Wooden cutting boards generally come in a wide range of styles and finishes, which gives consumers more options. And wooden chopping boards usually blend more seamlessly with other kitchen furniture than plastic or glass boards.
According to the report of Yahoo Finance, the global Cutting Boards market was valued at USD 10300 million in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 12080 million by the end of the year 2027. And wood is one of the most popular options for cutting boards.
However, selecting the best wood for cutting board is really important for various reasons, which include keeping your knives sharp, optimizing your cutting ability, and also keeping your kitchen hygienic.
And when you are choosing the best wood for cutting board, you should remember that not all wood types can adapt to your kitchen.
In this article, we have shared the list of the best woods for a cutting board to help you choose the right wooden chopping board for your kitchen. Also, here we have covered those things you should consider while choosing the best wood and how you can select wood grain patterns for cutting boards.
So, let’s get started.
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Things You Need To Consider When Choosing Best Wood For Cutting Board
When choosing the best wood for a brand-new cutting board, there are many things you need to consider, such as durability, porosity, water resistance, toxicity, and price. Here we have discussed the most important factors to look for before buying a wood-cutting board.
- Durability: Maple, beech, walnut, and other dense hardwoods usually produce the most durable cutting boards. Because the thing that makes a wood cutting board the most durable depends on the type of tree used.
- Porosity: You should choose closed-grain woods where pores are invisible to the naked eye if you want to keep liquid or bacteria from entering the cutting surface and causing mold growth, wood warping, or stains, because the smaller the pores, the better.
- Toxicity: You should go for those woods that usually produce edible fruits, nuts, leaves, or sap because these are considered to be food-safe. However, some exotic woods such as Purpleheart may be attractive, but they should be avoided as they often contain toxins that can leach out of the wood and into the foods placed on the cutting surface.
- Cost: The cost of store-bought cutting surfaces generally vary widely and it depends on the wood used to make them. Also, you can shop for the hardwood on your own and create a DIY cutting board according to your own style.
- Water Resistance: The porous nature of wood usually makes it pretty much vulnerable to moisture. And that is why woods with smaller pores are the best when it comes to water resistance such as maple and teak.
What Are The Best Woods For A Cutting Board
Not all cutting boards are built in the same way and a lot depends on the wood that is used to make the cutting boards. And after considering all the above factors, here we have compiled a list of the best wood for cutting board.
Both soft and hard maple usually makes excellent cutting surfaces, however, hard maple is the industry standard among all cutting board makers.
Because it is more scratch-resistant and impact-resistant than beech, teak, or walnut and also it is not so hard that it will dull your knives.
This food-safe and closed-grained hardwood have smaller pores than the other options listed below, which makes it superior in blocking bacteria, moisture, and stains. However, when it does form stains, they are also hard to hide on its off-white or amber-yellow surface.
Maple cutting boards also cost more than many other options and shrink more than teak and walnut as humidity decreases.
So you will need to condition maple cutting surfaces every one to two months. But it has the right hardness that makes it long-lasting despite your regular use in the kitchen.
Walnut is also another popular option for wooden cutting boards. And walnut is more on the softer side, however, it is gentler on the knife’s edges but usually shows a fair amount of scratches.
Its darker wood color hides everyday stains really well and is also one of the best for home use. And walnut is not the hardest, but it is still considered a hardwood.
This food-safe wood has medium to large pores that offer more resistance to bacteria and moisture than teak but less so than maple or beech.
If they are well cared for and conditioned with mineral oil, walnut cutting boards will easily last for decades. And it generally shrinks less than maple or beech, so conditioning will only be required every two to three months.
It is a food-safe and closed-grained hardwood, that would not damage your knives. And it offers excellent scratch and impact resistance which can only be surpassed by hard maple.
Also, its small pores make it almost as effective as maple and even more effective than teak or walnut at preventing bacteria, moisture, or stains. But, its cream, pink or brown color shows stains more easily than either teak or walnut.
However, these cutting surfaces are usually the cheapest, but they shrink more than most of the other woods mentioned here. So, you need to condition your cutting board every month.
Overall, Beech is a good all-around choice for a cutting board, because beech chopping boards are the most affordable after bamboo. Also, these cutting boards are moisture-free and relatively easy to clean.
Cutting boards made from teak have remarkably grown in popularity in the last few years. It is one of the best types of wood available for cutting boards when it comes to water resistance. Also, it doesn’t require much maintenance.
Because of its durability and easy maintenance, it is a highly valued material for chopping boards. And teak usually offers better scratch and impact resistance than walnut but less so than beech or maple.
However, this tropical closed-grained hardwood costs the most and also has a high silica content. So, if you frequently cut on a teak cutting surface, it will probably dull your knife blade.
And teak usually shrinks less than most other wood options for cutting boards, which means conditioning will only be required every three to six months.
Bamboo is technically a hard grass and not wood, but still, it functions almost in the same way and belongs to the list of the best wood for cutting board.
Also, it is quite hard and absorbs less amount of water than most other types of wood, which makes it easy to maintain.
And because it grows really quickly, it is sustainable to produce. However, bamboo can sometimes be tough on knives, so you should use it more for chopping than for slicing to protect your knife blade.
Overall, it has almost everything that is required to be the best wood for cutting board – it has a high hardness rating, it is eco-friendly, affordable, sustainable, renewable, and water-resistant, and needs no chemicals to harvest or grow.
Hardwood Or Softwood – Which One Is Best?
When you are choosing a wooden cutting board, you should definitely look for hardwood. Because the harder the wood, the more resistant it is against all those scratching and impacts caused by the sharp edge of your kitchen knife.
And hardwoods also have relatively smaller pores that make it really hard for moisture and food bits to get in to prevent bacteria from causing damage to the cutting board over time. Wood’s hardness is generally measured by pounds force on the Janka Hardness scale.
The Janka hardness test actually measures a wood’s hardness by weighing the required force to embed an 11.28 mm steel ball into the wood by half its diameter.
The more the wood resists the steel ball, the higher it ranks on the Janka Hardness scale or the hard it is. And some species of wood are extremely hard, such as Brazilian walnut, and using wood that is too hard can actually dull your knife blades.
Selecting Wood Grain Patterns For Cutting Boards
You will generally find two design varieties within the different categories of wooden cutting boards – end-grain and edge-grain. Also, each pattern has a different level of durability and cutting surface.
1. End Grain Cutting Boards
It is almost four to fifteen times more expensive than edge-grain surfaces. End-grain cutting boards are usually made by fusing together cut wooden boards so that the short ends of the boards can form a level surface that faces up.
The cutting surface of an end-grain chopping board is softer and more gentle on your knife, and also it gives your knife a better grip during cutting. And minor dents in this board are generally only temporary as the open wood-cell structure of this cutting surface allows it to self-heal.
2. Edge Grain Cutting Boards
Edge-grain cutting surfaces are generally made by fusing cut wooden boards so that the side edges of the wooden boards can form a level surface that faces up.
And these cutting boards are usually heavier, so they offer more stability while cutting than end-grain cutting boards.
However, they are usually less expensive than end-grain boards due to their simpler construction. And as the cutting surface is harder, it is more likely to dull your knives over time and also it also has less ability to self-heal.
Woods That You Will Want To Avoid
As there are some types of wood that work really well for cutting boards, also there are certain types that you will want to avoid. Oak is a hardwood tree, however, it has large pores, which allows for a larger risk of bacterial growth.
And if you already have an oak cutting board, you should disinfect it on a regular basis to prevent the possibility of contaminating your food.
And boards made with softwoods like pine can get damaged more easily than hardwood boards. Also, this can lead to a greater chance of dulling your knife blades.
How To Clean Your Wooden Cutting Boards
When you have purchased the right wooden cutting board, now you should maintain it properly for long life. Here are a few maintenance tips you need to consider to clean and care for wooden cutting boards.
- You should wash and completely rinse your wood cutting board by hand after cutting sticky, or pungent foods.
- You need to use liquid soap to wash your cutting boards and rinse them with clean running water.
- Try to wipe the cutting board dry after rinsing.
- You should never soak the chopping board in water because soaking for longer periods can cause warping.
- Also, you should never put wooden chopping boards in the dishwasher because excessive chemicals and heat can easily cause the wood to dry out and crack.
- Don’t use harsh or concentrated cleaners to wash your chopping boards.
Wrap Up On Best Wood For Cutting Board
A cutting board is definitely more than just a tool, as it can be one of the vital elements in your kitchen. Because a great cutting board makes cooking a lot easier and also more enjoyable.
Also selecting the right knife is really important for smooth chopping and cutting experience. Ceramic and metal knives are generally the most popular choices in terms of material, however, they both have several pros and cons.
And while selecting the best wood for cutting boards, it is very important to find one that is hard enough to resist scratches and also not too hard to dull your knife. Also, it should be washable, non-toxic, and definitely eco-friendly.
We really hope that our detailed and informative DIY guide has helped you to select the best wood for cutting board. If you have any doubts or questions regarding this topic, please leave a message in the comments below.
FAQ: Best Wood For Cutting Board
As a lot of people find it difficult to select the best wood for cutting board, they usually search many different questions on the internet. Here I have tried to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about this topic.
Q1. Is Walnut Toxic For Cutting Boards?
Ans: Walnut is actually one of the best woods for cutting boards. Because it has microbial properties that make it a healthy and safe wooden board to have in your kitchen. So, walnut is definitely a non-toxic wood for cutting boards.
Q2. Which Cutting Board Is Most Sanitary?
Ans: Bamboo cutting boards are generally harder and less porous than most hardwoods and bamboo also absorbs very little moisture and can resist scratches from your knives. So, they are more resistant to bacteria than other woods.
Q3. Can I Cut Raw Chicken On A Wood Cutting Board?
Ans: Wood cutting boards definitely look good, but you should not use them for meat. Because bacteria can easily thrive inside the wood’s pores which may eventually lead to food poisoning. You can use non-porous cutting boards for handling meat.