THE best chopping boards are made to last and are well worth the investment.
But what should you look for, what’s the best material, and what’s the best way to care for it? Read on to find out.
There are quite a few factors to consider when choosing the right chopping board for you.
What type of chopping board is most hygienic and how do you clean a wooden chopping board?
One of the most important considerations when choosing a chopping board is the material it’s made from as this will affect the quality, its weight and how hygienic it is.
You can for example get glass chopping boards, and they’re super easy to clean and look stylish, but they will blunt your knife in no time.
In terms of hygiene, plastic, wood and bamboo all have benefits.
Plastic is generally used in professional kitchens as they can be sanitised in the dishwasher or with bleach.
They also come in different colours so chefs can use colour-coded boards – for example, red boards for raw meat and blue boards for raw fish – to prevent cross contamination.
Wood and bamboo both have antimicrobial properties but they’re slightly harder to clean.
Because they absorb water, you can’t put them in the dishwasher or use chemicals like bleach.
Instead, you need to wipe the surface down with white vinegar or give it a good scrub with coarse sea salt and lemon juice.
Wooden chopping boards can also be resurfaced after prolonged use.
You basically sand down the surface, starting with a rough sandpaper before moving to medium and then fine – the idea is to remove the knife marks.
After treating it, you’ll need to oil it regularly to make sure it regains some waterproofing qualities and prevent it from cracking.
1. Stellar Kitchen beech cutting board
- Stellar Kitchen beech cutting board, £27 from Horwood – buy here
The Stellar Kitchen beech cutting board comes in a great size, offering enough room for most chopping tasks while still being easy to store.
There’s also a hanging loop in case you want to save countertop space and hang it up.
During use, we found that it had just the right amount of heft so it’s sturdy without being too heavy.
One side features a drainage channel for when you’re carving meats or chopping juicy fruits while the other side is completely flat.
The chopping surface is a little rougher compared to some of the other chopping boards we tested so for regular home use, we’d recommend treating it with a bit of oil to keep it pristine.
2. Brabantia Profile large vegetable chopping board
- Brabantia Profile vegetable board, £26.25 from Brabantia – buy here
This pre-oiled, sustainable beechwood chopping board is part of Brabantia’s Profile range and comes with a two-year guarantee.
It’s designed for cutting vegetables, although you can use it for just about anything you want – the range also includes similar boards for cutting bread and meat.
The board is completely flat on one side, which can be used for serving. On the other side, there’s a small pocket that’s slightly lower than the rest of the board.
When chopping vegetables, you can sweep any cuttings into this bit to get them out of the way – this was our favourite feature during use.
The thinner edge also makes it easier when you want to transfer food from your chopping board to a pan.
3. Brabantia Tasty+ chopping board set
- Brabantia Tasty+ chopping board set, £23.25 from Amazon – buy here
This plastic chopping board set from Brabantia is dishwasher safe and comes with a five year guarantee.
There are three separate boards, meaning you can use them for different tasks to minimise cross contamination.
The two smaller ones, one rectangular and one square, nest snugly inside the bigger one for storage and can be used for cutting on both sides.
The smaller boards also have a small strip of silicone on the side that helps secure them for storage but also prevents them from slipping during use.
As the bigger one has a cavity on one side, you can only use it for chopping on one side although you can use the otherside for serving.
4. Judge Kitchen non-slip cutting board
- Judge Kitchen non-slip cutting board, £5.60 from Horwood – buy here
The Judge Kitchen non-slip cutting board is the smallest of the ones we tried.
The board is designed for tasks that don’t require much space, like limes for gin and tonic, and features a drainage groove for any liquids.
It’s made from BPA free plastic, is dishwasher safe and won’t absorb flavours or smells, so is ideal for things like garlic as well.
The cutting surface is on one side only – there are silicone studs on the other side to make sure the board doesn’t move during use.
And while it’s small enough to pop into a kitchen drawer, it also has a hanging loop in case you want to hang it up.
5. Chunky chopping board with handles
- Chunky chopping board with handles, £30 from Funky Chunky – buy here
This chopping board is made from bamboo, which is actually much stronger than wood – by two or three times according to some estimates.
Because of this, you can expect knives to blunt a little quicker on bamboo boards than wooden ones.
But like wood, bamboo has antimicrobial properties, which helps with kitchen hygiene.
And its durability means it’s much better for tasks where you need a bit more force, like chopping up ribs.
This board also comes with grooves as handles on the side, so you can pick it up and move it around with ease.
But we found it’s actually quite heavy, so you certainly wouldn’t be able to hold it over the pan with one hand while pushing the food in with the other.
6. Tog The Hare chopping board
- Tog The Hare chopping board, £130 from Tog Knives – buy here
Tog’s chopping boards are all handmade in small batches in west Yorkshire, using sustainably sourced American black walnut and American black cherry, which means they’re much more expensive than their competitors.
But they’re designed to last and come with a lifetime guarantee so they’re real investment pieces.
In terms of size, The Hare is a medium in their range and is suitable for most tasks.
It’s an end-grain board, where smaller chunks of wood are pieced together vertically rather than horizontally, which is easier on knives than edge-grain boards, where the wood is pieced together horizontally.
This creates a lovely chequered pattern and knife marks aren’t as visible.
This board also comes with removable feet on one side, which stops it from slipping during use, and is also great if you want to take it to the table for serving.
What size and shape chopping board should you get?
Chopping boards come in all shapes and sizes but the right one to suit you is mostly about preference.
Small ones are easy to clean and store but they won’t be much good if you need to chop a lot of vegetables or carve meat.
Larger ones are generally better if you do a lot of cooking, but just make sure the dimensions are right for your kitchen so you can easily wash it and store it.
You also need to consider the thickness of your chopping board. Thicker ones are heavier but more sturdy, while thinner ones are obviously lighter but they can blunt your knife easily if the material doesn’t have any give.
The shape matters too to a certain extent – round ones look better for presentation, but square or rectangular ones will be much easier to store.
How to oil a chopping board
Oiling a board is easy.
First, you have to prepare it by giving it a good scrub with coarse sea salt and lemon juice. Rinse this off and then allow it to dry properly.
Once your board is dry, you just apply a thin layer of food-safe mineral oil, or any other food-grade oil that won’t go rancid, with a cloth or kitchen towel and allow it to soak in overnight.
In the morning, you buff the board with a cloth or kitchen towel to remove any excess oil and that’s it.
As well as the best chopping boards, we've also picked the best kitchen scissors.
If you're looking for other gadgets, we've rounded up the best pizza ovens.
Make sure you check out our pick of the best multi-cookers as well.
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