are really easy to pick up from a flat surface; you don’t have grope at the edges or slide the board to the end of the counter in order to get a hold of them. The edges come in red or black, so you can choose whichever you like best.
Elevation: This board, unlike many others, has small, soft feet which not only keep the board off the counter, but also provide stability so that the board doesn’t slip and slide while you work on it. The good thing about the board being kept off the countertop is that if you’re cutting some meat on one side, you can just turn the board over and use its other side to chop up your veggies as well, no cleaning required. You don’t have to waste precious time taking the board to the sink and cleaning up the meat juice with hot water and soap; just flip it over and you’re good to go.
Dishwasher safe: Since it is made of sturdy plastic, you can put it in the dishwasher when you’re done, which can’t be done with wooden boards in general. You should skip the heat settings though, as it may warp, and just use the top rack.
Odor-proof: The material of the cutting board is non-porous and doesn’t absorb odors, so you don’t have to worry about the board smelling of garlic after you’ve chopped some on it. The plastic doesn’t dull your knives as well. It won’t even stain, so basically it will last for a long time, looking good as new.
If you want a similar board but in a bigger size, you should go for this one.
- Food-safe, non-porous plastic
- Easy on knives
- Dishwasher safe
- Easy-to-grip handles
- Raised feet
- Juice-catching grooves
- Requires very little care
2. Ziruma Handmade
- Large sized
- Has juice groove
Material: This Ziruma cutting board is made of wood… teak, to be exact. It’s found abundantly in Southeast Asia and is harder as compared to maple wood that’s generally used for cutting boards. Maple is softer and easier on knives but requires more care. You need to oil down a maple cutting board more frequently than a teak one, otherwise, it will crack. This board comes seasoned already unlike some other wooden boards that are thirsty and require proper oiling before you get to use them, and then Ziruma just asks you to rub it down with some beeswax once a year.
Size: The dimensions of the Ziruma cutting board are 17” by 11”, which is quite a large size. It has a height of an inch, so it provides you with a comfortable chopping surface. The size is large enough to accommodate your roasts and large scale cutting-up, but at the same time won’t take up so much space that it becomes cumbersome.
Odor/water-proof: Since the teak is seasoned with beeswax, the Ziruma cutting board quite waterproof and won’t absorb any odors. It is also nearly stain-proof, and if something were to stain your cutting board the dark streaks of the teak won’t allow the stain to show, as would be the case in woods like maple that are lighter colored. The board, because it’s made of teak, is a contrast of dark and light shades of brown. It makes for a really pretty cutting board and you can use it as a beautiful serving platter as well. It can accommodate a lot of different cheeses, fruits and crackers to make a swell cheese platter, or you can use it during those family BBQ parties.
Juice groove: One side has a deep groove that runs all around the border. It will be sufficient to catch all the juices from whatever you’re cutting up and prevent a mess. You won’t have to spend a lot of time cleaning up afterwards.
Logo: Since cutting boards inevitably end up with scratches and cuts from knives, however faint. So you’ll probably not want to use the scratched side to serve as a platter. You can use the Ziruma logo on the side to tell which side you use for cutting up, and which side then must be used for serving. That way, when you use it as a tray, it won’t look shabby.
Not dishwasher safe: Like all wooden boards, this one is not dishwasher safe. Wood has a tendency to absorb water, and if you put it in the dishwasher it will most definitely absorb a lot, which will lead to mildew and whatnot. You don’t want that. Use hot water and soap to clean up this board and then don’t leave it to dry on its own. Wipe it down properly. Granted, it’s waterproof, but the dishwasher will ultimately strip away its beeswax coating. While we’re on beeswax, remember to rub it down once a year with beeswax, folks. Once a year isn’t that hard when you compare it with twice a month for some other boards out there.
If you take care of it properly, this cutting board will last forever.
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Requires little care
- Has a juice groove
- Large sized
- Can double as a serving tray
- Not dishwasher safe
3. Totally Bamboo
- Moso bamboo
- Multiple sizes
- Thinner than wood boards
Material: It’s made of Moso bamboo, which is a kind that pandas don’t eat so don’t worry about starving pandas because you encouraged this product. Bamboo grows much quicker than wood so it’s actually a better renewable alternative because bamboo can be renewed many times as it grows so fast, which helps in saving hardwood forests. So cool! Your knives are protected as well. Bamboo is harder than maple, but still soft enough to not harm your knives. It will give you an excellent feel as you chop while going easy on your knives simultaneously. You don’t have to worry about your knives getting blunt on a surface that feels harder than a traditional wooden cutting board.
Sizes and pieces: This particular item is a set of three. The three cutting boards are different sizes,and you can use whichever suits you best at any given time. The biggest, at 13”, ideal for cutting up meat. The second biggest is 11” and is good for fruits and vegetables and the third is a ‘bar board’, ideal for cutting up lemons, limes and garnishes. This affordably priced set of three will take care of most of your chopping needs, save for carving a turkey or the like. If you have this, you won’t have to pull out a big cutting board to slice a lemon, or try to juggle meat on a board that’s just too small.
Handles: The two bigger boards have gripping handles cut into the top so you’ll be able to handle your boards easily while transferring chopped up food from board to pan or bowl. The smallest one, however, doesn’t have such a handle. Probably because it’s quite small and doesn’t need one, and if it were to have one it would seriously reduce the cutting surface. The bigger boards lose like an inch because of the handle, so that might not be that good of a feature.
Odor-free: This board has vertical bamboo placement which gives it a pretty look. The board won’t absorb odors and won’t discolor, which is a great plus point in cutting boards.
No juice groove: These boards are smooth, meaning there are no grooves on any piece. Even the biggest cutting board, meant for meat, doesn’t have any grooves running along the side to catch the juice before it makes a mess on the countertop.
Easy storage: The boards are slimmer than your usual wood cutting boards so storage is easily. Also, the handle cutouts can also be used to hang the boards up. Since they’re quite pleasant to look at, you can hang them up out in the open, and not stash them away in a cabinet.
Not dishwasher safe: It is not dishwasher safe, so be sure to never toss it in there, always wash by hand. The boards aren’t so big that you might have trouble washing them in the sink. But if you put them in the dishwasher they are bound to soak up water and be destroyed beyond repair. Also, take care that you never soak your boards.
Care: You need to season the board before first use. Rub it down with some mineral oil until it stops looking thirsty. If you use it dry, you’ll find splinters along the surface. Keep oiling it regularly to prolong its life.
- Set of 3
- Thin, easy storage
- Gripping handle
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Can double as serving trays
- Not dishwasher safe
- Smaller cutting space
- No juice groove
4. Prep Series By Epicurean
- Made of composite
- Handle cut-outs
- Set of 3
Construction: These cutting boards are made of composite. A composite is a substance that’s made up of two different substances. In this case, the epicurean boards are made up of a composite of plastic and wood, so you have the best of both materials. You can have the best of plastic and the best of wood without the disadvantages of either, and you end up with a material that is stronger than either of its parents. This is probably the best composite cutting board.
Sizes: This is a set of three cutting boards of various sizes that can take care of all your cutting needs. The biggest one is 17” by 11”; you can cut up your meat on this one easily. The second one is 14.5” by 9.5” and can be used for fruits and veggies. The smallest one is 10” by 7” and can take care of your small chopping tasks.
Cleaning: Since it’s composite, it is dishwasher safe. Composite contains wood fibres, yes, but they are combined with phenolic resins in such a way that the end product is a very strong substance that can stand wear and tear. So when you are done with your cutting board, you can just toss it in the dishwasher. If it feels too much like wood though, and you just can’t bring yourself to subject it to the machine, you can wash it by hand with hot water and soap.
Heat-proof: Because of its composite nature, it’s quite heat proof. It can stand temperatures up to 350F. This means that if you are in a bit of a hurry, you can use it as a trivet for hot pots and pans. This also means that you can carve your hot roasts on it straight from the oven. You don’t have to worry about these cutting boards warping from the heat of the food, or the heat setting of the dishwasher. These are the best dishwasher safe cutting boards.
Care: It requires less care than a wood cutting board, but a little bit more than a plastic one. Sometimes the composite starts to look ‘thirsty’ because it does, after all, have wood fibres. In such a situation, rub it down with some mineral oil until you see no dry patches on the board. If you take care of your board, it can last you forever.
Storage: These boards are thinner than wood boards, so they are quite easy to store. They also have handles cut out into the top so you can use them to hang the boards up and essentially safe more space. The handles mean that there is a bit less room for cutting, though, but they allow for easy handling so that can be acceptable. You don’t have to worry about letting go of your board while transferring the chopped up ingredients and ending up with a messy kitchen and a ruined dinner.
No juice-groove: One negative point about these boards, though, is that they have no juice grooves running along the edges. That means that when you chop up some meat or tomatoes, you’re bound to make a mess on the countertop. On the flip side, both sides of the cutting boards can be used. If you don’t like the woody look of the boards, there is a similar set available in a slate color that will give a great stony look.
- Set of 3
- Made of composite
- Dishwasher safe
- Heat resistant up to 350F
- Available in 2 colors
- No juice groove
- Handles reduce cutting space
- Water-resistant teak
- Large cutting area
- Handles carved into the sides
- Can double as a serving platter
Material: This wooden cutting board is made of teak, which is known to resist water absorption better than many other types of wood. Teak has been used to make boats for a long time because of its water-proof qualities. So even if teak is a bit harder than other woods, say maple, it is far superior because of its water-resisting nature. The hardness of the teak and the edge grain design give a good cutting feeling. The teak is hard, but not hard enough to damage your knives. So you can have nice, clean cuts and keep your knives sharp at the same time.
Size: At 24” by 18”, it is quite a large cutting board, the biggest in this list, anyway. It will take care of all of your chopping needs, and then some. You can use this to carve your turkeys comfortably every thanksgiving and to make entire meals the rest of the year. There is no handle cut out, so that means there’s no cutting space lost. You have all 24 inches to yourself to do with as you please. At 1.5” thickness, it provides quite an elevated surface from the countertop.
No juice-groove: This board, although big enough to fulfill your carving needs, does not have a juice grooves on either surface. So be prepared to clean up your countertops after you’re done slicing up your roast or chopping up a pound of tomatoes.
Maintenance: It is quite low-maintenance, as wood boards go. As mentioned before, teak has water-proof qualities, so it’s not going to absorb much water. But still, you need to oil it down regularly or as soon as you spot dry patches, because a thirsty board is moments away from chipping, warping or cracking into two altogether. Where other boards need oiling once or twice a month, this one can go for longer periods.
Cleaning: Like all wood boards, this one is also not dishwasher safe. If you put it in there for a cycle, be prepared for warping or splitting. When you are done using it, just wash it by hand and dry it. While you’re using it, make sure that you don’t leave anything to soak on it. Any liquid that remains must be wiped away quickly, before it has a chance to seep into the wood and begin the process of destruction.
Handles: The board has hand grips carved into the sides. They are quite small, you can just get your finger tips in them, but still a lot better than having to paw at the edges to get a good grip on the board in order to lift it properly. Since the board weighs like 14 pounds, it’s important that you have a good grip on it before you lift it off the counter. The heavy weight of the board means that it sits quite stably on the countertop and doesn’t move around but if it does, just put a kitchen towel or a wet napkin underneath it.
Pretty: It is a pretty board and, because of teak, it only gets prettier with age. This means that you can also use it as a platter for cheese, meats, crackers, BBQ and the like.
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Has carved-in handles
- Good on knives
- Can be quite heavy for some
- Not dishwasher safe
Things To Look For Before Buying!
Getting the best cutting board is a task that requires much thinking, as this is something that you will be using every single day in the kitchen. As such, there are lots of things that go through your mind, or should, as you look at different models.
The best cutting boards are equipped with amazing features, but they are unique to what type the cutting board is. Which is why you need to know exactly what you expect from your cutting board in order to make a useful purchase.
While getting a cutting board, keep the following things in mind:
- What material do you need?
- Is it big enough for your needs?
- Do you absolutely need a juice-groove?
- Can you clean it, and take care of it, properly?
- Would you be using it as a serving platter?
You’re bound to get the best board if you keep these points in mind.
How To Choose A Cutting Board?
How can you choose a cutting board? You need to understand what qualities it should have, what you are looking for in particular and how you can take the best care of your cutting board so it lasts forever.
Understanding what you need: Before buying a cutting board, you need to understand what you need. If you go out blind, you’ll end up making a purchase that will have something that you don’t need or it won’t have something that you needed. You don’t want to end up with a purchase that just sits there, collecting dust because it just isn’t the right thing for you. So understand what you need. Big or small? Do you need lots of room to chop? Do you absolutely need a juice-catching groove? Are you okay with plastic or is wood something that you can’t compromise on? Or maybe you’d like one of bamboo or composite?
Looking for a good cutting board: You need to keep three things in mind when you go out in search of a good cutting board: material, size and juice-catching groove. Cutting boards come in lots of materials like wood, plastic, composite, bamboo… even glass. The best cutting board material is probably wood, but if you want a wood board, you need wood that’s not too harsh on your knives, meaning it must be soft enough to protect your knives but hard enough to give clean cuts. The same is the case with other materials. They shouldn’t be too hard or too soft. The shouldn’t chip away as you make your cuts because that way the material will end up in your food.
Cutting boards come in a lot of sizes. You need to understand what size is your requirement. If you like to cut up everything on the boards before you begin cooking, you might want a board that’s big enough to hold everything. Otherwise, you can go with a smaller board from which you can transfer ingredients to bowls as you chop.
The juice groove is also a solid point. Carving a fresh roast or chopping up pineapples or tomatoes can release a lot of juice. If the board doesn’t have a groove, you’ll end up with a messy countertop. So if you plan on chopping juicy things but don’t want the added hassle of a clean-up, you should look for a grooved board.
How To Clean A Cutting Board?
Cleaning your cutting board is a very important step. In case of wood boards, you should wipe them down as soon as you’re done cutting and then scrub them hard with hot water and soap as soon as possible. In case of plastic, you should disinfect your board in the dishwasher every time you use it, especially for meat. But don’t use the heat setting because it might warp your board. Composite boards are dishwasher safe but you might want to avoid it, just in case. Bamboo boards are not dishwasher safe. They must be washed by hand.
What Should You Not Do With A Cutting Board?
What you should definitely not do with your cutting board is use it as a chopping block if it isn’t particularly meant for that. Don’t be extra hard when using your knives because you’ll ending hurting the board and the knives in the process. Don’t leave the cleaning up for much later. Don’t leave things to soak on it, especially if it’s made of bamboo or wood.
How To Take Care Of Wood Boards?
Wooden boards require more care than others. Many boards don’t come pre-seasoned, so be sure to give it a good rubbing with mineral oil and let it soak in. If you see dry patches, rub in some more. A good test is to drop some water on the board and rub it with your fingers. If it dissipates or absorbs, that means your board is thirsty. Here is an easy tutorial for you.
If after rigorous use your wood board ends up really scratched, you should sand it down properly. You can take care of your old woodboard like this person.
How To Store A Cutting Board?
You should make sure that you don’t store your board in a place that can get liquid traffic. Store the board on its side or hang it up after you’ve properly dried it. Don’t put it in a wet or humid place because that might lead to mildew.
So there you have it, folks, a variety of almost all the kinds of top-rated cutting boards out there. Buy the best cutting board for your kitchen and yourself, and use it well!