Although it’s usually tucked away in a cabinet most of the time, your cutting board is unquestionably one of the most used culinary tools in your kitchen, and should be treated as such. Too often these carving boards come second to knives, when both require ample attention and care.
A well-maintained knife not only makes chopping easier and faster, but it helps prevent accidents because it requires less force than your dull, five-year old knife when slicing ingredients. There are a multitude of ways to protect your blade, but one factor many don’t consider is the surface of your cutting board.
Even though they require a bit more upkeep than plastic or other synthetic options, wood cutting boards are generally gentler on knives. Maple, bamboo, and teak are the best options for blade longevity because they don’t tarnish the blade like rough plastic, marble, or glass cutting boards tend to do over time.
Top-notch woods can cost a bit more, so we’ve included both afforadble and splurge-worthy suggestions in our list of the best cutting boards.
Hawkins New York Oak Cutting Board – $130
Designed for everyday cutting or serving board for vegetables, cheeses, and charcuterie, the Hawkins New York Oak Cutting board is a versatile and simple companion for your culinary exercises. This one is for the minimalist who appreciates quality and aesthetics.
Martha Stewart Natural Edge Cutting Board – $45
This burly board from the Martha Stewart collection is the best bang for your buck among on our list. Made from eye-catching acacia wood, this natural-edge cutting surface is sturdy, perfect for preserving knife longevity, and will add some rustic flare to your kitchen counter or dining table.
Epicurean Slate Cutting Board – $35
This slate chopping block is the first of two from Epicurean our list of best cutting boards. Epicurean crafts durable products for the outdoors, so you adventurers don’t have to sacrifice a good, hearty meal in order to explore. This board is made with wood pulp, which is then boiled with food grade resin and finally pressed into sheets, giving the board a durable texture to protect against cracks, warping, and dullness.
etuHOME Farmhouse Cutting Board – $98
For those culinary connoisseurs looking to add some rustic vibes to your abode, the Farmhouse board from etuHOME makes our roundup based on looks alone. However, it’s also a functional friend. Featuring a sturdy, reclaimed wood texture and wrought iron handles, this board is hand-finished with organic orange oil for some extra shine on your counter.
Brooklyn Butcher Blocks Walnut Board – $190
If you want a durable and bold addition to your kitchen arsenal, this walnut board is as blade-saving as it is beautiful. The handmade butcher block uses edge grain construction to provide a smoother, thus softer, cutting surface. Don’t just do it for you; do it for the knives.
Epicurean Big Game Cutting Board – $170
This extra-large, portable cutting board is perfect for processing or prepping all types of freshly acquired game. Featuring Epicurean’s fancied eco-friendly wood fiber composite, the board gives off a desirable natural look that is soft on knives, nonporous, dishwasher-safe, and a perfect fit on any tailgate. The brand’s camp series boards are awesome too.
John McLeod Angus Carving Board – $170 – $230
Available in both a walnut and maple, the John McLeod Angus Carving Board is the perfect companion for carving and preparing meats. Boasting a built-in grid to hold large hunks of meat in place, a trenched perimeter to catch necessary juices, and dual-sided capabilities, this American-made board crafted from sustainable New England hardwood is quite versatile.
Catskill Craft Cutting Board with Tray – $99
This puppy from Catskill Craft is a perfect grab for small kitchens or cooks who are stern on avoiding cross-contamination. Created from flat-grain North American hardwood, this cutting board comes equipped with raised legs, non-slip rubber pads, and three removable plastic trays, providing a full-service kitchen station.
Ironwood Gourmet Baguette Miter – $28
This new creation for slicing french baguettes is an exceptional tool for the kitchen. Baguette textures can vary immensely, and it’s important to have a strong guide for beautiful cuts on your bread. This purpose-made, acacia-wood board allows for precise slicing and serving of traditional baguettes.
Article originally published on December 14, 2016.