Name: Proteak Edge Grain Teak Cutting Board
Price: $89.99, available on Amazon
It looks like: A beautiful, sturdy, 18 by 24-inch slab of variegated wood.
What we were looking for: We wanted enough space so we wouldn’t feel cramped when butchering chickens or end up chasing carrot coins that roll off the board’s edge. We also wanted some heft to keep the boards from slipping and sliding around the counter while we’re working. Finally, durability was crucial: Shallow scratches were to be expected, but deep gashes would be a deal breaker, as they trap food, odors, and bacteria and can lead to splintering.
How we tested it: We distributed copies of this board to our test cooks, who put them through three solid months of daily use—the equivalent of years of use in the average home kitchen. We also did a regular series of tests on each board—see it in action in the video below:
How it actually works: This board resisted warping and cracking, showed only minor scratches, never seemed “thirsty,” and—despite its heft—was easy to lift and clean, thanks to handholds on each end.
Good to know: Teak, a tropical wood, contains tectoquinones, components of oily resins that are resistant to moisture, helping cutting boards made from this wood survive far better than other wood and bamboo models.
My favorite part: Its longevity. Choosing a cutting board can feel like a roll of the dice. You think you’re buying a solid, hard-wearing piece of equipment that will last for decades, only to find that it eventually suffers deep gouges, dulls the edge of your knife, or even warps or splits. This board didn’t fall prey to any of these issues in our testing.
Best for: Years of kitchen use.
Overall: Roomy, knife-friendly, and exceptionally durable, this teak cutting board is worth every penny.
Update: For readers who may be skeptical of the durability of wooden cutting boards, bear in mind that a wooden board is a natural product made from an organic, living tree—it is not an immutable slab of glass or stone. Wood naturally changes shape according to the moisture in the air, and being wet and dried repeatedly; it might warp, but that shouldn’t be a major concern. Simply place a wet towel, nonslip mat, or a Silpat-type silicone baking liner underneath the board for stability when you use it; we do this routinely in the test kitchen. The fact remains that a wooden board is the kindest surface you can use your knife on, but it’s a natural substance, so it is subject to morphing a bit over time and with usage. That’s the tradeoff of wood, and many cooks believe it’s worth it. That said, we chose the teak board because teak contains natural oils that help it repel water and resist warping compared to many other types of wood. Therefore, it’s going to be better than many other wooden boards, but it’s still made of wood. Plastic boards are less kind to your knife edge, and can get gouged up from repeated cutting, but unlike wood, they are dishwasher-safe (where they can warp on occasion). Plastic is always going to be cheaper, so if you feel strongly about using plastic, want a board you can knock around, and throw away with less guilt if it falls apart, our Best Buy OXO Good Grips is your board.