Editors’ Picks: Cutting Boards

Cutting boards are a home cook's kitchen workhorse. Here are a few we like and recommend.

Photography Credit: Andy Christensen

When it comes to absolutely essential home cooking tools, you can’t get more essential than a cutting board. Second only to a chef’s knife, a cutting board is the tool that helps you get things done. Chopping, slicing, dicing, all manner of prep—you can’t do it without a cutting board!

Earlier this week we shared a guide to cutting board materials and which one to choose, an in-depth look at the pros and cons of various materials and things to consider when buying a cutting board.

But if you’d like some solid recommendations from us in lieu of doing your own research, we have them!

Wondering about the best cutting board material for meat, seafood, and poultry? Simply Recipes’ Nutrition Editor, Katie Morford, says regardless of what material you pick—plastic, composite, wood—you should designate boards for different uses and stick to that. “I recommend people use [whatever material] they like and have one cutting board designated for meat and seafood and wash it well after each use,” she told me. “I personally use wood, because I just don’t like the feel of plastic under my knife.”

Plastic Cutting Boards

As we wrote in this guide to cutting boards, plastic cutting boards are not necessarily safer than wood when it comes to harboring bacteria, but they're an affordable and low-maintenance choice.

 

NSF Approved Commercial Use Plastic Cutting Board, 18x30 1/2

"I exclusively use a gigantic plastic cutting board that I bought at a restaurant supply store years ago when I was in culinary school," says Emma. "It’s super easy to clean; it was cheap so I don’t care if it stains, and it's never warped."

NSF-Approved Large Plastic Cutting Board, $33 from Amazon

Core Kitchen Grip Strip Essential Board, 2-pack

"I like to keep small plastic boards for my kids to use," says Summer. "I’m starting to have them slice their own apples. My husband picked this one up from a hardware store, and I like it. It hasn’t warped, and it’s about five years old."

Core Kitchen Grip Strip Essential Board, 2-pack, $5.99 from Amazon

Composite Wood Cutting Boards

Composite wood boards are a go-to for many of us, because they're a step up from plastic while still being dishwasher-safe, easy to clean, and easy to maintain.

Epicurean Cutting Board, 14.5

I've used these specific Epicurean boards for the last 10 years, and I'm a fan, as I wrote about here.

Epicurean boards are lightweight (which makes them easy to clean in the sink) and hardwearing. They're my go-to board for cutting meat or seafood.

Epicurean Kitchen Series Cutting Board, $24.95 from Amazon

Wood Cutting Boards

Wooden cutting boards require the most maintenance of any cutting board material, but it's worth it in the long run. It you wash and dry a wood cutting board thoroughly and oil it regularly, it'll last you for years. 

If you're going to invest in a wood cutting board, we recommend choosing a dense, closed-grain hardwood like maple, walnut, or cherry and to opt for a size that's at least 12-inches by 18-inches.

Check out small makers or independent woodworkers in your area for a handcrafted cutting board, especially if you're interested in an end grain board, which is more labor-intensive to make and thus more expensive than an edge grain board. Read more about end grain vs edge grain boards in our Guide to Cutting Boards.

If you plan to use a wood cutting board for chopping meat, seafood, or poultry (and that's ok!), we recommend getting a smaller, separate wooden cutting board specifically for that purpose. (Smaller because it'll be easier to pick up and move to the sink for washing!)

Magnus Design Large Walnut Cutting Board, 13

I adore this large, flat, edge-grain walnut cutting board from Magnus Design.

Made in Wisconsin and available in three sizes (and also in white oak and maple), I love the rounded edges and slim profile. It's only 3/4-inch high, which makes a big difference if you plan to move it around at all, but still solid and sturdy enough to handle all the chopping I throw at it.

Plus, it's pretty enough to double as a serving platter.

Large 13" x 18" Walnut Cutting Board, $120 from Magnus Design

Made In Butcher Block

Made In's butcher block also makes our list, because it has many of the features we look for in a wood cutting board: It's made of 100% repurposed American maple (a great wood choice for a cutting board); it's generously sized, and it has a juice groove to catch the delicious drippings from that roast chicken we just made.

You can also flip the board over for a larger, completely flat work surface!

The Butcher Block, $99 from Made In

More About Cutting Boards

chopped mushrooms

From wood to plastic to compressed paper and other materials, here’s how to buy the cutting board that’s right for you!

Oiling a cutting board

A wooden cutting board will last for years with proper care and conditioning. Here’s how to care for it!

This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Simply Recipes. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.

Cambria Bold

Cambria Bold is the Product and Lifestyle Director for Simply Recipes. She has almost a decade's worth of online editorial experience and know-how, first as the Managing Editor for Apartment Therapy's green living site Re-Nest (RIP) and later as the Design and Lifestyle Editor for Kitchn. She lives in the Twin Cities with her husband and their two little girls. And, yes, this is her real name.

More from Cambria

10 Comments

No ImageEditors’ Picks: Cutting Boards

  1. MARIA

    What about bamboo cutting boards?

    Show Replies (1)
  2. Michael Pinto

    Disappointed that you do not mention end grain wooden cutting boards. If you use expensive knives these are essential to preserving the cutting edge as the wood fibres part to make it easier on the knife edge. There are many talented small shop local woodworkers who make excellent boards.

    Show Replies (2)
  3. Donald Masselli

    I use a 16″x16″ ceramic floor tile, mounted to the same size 3/4″ piece of plywood I use 100 % pure silicon to bond them together. Costs about In 15. Dollars… To DIY….

    Show Replies (1)
  4. scott

    I’m back…..Where have you been? they make high quality color coded cutting board/ mats. Heavy duty, semi flexible, light and easy to clean. Smart and final carry the set of 5 for about 20 bucks. I use those on top of my fancy boards that I never use or have to clean… try it you will like it….Chefmanrebel