Your cutting board is one of the most important pieces of equipment in your kitchen. The right board allows you to produce a wide range of quality meals without the fear of damaging your work surfaces, blunting your knives, or causing illness through cross-contamination or bacterial growth. However, with so many cutting boards available and so many different materials and styles to choose from, it can be difficult to know which is the best for your needs. Our panel of kitchen equipment experts has compiled a list of the 10 best cutting boards to point you in the right direction.
The Best Cutting Board
If you are looking for a multi-purpose cutting board that can deal with all your cutting needs in the kitchen, then the OXO Good Grips Utility Cutting Board might be just what you are looking for. The board is made from a nonporous, odor resistant, and durable polypropylene. This means it can withstand a wide range of cutting actions and your food is never tainted with the smell of previous meals that you have prepared on the board. The double-sided design also features a juice groove and non-slip edges to make cutting safer and easier. The tapered, soft handles are comfortable and mean you can clear up with ease.
Dimensions 10 ½ x 14 ½ inches
Made from polypropylene
Nonporous and odor-resistant
Includes soft tapered handles and a juice groove
- Weight1.65 pounds
The Extra Large Organic Bamboo Cutting Board for Kitchen by Greener Chef is designed to withstand heavy and continuous use. It is guaranteed not to crack, split, or separate under any kitchen use. The board is made from organic bamboo and is FDA approved. The board has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties and provides a non-slip cutting surface and juice groove. The bamboo surface is designed to take better care of your knives than many other cutting board materials, meaning they stay sharper and more effective for longer.
Dimensions 18 x 12 inches
Made from organic bamboo
BPA and formaldehyde free and FDA approved
Guaranteed not to split, splinter, or crack under normal kitchen use
Naturally occurring antimicrobial and antibacterial properties
Non-slip and includes a juice groove
- BrandGreener Chef
- ModelCUTTING BOARD
- Weight3.15 pounds
If you are looking for color-coded chopping boards to separate different food groups during preparation, then the Extra Thick Flexible Cutting Mats With Food Icons by Cooler Kitchen might be just what you need. The color-coded cutting mats include food icons for easy recognition and are textured and flexible for ease of use and simple storage. The cutting mats are thicker and sturdier than many of their competitors and will not warp when placed in the dishwasher. The mats are designed with a nonporous and odor-resistant coating and are naturally non-stick. They are also non-toxic and BPA free and have a textured waffle gripped base to prevent movement on your work surface while you are cutting.
Dimensions of each board 15 x 12 inches
Pack of four color-coded boards to prevent cross-contamination during food preparation
Non-toxic, BPA free, and naturally non-stick
Includes odor-resistant coating
Textured base to prevent slippage while cutting
- BrandCooler Kitchen
- Weight10.6 ounces
The Totally Bamboo 3-Piece Bamboo Serving and Cutting Board Set allows you to separate different food groups during food preparation. The three different size boards cater for all your cutting and serving needs and are designed to be gentler on your kitchen knives, meaning they stay sharper and cut cleaner for longer. The organically grown bamboo boards are not suitable for dishwasher cleaning and should not be soaked, however, they are easy to clean by hand with warm water.
Set of three bamboo boards – 13”, 11”, and 8”
Made from organic bamboo
Gentler on knives
Help prevent cross-contamination during food preparation
Can be used to serve food
- BrandTotally Bamboo
- Weight2.25 pounds
The Maple End Grain Chopping Block by Michigan Maple Block offers a thick, solid cutting surface that is suitable for all your kitchen needs. It combines rustic character with hardiness and a long-lasting cutting surface. The block has a rubbed oil finish and is certified by the National Sanitation Foundation.
Dimensions 20 x 15 x 3 ½ inches
Made from end grain maple
Oil rubbed finish
Certified by the National Sanitation Foundation
- BrandMichigan Maple Block
- Weight27 pounds
The polypropylene Dexas Pastry Superboard Cutting Board is designed to look like real granite. Its sleek and elegant look adds to any home kitchen. The board is odor and bacteria resistant, nonporous, and is gentle on knives. It is durable and will not splinter, crack, peel, or warp, even with continuous use. The lightweight, stain-resistant board is also BPA free and dishwasher safe.
Dimensions 17 x 14 inches
Strong and durable polypropylene
Looks like real granite
Odor and bacteria resistant
Lightweight, nonporous, and BPA free
The Resort Chef Cutting Boards for Kitchen is a set of four color-coded chopping boards designed to reduce cross-contamination during food preparation. Each board has built-in Microban antimicrobial protection that impedes the growth of odor and stain causing bacteria, as well as mildew and mold. The boards are BPA free and are approved by the FDA. The reversible boards offer twice the longevity of single sided boards and can withstand high temperatures. They are dishwasher safe, will not warp or bend, and are gentle on your knives.
Dimensions 11.7 x 8.5 inches
Set of four color-coded boards made from recycled plastic
Built-in Microban antimicrobial protection
Reversible, BPA free and FDA approved
- BrandResort Chef International
- Weight1.5 pounds
If you are looking for a set of different sized cutting boards, then the Gorilla Grip Original Reversible Cutting Board might be just what you are looking for. The set of three boards includes a small, medium, and a large board. All three are strong and durable and are thicker than most of their competitors. This makes them more able to deal with a wide range of cutting and chopping activities. All include a juice groove to keep the board drier and to reduce worktop messes. The boards are BPA free, nonporous, and require no maintenance. They can be washed in the dishwasher without fear of cracking or warping and are gentle on your kitchen knives.
Dimensions 11.8 x 8, 13.8 x 9.6, and 16 x 11.2 inches
Easy grip handles
- BrandGorilla Grip
- Weight4.25 pounds
The Flexible Plastic Cutting Board Mats by Nicole Home Collections are lightweight and can easily be used to help transfer your food to the pan after you have cut it up. The cutting mats are easy to roll and store, and don’t retain any food odors. They are made from a non-toxic, BPA free, antimicrobial material and are dishwasher safe.
Dimensions 15 x 12 inches
Set of two clear plastic cutting mats
Made from an antimicrobial material
Non-toxic and BPA free
- BrandNicole Home Collection
- Weight4.6 ounces
If you are looking for something a little different, then the Glass Cutting Board by Clever Chef might just be what you need. The durable and shatterproof cutting boards combine modern elegance with practicality. The glass is nonporous and naturally resistant to stains, odors, and bacteria. It is easy to clean and better resists cross-contamination than many other types of chopping board. The rubber feet ensure the board stays still on your work surface making the boards safe and easy to use.
Dimensions 15.75 x 12
Set of 4 tempered glass chopping boards
Durable and shatterproof
Naturally nonporous and resistant to bacteria
Include non-slip rubber feet
- BrandClever Chef
- Weight2.76 pounds
When purchasing a cutting or chopping board for your kitchen there are numerous things you need to consider. You might want to ensure that it fits with the décor and style of your kitchen, leading you to prefer a glass cutting board. You may have a family with allergies and intolerances, so minimizing cross-contamination is an important factor, meaning you consider color-coded board. Similarly, you may have a young family who likes to be in the kitchen with you, so aspects such as weight, size, and ease of cleaning become of paramount importance. If you have mobility issues, then the addition of handles may become an important factor and a heavy granite cutting board would be completely impractical. In this section of the guide, we look at them in more detail and explore many of these aspects. We discuss the best materials, which are best for meat, how to choose the right size, and just as importantly, how to clean them properly.
What’s the Best Material?
No kitchen is complete without a cutting board. Traditionally these boards were made from wood, primarily because it was one of the most available resources. Early cutting boards were made from rough-hewn wood and were most likely disposed of once the kill had been properly prepared and cooked. Advances in technology saw the wooden cutting board become more refined and more durable. While a heavy-duty butcher block would probably last a butcher their entire lifetime, home wooden chopping boards were not always as durable. Constant use, cleaning, and new detergents and chemicals often lead to boards splitting, cracking, and warping.
This has led to an explosion of new materials being used for this kitchen classic. But which is the best and has wood really had its time?
Plastic or polypropylene cutting boards were once heralded as the next big thing for your kitchen. The boards were considered more sanitary than wood, partly because they were dishwasher safe and could, therefore, be washed at much higher temperatures. However, many plastic boards mark easily and once you have knife cuts in the board, you have places for bacteria to hide and grow.
More modern polypropylene cutting boards are sturdier than their predecessors and mark much less easily. This gives them a longer lifespan, making them more cost-efficient. They also benefit from being nonporous, so juices and other liquids do not seep into the boards. This means that you reduce the risk of cross-contamination between uses and reduce odors and staining.
Such boards also often include antimicrobial coatings to further reduce bacterial growth and are BPA free and non-toxic. If you choose color-coded plastic boards then you further reduce the possibility of cross-contamination between different food groups, particularly in relation to raw meat.
While there are a number of benefits from modern plastic and polypropylene boards, there is still the drawback of knife scaring over time. It is this that draws many people to choose a bamboo cutting board. Bamboo boards have become popular because of bamboo’s durability and longevity, as well as because it is an environmentally friendly, renewable, and sustainable resource.
Bamboo can be grown quickly without the need for chemicals, meaning that you get a cutting board that is organic and strong. However, you do need to check what else is added to the board during the manufacturing process. Some boards use glues that include formaldehyde; these should be avoided.
Another benefit of bamboo cutting boards is that they absorb less liquid than wooden boards, so they are more sanitary and less likely to cause odors and be a source of bacteria growth. Bamboo also contains natural antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that help to keep your food preparation safer. The hardness of the board can, however, cause problems for your knives. Bamboo is harder than maple wood, so good quality knives that are regularly sharpened are a must if you choose this material.
So, does wood still have a place in the kitchen? Yes, it does, as long as you choose the wood that you use carefully. Maple and beech both have some self-healing properties, meaning that they scar less from use than plastic boards. Like bamboo they are renewable resources, although they are much slower growing, they are also kinder to your knives. However, if you are going to choose a wooden end grain cutting board, you need to carefully consider its upkeep. Such chopping boards need to be hand washed and oiled regularly with food grade mineral oil to keep them in top condition.
The bottom line on choosing the right material for your cutting board is that the quality of the overall product and knowing how to best care for it is more important than the material itself. The key things to look for in any cutting board are FDA approval, BPA and formaldehyde-free materials, and antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. After these, you are looking for the board or set of boards that best suits your individual needs.
What Chopping Board Should I Use for Meat?
Ideally, you should have a separate chopping board for meat. If you are dealing with both raw and cooked meats, then an additional carving board is also a good idea. This reduces the risk of cross-contamination between raw meat, cooked meat, and other foods. Even the best washed boards run some risk of cross-contamination, particularly if you are washing and reusing the board quickly to prepare different parts of the same meal.
Plastic boards are highly recommended for meat because there are much less porous that wooden boards and can be washed in a dishwasher, meaning longer cleaning and at a higher temperature. It is suggested that you look for a board that includes a juice groove. This ensures that meat juices are collected, rather than spilling over your work surfaces. Color-coded plastic boards reduce the risk of the wrong board being used or reused in a busy kitchen.
However, if you do choose a plastic board, you should take care to replace it once it becomes marked or scarred through use. These knife marks can harbor bacteria that can cause odors, contamination, and illness.
What Size Cutting Board Should I Get?
There is no right size cutting board. It entirely depends on what you are cutting and the amount of cutting you are doing. It is always better to go for slightly bigger where possible. This is particularly true for cutting meat and other foodstuffs with juices. If you go for a smaller board, you increase the risk of the juices going all over your work surfaces.
However, you also need to take into consideration storage room and cleaning when looking at a large cutting board. If you have plastic cutting boards, then you need ones that will fit in your dishwasher, otherwise, you are missing out on one of their key benefits. Bamboo and wood cutting boards need to be light enough to lift and an appropriate size for your sink.
How To Clean A Cutting Board Properly
The best way to ensure that your cutting boards do not contaminate your food is to ensure that they are properly cleaned after each use. Plastic or polypropylene boards can go in the dishwasher and benefit from longer washes at high temperatures. This kills most bacteria and ensures that the boards are odor free. However, if you have a wooden or bamboo cutting board, the dishwasher is not a good option. Placing such boards in a dishwasher can cause them to warp, crack, and become more porous.
Given this, you need alternative cleaning methods to ensure these types of boards remain safe to use. Hot water and dish soap are not always recommended as they can break down the natural protection that is included in the boards, so what are you left with? Luckily, there is a range of traditional cleaning methods that can solve the problem of how to clean your cutting board effectively.
Wiping the surface of your wood cutting board with full-strength white vinegar will disinfect your board. The acetic acid in the vinegar is effective against a range of harmful bacteria including salmonella, E. Coli, and Staphylococcus. Alternatively, you can use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to clean your board. Simple spread baking soda over the surface and then spray undiluted white vinegar over the top. Allow the mixture to foam and bubble for up to 10 minutes before rinsing with a cloth and cold water.
If you find that your cutting board is beginning to retain the smells of stronger foods such as garlic and onions, you can use lemon juice to remove them. Simply cut a lemon in half and rub it over the surface of the board. Bottled lemon juice works just as well. As well as getting rid of the odors, the lemon juice works to sanitize the board.
- Baking soda
To clean plastic or wooden cutting boards, use a mixture of baking soda, salt, and water – equal parts of each. Mix into a paste and scrub over your board. Remember to rinse the board under hot running water afterward.
Salt can be used on its own to bring back the brightness of a board that has been cleaned using dish soap and water. It can also be combined with lemon juice to give your cutting boards an additional deep clean.
Care needs to be taken when using bleach as part of any household cleaning chore. However, diluting one teaspoon of bleach into two quarts of water gives you an effective cleaning solution for cutting boards. Dip a brush into the solution and scrub the board in small circles to clean. Wipe with a damp paper towel and then buff dry with a clean cloth.
It is a good idea to check the manufacturer’s guidelines before using any of these cleaning ideas. While they are all safe to use, when used correctly, some boards may react differently to others. Cutting boards should be checked before each use for damage. If you find any damage, including knife scarring, then the board should be replaced.