Large enough for a turkey
Deep wells to catch juices
No pouring edge
Colors will vary
We got ready for the arrival of the J.K. Adams Maple Carving Board by purchasing a few roasts and finding vegetables that wanted to be sliced, diced, and chopped. We sharpened knives and got to work, but not before giving the board some extra care with cutting board oil to make sure it was pretty and that it was ready for tough use. We spent quality time with the board, washing it between uses, and eating our fair share of fancy dinners and snacks.
At 14 x 20 inches, this is a sizable cutting board. It’s also a relatively thick board (1.25 inches) so it feels very sturdy. It’s a bit heavy at 6 pounds—and will be much heavier if it’s holding a turkey—but it’s easy enough to move and to store when it’s unloaded.
After significant use, we saw almost no knife marks.
Material: Wood for the win
The J.K. Adams board is made from edge-grain maple, so it will hold up to cutting without significant damage to the board. After a lot of use during testing, we saw almost no knife marks unless we looked very very closely.
Design: Attractive and functional
The curved sides make this board wider toward the middle and narrower at the top and bottom. This gives it a more decorative look, and we didn’t miss the few inches of space that square corners would have given us since most of the cutting happens toward the middle of a board. It was large enough for carving roasts on the grooved side, and it had plenty of room for everyday cutting on the flat side. The rounded theme follows through on the edges of the board, which are nicely rounded instead of flat, with no square corners.
Since wood colors can vary, each board is likely to be different. Ours arrived with both dark and light wood colors, with some pretty grain patterns that made the board much more decorative than one made from consistently colored wood.
One side of the board is completely flat, so it can be used for normal cutting and chopping of vegetables, but the opposite side is designed for carving. Juice channels and a moat around the board channel and collect juices and funnel them to a deep well. We wondered why a small pouring groove wasn’t included in the design to make it easier to pour the juices from the board, but we actually didn’t have trouble pouring juices into a saucepan to make a tasty gravy.
Juice channels and a moat around the board channel and collect juices and funnel them to a deep well.
We were quite surprised at how deep the juice moat was—it was more than just a channel, it was significantly deep. And the collection well was impressive, too. We poured measured water into the well and moat to see how much liquid it would hold. The deepest section of the moat held 1/2 cup of water on its own, and we were able to pour a total of 2 cups of water onto the board before we reached a point where we thought carrying it would be hazardous. Well-rested meat shouldn’t be exuding that much juice, so we’re confident this board won’t need emptying during normal use.
Prior to having this carving board, we sometimes put a cutting board into a sheet pan that could collect overflowing juices when we were carving, but that wasn’t particularly attractive. With this option, we could carve at the table without worrying about staining the tablecloth.
Maintenance: Hand wash only
The J.K. Adams carving board can’t be washed in a dishwasher, so it needs to be washed in warm, soapy water and then dried. It shouldn’t be left soaking in water. The instructions that came with the board said that it could be “revived” by using the company’s proprietary mineral oil and board conditioner, but we decided to give it a little spa treatment before use just to make sure we were protecting it from meat or vegetable juices. When our first coating of oil soaked in, we knew we made the right decision. After several more thin coats of oil and a final board conditioner, the wood looked even prettier, and water that was dripped onto the board beaded up rather than soaking in.
Durability: It’s a beast
Considering the thickness of this board, we expect it to last long enough to pass down to the next generation if it’s given proper care. Fortunately, care is easy—just quick cleaning with soapy water and occasional oiling with mineral oil or a board conditioner. If the board acquires deep cuts or gouges over time, it can be gently sanded smooth.
Considering the thickness of this board, we expect it to last long enough to pass down to the next generation if it’s given proper care.
Price: Just right for good wood
Compared to basic plastic cutting boards, this is expensive (MSRP of $85), but we think it’s worth it. It’s purpose-built for carving, which makes it a specialty board, but it can be flipped over for other cutting tasks so it can be used every day in the kitchen. We’re also willing to pay just a bit more because it’s well designed and attractive.
J.K. Adams Maple Carving Board vs. John Boos Maple Wood Edge Grain Reversible Cutting Board
At just about the same price and nearly the same size, you’d think the John Boos Maple Wood Edge Grain Reversible Cutting Board and the J.K. Adams board we reviewed were twins, but they’re actually very different. The Boos board is a kitchen workhorse, meant for serious chopping, whacking, smashing, and slicing. While the wood grain looks nice, the board is much more utilitarian than the J.K. Adams board with its curved lines and prettier grain. That doesn’t mean the J.K. Adams board isn’t meant for work—it’s just meant for different work. We think there’s room for both boards in the kitchen, with the J.K. Adams board coming out for carving or attractive serving, and the Boos board handling the grungy kitchen duties.
Still can’t decide? Take a peek at our guide to the best cutting boards.
We like it.
Anyone who roasts any sort of food that needs carving will love the J.K. Adams Maple Carving Board, no matter if it’s a regular Sunday dinner or just for the holidays. It’s also a nice general-purpose board or a pretty serving platter, so it will still be useful when pasta is on the menu.
- Product Name J.K. Adams Maple Carving Board
- Product Brand J.K. Adams
- MPN TCB-2014
- Price $85.00
- Weight 6 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 20 x 14 x 1.25 in.
- Material Edge-grain maple wood
- Warranty Lifetime 100 percent satisfaction guarantee