Butcher Block Counter Top Cutting Boards are a staple in the kitchen. Wood cutting boards will last forever, and Birch is a wonderful choice with its very blonde color and durability. Let’s explore the best options for Birch Butcher Block cutting boards and find the best deals on the internet.
All about Birch Wood
Thin growing, this tree is most populous in northern climates such as North America and subarctic climates. A thin papery bark is present on many species, and the wood is finely grained and narrow banded. Some species have a ripple-like graining that is considered top of the line for the type of tree and is higher priced due to its rarity. Often pale, this wood is a yellow-toned color naturally and is typically the palest commonly available wood in many applications. The wood once sanded has a natural satin sheen that is also highly valued. Its wood grain is tight and fine, which makes it attractive as well as water repellant.
Birch is well used in the manufacturing of longboard skateboards, known for its strength and flexibility. Plywood made with laminates of Birchwood is valuable due to its lightness and strength, and Birch is also often the preferred wood for model aircraft.
Birch has been used by Native Americans as medicine in covering wounds with the bark for its skin healing abilities. The leaves are high in Vitamin C and can be a diuretic. The pollen and seeds also have medicinal use in treating UTIs, Arthritis, and skin rashes.
A surprising fact about Birch is that it is edible, even raw. The bark can be cut into thin strips and boiled noodle-like, as well as dried and ground to make into flour. The sap can be harvested and made into syrups. Red birch bark can also be made into tea. This unique property of Birch being edible means that your cutting board will be very safe to use for cutting boards. There is no risk of accidental poisoning, which could occur when using Natural Edge Walnut or even eating off of very popular Epoxy cutting boards.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Birch Cutting Boards
Unfinished Birch is a lightweight, solid wood, well known for its durability compared to its weight. Its strength makes it a great wood for cutting and Food Prep. However, it is not very weather resistant, so care must be taken to not over-expose the wood to excess water or steam. The best way to protect Birch from water damage is to finish it with a durable sealant, but that is not a good idea when using wood with food applications. Mineral oil, Tung Oil, Beeswax, and Carnauba Wax are the best sealants for Food Prep cutting surfaces.
The lightweight of Birch makes it a great wood or additional wood to heavy cutting boards as it will help offset some of the heavier wood, or by itself will be lighter weight, full wood cutting board. Wood Countertops are often made with Birch as it has such a light blonde color that it looks beautiful as a modern Butcher Block Counter Top.
Cutting Board terminology
There are certain words and phrases you should know when considering a cutting board. Style of cutting board is really important as knowing the difference between edge grain and end grain cutting boards is best known for quality. End grain cutting boards are boards that have been cut from the end, faced up, and laminated together; think of a checkerboard pattern.
End grain is a quality cutting board as it is extraordinarily tough and is easy on your knife edges. The best quality cutting board is edge grain, which means that boards have been laminated together with the edges facing up instead of the wide flat part of the board.
This is the easiest grain to keep from absorbing liquids, as well as being less abrasive on your knife edge. Wood hardness is important as well, as that means that the knife edge won’t cut as deeply into the surface of the wood when being used. Grain means that the finer the grain, the tighter the wood is grown together, and this helps with durability and impermeability.
All boards can eventually be resurfaced if the cutting board becomes too scarred. Butcher block and Cutting Boards are terms that are now interchangeable. However, Butcher Block does now get used more in countertops than in cutting boards. All wooden boards have a natural antimicrobial ability and are preferred over plastic, as plastic cutting boards are not self-healing like wood is and harbor bacteria.
Alternatives to Birch
- Maple– The most common wood available in cutting boards is often Hard Maple. Maple is a good wood for its hardness but is a very orange-yellow coloration that may not work with your decor. It can also show scratches and wear easily.
- Beech– A little darker than the white blonde wood of Birch, Beech is an alternative as a very pale naturally toned wood.
- Walnut- Black Walnut is one of the most popular decorative hardwoods. It is readily available in many styles of cutting boards and is well known for its rich deep natural hues. Walnut is a beautiful hardwood that wears well and is gentle on knife edges.
- Acacia- This up-and-coming wood is just taking off for its superior use in cutting boards. Acacia is one of the most water-resistant woods available; it is more affordable and sustainable than exotic teak.
Birch Butcher Block Cutting Boards
Completely customizable, this end grain cutting board showcases the classic checkerboard wood pattern. This cutting board is not the rounded edge type as many cutting boards are but instead is more square-edged. I recommend getting the thicker sizes as the thicker the wood, the more potential for resurfacing in the future. A twelve by eighteen board is going to be a great basic size to get started with as well, as this size will handle most cutting needs. Handmade in the US by Amish craftsmen, this quality board is a lifetime investment.
A three-inch cutting board should always have inset handles, and this allows the user to easily maneuver the board around the kitchen, including picking it completely up. These boards do have a little bit of weight to them, but they are reversible, and this makes these easy to flip when one side becomes heavily scarred. This twenty by twenty chopping block type board is a great price and is a cutting board that will last an eternity in your kitchen. Three inches thick, this end grain cutting board offers a knife-friendly surface as well as is large enough to be a statement piece in your kitchen.
Birch Cutting Boards
This one-inch-thick cutting board is pretty simple and straightforward in design. Although it does have routed edges, the board is simply cut into one long thick rectangle. This twelve by the twenty-nine-inch board can be sized smaller or left to one large, long board. With no juice groove or handles, this board isn’t as easily movable, but the thickness of the board allows for a lighter weight. The price of the board is wonderful as it is hard to find good quality boards for under forty dollars. For this pricing, you could have several boards and even have them cut in-store for free for the first cut.
Rounded edges and corners feature on this unique cutting board. With rubber feet and a juice groove, this cutting board will catch all your extra liquids when you are cutting produce or meats. This nineteen by fifteen board is an appropriately large size for a general use cutting board. Smoothed edges really allow you to do knife work without worrying about leaning against a sharp edge of the wood. With juice grooves on both sides, this board is also reversible.
Two horizontal stripes of Black Walnut adorn this pretty but useful cutting board. The two stripes create an almost frame-like appearance with the board, giving a lovely aesthetic to cutting veggies and fruits. The twelve by sixteen sizing is large, and this board would be a beautiful charcuterie board as well as a functional cutting board. The walnut accent stripes are inside the board, so the board itself can be reversed and used on both sides.
This cutting board features black rubber feet that set your cutting board up off the countertop and finger grooves to easily pick it up as well. Uniquely this cutting board has been sanded five times, being oiled between each coat then finally conditioned for an ultra-smooth cutting surface that you can begin using right away. Customize the size to fit your needs; this simple butcher block board is a great gift idea.
Shaped Cutting Boards
Tulip-shaped, this edge grain birch cutting board is perfect for serving on. You can choose to use it for a charcuterie board, a breadboard, or a cheeseboard. It can and should be used however you like including as a shaped cutting board. The leather handle and hole in the handle of the board allow you to hang this board as a functional decoration as well. The paddle shape could also be used to retrieve baked items from the oven, such as a pizza peel.
This round butcher block end grain cutting board comes as a three-inch-thick block. Rounded edges, as well as finger slots, allow you to use this piece as counter decor and still keep its function as a quality cutting surface. Use potentially as a decorative surface, then keep for slicing and dicing your dinner. There are no feet on this board, so it is entirely reversible, and you can keep one side exclusively for cutting on and keep the other surface mar free to continue to use as decoration. This would be a beautiful accent piece on your countertop or kitchen island.
My recommendation is to buy multiple cutting boards for your kitchen. I don’t honestly think that any of the hardwoods are better than the others in terms of durability or longevity.
However, in terms of affordability, I think there are clearly certain woods that stand out. Acacia is one of the least expensive boards, as well as Bamboo, although Bamboo is not really wood. Bamboo can splinter and become fibrous, so the Acacia wins in that respect as the cheapest quality wood cutting board available.
If you can find a Birchwood cutting board at a price you find acceptable to pay, I think it is a good find. It is the whitest wood available, think, and if that color is your ultimate goal in a counter decor piece, then do find the best piece for you. But there are many other kinds of wood that are more readily available and easier to find than seeking out only Birchwood for a wood cutting board.