Are you looking for that perfect carving board to carve a turkey for Thanksgiving or slice a juicy ham for Christmas? Or maybe you need a board that can cope with carving meat and vegetables all year round. While chopping boards all serve as a place for you to safely work with a knife, a carving board has special features that make working with meat less messy. Their juice grooves and stabilizing features all work together to give you a hassle-free meal.
We've researched the best carving boards available and chose the Bambüsi Bamboo Carving Cutting Board as our favorite. It's made from eco-friendly bamboo, and it has juice grooves and grips to keep your meat in place. We have also picked our 10 best and have a buying guide reviewed by a professional chef to help you make your own choice.
Jim Quast (JQ) is a lifelong professional restaurant and corporate R&D chef that loves everything food-related and the tools both big and small to make those great food memories. He's a super huge BBQ, grill, and kitchen gadget fanatic. JQ has spent the last 30+ years trying to figure out what works to make your kitchen life easier and fun. If you can use it to slice it, dice it, cook it, smoke it or store it, he's been there checking it out. Food = Life! https://www.linkedin.com/in/jim-quast-59769011/
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Table of Contents
There are several factors you should take into account before choosing the best carving board for your needs.
Whether it’s a whole turkey, a slab of ham, or roast beef, you want to make sure that you get a carving board that is the right size. If you plan on carving a whole turkey, then you’ll need a much bigger board than you would need for slicing portions of roast beef.
A carving board that’s too big will take up an unnecessary amount of space. On the other hand, a carving board that’s too small will most likely cause a much bigger mess, as meat, oil, and juice are likely to fall and drip from the board.
A board with enough space to hold the meat and give you enough room to maneuver a knife will help you limit the amount of mess you make.
Carving boards are available in a few different materials and each material has its own benefits and disadvantages.
Most carving boards are made of wood because wood is generally hard, heavy, stable, and durable. Wood boards are gentle on knife edges and are less likely to blunt them than plastic boards do. Although wood can get scratched by knives, with the proper care these scratches will eventually close up.
Wood is a porous material, but it does have some naturally occurring antibacterial properties that mean it isn't as unhygienic as first thought. However, great care still needs to be taken when cleaning. Wood also needs maintenance to keep it at its best. It can split after heavy use or if too much liquid sinks in.
Wherever possible, do not allow any liquids, whether it be meat juices or water from cleaning, to remain on a wooden board for more than a couple of minutes. When you clean a wooden board, do not fully submerge it in water and instead just wipe it down with warm, soapy water. You should also oil the board once a month to replenish moisture in a safe way.
Various types of woods are used for carving boards. One of the best is teak, as moisture doesn't soak into it as easily as most other woods. It also requires less oiling. Many teak carving boards are made from end-grain teak, which gives the board an interesting mosiac effect. This type of grain is easier on your knives as instead of hitting solid wood, your knife will often find the slight edges between the grains instead.
Bamboo is a very eco-friendly wood due to how quickly it grows, but it can be too hard on knives. Maple is another common choice for carving boards, but this requires more maintenance than teak. Acacia is another popular wood as it is durable and softer on knives than some other wood types, but like maple, it requires more maintenance.
As well as wooden carving boards, it's also common to find them made out of plastic. The main advantage that plastic has over wood is that its low maintenance and easy to clean. You don't need to worry about too much moisture getting inside a plastic carving board and can simply put them in the dishwasher when you're done. They don't need any oiling and won't become stained from cutting meat.
Plastic boards won't last as long as wooden boards, however, and are harder on knife edges. Many professional or experienced chefs don't like the feel of chopping on plastic boards, although they will do a decent job for a more casual home cook. If you do pick a plastic board, you should change it every couple of years as bacteria can grow inside any cuts or scratches the board picks up during use.
Oil can be quite a hassle to wipe up since grease tends to stick to surfaces more than water and other liquids do. Make sure you look for a carving board that has juice grooves, which are etched into a carving board and serve the purpose of catching the juice and oils of cooked meat.
While some carving boards have juice grooves that are like tiny rivers, others lead to a bigger main groove where liquid pools. This particular juice-catching feature will help you to keep your kitchen counter clean. Some carving boards might have a slight slant to them as this encourages the juices to pool in one particular area.
You should avoid pouring meat juices and oils down the sink, even if they've been diluted, as they can clog your drains. The best practice is to wait for them to cool down and throw them in the trash. You can pour them into an empty can and wait for them to solidify or soak them up with paper towels.
It’s important to have a stable base when you're carving meat. Carving boards that have features that help keep the meat in place are safer and more efficient. Some boards are equipped with pyramid points or even spikes that help to keep foods stable while you carve your way through them. Other boards have non-slip surfaces.
Some even have non-skid material on the bottom of the board, which helps to keep the board from wobbling or sliding across your kitchen counter.
Reversible carving boards are very versatile. The top side might be designed for meats and have grips or juice grooves, but when turned over, the other side is usually a smooth board. This can be used as a regular chopping board for fruits and vegetables. This maximizes the board’s function, allowing you to use it for many things.
Other chopping boards are made of such beautiful wood that they can also be used to serve meat and other kinds of food. You might have seen examples of wooden carving boards being used as display platters for cheese or hors d'oeuvres. Ones that come with handles could even be used as trays. Some thicker carving boards might have inset handles cut into the sides which makes them easier to pick up and carry.
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Kansas City Carving Board
Best for Draining Juices From Meat
Large Butcher Block Cutting Board
Best Meat Carving Board
Pro Board Long
Best Deep Juice Canal
Cut & Carve Plus
Best Plastic Board for Catching Juices
J. K. Adams
Reversible Cutting Board
Best for Carving Poultry
Best Board With Wax
Royal Craft Wood
Extra Large Bamboo Cutting Board
Best Set of Bamboo Boards
Acacia Wood Carving Board
Best for a Unique Look
Plastic Carving Board
Best Extra-Large Plastic Board
Key To Our Home
Cutting and Carving Board
Best Personalizable Carving Board
This acacia carving board has juice grooves that are strategically placed right under the meat so that oil drips right onto them. It has a sloped design to help the oil pool in one place. The board's feet are coated with neoprene, which helps keep it from sliding around while you carve.
Some reviewers found there were rough spots that needed a bit of sanding before use. A few others said that their boards had uneven feet, which made their carving boards wobbly. However, many really liked the strategic placement of juice grooves. Many also said that the board is easy to clean and can even be used as a serving board. Other users liked that the board is hefty.
This carving board is made of eco-friendly bamboo. It has four liquid channels that feed into some deep juice ridges to collect any oils that leak out of your meat. It can also be reversed and the opposite side has a flat wooden surface that you can use for chopping fruits and vegetables. The large textured center makes it ideal for carving large joints of meat or turkeys.
Some reviewers said that the textured surface of the carving board made it hard to clean. Others complained that after some time, the board begins to deteriorate, with splits or cracks. However, many users loved how the ridges really help keep meat stable while they carve. Others liked that the board is heavy and that its juice grooves are deep enough to hold a lot of oil.
This carving board is made from end-grain teak that is sourced from Forest Stewardship Certified forests. It has a juice groove that runs around the edge of the board that is deep enough to catch all of the juices, oils, and crumbs produced as you carve. It also has some inset grips on the side to make it easier to carry.
The patchwork design of this board caused by the end grain wood makes it aesthetically pleasing. The board is a nice weight and made from durable materials, according to reviewers.
One side of this board has spikes at the center which serve as meat grips. It's also angled in such a way that juices fall to one side of the board. The other side has a smooth surface suitable for chopping or slicing fruits and vegetables. The board has non-slip feet and soft-grip sides, which help with stability.
Reviewers complained that the board can get scratched by knife marks quite easily. However, many reviewers loved that the board is tilted, saying the design helps catch all the juice and oil without leaking onto the counter. They also praised the board for being easy to clean as it is dishwasher-safe.
If you frequently carve turkey or chicken, this board is a great choice. One side of the board has a central indentation that is designed to cradle poultry as you carve, without causing the damage that can come from harsh grips. The reverse of the board is flat but still has juice grooves, so you can carve other meats or vegetables.
There are a few reports of the board cracking, so make sure that you care for the board as instructed and oil it regularly to avoid this. Reviewers confirm that this board is perfect for poultry due to the indentation and many have used it for several years without any problems. They also praised the depth of the juice grooves and the overall craftsmanship of the board.
This carving board is made from teak wood and is coated with a mix of wax and oil to increase its water resistance and prevent cracking. The board also comes with some extra wax for you to use. It uses end grain wood, which means that when you cut into your meat and the knife hits the board, it's less likely to leave scratches as it will go between the grain, instead.
A few reviewers said that the board they received was curved or warped and didn't lie as flat as they would have liked. Most reviewers praised this board, however, for its durability and thickness. They liked that it was heavy and that it came with some wax to keep it in top condition.
This is a set of three matching bamboo boards of different sizes. Each board has a deep juice groove that runs around the edge and the reverse is plain. The boards are available with colored edges to add some color to your kitchen, but you can also choose a natural finish.
A few reviewers reported that the boards began to split after only a couple of months of use. Most reviewers were happy with their purchase, however, and said that the boards were durable. They liked the variety of sizes available and some reviewers said that the small board was more useful than they expected.
This carving board is both beautiful and highly functional with its accented acacia wood, which is durable and more water-resistant than some other woods. Also, thanks to its reversible feature, both sides of this board can be used for carving. The uniquely patterned wood also makes this ideal for a simple serving board.
Some reviewers said that the wood of their boards wasn't treated properly, causing it to warp or crack. However, many liked the amount of workspace offered by this large board. Others also liked that it's lightweight. People also noted that because it's visually appealing, the carving board can also be used as a serving board.
This plastic carving board is dishwasher-safe, and the commercial-grade plastic is resistant to stains, warping, and cuts. The board also has outer juice grooves on each of its sides. It comes in a variety of sizes, with the largest measuring 30 inches wide.
Some reviewers complained that the juice grooves aren't deep enough. Some also said that the board isn't very stable as it tends to slide. However, many reviewers found it thick and sturdy for a plastic board. They also loved the large size and found it large enough for their needs.
This carving board will make a great gift and kitchen decoration. It has a key design carved into the surface and can be personalized with two lines of text and a date. It's made from pressed bamboo and requires hand washing and regular oiling to maintain its finish.
If you're looking for a carving board that will stand up to heavy use this may not be the best option. It doesn't have juice grooves and isn't as durable as some other boards on this list. However, the personalization options make it aesthetically pleasing and the perfect housewarming gift.
If you like spending time in your kitchen and are always looking for ways to enhance your cooking experience, then check these products out! They'll help make things more efficient.
If you're still looking for some ideas, then why not check out the best-selling carving boards on Amazon?
This expert reviewed the contents of the buying guide for accuracy and provided factual corrections when necessary. They did not participate in the product selection process, nor are they affiliated with any of our choices unless explicitly stated so.
No. 1: Ironwood Gourmet | Kansas City Carving Board
No. 2: Bambüsi | Large Butcher Block Cutting Board
No. 3: Teakhaus | Pro Board Long
No. 4: Joseph Joseph | Cut & Carve Plus
No. 5: J. K. Adams | Reversible Cutting Board
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