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The 6 Best Butcher Blocks For An Instant Kitchen Upgrade

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Butcher blocks have taken over kitchen islands — and marched across Instagram feeds — but their kitchen cred often comes with a hefty price tag. Yet, there's good news: the best butcher block cutting boards on Amazon offer beauty and utility at a variety of price points.

To find the one that's best for you, consider the following:

  • Size: Butcher blocks are famously large and heavy because, as the name implies, they were originally used for butchering meat. These days, you can use them to cut everything from fruit to cheese, but if you're planning on using it for meat, make sure it's at least 1.5 inches thick since the weight will add stability. For maximizing your workspace, you might also look for ones that are at least one square foot on your counter.
  • End Grain Versus Edge Grain: The best butcher blocks are made out of something called end grain wood, which is wood that’s cut 90 degrees to the wood fiber. On a microscopic level, when you cut on end grain wood, the knife blade will slip between these fibers instead of cutting through them. This is why they’re easier on your blades. You can usually identify a board made with end grain wood by its checkerboard or inlaid pattern. Edge grain wood, on the other hand, is what you think of when you envision a basic wooden cutting board — and you’ll see a lot of it advertised, so make sure to double-check the label if you’re out for an authentic butcher block.
  • Wood Type: The best wood for butcher block cutting boards is a type of durable hardwood, like maple, walnut, and teak that have smaller pores for transporting water so they’re less likely to harbor bacteria. Sustainable acacia and eco-friendly bamboo are also good options for cutting boards since they're naturally water-resistant.

Whatever kind of wood you opt for, care for your butcher block by making sure to wash only by hand — resist the siren song of the dishwasher at all costs — and give it a light coat of oil every so often to maintain the wood’s quality and luster.

1

The Best Overall: A High-Quality Walnut Butcher Block

This end-grain walnut butcher block is my top choice for a cutting board because it packs a lot of functionality into a simple object, and it looks striking on the table. At 17 inches by 13 inches, it creates enough workspace for basic meal prep without taking over your countertops and is matched by a hearty 1.5-inch thickness. One side features a deep juice groove — but if you flip it over, you'll reveal a trio of built-in compartments for corralling chopped vegetables and the like, which also makes it a brilliant serving piece. It even comes with thoughtfully placed indented handles for carrying.

Fans report: "I have been wanting a good cutting board, but when I finally settled on ordering from Sonder, little did I know I would be ordering the most beautiful and useful and may I say sexing cutting board. Its like a piece of art, it just looks so beautiful on my counter [...] It also has cut out handles on the sides and the grooves around the cutting board are great for catching liquids with prepping food on the other side.”

  • Available in 1 size

2

The Editor’s Pick: An End Grain Oak Board That Won’t Break The Bank

If you’re looking for a stunning end grain cutting board, look no further than this oak wood option. At 16 inches by 12 inches with a solid 1.5-inch thickness, it’s large enough for most cooking tasks, including making extremely aesthetic charcuterie boards. It has a juice groove on one side, and you can flip it over to work on a totally flat surface on the other side of the cutting board. There are two built-in handles on the sides that make it easy to carry, and it comes in multiple shapes and sizes, including some round options.

Editor’s Note: “I’ve had this butcher block cutting board for almost a year, and I love it. The thick, solid oak wood is really durable for lots of chopping activities, and I love the look of it. It’s also super smartly designed, with a juice groove, handles on both sides, and silicone feet on the bottom so it never slips. It’s big and heavy, but it’s been a great investment for my kitchen.” — Amy Biggart

  • Available in 7 options

3

A Budget-Friendly Butcher Block In Eco-Friendly Bamboo

A 0.6-inch thick, study bamboo cutting board makes the list for being a great sustainable option at a very accessible price point. The lightweight wood is exceptionally water-resistant, naturally antimicrobial, and almost maintenance-free, so it's a great choice for anyone who is just starting out in the kitchen or wants to test drive this type of cutting board before investing in a more substantial (and heavier) piece. It features a classic drip groove and built-in indents for carrying, and it's backed by a five-year warranty. At 15 inches by 10 inches, it's smaller than other options on the list but for tiny kitchens, the compact size is a plus.

Fans report: "Very sturdy and well crafted cutting board. Love the slick finish and the weight. Bought this as a gift for someone, and they love it!!”

  • Available in 3 options

4

A Utilitarian Square Butcher Block In Gorgeous Yet Affordable Acacia

This no-frills square butcher block, in stunning end grain acacia, is extremely high quality for the price. While slightly thinner than a "traditional" block at 1.25 inches thick, its non-slip rubberized feet add stability. And since it measures 14 inches by 14 inches across, it still provides plenty of workspace for your knives to maneuver. Some shoppers noted that their board needed conditioning oil right out of the box, but added that the results are worth a little "wax on, wax off."

Fans report: "The Iron Gourmet cutting board is excellent. Easy to clean, stylish and durable. Much more sanitary than the sink counter cutting board. It would make the perfect house warming gift. You may want to preserve with a little coconut oil. I highly recommend it.”

  • Available in 1 size

5

An Extra Large Cutting Board For Ambitious Cooks

This is my top pick for serious home chefs (and entertainers). This multifunction wünderboard combines an oversized 17-inch by 13-inch cut that offers plenty of prep space with a sturdy two-inch thickness that can take on ambitious kitchen jobs. The large butcher block in end-grain acacia wows with a wide trench, for catching food scraps and runoff. These features also make it brilliant for entertaining — just think of the cheese board mastery at hand! (There are also two built-in handles for easy carrying.)

Fans report: "Needed a new cutting board and did some research to find Acacia wood is stronger than Maple/Oak, so I tried it out. I really like it, beautiful appearance and both sides of the board are useful. One side has the grooves along the edge to gather liquid and the other is flat. I'm quite happy with my purchase.

  • Available in 1 size

6

Worth The Splurge: An Extra Thick Round Butcher Block From A Heritage Brand

Serious foodies and sustainable-living mavens take note: This heavyweight round butcher block from a American heritage brand is an heirloom-worthy investment worth passing down. (Psst – This also makes it a great gift registry item.) It's made in the United States from ultra-durable, end grain, northern hard rock maple (that's sustainably sourced), and spans a full eighteen inches in diameter, with a solid 3-inch thickness that exceeds most of the competition. If you want a durable cutting board that will last a lifetime, this one should probably be on your list.

Fans report: "I bought this for my new place and my fiancee and I love this Boos block. It's very heavy and sturdy. We also purchased the oil and cream to maintain the wood. I read that the wood can dry and crack so buying the oil/cream will help preserve the wood and keep it moist. For the price of this block it would be smart to invest in them. Looks beautiful and I love cutting on it.”

  • Available in 1 size

7

Also Nice: This Food-Safe Oil For Maintaining Your Board

Maintaining your butcher block with a food-grade oil for cutting boards is an essential step to keep the wood conditioned, thus preventing dryness and cracks that can ruin your board. This 100% USP-grade mineral oil can be used on any type of wood or bamboo, as well as on granite or soapstone. It reviewers swear by it for keeping their butcher blocks "like new."

Fans report: "This is a great mineral oil for cutting boards. I let my bamboo cutting board oiling lapse for a few months and it lost its sheen. After two wipe downs the luster has been restored and its water resistant once again. This oil has no taste or smell to it. (Yeah, I tasted it, big whoop.) Pro tip: oil your cutting boards once a month."

  • Available in 1 size