There have certainly been times when you cooked some huge piece of meat like a brisket for example. You are perfectly aware that a run of the mill butcher block won’t do the trick when cutting this kind of meat (for multiple reasons).
First and foremost, a very important thing is the block’s size, all the standard options might turn out to be too small in many situations. For sake of comfort and convenience you should purchase a bigger block that is much more versatile.
An adequate block should also have grooves on the sides that will hold the juices coming out of the meat when cutting (that’s another very important feature).
Based on my research and reviews, I have selected several best butcher blocks that are perfect for preparing, resting and cutting meat.
The Best Butcher Blocks for 2020
1. Best Overall - Sonder Los Angeles Wood Cutting Board
The Sonder Los Angeles Cutting Board was made of thick acacia wood sized 16 x 12 inches (1.5 in thick). Such size ensures enough room to cut bigger pieces of meat.
There’s a fairly deep groove running all around the block that will prove itself perfect when cutting meat, even the juiciest types.
In theory it might seem like nothing special, but in practice such solution makes it much easier to keep things clean.
There are no grooves on the other side of the block, but there is an indentation on one end where you can securely keep finer food such as sliced vegetables, cheese or meat.
Remember that it is a block of multiple uses. It was not made just for cutting, but also as a tray to serve great looking breakfasts or dinners on.
For comfortable carrying around, two handles have been designed that make it easy to move the block from one place to another (I’m talking about when there’s food on it).
The 100% natural and environmentally friendly wood guarantees a unique look and shade of the color.
An upside of the Sonder Los Angeles brand is the fact that it’s a small size company that cares more about their customers. In the event of any defects during the first year of use, you have a guarantee of replacement for a new, usable block.
Last but not least, I would obviously like to mention the awesome design that allows you to proudly display such block in your kitchen, instead of hiding it away.
2. Runner Up - SoulFino Bamboo Butcher Block
My next suggestion is the Butcher Block from SoulFino Bamboo.
As the name suggests, it was made of bamboo, which is characterized by its very good resistance to biological impurities.
The fluids accumulating on the block get absorbed much less compared to other types of wood that blocks of this kind are made of.
The 17 x 13 inches block in my belief provides enough room for any possible piece of meat.
The grooves in the block will come in handy when cutting a very juicy steak, but not only that.
On top of being a great block for preparing, resting and cutting smoked/grilled meat, it can be also used for many other purposes.
The seemingly hidden handles/indentations on the sides of the block make it easy to move around from one place to another.
Of course you can use both sides of the block, which doubles its service life.
Right after purchase, the block might be a little coarse for some people, but polishing is not among difficult tasks so I think that it is not a significant flaw.
Taking into account the price, size, style and quality of workmanship, it is a great choice and a perfect alternative to much more expensive options where the main difference is usually a slightly better style.
3. Best Upgrade - John Boos Block RA02-GRV
A solid 21” X 15” block that is whole 2.25 inches thick.
It is definitely one of the thickest blocks which makes it ultra impressive visually.
Unfortunately, the size and thickness make this block heavy, which is noticeable when combined with a huge piece of meat.
It has side handles, but it still might not be very comfortable for many people.
A material this thick is characterized by much better durability. On the other hand, is it actually something you need, a block this thick? In certain situations it is a better solution in terms of durability, but not always.
It is made of maple tree, which is characterized by great durability.
It has a deep groove, which successfully holds all the juices coming out of meat when cutting it.
The John Boos offer features several other sizes in the event that this model is still too small or too big.
In the event of any problems after purchase, the manufacturer provides a one year warranty against all kinds of defects that could possibly appear relatively soon after purchase.
4. Best Budget - Greener Chef Extra Large Bamboo Cutting Board
You have a really limited budget or simply lower expectations? In such case, a perfect option will be Extra Large Bamboo Cutting Board from Greener Chef.
A huge advantage of this block is large size relative to the price and quality.
The 18” X 12” block provides enough room even for big pieces of meat.
Sadly, it is much thinner than my other suggestions. It is only 1.25 inch thick, which doesn’t make it very durable, on the other hand though, its advantage is very low weight.
Another downside of its thickness is the limitation in terms of groove depth, which isn’t impressive, although in most situations should suffice.
With this kind of thickness you may also forget about handles.
It is not a representative type of block that will impress your guests.
That’s the simplest block for working comfortably in the kitchen when preparing or cutting meat. It maintains all major features such as adequate size and very good quality relative to the attractive price.
Sadly, a small downside is the material the block was made of, the bamboo is prone to cracks at the block’s edges over longer use.
The last suggestion in my guide is the round block from John Boos, why did I place it last?
Mainly due to low practicality of round-shaped blocks of this type.
I know, I know, they look great and that’s why I recommend them mainly for serving food. When it comes to cutting, on the other hand, especially large pieces of meat, I would definitely advise against that option.
This Butcher Block measures 18 inches round and is whole 3 inches thick, which makes it massive and heavy.
This block was made using solid northern maple wood, which is perceived as very durable when it comes to surfaces for preparing food.
Naturally, I’d like to remind about the one year warranty from the moment of purchase. When investing this kind of money in a butcher block, I believe that everyone would like to have their investment adequately protected.
In hindsight, I have heard about cracking sides of a block, but it was likely caused by the block spending too much time in water. Avoid such situations and take proper care of your butcher block in order to prevent this kind of situations.
Why you should use a wood butcher block
An adequate block is much better designed, ensuring much better comfort of work.
Most wooden blocks come with a deep enough groove, which works great for holding juices in. Do you know that feeling when after cutting you end up with half of your kitchen dirty? That’s the kind of problem a groove in the block solves.
Even thought it’s a more expensive solution than a plastic block, it is worth it to pay more not just because of functionality but also the style.
A wooden block looks incomparably better than a plastic one.
You need to know that there are many types of blocks of this kind, which gives a wooden block more applications. For example, on top of cutting it can also serve as a board to serve food to your guests on. Something like that is undoubtedly impressive, and that is one of the additional features of this kind of blocks that I love.
A solid wooden block doesn’t have to be hidden away, quite the opposite, its great appearance will go great with the surroundings in the kitchen.
Going back to the technical advantages, a big enough block can fit a really huge piece of meat. You won’t have any trouble cutting a really juicy and big brisket.
The only major downside of wooden blocks compared to plastic ones is that you can’t put them in a dishwasher if you care about their durability, which might make them less sanitary.