The 7 Best Butcher Wooden Blocks in 2020 for Your Kitchen
Are you tired of cheap, plastic cutting boards that shift around your counter when you try to cut a large piece of meat? If so, then you should consider purchasing a butcher blocks to help take your meat preparation to the next level.
High quality butcher blocks are made from solid wood and are typically at least two inches thick. As a comparison, plastic cutting boards are often less than one inch thick, which is sufficient for dicing fruits, vegetables and other softer foods.
The extra thickness of a high-quality butcher’s block will make chopping, cutting or tenderizing your meats much easier. There are literally thousands of options available depending upon the wood type, thickness, pattern and other attributes.
Fortunately, we have put together a detailed buying guide with seven of the best options available today and a FAQ section to answer some common questions.
- 1 Our Recommended Large Wood Cutting Boards for Meat
- 2 7 Best Butcher Blocks on the Market:
- 2.1 1. Best Bamboo Wood Block: La Mongoose XL Wood Butcher Block
- 2.2 2. Best Cherry Wood Block: John Boos Cherry Wood Edge Grain Reversible Cutting Board
- 2.3 3. Best Acacia Wood Cutting Board: Home Hero Large Wood Cutting Board With Handle
- 2.4 4. Best Maple Cutting Board: John Boos RO2 Maple Wood Reversible Cutting Board
- 2.5 5. Best Walnut Cutting Board: John Boos Blended Walnut Counter Top Cutting Board
- 2.6 6. Best Teak Wood Cutting Board: Sonder Los Angeles Large Teak Wood Cutting Board
- 2.7 7. Best Beech Cutting Board: Woodnic End Grain Cutting Board
- 3 Why Do You Need a Butcher Block?
- 4 What Type of Wood Makes the Best Cutting Board or Butcher Block?
- 5 Butcher Cutting Board FAQ
- 6 Making the Decision
Our Recommended Large Wood Cutting Boards for Meat
- Our Rating
- Crafted: Solid Bamboo
Size: 17 x 13"
Thickness - 2"
Guarantee: 1 Year
- Our Rating
- Crafted: solid American Cherry Wood
Size: 24 x 18"
Thickness - 1.5"
Guarantee: 1 Year
7 Best Butcher Blocks on the Market:
The top pick for the best meat cutting block is the La Mongoose reversible bamboo wood option. This block has an extra-large cutting surface of 17 inches by 13 inches. It also is 2 inches thick, which helps improve its durability and stability.
This block’s large size also gives you the opportunity to use it in multiple ways. For example, you can also use this sleek meat cutting block as a platter or tray to serve your guests after you have cut the meat.
This bamboo meat cutting wood block is also very easy to clean. You should only have to wipe the surfaces down with soap and water after each use. There is no need to soak the board in water or to try and put it in the dishwasher. In fact, either of these cleaning methods will damage your board.
- This board’s large surface for the price provides an excellent value.
- Solid design and two inch thickness result in a safer meat chopping experience. Your board will no longer move around while you are trying to carve those prime cuts.
- Bamboo is a hard material that generally absorbs less moisture than maple, cherry or other hardwood options.
- While bamboo’s hardness adds to its durability, it can potentially damage knives.
- Bamboo blocks are better suited for chopping rather than finely slicing meats.
Cherry wood carving blocks are a classic choice amongst many chefs and home cooks. The warm brown or red coloring of these boards would add a hint of elegance to any traditional kitchen.
This cherry wood reversible cutting block from John Boos is hand-crafted in the USA from only the finest American Cherry Wood.
Craftsmen from John Boos have been making these boards with well-established techniques since the late 1880s.
Although John Boos manufactures some of the more expensive cutting boards on the market, these beauties are time-tested and well worth the price. At 1.5 inches thick, these cutting boards are less prone to cracking than other options.
- High-quality construction and craftsmanship that can last for years if properly maintained.
- Solid enough for chopping large pieces of meat but also gentle enough on your knives to allow for precision cutting directly on the carving block.
- Beautiful grain and a warm brown stain that will liven up any kitchen.
- Much more expensive than other comparable chopping blocks on the market. This cutting board generally costs three to four times more than other hard wood butcher blocks.
- Frequent maintenance is required. It is highly recommended that you treat this block with cooking-grade mineral oil after each use and seal it with specialized creams or waxes to protect its finish.
Acacia wood is a more recent addition to the established lineup of wood cutting boards and butcher blocks.
This wood species has a unique grain that can be stained with both light and dark tones to create a truly unique piece for your kitchen. Better yet, acacia wood is also very sturdy and able to withstand frequent use.
Home Hero’s version is reversible with a flat block on one side for cutting and a grooved serving tray on the other side. The flat side is an excellent BBQ chopping block while the serving side is ideal for displaying cheeses.
- Excellent gift set that includes not only the butcher block but also a cheese knife, a two-stage sharpener and a cleaning brush.
- Reversible with a side dedicated to charcuterie or cheese platters.
- A few customers noted that the board had chips or imperfections from the manufacturer.
Another great butcher block cutting board for you to consider is the John Boos Maple Wood Reversible Cutting Board. This gorgeous maple block cutting board is made from wood that is sustainably obtained. Craftsmen hand-select each board to ensure a quality product.
If you regularly apply the Boos Oil and Cream, then it will add a protective barrier to the board, giving it antimicrobial properties. John Boos stands by the quality of their product and offers a one-year guarantee to protect you against any product defects.
- Maple wood will not dull knives as quickly as glass or plastic cutting boards.
- The board is a reversible.
- Your purchase is protected with a one-year guarantee.
- You will need to purchase the John Boos Oil and Cream separately if you want to give the board an antimicrobial barrier.
- The board must be hand washed and dried.
If you’re planning on using your cutting board on a very regular basis, you may want to consider the John Boos Blended Walnut Counter Top Cutting Board. This heavy duty butcher block comes in a variety of sizes to fit different counter top areas.
This product is made from an edge grain walnut wood that will stand out in your kitchen. It features random finger-jointed interior rails and full-length exterior rails to provide attractive variations in color.
To allow the surface to be used for cutting, the board has been finished with penetrating oil. The oil is the same one that is used on all of John Boos’s well-trusted cutting boards. It is recommended that you use the John Boos Mystery Oil to re-oil the surface on a regular basis to maintain the counter top.
- You can transform the look of your kitchen by adding a walnut wood counter top to your cabinets.
- John Boos uses only sustainably sources American Black Walnut Wood in the manufacturing of their boards.
- Maintaining walnut cutting boards is easier than boards made from some other woods.
- The cutting board is not reversible like some of the other options.
- John Boos Mystery Oil is recommended for maintenance, but is not included in your purchase.
The Sonder Los Angeles Large Teak Wood Cutting Board features end grain construction to help make it more durable and help it last longer than other models on the market. Teak is a great material choice for a heavy duty butcher block because it resists moisture, scarring, and staining.
There are also three built-in compartments along one side of the cutting block. These compartments are designed to provide you with a convenient space to slide the cut-up pieces of food you are preparing.
- You can use the 3 built-in compartments to make the cutting board double as a charcuterie board when entertaining.
- The juice wells will catch juice and stop it from getting all over your countertop.
- Teak resists scarring, staining, and moisture.
- There are only two different size options.
If you’re looking for a beech cutting board, you should consider the Woodnic End Grain Cutting Board. This high end cutting board is made using quality beech wood from Chile with traditional carving techniques.
The chopping block is made using only non-toxic and all-natural materials and may even help your knives stay sharper for longer.
This option features an end grain design which contributes to the board’s durability. The wood fibers on the board are oriented in such a way that will help keep contaminants out of your food.
- The wood fibers’ orientation can help keep you and your family safe by keeping contaminants away from your foods.
- Your knives will stay sharper for longer with this board.
- This is a quality, hand-crafted product.
- There is only one size option available.
Why Do You Need a Butcher Block?
Solid wood butcher blocks offer numerous advantages over plastic cutting boards. First and foremost, they are heavier and thicker than most traditional plastic options. This extra weight means that the block will not shift around while you are cutting your meat.
Furthermore, thicker butcher boards are less likely to crack over time if you properly care for them. This extra density also means that you can use even heavy duty choppers and knives without fear of damaging the block or your knives.
What Type of Wood Makes the Best Cutting Board or Butcher Block?
As you may have guessed from our list, numerous wood species are suitable for use as carving blocks or cutting boards. In general, you want to use hard woods rather than softer wood options for increased durability.
However, you also want to use hardwoods that are safe for food. Certain trees, such as red maple, oak and others that do not produce edible components, can be poisonous and contaminate food. Please see below for a list of best woods for butcher blocks.
As a result, carving blocks made from this material are not only strong but also eco-friendly.
However, bamboo’s hardness can pose challenges for precision carving knives or other finer blades.
You may want to use your bamboo block mostly for chopping with meat cleavers or other larger blades.
Cherry wood is an elegant choice for a cutting board. This wood’s warm brown and red hues will add a hint of timeless class to your kitchen.
However, its higher price and increased maintenance may make it less desirable for everyday use. With cherry wood blocks, you will definitely need to spend more timing oiling and sealing them after each use compared to some other woods.
Sugar maple, also known as hard maple, is one of the most frequently used woods in kitchen cabinets and tables. As such a butcher block crafted from this material would coordinate very well with many kitchens.
Maple is particularly hard and is able to resist mold, bacteria and other food-borne pathogens. As noted above, red maple is poisonous and should not be used for butcher’s blocks or other cutting boards.
While this wood is not as popular for carving blocks, the spread of this wood species across the world means that its cost may be lower than other options.
Its durability also means that acacia wood can be used for a wide variety of cutting board applications.
Many people like walnut wood not only for their kitchens but also for other furniture in their homes. This wood’s darker shades make it an excellent choice for a butcher block.
Walnut is less likely to show stains from BBQ sauce or meat juices. However, it is a softer wood than maple or some of the other options on the list. As a result, it may not withstand as much use as some other woods.
For these reasons, teak is a very popular wood for furniture or other items that will be kept outdoors.
Those same attributes that make teak attractive for outdoor use also can be an asset in the kitchen.
Butcher blocks made from Teak are extremely hearty and able to withstand water and juices better than many other options.
However, teak wood is rarer than maple or cherry. In fact, African teak trees are now considered at risk for extinction due to overharvesting.
Beech wood is another viable alternative to use when constructing a carving block. This wood is not too hard, but also not overly soft. It has similar properties to maple, but generally is less expensive.
Butcher Cutting Board FAQ
Are Wood Butcher Blocks Safe?
Yes! In fact, wooden butcher blocks and cutting boards typically resist E.coli, salmonella, listeria and other microbes better than their plastic counterparts.
Can You Leverage a Butcher Block as a Cutting Board?
Yes, butcher blocks are not reserved just for chopping large chunks of meat into smaller portions. The fact that these blocks are constructed from actual wood means that you can typically also perform precision cuts on them without damaging your knives.
How Thick Should a Butcher Block Be?
Unlike most plastic cutting boards, which are less than one inch thick, high-quality butcher blocks should be at least 1.5 inches thick. Some options are over two inches thick.
This additional density is critical for increased stability and sturdiness while you are cutting even large slabs of thick meats. The board’s additional weight will keep it from moving on your countertop while you are preparing your meal.
Thicker boards also are more resilient and better able to resist cracking over multiple uses. One of the most common complaints about a traditional plastic cutting board or a cheaper, thin wood board is that the surface cracks after less than a year.
How Do I Maintain My Butcher Block and Protect its Surfaces?
It is highly recommend that you oil your board consistently. This step is particularly important when the board is new to season it and seal the wood’s pores. You can use any mineral-based cooking oil for this purpose.
You should limit the butcher block’s exposure to water as much as possible. If you need to wash the board, then you should hand wash and dry all surfaces. Never put your butcher block in the dishwasher!
Making the Decision
After reading through the reviews and our wood butcher block buying guide, you should have a good idea of the right product that will match your needs.
We think all seven of the products on our list would make an excellent purchase, but the La Mongoose XL Bamboo Wood Butcher Block is the one that earned our top pick.
We like the versatility of this product. Beyond its durability, this butcher block’s reasonable price makes it an easy choice. Bamboo’s inherent properties mean that this butcher block will require less maintenance than some of the other options.
Place your order for the La Mongoose XL Bamboo Wood Butcher Block today. You will love this block’s versatility as you carve brisket, cut roast beef and prepare cheese trays with ease!