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Cooking More At Home? These 5 Butcher Blocks Are As Gorgeous As They Are Functional

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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 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.

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1
The Best Overall: A High-Quality Walnut Butcher Block For Under $100

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: "For the price, this board is unbelievable. It's thick and sturdy, the end cut walnut is preposterously good looking, and it is a joy to take out and use every day."

  • Available in 3 different sizes
2
A Budget-Friendly Butcher Block In Eco-Friendly Bamboo

A 1.2-inch thick end grain 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 13.5 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: "This cheap end-grain bamboo cutting board is well worth the price…It looks good, and it costs less than half the price of most end-grain cutting boards. I do recommend putting a few coats of linseed oil on it."

3
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: "This chef's board is very durable and easy to clean. The end grain wood is very attractive. We use this board almost every night. It is just right for kitchens that don't have a lot of counter space."

  • Available in 10 different options
4
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 20-inch by 14-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 genius hollowed-out bowl, plus 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: "Very sturdy, holds up well to all sorts of cutting and chopping with the sharpest of knives. Well worth the extra money when compared to cheaper cutting boards which never seem to last long in my kitchen. Make sure to buy some mineral oil for maintenance."

  • Available in 2 sizes
5
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: "First off, it is beautiful to look at. You can tell by the weight of this item it is designed for real use. I've had several other wooden cutting boards. They have split early on in use. This board came oiled but I did purchase the board butter to keep it moisturized. If you are going to invest in this piece you need to keep it oiled. [...]I love using this. Somehow the round shape, while large and spacious to use while chopping, seems less bulky than the square boards. Like another owner said, you can hear the quality of this board while you are chopping."

  • Available in 10 options
6
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 3 sizes