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Cutting meat is a different animal to cutting fruit and vegetables. Not only are raw cuts of meat tougher to hack through, but there’s the contamination element to consider.
Your cutting board needs to be suited for the task, and preferably not be used to cut your other foodstuffs too.
So how different can you make a cutting board? Quite different, as it happens, any shaped block of plastic or wood does not a cutting board make.
Below we’ve compiled the best market options so that you can choose the best cutting board for meats.
We’ve also written a buyers’ guide so that you can understand what small but impactful decisions go into making cutting boards for meat versus any other produce, and maybe in the future it’ll help you make an informed purchase when you’re next on the hunt for one.
In a hurry?
This is our Winner!
Why is it our top pick?
Need to get chopping? If you’re in a rush we’ve got our top choice here.
Of all the cutting boards considered, we found the Bambusi Bamboo Butcher Block to be the best. There was simply no contest once this product came into our sights.
It had the meat-carving features of other boards without the utilitarian, plastic design, instead being made of naturally antibacterial bamboo, and it retailed for much less than other butcher blocks on the market - like the one featured at number five in this selection.
The Bambusi Bamboo Butcher Block exists at a perfect intersection of utility and affordability and isn’t bad to look at to boot. Here’s some of the features that made it our number one choice:
- Moso bamboo construction means it has natural antibacterial qualities.
- Pyramid ridged “teeth” anchor the meat in place at the center of the block, and deep, wide grooves drain any juice away from the meat.
- Greatly priced for what you get in comparison to other brands.
Best Cutting Board For Meats - Comparison Table
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Best Cutting Board For Meats - Reviews
Designed with carving entire turkeys in mind, the Bambusi Bamboo Butcher Block is a compact 13” by 13” of specially designed features meant to make cutting and carving any meat a breeze.
Its 1.5” thickness makes it a butcher block by technicality, but its 100% pure moso bamboo construction makes for a lightweight block that weighs half that of other wooden butcher blocks on the market, putting it more in line with the weight of a cutting board.
The bamboo it is made from also has naturally antibacterial qualities, meaning that handwashing is enough to properly clean it.
The surface of the block is grated at the center, many pyramid-shaped spikes holding the meat you’re cutting into position, and around that are deep, wide grooves that distribute juices evenly and spread them to the edges of the block, away from the meat.
The ridges can get difficult to clean due to how packed together they are, but its not something a little more elbow grease won’t solve. On the reverse, the block is flat so that you can cut other produce without having to worry about cross-contamination.
Due to all of its features matched with a great price for what you get, we chose the Bambusi Bamboo Butcher Block as our top choice for the best cutting board for meats.
The Joseph Joseph Cut & Carve Cutting Board is an Amazon’s Choice cutting board with one of its sides specially designed to hold meat as you cut it, thanks to its meat-gripping spikes that center the meat and stop it from sliding around on the board’s plastic surface.
Speaking of sliding around, this enhanced version of the board also has non-slip feet so the board itself doesn’t move either.
Its surfaces are angled to collect crumbs or meat juice, and its lighter and available in more colors than its wooden competitors. It measures in at the 14.5” by 11.25” standard, ideal for most of the cutting you’ll be doing with it.
The meat-gripping spikes can be a chore to clean properly, but this is just a consequence of them functioning well, and when you consider that similar spiked chopping boards retail for higher prices than this, the small amount of extra hassle at washing up is worth it for this product.
An Amazon’s Choice selection, you don’t need to take just our word when considering the quality of the OXO Good Grips 2-Piece Cutting Board Set as there’s a small army of happy consumers who have left glowing reviews of this product.
Constructed out of polypropylene, this board is not only odor-resistant but also designed to avoid scratching and the premature dulling of your blades that happens with it.
Its handles are tapered to sit more comfortably in your hands and, when its set down, the small nubs protruding out of the bottom work with the non-slip edges of those handles to hold the board firmly in place.
When cutting you have a choice of two sides, one with drip-catching grooves and one without. Naturally, the drip-catching one is intended for your meats whilst the other can be used for other assorted produce, giving this board double the use with none of the cross-contamination risk.
The fact you get a smaller 10.5” board and a larger 14.5” for the retail price of one premium board makes this a great detail for those wanting their money to stretch further.
Some have reported that those grooves have been too shallow for the quantities of meats they were cutting, so try not to bite off more than you can chew!
Next up are the Dexas Heavy Duty Grippmat Cutting Boards. As per Dexas’ registered Grippmat technology, these cutting boards are barely boards at all, instead being super flat, flexible and made of non-slip polyethylene.
They come in at 8” by 11” and yes, that’s they, because for their low price you get four boards in a variety of attractive and eye-catching colors.
It’s not all about the aesthetic, however, the fact these boards come in starkly contrasted bright colors means you can co-ordinate which colors are used for what to prevent cross-contamination.
For their extra thin and lightweight construction, these cutting boards can stand up to vigorous chopping like the best of them, though they are more your all-rounder cutting boards since they have no specialized meat cutting features such as juice-collecting grooves or spikes to hold meat in place.
Our last entry is coming in from industry veterans John Boos & Co, this cutting board qualifies as a butcher’s block due to its hefty thickness and weight.
It’s a massive 18” by 12”, with 1.75” in thickness alone, so this option is ideal for those who want or need that extra room when chopping produce.
Made with natural and eco-friendly American Cherry Wood, the Boos Butcher Block requires oiling every month or so, or more often in dry climates or if used heavily.
As you’ve no doubt worked out by now, this board is an expensive one hence why it’s slid down in our rankings. We don’t see why any old cutting board maintenance oil wouldn’t suffice, if it’s the repeat purchases that are a deal breaker.
Even still its an expensive board for those who are serious about their meal preparation, if you are one such person this butcher’s block will serve you well.
Best Cutting Board For Meats - Buyers Guide
Materials that cutting boards are made from
Raw meat is full of harmful bacteria so using a board that’s easy to properly clean and will be able to repel these bacteria in the long term is imperative. It’s also good if they don’t make knives dull.
These two things can depend on the material that the board is made of. Boards can be made from:
- End grain
Those have been ordered in a very general approximation of which is better suited to cutting board construction, since each have their advantages and disadvantages.
Composite is lauded for its durability and ease of cleaning due to it being able to go into the dishwasher whereas the more porous end grain wood and bamboo boast antibacterial qualities that help them and has given them a reputation for being more sanitary.
Glass is at the bottom because, you know, glass. Joking aside, glass cutting boards can and will dull your blade prematurely and for all of the promising that they’re break-resistant it can still happen quite easily.
Cutting board maintenance and cleaning
When it comes to maintaining and cleaning your cutting board, there’s two main groups with their own method of cleaning. These are generally either wooden or plastic. Using warm, soapy water is obviously a must.
Preferably the soap is mild, and after you rinse be sure to dry immediately. If you’re in need of some stronger sanitization after working with a lot of particularly raw meat, then you can mix one tablespoon of chlorine-based bleach into a gallon of water and pour it over the cutting boards.
They should be fine for rinsing a few minutes after that and, don’t worry, chlorine bleach has no ill-effects if used to the right ratio so that it dilutes into the water.
If your cutting board is wooden (or bamboo, technically that’s grass but for the purpose of maintenance its identical to wood) then you’ll probably be applying mineral oil to your board’s surface every two weeks to a month depending on how often its used and how dry the climate is where you live.
As for the actual washing of the boards, firstly you should never, ever put a wooden or bamboo cutting board into a dishwasher.
Preferably you shouldn’t put any cutting board in the dishwasher since warping is always a risk, wooden or plastic, but plastic cutting boards are more durable than wooden in that regard.
If you do place plastic cutting boards in the dishwasher, be sure to take them out before or not long into the drying cycle as the heat is what will warp them, if anything.
So, handwashing is the way to go for your cutting boards. The flowing water is one of the more important factors here, make sure plenty of it flows over the board, especially in the scores along the surface where bacteria will find it easier to cling to.
You can use a scrub brush to really get into the scratches for a better outcome. Don’t let it soak, dry immediately.
An alternative and less time-consuming method of cleaning your board than the chlorination method mentioned above is to use odorless pure white vinegar and rub the board with the vinegar-dampened cloth.
If white vinegar is hard to come by, you can use your average vinegar, but this will have a scent undesirable to many. You can minimize the scent by mixing it into a solution of three quarters water to one quarter vinegar and spraying that onto the board.
Whichever way you go, leave it on for a few minutes and then wipe it off.
If and when your cutting board gets stained there are ways to remove it without bleaching your board. This happens more, or at least happens to be more noticeable, with plastic boards rather than wooden ones.
Prevention is the best cure, if you wash as soon as possible then any potential stains have less time to seep into the wood or solidify upon the plastic of your cutting board.
For when you have stains, you can remove them by applying baking soda to the surface and massaging it into the stain with a lemon half (which can also be used to clean the board and leave it smelling pleasant!).
The oxidization effect should help to remove the stains. For wooden board stains, the stain can get so deeply ingrained that nothing works, you can use sandpaper to try and remove the uppermost layer.
This cannot be overdone unless you want to bore an indent into your board, and if you are successful you’ll need to recover the affected area with the mineral oil that you should usually be using to maintain the entire board.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the difference between cutting boards and butcher blocks?
For the purposes of cutting meat, very little. If a cutting board is made of grain wood and exceeds 1.5” in thickness, it becomes a butcher block.
They’re used in the same way when cutting meat, and what makes a good cutting board and what makes a good butcher block largely overlap hence why some butcher blocks appear in our selection above.
Which wood should I choose for a wooden board?
A handy rule of thumb that’s easy for laymen to follow is to choose the wood of trees whose sap or bearings are edible, because those woods are deemed less toxic and more food safe, e.g. maple, beech, walnut, oak, cherry.
As for the best within those, that depends what the board is to be used for. Maple is the favorite for its hardness, whilst softer ones like cherry are more ideal for cutting produce like cheese but can also be used to cut meat if you take care and don’t actively try to cut up the board.
If you’re planning on using a heavy-duty wood board, maple, beech and teak are generally the top three for hardiness.
Though not a wood, bamboo is also a hardy and cheaper alternative to many woods you’ll find out there.