A great cutting board should be knife-friendly and easy to clean. However, when you're shopping for one of the best cutting boards for raw meat in particular, look for products that keep things safe and hygienic. When shopping for a meat- or poultry-approved option, consider the material first and foremost. Then consider features like a handy juice tray or a dishwasher-safe design.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), "consumers may use wood or a nonporous surface for cutting raw meat and poultry." (Whether you opt for plastic or wood, however, it's recommended to designate a specific cutting board for raw meat and seafood, and to keep it separate from those used for produce, cheese, and other ingredients.) Most best-selling cutting boards are made from thick, BPA-free plastic, which is durable and affordable. If you decide to go with solid wood — the USDA recommends bamboo, technically a grass, which is harder and less porous than hardwoods.
Once you've narrowed down a material, make sure your cutting board of choice is conducive to prepping raw meat. Oftentimes, this means a large juice tray to catch liquids, a grippy base that prevents the board from slipping, and (if plastic) a dishwasher-safe design for easy sanitization. Some best-selling options even have built-in spikes to keep the meat in place or a reversible design that improves versatility while reducing cross-contamination.
Here are the four best options on the market — as well as some genius color-coded mats that keep your kitchen extra hygienic.
1. The Overall Best Cutting Board For Raw Meat
The Joseph Joseph Cut & Carve board was actually designed for cooked meat — but it's the same features that make it especially well-suited for raw meat, too. This pick has a brilliant angled design with high sides, so it'll catch all of the liquids while you're prepping steak, fish, or chicken. It also has spikes in the center, which grip the meat for a stable experience while cutting, and soft-grip sides and nonslip feet to steady the board itself. Finally, it's reversible, dishwasher-safe, and comes in your choice of four colors from classic black to fun red. Currently, it has over 4,000 reviews and a 4.7-star overall rating.
- Material: BPA-free plastic
One reviewer wrote: "For cutting both raw and cooked they are very good. The edge catches all the juice from roast meat, keeping your worktop clean. I've had a couple for about 6 years and have now just replaced them."
2. The Best Value
With more than 25,000 reviews and a 4.7-star overall rating, these Gorilla Grip cutting boards are a top-selling option on Amazon no matter what you're chopping. That said, they have a few features that make them especially well-suited for raw meat: For one, they're extra-large for ample prepping room. For another, they have deep grooves around the edges for catching juices, as well a strong rubber border that prevents slipping. Finally, they're reversible and dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup. Since you get three different sizes with each purchase and there are more than 20 color combos, they're an incredible value. (You can even get a set of boards in three different colors for easier identification and cross-contamination prevention.)
- Material: BPA-free polypropylene
One reviewer wrote: "These are strong and don't slide around when you're cutting things. They can be sanitized in the dishwasher, which is great when cutting raw meats and vegetables."
3. The Best Bamboo Cutting Boards
Unlike cheaper competitors, these Royal Craft Wood cutting boards are made from 100% bamboo. That makes them eco-friendly and knife-friendly, but they're also resistant to scars, stains, odors, and bacteria. They come in a pack of three, in all different sizes, so you can designate one for meat or use all of them for various carving jobs. Last but not least, they're thick and sturdy so they stay put and they have deep grooves around the edges to prevent messes. However, bamboo is not the best choice for the dishwasher.
- Material: 100% bamboo
One reviewer wrote: "Just recently purchased this 3 piece cutting board set and love it. It’s exactly what I was looking for. Quality is top notch and for that price I feel like they’re underselling themselves!"
4. A Fan-Favorite Single Nonslip Cutting Board
If you only need a single reliable cutting board that won't take up too much space, more than 2,000 Amazon customers have raved about the OXO Good Grips utility cutting board, which has nonslip feet and a thick border so the board "doesn't slip or move around the counter," according to one reviewer. It's also made from a double-sided non-porous plastic that's durable, BPA-free, and dishwasher-safe. Plus, the drip-catcher has easy-pour corners for a more convenient clean-up.
- Material: BPA-free plastic
One reviewer wrote: "I learned to cook with a damp rag underneath my cutting board to prevent it from sliding around when I'm cutting up veggies or meat so it doesn't slide around when you're handling a huge knife. This cutting board doesn't need anything under it at all because it stays exactly where you put it whether the countertop is wet or dry."
Also Great: Chopping Mats That Prevent Cross-Contamination
For those who are concerned about cross-contamination, these Cooler Kitchen chopping mats make an excellent addition to your kitchen. They come in a pack of four colors and each of them has a clear icon in the corner, so you know which one to use for beef, chicken, fish, and produce. They're also nonstick, BPA-free, self-gripping, and made of sturdy plastic, so you can use them on their own or as a hygienic cover on top of your existing cutting boards. Plus, they're dishwasher safe.
- Material: BPA-free plastic
One reviewer wrote: "I've used these for years and love them. They don't warp or curl up on the edges and can go in the dishwasher. I have a large wooden cutting board and never handle raw protein on it. I bought these two sets as gifts. Great for small kitchens."