John Boos Maple Edge-Grain Cutting Board Review

2023-02-15 19:31:28 By : Mr. Frank Du

The John Boos Maple Edge-Grain Reversible Cutting Board earned top marks in my tested review of the best wooden cutting boards. Ahead, learn more about the handsome, durable board and why I think it’s the best for most home cooks.

The John Boos Maple Edge-Grain Reversible Cutting Board is built to last without being hard on ... [+] knives. Wood Cutting Board

John Boos Maple Edge-Grain Cutting Board Review

There is no singular best wooden cutting board, but rather a collection of impressive boards designed to satisfy home cooks of all kinds. But if I could recommend only one all-purpose board, it’d be the John Boos Maple Edge-Grain Reversible Cutting Board, which earned the highest marks in my larger tested review of the top wooden cutting boards. Handsome, durable and reasonably priced, this board left little to be desired as I put it through the paces in my home kitchen.

Made of premium hard maple, a wood prized for its resilience, this thick blond board is built to last without being overly hard on your knives. It also didn’t slide around my countertop as I chopped through a variety of produce, a common issue that poses serious safety risks. That’s because this board is thick and hefty, measuring 15 x 20 x 1.5 inches and weighing in around 12 pounds when oiled. Providing you ample space to chop up multiple ingredients on the surface at once, this size is ideal for most home cooks, in my opinion. If you’d prefer something smaller or larger, though, the board comes in two other sizes. And while the block doesn’t have a juice canal (a feature I didn’t miss during testing), it does have shallow hand grips that are useful for maneuvering the board on your countertop and propping it on its side to dry.

Wood: Northern hard rock maple | Construction: Edge-grain | Size: 20 x 15 x 1.5 inches, among other size options | Weight: 12 pounds | Additional features: Hand grips, reversible | Suggested maintenance: At least once per month, apply an even coat of Boos Block Mystery Oil, followed by Boos Block Board Cream

For cutting boards, maple is considered the industry standard, as it’s durable yet relatively easy on knives. This board specifically is made from sustainably sourced northern hard rock maple, which is known for its unmatched hardness. Adding to the board’s overall resilience is its edge-grain construction, which is lower-maintenance and longer-lasting than end-grain chopping blocks. Measuring 1.5 inches thick, it’s also less likely to warp or crack than more lightweight boards.

All of that’s to say, the John Boos Maple Edge-Grain Reversible Cutting Board board is designed to be a reliable, all-purpose chopping block that can withstand years and years of vigorous slicing and dicing. While washing and drying the board is a little awkward, as it’s an objectively large and heavy piece of wood, I didn’t find it to be overly cumbersome; after wiping it down with a towel, I used one of the block’s hand grips to tilt it on its side and against my wall to ensure thorough air-drying.

Thanks to the spacious board’s heft, it remained stable on my countertop as I chopped through carrots, onions, beets and anchovies. Meanwhile, my sharp chef’s knife glided across the board’s surface, leaving behind light scarring that blends in beautifully with the wood’s blond grain. The anchovies left behind very little smell; I had to jam my nose into the board to detect the faintest of odors. While the chopped beets did stain the board ever so slightly, I expected some discoloration—the lighter the wood, the more susceptible it is to staining. Since I’ve continued to use and wash the board, the vibrant juice has continued to lift.

The beet juice stain faded significantly after one washing (and has continued to lighten in color ... [+] with each successive washing).

While I was happy to see the color grow lighter and lighter, even at its darkest, the purple-red mark looked quite beautiful against the wood—which is something I love about this board. Though it will show light knife scarring and stains, as it’s a light edge-grain block of wood, it’s the kind of board that looks good with a little wear and tear. But if a fresh, unfaded stain ever bothers you, you can easily flip the board over to use the unmarred side.

Though John Boos may not be known for affordability, this board is undeniably a great value. When you think of all it offers—a classic look and ample cutting space, constructed from durable wood—the retail price doesn’t seem so high. The actual board is reversible, providing you two surfaces for all your slicing and dicing needs. (To ensure the longevity of the board, it’s best to alternate using both of its sides so one surface doesn’t wear out faster than the other.)

While you can certainly find cutting boards for cheaper, those boards are often made from materials that are harder on your knives, like bamboo, teak, glass and some plastics. Maple, on the other hand, won’t dull your blades as quickly, meaning you won’t have to pay extra for more frequent knife sharpening. Additionally, so long as you follow the proper maintenance required by wooden cutting boards, this piece should last for years and years.

I’m a home and kitchen editor at Forbes Vetted, where I edit longform tested reviews on a wide range of cooking staples: chef’s knives, KitchenAid stand mixers, nonstick cookware and knife sets, to name a few. Prior to assuming this role, I worked as a writer and editor at publications including Saveur and New York Magazine’s The Cut, and my work has appeared on Bon Appétit, Epicurious, Grub Street and Punch. To aid in my research for this piece, which included spending many hours on cutting board and woodworking forums, I consulted three experts: Ben Chapman, PhD, a food safety researcher at North Carolina State University who has studied wooden boards; Angie Yang, cofounder of Brooklyn woodworking school Bien Hecho Academy; and Josh Donald, co-owner of Bernal Cutlery in San Francisco and author of Sharp: The Definitive Introduction to Knives, Sharpening, and Cutting Techniques, with Recipes from Great Chefs.

After testing nine top wooden cutting boards, I determined the John Boos Maple Edge-Grain Reversible Cutting Board to be the best option overall, as it’s handsome, resilient and easy on knives. Made from hard maple, the chopping block is built to last, and it proved resilient in my testing. While the sliced beets did leave behind some of their vibrant juice, the blond board stained less than others made from maple. It was also simply a joy to use, thanks to its spacious 15 x 20 x 1.5 inch surface that remained stable during chopping. While it was one of the larger boards I tested, its price was midrange, adding to its overall value. Also worth noting: This board doesn’t have a juice canal, as did a handful in my hands-on testing, though I didn’t find myself missing the feature. Because the surface is so spacious, no liquids or foods spilled over the edges.

In my larger tested review of nine wooden cutting boards, I started with a thorough visual examination of the boards. I first considered whether the boards seemed recently oiled or parched, then I considered their overall construction, from the quality of the wood to the thickness. (Because the John Boos board looked a little dry, I washed and dried it, then oiled it with Boos Block Mystery Oil.) Next, I put the boards to work, noting their stability and overall feel as I chopped carrots, onions and beets. I also in this stage of testing considered the functionality of juice canals, a common feature on cutting boards; because the John Boos block doesn’t have one, I skipped this step. Lastly, I allowed chopped beets and chopped anchovies to rest on each board’s surface for 30 minutes to see whether the boards held on to excessive stains or odors.

Between the tests, I washed each board with water and unscented dish soap, then wiped them down with paper towels and propped them up to air-dry. After cleaning, I inspected the boards for excessive knife scarring or signs of wear; I also noted whether the boards needed to be re-oiled.

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John Boos Maple Edge-Grain Cutting Board Review

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