Best Cutting Board: The 2023 Tasting Table Awards

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A cutting board is one of the most basic kitchen tools. A good one should give you a safe surface to chop ingredients on while also protecting your countertops and your knife from damage. It can also help you organize the components you're planning to use in a dish. If it's doing its job and performing well, you shouldn't have to think about it at all — the board should just stay in place, acting as a stable and comfortable platform for you to prep meals. While cutting boards are undeniably kitchen essentials, the question is: which type should you buy? Do you go with plastic or wood? Big or small? If you want wood, what type of wood is best? The options can be overwhelming, but we're here to help. 

We tested eight popular cutting boards and cutting board sets and put them through their paces to determine which ones are worth your money. Using these boards for our day-to-day cooking tasks, we evaluated them based on their build quality, ergonomics, safety, and ease of maintenance. Some of the most important things we looked for were stability, resistance to knife scarring, staining, and odors, and how easy they were to clean and care for. Here are the cutting boards that we deemed to be the best of the best.  

Read more about the 2023 Tasting Table Awards methodology and all the top picks here.

Best Overall: John Boos Block Maple Wood Oval Cutting Board with Juice Groove

John Boos has been making premium wooden cutting boards since the 1800s. That level of expertise was evident in this cutting board, which excelled in every category we tested for. We loved the feel of the maple, which was more resistant to knife marks than some of the other boards (especially the plastic ones). The build quality is high — all the glued joints were tight and we didn't see any wood filler. It's a firm board but not overly hard, making for a very ergonomic cutting surface. The grain texture of the maple ensured that the food didn't slip around as we sliced.

This was one of the heavier boards we tested, and that extra weight prevented it from moving around on the counter. While it was a bit cumbersome to clean in the sink, the safety and stability of the board provided far outweighed that negative. The 20-by-14-inch cutting surface felt generous but not overly large. The juice groove was larger and deeper than on any other board we tested, so it actually stood a chance of catching every drop of liquid when carving a roast or other large cut of meat. The maple didn't have very big pores, so it didn't seem like the Boos Block would be particularly prone to retaining odors over time. 

Purchase the John Boos Block Maple Wood Oval Cutting Board with Juice Groove on Amazon for $87.

Best for meat: KitchenAid Classic Plastic Cutting Board with Perimeter Trench and Non Slip Edges

While there is an ongoing debate about whether plastic or wooden cutting boards are more sanitary, we prefer plastic boards for dealing with raw meat because we can just throw them into the dishwasher after use without having to worry about potential damage. Beyond being dishwasher-safe, this KitchenAid model impressed in several other areas. 

At 12-by-18 inches, it offered ample space for prep. The perimeter trench is large enough to hold the liquid from all but the largest, juiciest roasts. We didn't notice much movement, which we loved because sliding can be a real problem when slicing raw meat. The textured surface was grippy and not too hard, and while it did develop some knife lines after one use, that's not uncommon for plastic cutting boards. It didn't pick up stains and any lingering food odors were eliminated by a trip through the dishwasher. 

Purchase the KitchenAid Classic Plastic Cutting Board with Perimeter Trench and Non Slip Edges on Amazon for $17.

Best small cutting board: OXO Good Grips Plastic Utility Cutting Board

If you're in need of a compact surface, the OXO Good Grips Plastic Utility Cutting Board is the ideal fit for your kitchen. At 14.7-by-10.3 inches, it was just big enough to prep a meal — anything smaller ended up not being spacious enough to hold the cut food, and we ended up with dirty counters and a bigger cleanup job after we were done prepping.

This was perfect for handling our slicing needs, and its size would be great for people who are just cooking for themselves. The surface was hard without being slippery, so even though the board might have moved a bit on the counter, the food stayed in place on the board. It was also more resistant to marking than all the other plastic cutting boards we tested. From a maintenance perspective, it was a breeze. Wooden cutting boards need to be oiled regularly to protect them, but the OXO can be cleaned in the dishwasher without taking up too much space.

Purchase the OXO Good Grips Plastic Utility Cutting Board on Amazon for $19.

Best set: Freshware Cutting Board Set

A cutting board set can be a cost-effective way to get the kitchen equipment you need, and this trio from Freshware certainly fits the bill; at around $15, you're getting three cutting boards for less money than any other single cutting board on this list.

The cutting surface felt safe and comfortable — it was soft, yielding, and grippy. While these weren't exactly "non-slip" as advertised, placing a damp paper towel underneath the boards remedied the situation, holding them securely in place. We had some concerns about staining and odor retention with the soft surface, but the dishwasher took care of that easily. In terms of utility, we found ourselves using the large and medium boards from the set much more frequently than the mini 10-by-5.8-inch board, though that can come in handy for cutting up small snacks.

Purchase the Freshware Cutting Board Set on Amazon for $15.

Best large: TeakHaus Edge Grain Carving Board w/Hand Grip

Although giant wooden cutting boards are a little clunky, if you cook multiple times a day, they can actually be the most convenient option. You have plenty of room, so you're never knocking food onto the counter and making it dirty. And if you're not chopping meat, you can just spray your cutting board with vinegar and wipe it down while it's sitting on the counter instead of washing it in the sink every time.

We fell in love with this massive 24-by-18-inch TeakHaus board for this reason. No matter how complicated the recipe, this board could comfortably hold all the ingredients with room to spare for chopping. Although there are some sustainability concerns about wild-harvested teak, the manufacturer says the wood in this board is sustainably sourced from plantations. This type of wood is ideal for cutting boards because it's durable and ages attractively. The teak wood also felt lighter for its size than the maple, which was an asset for such a big board. The inset handles carved into the sides made picking the cutting board up off the counter easier when we did have to wash it in the sink.

Purchase the TeakHaus Edge Grain Carving Board w/Hand Grip on Amazon for $95.