Over the summer, Daniel did a deep dive into the world of wooden cutting boards. I learned a lot from that review. Having long owned exclusively plastic cutting boards, I was surprised to learn that wooden cutting boards are much easier to keep clean than their plastic counterparts. Plus, a good wooden cutting board can last for years, all while extending the life and sharpness of your knives.
Of course, not all wooden cutting boards are made equal. They come in all sorts of sizes and constructions, in different woods and with various features. There are endless considerations to take into account—which is why Daniel was the tester and not me.
After rounds and rounds of testing, Daniel found that his favorite end-grain wooden cutting board came from The BoardSmith, a family-run company that, in his words, "gets all the details right." Each piece is made by hand and sanded to a fine finish, without any cracks or chips. They're about as sturdy as they come.
This fall, we reached out to The BoardSmith to see if they'd be willing to create a custom cutting board, designed to our culinary team's exact specs.
Here's Daniel's take in his own words: "The most important thing to the culinary team right off the bat was not to over-engineer a super-gimmicky design just for novelty's sake. The BoardSmith gets all the essentials of a wooden cutting board right, and we had no desire to change that. We focused our attention on selecting the specs we value most, starting with our preferred 22- by 16-inch size. We opted for no feet, so that you can use both sides of the board, and added finger grooves to make picking up the heavy board easier. Our one little flourish: an unobtrusive 12-inch ruler laser-etched onto one corner of the board, away from where you'll do your knife work but immediately available in case you want to confirm that you're cutting your foods to the size specified in a recipe."
Because pricing for end-grain boards can be quite high, The BoardSmith is also offering our ruler design as an edge-grain board in two sizes, at lower price points.
Finally, you'll find a Serious Eats brand on one edge alongside The BoardSmith's—a little signature of the partnership.
No matter which board you choose, you can expect it to arrive fully oiled with USP-grade mineral oil. All you need to do is give it a rinse and get cutting. And to keep your board in tip-top shape, be sure to follow our instructions in our guide to seasoning and maintaining wooden cutting boards.