The newest trend in cutting boards is to purchase a sleek Acacia wood cutting board. Let’s explore, learn about and find the Best Acacia Cutting Boards to buy and pick the perfect one for you.
What is Acacia Wood?
Unless you are in an industry that uses this particular wood, you may not be familiar with Acacia. The Acacia tree is a native-to-Australia tree that grows best in warm tropical or desert areas, but now also grows in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. There are over 1000 species of this tree giving it a great variety. The tree itself is known for its fast growth and can grow between twenty to thirty feet in just five years. This is called rapid growth and is a key part of the sustainable wood industry.
Acacia is better known as the Gum Arabic tree, from which the tree is harvested for its hardened sap. Gum Arabic is a food additive and is also used in medicines. It is added to candy, chewing gum, and even icings as a stabilizer. Once the tree has had all the sap removed, the wood is then taken and kiln-dried. The wood once used to be burned or chipped up instead of utilized. Farmers now benefit from the tree twice and the wood industry has a superior product that grows quickly and has many benefits.
The hardest of all hardwoods, Acacia measures between 1700 and 2200 on the Janka scale which measures wood hardness. It is a scale that tests the ability of wood to withstand scratching and denting. This scale is most often used for hardwood floors, but it can also come in handy when deciding on furniture and cutting boards. Named after the creator, Gabriel Janks, the test measures the pounds of force it takes to embed a steel ball halfway into the test piece of wood. The softest wood on the scale is Balsa wood and the hardest is the Australian Buloke.
Acacia is harder than teak wood and is as weather-resistant as teak is. It is recommended for exterior projects as it resists water impregnation, fungus, and insects. The coloration of Acacia is either a brownish red from the center part of the tree to a yellow blonde coloration from the sapwood of the tree. The contrast of the colors makes for a beautiful combination of wood pieces.
This wood has been culturally important as well. In Hawaii, the artisans have created not just bowls and canoes, but ukuleles because of the natural resonance of the wood. In Southeast Asia, it is valued for furniture, flooring, and veneers. And in the Philippines, it is valued for its use in cabinetry, boat building, carving ease, and furniture. Some species of Acacia have grown big thorns and in Central America, these are carved into jewelry and dolls.
The wood fibers in Acacia are straight and because of this, the wood has a smooth appearance. Care must be taken to follow instructions on caring for the wood properly, otherwise, the wood has a tendency to crack under drying conditions.
Alternatives to Acacia Wood Cutting Boards
Plastic cutting boards- While the school of thought used to be that plastic was the best cutting board for raw meats and poultry, plastic gouges easily and bacteria can stay inside those cuts. It can also dull the blade of your knife. However, it does sanitize well and can be used a few times as a disposable cutting board. Once the plastic is gouged deeply it is time to replace it.
Rubber cutting mats- A tool of professionals, rubber mats are more gentle on your knife blade. The rubber tends to gouge less and clean up is easy with soap and water. Rubber cutting boards can be floppy and that might make them harder to clean in the sink. You can clean them the same way you would a wood board. Rubber boards cost vary, a professional-quality rubber board could cost several hundred dollars.
Glass cutting boards- Glass cutting boards are the worst kind of cutting boards. Dangerously thin, they may be made from tempered glass, but they are still quite delicate. They chip easily along the edges and need to be carefully handled when being washed. Cutting on a glass cutting board is also loud in the kitchen and unless the board is on rubberized feet, can slide easily. The glass is not gentle on your knife edges either.
Bamboo cutting boards- Bamboo and plastic cutting boards are the cheap cutting board alternative, sometimes available for only a dollar or two at the store. Bamboo is a hard surface but the small grooves from the material can catch your knife, keeping you from having a smooth cut-through action. This can also damage and dull your knife blade.
Other wood cutting boards- Depending on the quality of wood, other wood cutting boards can be purchased. Wood can absorb not only water and warp but also food odors and stains. Wood fibers can swell with liquid and wood can be difficult to sanitize. Maple is a good choice in wood as it is dense enough to stand up to the knife cuts. No matter what wood cutting board you do use, make sure never to wash it in your dishwasher or allow it to soak in water, wood will absorb the moisture and warp.
Best Acacia Cutting Boards
My criteria for Best Cutting Boards are as follows:
- Best price
- Best quality
- Best looking to be left on the counter
- Best looking to be used as a serving tray or charcuterie
- Best size for cost
The following recommendations are one or more of these qualities and I will explain cutting boards that meet some or more of these criteria.
Best Decorative Acacia Cutting Board
This butcher block cutting board is beautiful. Butcher block made from Acacia wood is pieces of wood, cut into blocks, then glued and pressed together to combine into a large piece. The ends of the wood are upended so that the tight weave of the wood is the cutting surface, this is called end grain block.
This allows for a harder cutting surface that is also smoother and easier on knife blades. This is a pricey board, I do own this board and the quality is outstanding. Since this board is absolutely beautiful, I leave it out on my counter to protect the countertop as well as for a decorative element.
There are carry handles on the sides to allow easier picking up of the board, believe me, it’s heavy, but that also means it is a quality piece. It also works beautifully as a serving tray or as a charcuterie board since it is so large. The lights and darks in the wood coloration are a signature coloration of the Acacia wood itself.
Heartwood is the darker red tones and the blonde tones come from the sapwood. Being made of Acacia wood, it is more environmentally friendly than other high-end wood products but still functions better than bamboo on your knives. This cutting board is two inches thick as well and has the look of a professional-quality board.
The board is a little unwieldy with how big and heavy it is, but I only do light cutting on this board and will pull out different cutting boards for heavy chopping jobs. However, the size of this board is why I chose it for this category, as the extra-large sizing covers the most counter space and will work for every sized job that it is required for.
Best Acacia Cutting Board for Meat
Pellholmen Collection Reversible Acacia Butcher board with Juice grooves- Eco-Friendly, Durable, Kitchen Counter Cutting Board
Meat cutting boards should be replaced occasionally due to the deepening of grooves from your knife. Bacteria can bloom and grow the deeper the grooving is, so the older the board, the more likely the board has incurred a lot of wear and tear and should be replaced. The age of the board depends on how often the board is used and the condition of the board.
This reversible board has a solid flat surface on one side and a deeply grooved surface on the other. The groove is to catch juices and liquid that escape from the meat, this side is considered the carving side. The seventeen by twelve sizing is large enough for most pieces of meat, even racks of ribs. The four-and-a-half-pound weight means it’s not too heavy to lift and put into the sink to clean, and the side handles allow for a little easier lifting from the countertop. The forty-dollar price tag is reasonable for a good quality meat cutting board.
Best Acacia Cutting Board for Vegetables
Extra Large Acacia Wood Cutting Board 20 x 14 Inch – Caperci Better Kitchen Chopping Board with Juice Groove & Handle Hole for Meat (Butcher Block) Vegetables and Cheese
I like to have lots of room on my cutting board to chop veggies. I almost always need to cut up several veggies at the same time, but need to keep piles of the chopped veggies to the side, to then add all the vegetables at the same time to my pot. This large twenty by fourteen cutting board is the best tool to accommodate that need.
The less than an inch thickness allows for ease in picking up the cutting board when it may be needed to slide chopped vegetables into a pot. Or to add the cutting board to the sink for quick cleaning. This board is reasonably priced and features a hole to hang the board from as well. Reversible as well, one side of the board features a groove to catch juices and runoff from your fruits and vegetables.
Best Acacia Cutting board for Cheese
Modern Acacia Wood Cutting Board Set 2 Piece – Caperci Better Kitchen Cheese Serving Board with Juice Groove (14 x 11 & 11 x 8 Inch)
Two-for deals always catch my eye and this double set of Acacia boards is a great deal. Two boards at just twenty-six dollars are just about thirteen dollars each. Both boards feature juice grooves on one side and holes to hang them, decorating with useful cutting boards is definitely a bonus in my kitchen!
The smaller sizes are perfect for use as cheese boards. One board is eleven by fourteen and the other board is eight by eleven. A smaller cheese board means less expensive cheeses to fill up the space. I recommend keeping a few smaller boards for quick chopping and slicing needs, and I think these boards are a great addition to any budding chef’s kitchen.
Best Budget Acacia Cutting Board
Large Acacia Wood Cutting Board for Kitchen – Caperci Better Chopping Board with Juice Groove & Handle Hole for Meat (Butcher Block) Vegetables and Cheese, 18 x 12 Inch
Twenty-two dollars for a hardwood cutting board is an excellent price, especially for a large eighteen by fourteen cutting board. Although the board is on the thinner side, that may not be a drawback as it does make the board easier to move and carry. However, it is probably not the best for a display cutting board.
There is a featured hole to hang the board from, again, though, the large size of the board maybe a little too large to be useful for a hanging cutting board. The quality of the board is excellent being made from end grain Acacia. This is definitely a board I would purchase for the quality and pricing, much better quality and pricing than a bamboo board of the same price.
Best Overall Acacia Cutting Board
This cutting board is the best overall because of one unique feature. The cutting board features a double lip on the board to secure it in place. Not only is this board beautiful, but the lip slips over the counter and will hold the cutting board in place. This lip can keep food liquids from running off the back and also keep food in place when used as a serving tray.
The lip pulls over the edge of the countertop to hold the board in place, instead of using weight alone. This means the cutting board is lighter in weight and thickness than a big butcherblock but still maneuverable when clean-up time comes. And there are two lips on this board so that you can flip the board over if one side becomes too damaged to use, or keep one side for decorative use, like a charcuterie board, and then use the other side to cut or chop on. The price is less than a butcherblock board of about the same size, and the board is large enough to accommodate almost every use in the kitchen.
Answer: Pour white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide that is at least 3% into a bowl, and using a clean, soft rag, wipe the board down and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Clean up stains using half a lemon dipping the cut side into salt or baking soda and scrub the spot or the whole board with the lemon. This will clean and deodorize your board. Rinse well and dry. Make sure you oil your board monthly and wash it with every use.
Answer: Acacia is recommended as a substitute for teak since teak tends to be more expensive, although acacia wood does look a lot like teak. It is a harder wood than teak and is the better alternative. It is also very resistant to gouges and scratching and makes a better cutting board than teak.
Answer: Cutting boards that are easy to clean, do not damage or dull a knife, and one that will help to preserve the knife blade is the best option. The most common options for cutting boards are bamboo, plastic, wood, and silicon. For most cutting, wood is the optimum surface as it is the least wearing on a knife blade, it is easy to clean, and wood has self-healing properties.
Answer: There is a trend to buy beautiful decorative epoxy cutting boards and use them for serving. Epoxy will become damaged from knife use and epoxy isn’t the safest for food use.It can also splinter and chip when used for a cutting surface, allowing small pieces of epoxy to go into the food. I would recommend definitely not cutting on and then eating off an epoxy cutting board. These should be for decorative use only.
Answer: You should fully oil every part of the cutting board. Oil should be applied to both sides of the cutting board, as well as the edges. Allow the board to soak the oil in for 10-15 minutes, leaving it propped up on an edge vertically, then wipe excess off. Then allow the board to sit overnight before using. Oil the board monthly if possible or more if the board is heavily used. This will ensure your Acacia cutting board does not dry out and crack.
As a certified foodie, I have bought and tried most varieties of cutting boards. Wood and bamboo have warped on me, my own fault, but accidents of leaving them in sitting water have happened. Plastic is my least go-to of my cutting boards, and now that I have learned that the gouges in them tend to hold bacteria more than wood, I will be getting rid of the super cheap, super-thin ones I have.
I have several Acacia cutting boards and they are absolutely gorgeous. So beautiful, at first I was intimidated to use them for fear of damaging them. I did get over that fear and now use them on a regular basis. I even keep a large beautiful butcher block cutting board on my counter to help keep my counters neat and clean. I have several sizes of cutting boards, there isn’t a need to drag out the giant one to chop a little cilantro or slice a tomato, so I go for my smaller boards then.
Clean up is easy, I immediately put it in the sink, quick wash it and leave it propped up to dry before putting it away. I definitely recommend having a couple of cutting boards in your kitchen, some are even pretty enough to leave out as decoration or to use as serving and charcuterie boards. Leave the epoxy boards for decoration and never buy a glass cutting board. Invest in a good quality cutting board, clean it well and sanitize it often and it won’t let you down.