Can be used for chopping
Lots of work space
Needs seasoning before use
Heavy and bulky to store
Must be washed by hand
If you have the space for it, the 20 x 15-inch John Boos Maple Chop-N-Slice Cutting Board is exactly what you need. It’s big, it’s heavy, and it’s sturdy. Plus, it’s got the logo you’ve seen on cooking shows, so you can pretend that cameras are rolling when you use it. At first, we worried that it might be too large for home use, but we quickly came to appreciate that we weren’t dropping food off the edge of the board and onto the counter—and we didn’t have to stop cutting to move food off the board. Read on for our full review of the highly rated cutting board.
Size: Large and thick
At 20 x 15 inches and a full 1.5 inches thick, this is a large, heavy cutting board that gave us space to shred a whole cabbage without stopping and prep two or three foods and keep them separate. Because this board is so thick, it can be used for chopping. By that we don’t mean chopping an onion—we mean whacking a chicken into pieces.
Material: Maple wood
As a closed-grain hardwood, maple is ideal for food preparation. It’s hard enough to be durable, but soft enough to protect your knives from damage while you’re cutting.
Design: Pretty and functional
This cutting board features an edge grain surface, meaning the wood rails are laid out in a continuous parallel pattern, rather than standing on their ends in a checkerboard pattern, as in end grain boards. End grain is said to be better for knives, but it’s usually more expensive—and anyway, we liked the look of edge grain for our kitchen.
At first, we worried this board might be too large for home use, but we quickly came to appreciate that we weren’t dropping food off the edge of the board and onto the counter.
We found the natural wood attractive, and the rounded corners of added just a little style. But the most distinctive feature is the Boos logo on one edge of the board. If you’ve watched any cooking shows on television, you might have seen that logo. Does it improve the function? No. But it did remind us that it’s made in the U.S.A., specifically for food use. Since there’s no obvious difference between the two sides of the board, we used that logo to remind ourselves which was the top and which was the bottom. In this way, we were able to save one side from knife marks.
Maintenance: Needs special care
With something as simple as a cutting board, you might think that the care instructions can be tossed aside. With this board, it’s a good idea to read and follow the seasoning instructions before the first use.
Boos recommends a two-part process, first using Boos Mystery Oil, letting that sit overnight, and touching up dry spots as needed. The board we received seemed particularly thirsty, so it took multiple applications before it stopped soaking up the oil. Boos suggests using Boos Board Cream as the second step. While you can also use other products, the Boos oils aren’t prohibitively expensive, so we went with those.
Because this board is so thick, it can be used for chopping. By that we don’t mean chopping an onion—we mean whacking a chicken into pieces.
When the oil penetrates the wood, it keeps food juices from seeping in, which could cause stains, wood swelling, and bacterial growth. Some of Boos’s maintenance suggestions are more applicable to professional use, like scraping the board with a metal scraper, cutting on all areas of the board to make sure the wear is even, and maintaining the bevel edge of the board. For the average home cook, those may never be an issue.
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Durability: You’ll put this one in your will
Because this board was built with professional use in mind, it should last most home cooks a lifetime if it is well cared for. That means that it should never be soaked in water, it should be re-seasoned as necessary, and it should be cleaned properly. At worst, if you drop a hatchet on the board and it bounces around making gouges, you can sand the surface to remove the damage.
Price: Slightly more than average
When it comes to cutting boards, this one is a bit more expensive than the most common boards, particularly those made from plastic. However, when it comes to wooden boards, there are plenty of more expensive options, usually because they are more decorative and sometimes because they are larger or thicker. Considering the long life you can expect from a board like this, the price tag is actually very reasonable.
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Competition: Boos is best for the price in its category
At 17 x 13 inches, the Sonder Los Angeles Large End Grain Teak Wood Cutting Board With Built-in Compartments is smaller than the Boos board we reviewed—and it’s also more expensive. One side of this board has a juice groove around the perimeter, while the other side has three deep indents, so you can slice or dice the food, then slide them into the indents and out of the way. Whether that’s useful or not depends on the cook. For us, we prefer the Boos.
While our Boos board can be used for chopping the occasional chicken into chunks, if you’re into serious butchery at home, the Michigan Maple Block Maple End Grain Chopping Block is another great choice. The block is 3.5 inches thick, so it can take some serious knife abuse, but that extra height might also make it awkward for use as a standard cutting board. This is also much more expensive than the Boos board.
If we had to choose between the OXO and the Boos, we’d choose … both, really.
For cooks who don’t like the maintenance required with a wood cutting board, we like the OXO Good Grips Utility Cutting Board. It’s not as large as the Boos board we reviewed, but it’s large enough for most kitchen tasks. It doesn’t need any special care and is dishwasher-safe. If we had to choose between the OXO and the Boos, we’d choose … both, really. They complement each other, and it’s handy to have a spare cutting board for times when you have kitchen helpers with knives.
Get it—if you have space.
Many home cooks choose small boards, like bar boards or utility boards that are easy to store, but this large board has plenty of advantages, like the ability to cut a lot of food without needing to move it off the board to make room. While we wouldn’t suggest this board for someone with a tiny kitchen and no storage space, we do recommend for just about everyone else.
- Product Name Chop-N-Slice Cutting Board
- Product Brand John Boos
- Price $59.99
- Product Dimensions 20 x 15 x 1.5 in.
- Color Maple
- Material Wood
- Warranty 1-year (on workmanship and materials)