A good wood or bamboo cutting board can serve you well for years to come. Which model is best?
Last Updated Nov. 2, 2022. Appears in America's Test Kitchen TV Season 21: Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
We tested and highly recommend two additional cutting boards. Our favorite remains the Teakhaus Edge Grain Cutting Board (XL), but if you’d like a slightly smaller board, we think the Teakhaus Edge Grain Cutting Board (L) is also a great option.
A good knife is nothing without an equally good cutting board on which to use it. While some cooks like lighter-weight boards, others see the ultimate cutting board as a thick, solid, unbudgeable model made of wood or bamboo. Compared to a lightweight plastic or composite board, this kind of board is an investment; you'll have to spend more money, perform regular maintenance, and use more muscle to lift and maneuver it for cleaning. But for that money and effort, you get a board that is a much greater pleasure to cut on and can potentially last a lifetime.
It had been a while since we last tested cutting boards, and we wanted to know if our former winner, the Teakhaus Edge Grain Cutting Board (XL), was still the best heavy-duty option available. So we pitted it against six other models. Each model measured at least 20 inches long and 15 inches wide—for an all-purpose board, we wanted enough room to break down a chicken without feeling cramped. The boards we chose were made from bamboo or one of several types of wood (maple, birch, cherry, teak, or hinoki, a Japanese cypress). They were also constructed in two different ways: Some of the models were end-grain boards (made by gluing together blocks of wood, each with the grain running vertically), and others were edge-grain boards (made by gluing together long planks of wood, each with the grain running horizontally).
On each board, we minced parsley, chopped onions, sliced loaves of bread, pounded chicken cutlets, and cleaved pounds of bone-in chicken parts. We chopped chipotle chile in adobo sauce on them, washed them, and then checked each board for stains and odors. We also washed each board by hand more than 100 times over six months, maintaining them as needed between washings with mineral oil applications. In addition, we sent copies of the boards home with staff members for some real-life testing in their kitchens.
There were no egregious failures here; each model had its fans. But a few factors made certain boards more durable, more pleasant to cut on, and more foolproof to maintain.
Since we'd already selected the boards according to specific size parameters, we weren't surprised to find that all the boards were spacious enough to accommodate every task we performed on them. Given the choice, however, most of our testers preferred a somewhat bigger board, as it gave them more room to work when trimming big roasts or slicing long bunches of leafy greens. Our winner is one of the largest boards, measuring 18 inches wide by 24 inches long.
Our advice: Get the biggest board that your counter and sink will allow—and that you're able to ...
The mission of America’s Test Kitchen Reviews is to find the best equipment and ingredients for the home cook through rigorous, hands-on testing. We stand behind our winners so much that we even put our seal of approval on them.
Miye is a senior editor for ATK Reviews. She covers booze, blades, and gadgets of questionable value.