Carving meat is stressful for both your knives and your cutting boards, but it is also a necessity for proper cooking. Much like with a great kitchen knife, a great cutting board should be able to withstand the pressures of food preparation over time. And while cutting boards may look initially similar to each other, different boards use different materials and features to differentiate themselves from the crowd as well as preserve the knives you use on their surfaces.

These ten options come in a range different materials great for carving meat and cover a variety of price points.

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Top 10 Best Cutting Boards for Meat

  • End grain wood finish ensures that both cutlery and board are long-lasting
  • Simple, flat design and finish doubles as serving tray
  • Over 7 lbs weight keeps the board on the counter while carving
  • No warranty listed

  • Tempered glass is shatterproof and virtually unbreakable
  • Pebbled, nonporous surface reduces strain on knives
  • Dishwasher safe and easily sanitized for future use
  • No warranty listed

  • Various cutting boards make it easy to choose the perfect board for the job
  • Juice groove keeps boards clean when cutting saturated meat
  • Dishwasher safe and easily stored on racks and hooks
  • Comes with a 10-year warranty

  • Unique polypropylene surface is dishwasher safe and highly durable
  • Included juice groove aids in keeping meats from leaking onto countertops
  • Non-slip edges keep this board from shifting during carving
  • Includes no listed warranty

  • Included color-coded mats make it easy to cut different meats and prevent cross-contamination
  • Bamboo construction is light on knives and built to last
  • Non-slip silicone feet prevent shifting during meat preparation
  • Comes with a 1-year limited warranty

  • End grain wood finish is great for durability and light on knives
  • Juice groove prevents meat from spillover onto countertops
  • Stainless steel feet give a modern look and aid in stabilizing the board during use
  • Includes a 1-year warranty

  • Double-sided construction makes it easy to prevent cross-contamination
  • Nonporous polypropylene board is designed for hard use
  • Non-slip handles increase countertop grip when carving meat
  • Comes with no listed warranty

  • Organic bamboo construction is easy to maintain and great for durability
  • Juice groove keeps countertops tidy and reduces meat juice spillover
  • Built-in compartments hold fruits, vegetables, and extra food for cleaner organization
  • Includes no listed warranty

  • Unique wood fiber construction is nonporous, dishwasher safe, and highly durable
  • No long-term maintenance required for unique wood construction
  • Temperature resistant and built for hard use
  • Comes with a limited lifetime warranty

  • Dense rubber construction is light on blades but highly durable
  • Flat, simple construction makes for easy cleanup and quick meat cutting
  • The non-slip design makes it easy to carve meats without slippage
  • Includes no listed warranty

Topping our list is a cutting board that manages to bring the quality of end-grain wood cutting boards down to a reasonable price. The Iron Gourmet Prep Station 28217 is designed so that your blade will strike the end of the wood’s natural grain, which allows the wood to minimize damage and heal over time. We’ll be getting more into end grain wood in our buyer’s guide, but generally speaking, the high-end construction of this Iron Gourmet product is one of the best on the market today.

We appreciate the simple, stained design and overall value, but we have to admit that a lack of juice groove will make cutting particularly saturated meats difficult and potentially messy. Otherwise, we think the Iron Gourmet Prep Station is perfect for multipurpose use, carving meats, vegetables, and just about anything else.

Pros

  • End-grain wood construction
  • Great design
  • Sturdy build
  • Versatile use
  • Highly durable

Cons

  • No juice groove
  • Requires occasional maintenance

Providing a stark contrast to the Iron Gourmet cutting board is this low-cost option from Chefcaptain that may be more valuable to those who are looking for a low-maintenance solution.

The Chefcaptain Glass Cutting Board is a pebbled cutting board that can withstand the test of any knife. You’ll be able to slice, dice, and carve your way through most meats without an issue because of this unique glass design that can also be thrown into the dishwasher for a quick clean.

We appreciate the low overall cost and maintenance of this cutting board, but regardless of the benefits of pebbled glass over a smooth, flat alternative, it’s worth keeping in mind that this material most likely won’t hold up over time. Still, if you’re mindful of your intensity with the knife and keep dishwashing to a minimum, this cutting board is going to be perfect for all of your meat-cutting needs at a fraction of the cost of some of our other options.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Low maintenance
  • Easy to clean
  • Comes with countertop grips
  • Durable

Cons

  • No juice groove
  • Can become brittle over time

Particularly busy cooks in the kitchen will be pleased with the multiple boards that come with this set from Gorilla Grip. This 3-piece Gorilla Grip set uses sturdy, non-porous plastic to hold up normal wear and tear, and even comes with a juice groove on each board, which makes these perfect for carving meats.

We appreciate the rubber ends and storage holes for quick stowing as well as the lack of maintenance required like on wooden or bamboo boards. Still, much like with the Chefcaptain board, you may need to seek out a replacement sooner than you would with a well-maintained wooden board. At this cost and with this many boards, though, we can easily recommend the Gorilla Grip 3-Piece Reversible Cutting Board set as a great gift set, as well as a great option for those who cut lots of meats, veggies, and other ingredients. You’ll be sure to find the right sized board for you in this set.

Pros

  • Multiple boards
  • Juice groove
  • Durable
  • Easily stored
  • Low maintenance

Cons

  • Lower quality cutting surface
  • Damages over time

You’ll find another great low-cost option for carving your meat in the Neoflam Plastic Cutting Board. Offering a double-sided design, multiple sizes, and a non-slip edge, this cutting board comes with the important smaller features that many boards at this price range simply don’t offer. Plus, with the included juice groove, you won’t need to worry about unintentional spills.

We appreciate the included storage hole and the knife-friendly nonporous surface, but at under two pounds, you may need to make sure the meat you’re cooking is heavy enough to keep your surface from slipping. Accidents happen in a moment, so with a cutting board this light you’ll need to be extra careful.

Provided you don’t mind the stability issues, however, this is one of the cheapest options on our list with a juice groove. And if you’re looking to cut lots of meat and other saturated foods, you’ll certainly be thankful you have one.

Pros

  • Juice groove
  • Non-slip edges
  • Affordable
  • Easy to clean
  • Excellent design

Cons

  • Can be unstable
  • Damages over time
  • Somewhat small

Need a cutting board with a little bit of organization? This option from Seville allows you to color-code your cutting materials. The Seville Classics cutting board is made of bamboo, but also utilizes several color-coded plastic cutting mats that align with various types of cutting materials. These include beef, poultry, vegetables, fish, and more. You can cut with the appropriate cutting mat attached, or remove the mat to cut directly on the bamboo surface.

While we can’t say this cutting board comes with a juice groove, cutting meat directly on the bamboo surface will keep juices within the confines of the vacant space where a mat typically would be held. Since the cutting board is somewhat concave in this configuration, however, it is going to be somewhat difficult to get the precise cuts you may want. Still, this cutting board offers an organization feature completely unique to itself and comes highly recommended for great organization options and overall quality.

Pros

  • Great design
  • Bamboo surface
  • Additional mats included
  • Stable
  • Great for organization

Cons

  • No juice groove
  • Difficult to use without mats
  • Some quality control issues reported

Much like the first product on our list, this cherry cutting board from John Boos brings all of the best qualities of an end grain cutting board to the table (or countertop) and includes other great features for the kitchen. The John Boos Cherry Cutting Board comes with sturdy, stainless steel feet and a deep juice groove to ensure that the meats you carve (and any juices) won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

You really do get the best of both worlds when it comes to this durable and dependable cutting board, and the somewhat prohibitive cost shows it. You’ll certainly need to invest in maintenance materials with this board, as well as ensure it never enters a dishwasher.

Provided you don’t mind taking a little extra precaution around messes and maintenance, however, you should have no issue carving meats and cutting just about anything on this board for years to come.

Pros

  • End-grain wood construction
  • Very stable
  • Juice groove
  • Great design
  • High-quality

Cons

  • Requires maintenance
  • Expensive

Moving back into the lower end of price, the OXO Good Grips 1063789 provides a minimalist, clear solution to any meat cutting needs in the kitchen. Made with durable non-porous plastics, this cutting board uses soft edges that make it easier to lift the board and also provide a large enough lip to act somewhat like a juice groove (to a point).

We appreciate the rubber ends and easy maintenance of this OXO Good Grips cutting board, but with no hole or hooks in sight, storage may be a bit of an issue. Likewise, lots of use and dishwasher cycles will be sure to brittle this board over time. Nevertheless, cutting boards don’t get much simpler than this—so if you’re looking for a no-frills solution at a low price, the OXO Good Grips certainly has you covered for any and all cutting needs.

Pros

  • Sleek design
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Low maintenance
  • Rubber edges
  • Reversible

Cons

  • Can become brittle over time
  • No easy storage solution

While the Seville Classics board earlier on our list certainly implemented bamboo, this option from HHXRISE brings out the full value for a bamboo cutting board. The Venfon Organic Cutting Board is less of a cutting board and more of a workstation. The included juice groove works around the most important parts of the perimeter of the board, while a storage slot and several hollowed out compartments complete the rest of the edge. You’ll be able to carve meat, place it aside in one of the compartments, and quickly move on to the next product to be sliced.

As with all wood and bamboo boards, you’ll need to be especially careful when cleaning this product. Likewise, the large size of this board means that you’ll need to make sure you’ve got enough room in your cabinets for storage. If you’re looking for an all in one solution for cutting and prefer the feel of bamboo, though, this may be your best option on our list.

Pros

  • Bamboo construction
  • Built-in compartments
  • Juice groove
  • Long-lasting & durable
  • Great design

Cons

  • Requires maintenance
  • Somewhat bulky

Splitting the difference between non-porous plastic and sturdy wood is this option from Epicurean. Their Kitchen Series cutting board features a wood fiber, which promises to act much like plastic but preserve blades and quality much like wood. The end result is a completely unique construction and a simple board that promises to handle any carving and cutting for the price.

While being able to safely place a wooden board such as this in the dishwasher is a definite pro, it does seem that the unique design comes at the cost of kitchen knives. Many users report that honing and sharpening their blades increased after using the Kitchen Series regularly. If you don’t mind sharpening your blades more often, however, we can easily recommend the Epicurean Kitchen Series cutting board for its durability, unique design, and easy storage capability.

Pros

  • Unique wood fiber construction
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Easily stored
  • Great design
  • Durable

Cons

  • May dull blades
  • No juice groove

The final cutting board on our list offers another unique cutting surface that’s sure to appeal to those who may dislike the sound of metal on plastic or glass. The NoTrax Sani-Tuff cutting board is made from a dense rubber, which means that it’ll easily take a beating from your knives and keep on moving. Smaller cuts will vanish quickly into this cutting board, so there’s no need to be careful when carving meats with serrated blades.

We have to admit that the color and shape of this cutting board may not appeal to many—and with no holes or hooks in sight, storage options are seriously limited. Still, provided you’re careful with cleaning and don’t warp the surface with heat, you should be able to get a serious amount of mileage out of this stable and dependable cutting board.

Pros

  • Unique rubber construction
  • Highly durable
  • Long-lasting
  • Stable
  • Easily cleaned

Cons

  • No juice groove
  • Can warp with heat

Comparison Chart

Iron Gourmet Prep Station 28217Chefcaptain Glass Cutting Board Gorilla Grip 3-Piece Reversible Cutting BoardNeoflam Plastic Cutting Board 53206Seville Classics BMB1DNZI60
MaterialEnd Grain WoodTempered GlassNon-Porous PlasticNon-Porous PlasticBamboo
Weight7.2 lbs2.51 lbs4.3 lbs1.65 lbs5.8 lbs
Juice GrooveXXX
Dishwasher SafeXX
Dimensions1.2 X 14 X 2015.4 X 11.3 X 0.511.3 X 1.1 X 16.314.5 X 10 X 0.416.5 X 13.4 X 1.2
John Boos Cherry Cutting BoardOXO Good Grips 1063789HHXRISE Venfon Organic Cutting BoardEpicurean Kitchen Series 001-151101NoTrax Sani-Tuff Cutting Board 161-331-1
MaterialEnd Grain WoodNon-Porous PlasticBambooWood FiberRubber
Weight10 lbs3.2 lbs3.1 lbs1.45 lbs9.4 lbs
Juice GrooveXXX
Dishwasher SafeXXX
Dimensions18 X 12 X 1.821 X 14.5 X 0.517 X 0.8 X 12.614.5 X 11.2 X 0.218 X 24 X 0.5

Cutting Boards for Meat Buyer’s Guide

Still not sure which of these ten boards deserves a place in your home? Cutting boards may be similar in appearance, but everything from the material to maintenance and more can make or break a board for certain chefs. To help you sort out the best board from these great options, we recommend you consider the following aspects as you finalize your purchase.

Choosing A Material

At the end of the day, the material your board is made out of is going to profoundly influence the quality you can expect to gain when carving meats. Porous boards, such as bamboo, wood, and end-grain wood boards, are designed with rough surfaces on a microscopic level. These surfaces are gentler on kitchen knives over time because they ensure that the board is what gets damaged over the blade. That doesn’t mean, however, that wooden and bamboo boards won’t last when compared to nonporous options.

Non-porous cutting boards ensure that the knife itself bears the full brunt of the force of cutting. This means that with each pork chop you put under the knife you can expect your blade to be just a little bit duller than if you had opted for a wooden board. At the same time, non-porous boards could be more aesthetically pleasing to those with a modern kitchen.

Porous boards also tend to look worse over time, but due to the pressures eventually overcoming even the most sturdy of nonporous surfaces they will outlast all other cutting board options.

You’ll want to aim for a material that best matches your needs. For affordability, durability, and a dishwasher-safe option, consider a non-porous cutting board. If you need something that can manage meat for years to come and take a considerable beating along the way, you may want to save a little extra money and opt for a porous surface.

Cleaning & Maintenance

We’ll be breaking down just how to clean your cutting boards a little later on, but it’s important to note that not all cutting boards can be cleaned in the same fashion. The difference here is often the difference between a porous and nonporous board.

Dishwashers place extreme pressure on boards over time, so placing your favorite wooden cutting board into the wash is just asking for a board that isn’t going to last. Nonporous surfaces are best for these purposes, but as we’ve covered already, you may not want to sacrifice your knives for the sake of your board. Hand washing your boards—regardless of the material—will yield the best results, but you may want to consider nonporous boards if you prefer the ease of machine washing over all else. While wooden boards may last longer, there’s no denying that they require far more maintenance in the long run.

Cutting Meat

More so than most other foods, using a cutting board for meat is going to put a significant amount of wear and tear on the board or the blade. Tougher meats that require serrated knives to slice through will just as easily cut into weaker, porous surfaces like wood, so you’ll need a cutting board designed to handle the pressure (such as an end-grain wood board) or is non-porous is nature.

Likewise, cutting meat often means squeezing out water and juice that may have found their way into the cut during the butcher’s process. A cutting board with a juice groove lining the perimeter can be a major benefit to homeowners who want to keep their kitchen counters as clean as possible. We were careful to note the options on our list which contained juice grooves, so be sure to pay special attention to this note when making your consideration.

Finally, the back-and-forth motion placed onto a cutting board during meat carving means that you’ll need a sturdy, reliable board that can grip onto your kitchen counters and hold fast no matter how fast you move. We recommend opting for a sturdy board with a stable grip and a bit of heft for best results when cutting into meats.

FAQ

How do I sanitize my cutting boards?

Cutting boards need sanitation to keep them from harming more than helping in the cooking process. This is especially important when cutting meats, as food-borne illnesses become far greater of a threat.

For non-porous cutting boards, you will often be able to place the entire board into a dishwasher or hand wash much like any other plate or dish. For porous surfaces such as wood, however, you’ll need to be much more careful. First, use water to rinse off the majority of the meat juices and other debris that may have ended up on the cutting board during use. Next, make sure to disinfect. We recommend a product specifically graded for wood, or opting for vinegar and hydrogen peroxide otherwise. You can remove the smell and taste of both chemicals with lemon or another well-scented cleaning agent, and hand dry as well as you can for best results.

Should I go for a porous or non-porous cutting board?

When it comes to cutting boards, the immense stress of the blade onto the cutting surface means one of two things: either the blade or the board will need to take damage, and in some cases, both will.

When you opt for a porous surface, such as wood or bamboo, you’re usually sacrificing the board in exchange for preserving your blade. The blade will be able to carve and cut into the porous surface and remain sharper than if your surface was nonporous. With certain boards, this can be counteracted with oiling or opting for an end grain wood board.

With nonporous surfaces, the board will likely be the stronger of the two surfaces. That means that your blade can take a serious beating by using a nonporous surface, which is common during the carving of thicker and tougher meats. However, nonporous surfaces can usually take a substantial beating, and can likely be tossed into the dishwasher for sanitation.

Still, nonporous surfaces can last longer (if look worse for wear) than porous surfaces with proper maintenance techniques. Nonporous surfaces also tend to cost more, but porous surfaces offer better variation in color and design.

Generally speaking, we recommend porous cutting boards for those who need to cut meat and preserve their blades, while nonporous surfaces are better for a wider range of cutting needs—even if the knife is left duller overall.

Can I preserve my wood cutting board?

There are two primary ways you can ensure that the wood on your board lasts far longer than your warranty.

The first way in ensuring that daily use doesn’t soak the wood in water, meat juice, or other materials. Make sure to wipe off and clean your cutting board after each use, and never allow the board to soak in water or go through the dishwasher. If you need a cutting board with the ability to run through the wash, we recommend you consider a plastic or glass option that’s been rated as dishwasher safe.

Regardless, the key to maintaining your wood cutting board successfully will be to ensure you don’t let food and water touch any longer than it must. You can work, though, to ensure that the board lasts for years to come by going the extra mile with oil preservation.

Oiling your cutting board ensures that the wood won’t crack or dry out over time. Unlike water, which needs to be kept as far away from your wooden board as possible, oil should be placed on liberally and allowed to soak in to ensure that every fiber is coated. We recommend oiling your wooden boards at least twice a year and using an oil that is food grade so that it won’t leave a pungent taste on your board and meats.

Why is end grain wood better than other types?

Cutting boards need to balance firmness and softness in order to keep both the board as well as the kitchen knife from becoming destroyed over time. Using a cutting board with end grain wood means that the blade cuts into the grain of the wood as opposed to against it. You can then treat the wood with a resin or similar substance, which will improve the surface of the wood.

Over time, your blade will be less damaged because the blade partially enters the cutting board after slicing through the meat. Of course, honing and sharpening your blade is important for the long-term viability of your knife, but using a cutting board with end grain wood is sure to aid in the preservation process.