Cutting boards are a handy addition to the kitchen, allowing you to easily chop and mince foods on a solid platform. Not all boards are made with the same type of wood though. There are various options available that allow the boards to take on a unique look and texture that can add to the atmosphere of your kitchen. There are 19 varieties of the best wood for cutting board creations that you can choose from.
1. Hard Maple
Hard maple is the wood of choice for many cutting board creators. Look through your kitchen and chances are you will find a maple board or other maple product.
The wood is found in abundance throughout many states, making it a plentiful resource. With a thick weight and heavy density, hard maple is a solid wood option that holds up well when you use it.
This type of wood is also known as sugar maple, as it is used to cultivate maple syrup. Acer saccharum is the specific species this refers to. It is found in New York, the Lake states, such as Michigan, and the Mid-Atlantic region.
Four different states have claimed the maple as their state tree. These states include Vermont, Virginia, New York, and Wisconsin. Maple products, including cutting boards, are plentiful in these areas.
2. Black Walnut
Black walnut is another valid cutting board choice for you to consider. The wood’s dark appearance is a nice contrast from the common browns you typically see. It is a good board to choose if you have other darker wood products in your kitchen.
Many other wood types shrink or swell, especially after frequent use. Black walnut is less likely to do so. It is extremely durable, yet easy enough to work and maneuver as needed. This wood only grows on certain soils, making it a more limited resource than maple.
If you want a black walnut board in your kitchen, you will have to pay a higher price for it. It is grown in eastern part of the U.S., starting from Texas and making its way up to Michigan.
3. Black Cherry
Prunus serotina is the scientific name for black cherry wood. It is actually part of the Rosaceae family, where roses are included. Leaves, fruit, and flowers all grow on the tree. It is a valuable resource because of its variety of offerings.
Black cherry is well-liked because of its reddish tint. It makes a unique color choice for your kitchen. The wood is plentiful in many states and other regions, including Mexico and Guatemala, making it easy to come by.
It is particularly found in the southwest states, such as Texas. Black cherry is often seen growing near hackberry and black locust trees. These trees grow wild thanks to birds that help spread the seeds. Black cherry trees live long and grow tall, making them a long-lasting resource for wood and wood products.
Bamboo is extremely low maintenance. You can simply hand-wash the board and dry it to keep it in good shape. The wood’s hard density means bacteria from food is less likely to get inside porous surfaces, as happens with many other wood cutting boards.
It does not retain water easily either, which also limits the chance for bacteria growth. Warping and cracking does not happen easily with bamboo, so you will not have to worry about replacing your board regularly.
Many other woods become damaged over time due to knife use. Scarring is left behind, allowing food particles to sink in. Bamboo is a tougher material that is incredibly dense. Frequent knife use does very minimal to scar your bamboo board.
Jatoba is one of the hardest woods. Its formal name is Hymenaea courbaril. It is not found in the U.S., and is instead located in Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean.
Some call it Brazilian Cherry, although it is not related to the cherry tree in any way. It is called as such because of its color, which varies between a red and orange brown.
This wood is a good choice for your kitchen because of its hardness. Many cutting board creators pair it with another type of wood to make it less expensive and more appealing. Walnut and maple are good choices to pair jatoba wood with for a unique cutting board creation.
Hickory is one of the strongest American woods you can find. It will last a long time if you take care of it properly. This wood offers a nice shade for the kitchen, ranging between a medium brown and golden hue with a tint of red. Most cutting boards made of hickory are found in one inch and two inch increments. Cutting it any thicker would cause cracking.
There are a wide variety of hickory options available. Sand hickory is one choice, offering a more golden brown shade. Shagbark hickory also offers a lighter color option. Pignut and red hickory are darker options, offering a reddish hue paired with brown.
Known as a closed-grain wood option, birch is ideal for your kitchen. There are roughly 60 species of birch, meaning the wood is plentiful. It is durable and easy to stain and polish. You can simply apply some mineral oil to the surface and the wood of your board will hold up well. It has a straight grain texture that will not easily allow knives to cut through.
Birch exhibits a yellowed shade that is lighter than maple. This extremely light shade pairs well with any decor. It also features unique patterns, with a slightly darker hue woven in.
8. European Oak
Some say that oak is not ideal for cutting board use because it is not as dense as other wood types. Oak is easy to come by though, making it a plentiful resource that you can get quickly. It makes it a cheaper option to choose from. Many manufacturers still use oak for cutting boards. One company even created a video detailing how to make a board out of the wood material.
The thing to note is that American oak is not used. It is European oak specifically that is a better option for cutting board creations. This is because it is a heavier wood than the American version.
Teak is found throughout many regions, including the Caribbean, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Trees grow tall, up to 150 feet, with three to five feet of diameter for their trunks. Teak begins as a golden yellow shade, and later turns to a darker brown. The wood is durable, yet easy to work, making it an ideal wood to craft.
You can rest assured that the teak cutting board in your kitchen will ward off excess water. It has a resistance to water that makes it an ideal wood for kitchen use. It is used in a lot of outdoor projects because of this, paired with its durability.
Mahogany is well-liked by lumber companies and customers alike because of its unique shade. It exhibits a red hue that will definitely stand out in your home. This wood has a straight-grain that needs proper sealing in order to prevent water from getting inside and trapping bacteria from the food cut on it.
There are three different species of mahogany. One is American mahogany, found in the U.S. The second is Honduras mahogany, found throughout Central America. There is also bigleaf mahogany, also found in Central and South America. Each are considered strong hardwoods that are ideal for creating furniture and other small wood projects.
Different variations of the beech tree are available, including the American beech and European beech. Both grow past 50 feet in height. They are light in color, with a pale cream shade sometimes shadowed with a pinkish tint. A brown tint can also occur, and usually darkens when the wood is treated.
Beech is extremely durable, and has a definite hardness. It reaches over 1,300 pounds on the Janka hardness scale. This scale depicts the level of hardness of each type of wood, with stronger and more resistant woods landing higher on it. Softwoods are low on the scale.
Acacia has a lustrous finish and is extremely durable. It is a nice choice for cutting boards because of both of these factors. It also has various shades, typically ranging between medium brown and a red-tinted brown. A large number of acacia species are found throughout the world, not all being used for timber. Acacia koa is a timber option that can be harvested. It is primarily found in Hawaii.
Reaching over 1,000 pounds on the janka hardness scale, koa acacia is tough enough to last in your kitchen. Many manufacturers use darker shades of acacia to help accentuate the look and appeal.
Bubinga has not often been seen in the kitchen, but it is a wood that you can use for your cutting board. It is a pricier option, but well worth it for the look it provides. Bubinga wood offers a rich texture with a reddened shade. A dark purple, almost black hue is also seen throughout each piece.
This wood extends higher on the janka hardness scale than maple, reaching over 2,400 pounds. A high hardness level sometimes makes wood harder to work with, but that is not the case with bubinga. It is also incredibly strong and will withstand any pressure you put on it, but can still easily be maneuvered during manufacturing. It will not easily split or dent.
Known by the name Hinoki, hinoki-cypress is seen as a shrub and a tree. A reddish bark is found on the tree, yet the wood harvested from it is light in color. Dark green needles spread over the branches, with small cones also present. Hinoki is native to Japan.
Hinoki offers natural anti-bacterial properties. It will fight off bacteria easier than most other woods used for cutting boards. It also has a naturally pleasant odor, smelling of citrus. This can help mask odors that tend to develop in the kitchen. The wood is resistant to fungus growth and rot.
Larch finds its home in cold temperatures, including places like Canada and Siberia. European larch is an alternative option. It is a favored choice by many because of its strength and durability. It is also more resistant to water than most wood options, meaning your cutting board will not damage easily. It is even more resistant to rot which is why the wood is used both indoors and outdoors.
The hues associated with larch wood also make it ideal for your kitchen. The wood often has a red-brown tint, paired with a creamy lighter brown.
Makore is not very well known among trees, but it is an option that can be used for cutting boards. A few companies have already started selling cutting boards made with this hardwood.
It reaches over 1,000 pounds on the janka hardness, making it tough enough to last in the kitchen. It is reddish brown in color with shaded streaks added in. It sometimes appears to be pink.
This strong, dense wood is found in the tropical forests of Ghana. There are large seeds on the trees that elephants consume. Those seeds can create a natural cooking oil when pressed.
Ipe is highly resistant to water wear. While it is typically used for outdoor projects, including boat construction, it can also be used to make cutting boards that are extremely durable. Ipe reaches over 3,000 pounds on the janka hardness scale, ensuring it is long-lasting and tough.
South and Central America find ipe regularly. It grows well in more tropical locations. The wood from ipe is darker in color, with shades of brown, red, and a light black all mixed in. Ipe is resistant to insect and rot.
Sapele is a hardwood with over 1,400 pounds listed on the janka hardness scale. It is found primarily in Africa, both in the western and central regions. The outer part of the wood is seen as a light, rosy color. The inside is a different story, with darker shades shown.
Many cutting boards made of sapele use the darker shades, showing off a reddish brown color. You will sometimes see a purplish hint as well. Because of the inside color, this tree is also known as African Mahogany.
Harder to come by than other cutting board woods, sapele is higher in price. Using the endgrain of the sapele also makes the board more costly, but well worth it. Having the endgrain available prevents damage from knife use.
Peltogyne is the scientific name for purpleheart. It comes from Brazil and other tropical locations. You can probably guess that the wood is called as such because of its purple shade that is not like any other.
When first cut, the wood appears as a grayed purple hue with a hint of brown. During the finishing process, a UV inhibiting material is used to darken the shade and turn it to a browned purple color.
Working with purpleheart can prove difficult, which is why the material is not often seen in the kitchen. There have been some boards sold in this wood type though. It offers a uniquely shaded cutting board to match your decor.
It is important to understand all available options so you can find the best one to suit your needs. While the hard maple may be the popular choice, there are other selections out there that work just as well.
No matter which wood you choose though, regular applications of mineral oil are needed to help seal out moisture and prevent warping and bacteria growth.
What is your favorite wood for cutting boards? Did your top choice make the list? Let us know in the comments. Share the list with your creative cooking friends to offer some inspiration.