Great sized butcher block for those who need a heavy-duty piece of wood. High-quality Northern Michigan maple that measures 20" x 15". Grain carries through the edges of the block, giving it an impressive look.
High price point may not fit every budget. Very heavy.
Thickness level of almost 2" for no chance of warping over time. Acacia wood looks great and is eco-friendly. Inner handles so you can carry the block safely and steadily. Weighs a comfortable 6.2 lbs.
Sometimes this type of wood may develop cracks or splits over time.
Made of organic bamboo, which is a durable wood. Usable as a serving tray as well as for cutting food. Includes a drip groove to catch juices created while cutting. Large size butcher block of about 18" x 12".
Only 0.8" thick, meaning it may warp over time.
At 2" thick and 8.5 lbs., this butcher block has a durable feel and size. Organic bamboo provides anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties naturally. Great looking block that will also work as a serving tray.
Wood used in this block may crack, chip, or split over time.
With 1.2" of thickness, this board works great for light-duty carving and cutting needs in a home kitchen. Consists of bamboo, which naturally has anti-bacterial properties. Juice groove catches drippings while cutting food.
Smaller than most butcher block options at 13.5" x 10".
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
When you’re cutting fruit and vegetables, a standard cutting board can get the job done. But if you’re breaking down large cuts of meat, a butcher chopping block is usually a much better option. That’s because a butcher chopping block is far more durable than a traditional cutting board. It holds up better to the force typically needed to pass a knife through various cuts of meat. It also adds a decorative, vintage look to your kitchen that a basic cutting board can’t match.
But all butcher chopping blocks aren’t created equally, so it’s important to know what to look for when you shop. That means figuring out what type of wood, size, thickness, and other features would work best in your kitchen.
At BestReviews, we can help you find the ideal butcher chopping block for your home. As we prepared this review, we did not accept free products from companies in order to maintain an unbiased nature. Instead, we diligently studied the butcher chopping block product space in order to find out all we could about this helpful cook’s tool.
If you’re ready to buy a butcher chopping block, you’ll find our top recommendations in the matrix above. For general tips on choosing a butcher chopping block, please continue reading.
If you already have a cutting board in your kitchen, you might be wondering if a butcher chopping block is really necessary.
The fact is that cutting boards and butcher chopping blocks aren’t exactly the same thing, and if you frequently cut meat at home, a butcher block may prove to be a key addition to your kitchen.
When you’re cutting fruits, vegetables, herbs, and other small ingredients, you’re usually slicing, dicing, chopping, and julienning the items, which typically doesn’t require a great deal of force. A thin, lightweight cutting board is an ideal work surface for this type of light cutting.
With meat, on the other hand, you may have to debone, fillet, quarter, and chop thicker, tougher ingredients – and a basic cutting board usually isn’t up to the job. A butcher chopping block is thicker and heavier, so it doesn’t move around when you exert the force necessary to cut through meat. Butcher chopping blocks also offer a larger cutting surface, which is helpful if you’re cutting a whole chicken or other large cut of meat.
A butcher chopping block is subject to wear and tear. Try to cut or chop in a different spot each time you use it to prevent uneven wear on the block.
Durable: Because a butcher chopping block is thicker than a regular cutting board, it’s more durable and won’t crack as easily.
Versatility: While it’s thicker and heavier, a butcher chopping block can double as a regular cutting board, so you can cut fruits, veggies, herbs, and other ingredients on it – along with your meat.
Large Size: A butcher chopping block offers a large work surface that’s ideal for kneading and rolling out dough, as well as performing other kitchen tasks.
Environmentally Friendly: If you’re looking for an eco-friendly cutting surface for your kitchen, a butcher chopping block is an excellent choice because the boards are often made from reclaimed wood instead of new materials.
Attractive Appearance: While function is obviously the most important feature of any kitchen tool, it’s hard to ignore the attractive look that a butcher chopping block offers. They can give your kitchen a warm, vintage look that complements a wide range of décor styles.
Butcher chopping blocks are actually much gentler on knives than plastic cutting boards. As such, your knives may need less-frequent sharpening if you use a wooden butcher block.
A butcher chopping block can made of nearly any type of wood, but some popular choices include the following.
Maple: A very durable hardwood that’s more budget-friendly than other options.
Cherry: A very strong hardwood that’s fairly pricey but offers a very attractive red color.
Teak: A tropical hardwood that’s highly moisture-resistant and offers a very attractive appearance.
Hickory: One of the strongest wood options; holds up to wear and tear very well.
Bamboo: A sturdy, durable wood that’s eco-friendly because it renews very quickly.
Some butcher chopping blocks contain a blend of two or more types of wood, creating an even more decorative appearance with a striped or checkerboard pattern.
Because traditional butcher chopping blocks are made with end-grain wood, they’re much less likely to warp than regular wooden cutting boards.
Butcher chopping blocks come in a variety of sizes, but for the most functional work surface, choose a model that’s no smaller than 12 x 12 inches. However, if you routinely carve or chop larger cuts of meat, you may want a larger size, such as 18 x 12 inches or 20 x 15 inches.
For maximum surface space, you can even find butcher chopping blocks that are 18 x 18 inches.
Some butcher chopping blocks feature drip or juice grooves that run around the edge of the block. The groove catches the juices that pour out when you cut your meat, so you don’t make a mess on your countertop.
If your butcher chopping block shifts while you’re cutting, place a towel beneath it to help keep it in place.
In order for a board to be a true butcher chopping block, it must be at least one-and-a-half inches thick. Thinner blocks are best reserved for chopping fruits and vegetables.
To make sure that a butcher chopping block lasts as long as possible, consider a two-inch or thicker model, as the thicker wood is less likely to warp over time.
Because a butcher chopping block can be fairly heavy, moving it around your kitchen may be difficult.
If you know you’ll need to move it regularly, look for a model that features inner handles for carrying convenience.
To avoid cross-contamination when you’re cutting, always chop vegetables and herbs before meat.
Wood grain refers to the way the wood fibers are oriented in a block. For a true butcher chopping block, the board should be made with the end grain of the wood, which means the ends of the wood fiber are exposed and give the board a checkerboard appearance.
This arrangement creates a surface that’s much less likely to scratch or scar when your knife moves over it.
End-grain wood is also self-healing, which means that the fibers are so densely packed that they eventually push back into place to remove dents and scratches.
Boards made with edge-grain or face-grain wood don’t hold up to butchering and other heavy knife work as well, so they’re best reserved for slicing and dicing vegetables and herbs.
Don’t use cooking oils like vegetable, olive, or peanut oil to seal your butcher chopping block. Their natural fats can become rancid over time and contaminate the wood.
Butcher chopping blocks vary in price based on size and thickness. You can typically expect to spend between $15 and $130 for a good one.
For a small butcher chopping block with a thickness of less than one inch, you’ll usually pay between $15 and $40.
For a medium-size butcher chopping block with a thickness of one to two inches, you’ll usually pay between $40 and $85.
For a large butcher chopping block with a thickness of two inches or more, you’ll usually pay between $85 and $130.
To treat a stain on your butcher chopping block, sprinkle some coarse salt on the spot. Use half a lemon to rub the salt into the stain – it should disappear almost instantly.
Avoid using harsh cleaners on your butcher chopping block. To disinfect the surface, use undiluted white vinegar to remove harmful germs and bacteria.
Clean your butcher chopping block after each use. Scrub it with a mild soap, rinse it well, and then blot away the excess moisture with a clean towel.
Oil your butcher chopping block once a month to keep the surface sealed. Make sure the surface is clean and sanitized first, and then rub down the surface with food-grade mineral oil, raw linseed oil, pure tung oil, or coconut oil on a clean cloth or paper towel. Continue adding oil until it won’t absorb any more, and then wipe away the excess.
Don’t let spills or damp kitchen towels sit on a butcher chopping block for too long. The wood will quickly absorb the moisture, which may cause spots. Dry your block thoroughly after each use.
Q. Why is the thickness of a butcher chopping block so important?
A. Thicker butcher chopping blocks tend to be heavier, so they won’t shift around when you’re cutting through a piece of meat. If you opt for a thinner butcher block, look for one with rubber feet on the bottom to help keep it in place.
Q. Is a butcher chopping block sanitary?
A. Some home cooks worry that their butcher block may harbor kitchen bacteria like salmonella. However, wood is naturally resistant to bacteria because it contains antimicrobial compounds. It also keeps bacteria in check by binding with any of the water that soaks into its surface. Bacteria requires water to grow, so by absorbing any water, the wood prevents the bacteria from spreading.
Q. Does a butcher chopping block absorb odors?
A. If you seal your butcher block with oil regularly, it shouldn’t retain too many odors. However, if you find that your butcher chopping block is starting to smell, sprinkle the surface with an even layer of baking soda and let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes. Afterward, wipe away the baking soda, which will have absorbed the odor.
At BestReviews, we purchase every product we review with our own funds. We never accept anything from product manufacturers. Our goal is to be 100% objective in our analysis, and we do not want to run the risk of being swayed by products provided at no cost.