The 7 Best Maple Butcher Block Options [2022]

Latest posts by Candace Osmond (see all)

Are you looking to invest in a maple butcher block? Maple butcher blocks are some of the best chopping blocks on the market. They are suitable for either home or professional kitchens but can be expensive. So when you’re ready to buy a new maple butcher block, you want to make sure you’re getting the best. Luckily, we’ve taken the guesswork out of it by rounding up some of the best options out there and compared them on size, care, cost, and more. Keep reading to learn more about the best butch block options out there right now.

What is a Butcher Block?

Typically, when you think of butcher block, you think of the butcher block style of countertops. However, these countertops were designed to look and function similarly to the traditional butcher chopping blocks.

These chopping blocks are commonly found in meat processing plants, professional kitchens, butchers, etc., and are made from high-quality wood such as maple. Unlike traditional cutting boards, butcher block is several inches thick – often ranging from 1.5 inches at the thinnest to over 4 or 5 inches thick. 

Butcher block is made using end-grain wood (or occasionally edge grain) and involves taking hundreds of “blocks” or planks of end grain and gluing them together to form the desired style/shape. End grain wood is stronger, more resistant to cuts, easy on knives, and can self-heal over time, making it ideal for the heavy kitchen prep you see at a butcher’s or professional kitchen.

Pros and Cons to Using a Butcher Block

Maple butcher block sounds pretty great, right? Well, let’s take a closer look at some of the pros and cons of butcher block to help you decide if this is the chopping block that best suits your needs.

Pros:

  • Durable and long-lasting    
  • Resistant to cuts    
  • Self-healing
  • Easy on knives              
  • In most cases, sustainable
  • Can even be personalized
  • Can handle even the hardest kitchen prep tasks such as butchering or deboning  

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Often not reversible
  • Maybe susceptible to staining (depends on board and care)
  • Requires regular conditioning and proper care
  • Depending on the material, it can trap and dry out/kill bacteria that may form in any cuts or grooves

Is Maple Suitable for Butcher Blocks?

Maple is a very common and popular wood choice for butcher block and cutting boards, but why is that? Let’s look at some of the key factors that make maple an excellent choice for butcher blocks.

Appearance

Let’s face it; if something is going to be on display in our home, even if it’s something as simple as a butcher block, it has to look good. Maple is a beautiful, light wood with subtle grain that makes it easy to incorporate into any home design.

Hardness

The type of maple typically used for butcher blocks is sugar maple or hard rock maple and is the hardest form of maple in the maple family. This means that it’s on par with other hardwoods such as oak or walnut.

However, it is denser and heavier than other forms of maple and other popular wood choices, and this makes it more resistant to damage which is why it’s a great choice for a butcher block.

Porosity

Maple, being a hardwood, is diffuse-porous, which is also referred to as having closed grain. This means that, unlike softer woods, there are no large, open pores that allow moisture and bacteria to get in collect within the wood’s pores. Closed-grain woods like maple are generally considered to be more hygienic and resistant to bacteria.

Thickness

When looking for a butcher block, it’s important to look at thickness. Generally, a board isn’t considered a real butcher block if it is less than 1.5 inches thick. Most commonly you will find butcher blocks that range from 2-4 inches in thickness.

Thickness is important because it adds weight and durability. A thicker and heavier block will be less likely to move around while in use and will generally be able to withstand more of a beating (like butchering). Anything thinner, such as a wood cutting board will likely begin to crack, develop grooves, and damage more quickly when used for these types of jobs.

Ease of use

Maple butcher blocks are incredibly easy to use and can be used as you would on any cutting board or another surface. Its thick, heavy construction makes it sturdier and more stable when performing your kitchen tasks. 

Due to maple being a hardwood, you don’t need to worry about having to watch or adjust your cutting, butchering, or chopping technique to minimize damage to the board as it is fairly resistant to damage and is self-healing over time. 

Care and maintenance

Maple is relatively easy to clean and maintain, making it a great wood for butcher blocks. Blocks are wiped clean with warm, soapy water and dried thoroughly after each use, and then conditioned (oiled) regularly to maintain the finish.

Sustainability

Unlike many materials often used for chopping blocks and cutting boards such as stone or certain hardwoods – maple is a renewable resource that provides a reliable supply. Maple, particularly Sugar Maple, which is what is most often used, is in abundant supply in North America, particularly in Canada and the Northern USA. 

This means that in addition to being a renewable resource, products are often harvested, made, and shipped from North America. This contributes to the product’s overall eco-footprint, especially when shipped or bought within North America, as the product or the wood does not need to be imported from overseas.

Costs

Arguably the biggest hesitation for those looking to buy a maple butcher block is the cost. While they are not the most expensive blocks on the market, in many cases they still carry a hefty price tag. On average, a maple butcher block can cost anywhere from $100-400 with most sitting around the $250-300 mark.

What does need to be considered when we look at cost, however, is the longevity of the board. A high-quality maple butcher block can potentially last you a lifetime if properly cared for. If you compare that to spending $40-100 on a standard wood cutting board that is easily damaged and needs to be replaced frequently, you’ll quickly see the saving

Butcher Block vs a Cutting Board: What’s the Difference?

While butcher blocks and cutting boards are similar and used for many of the same things, there are some main differences:

  •     Thickness of the board/block
  •     Material
  •     Size
  •     Main purpose/use

Arguably the most important difference is the thickness of the board/block. In order to be considered a butcher block, it must be at least 1.5 inches thick, but most butcher blocks tend to be between 2-5 inches thick. Board thickness is important as it adds weight and durability. This is what allows you to easily butcher meats on a butcher block without damage to the block, but where you will quickly see cracking, warping, and other damage if you use a cutting board. 

Material is another difference. While you can buy maple and other wood cutting boards, it is also common for cutting boards to come in materials such as stone or plastic. Butcher blocks, on the other hand, are almost always made of hardwood or bamboo with the most common material being maple wood. 

Butcher blocks need to be large enough so that you can easily perform more advanced cooking tasks such as butchering sides or quarters of meat or fish. As a result, most would consider 12 inches in diameter or 12 inches by 12 inches the minimum size for a butcher block. However, you will more commonly see butcher blocks of 18-24 inches. 

Finally, the main purpose is important when comparing butcher blocks and cutting boards. Cutting boards are great for light kitchen prep work like slicing and dicing produce but butcher blocks are designed for the more advanced or involved prep work like butchering meats but can also handle any other kitchen tasks.

Care and Maintenance for Maple Butcher Blocks

Maple butcher blocks do require some regular care and maintenance for optimal performance and longevity. To clean your butcher block, use a cloth to wipe it down with warm soapy water, do not submerge in water or put it through the dishwasher. Once clean, make sure to thoroughly dry it and leave it somewhere that it can finish air-drying.

Your block will need to be oiled regularly with food-safe mineral oil (or some companies that sell butcher blocks sell their own oil blend). Follow the instructions for oiling/conditioning that come with your board whenever possible but on average you should be conditioning your board at least once a month in order to maintain its finish and help it to last a lifetime.

7 Best Maple Butcher Block Options

Is a maple butcher block right for you? We’ve rounded up some of the best maple butcher block options for you: 

Mevell Premium End Grain Cutting Board

Best for: the Eco-conscious consumer

The Mevell Premium End Grain Cutting Board is the perfect board for the eco-conscious consumer. Made in Quebec, Canada, from a sustainable wood source, the company also plants a tree for every board sold.

  •     Material: Maple wood
  •     Size: 18 x 12 x 1.5 inches
  •     Price Range: $80-100
  •     Warranty: 100% money-back guarantee for 1-year.
  •     Best Feature: Deep juice grooves

End grain boards are more durable and long-lasting as they can handle cuts and even self-heal over time. It comes seasoned, so it’s ready to use right out of the box and will be a beautiful and practical addition to any home chef’s kitchen.

Pros

  •     Durable, long-lasting
  •     Sustainable
  •     Easy on knives
  •     Traps and kills bacteria
  •     Pre-seasoned
  •     More affordable than other butcher block boards
  •     Deep juice grooves

Cons

  •     Only 1.5 inches thick
  •     It May be difficult to keep from sliding during use
  •     Requires regular care (conditioning)

John Boos Block CHY-RA03 Maple Wood Edge Grain Reversible Cutting Board

Best for: All-purpose Cutting Board

Any board by John Boos is sure to be a high-quality home and professional kitchen staple. The Wood Edge Grain Reversible Cutting Board is no exception; with its integrated hand-grips, and highly durable end grain design, this board is built to last a lifetime.

  •     Material: Maple Wood
  •     Size: 24 x 18 x 2.25 inches
  •     Price Range: $250-300
  •     Warranty: 1-year manufacturer’s warranty against defects
  •     Best Feature: Reversible

At 2.25 inches thick and a generous 24 x 18 size, it’s the ideal board for most of your everyday kitchen prep needs.

Pros

  •     Reversible
  •     2.25 inches thick
  •     Sustainably made
  •     Integrated hand grips
  •     Durable, long-lasting
  •     Easy on knives
  •     Large enough for most kitchen needs

Cons

  •     Expensive
  •     Requires regular care (conditioning)

John Boos Block CCB151503 Classic Reversible Maple Wood End Grain Chopping Block

Best for: Meats and Fish

This classic John Boos Block is necessary for anyone who butchers their own meats or works with any meats, fish, or other ingredients that require more heavy prep such as filleting, deboning, etc. At 3 inches thick, it’s super heavy and sturdy meaning your block will stay in place no matter the beating you’re putting in, though.

  •     Material: Maple Wood
  •     Size: 15 x 15 x 3 inches
  •     Price Range: $150-250
  •     Warranty: 1-year manufacturer’s warranty against defects
  •     Best Feature: Reversible

Also with being reversible, you can quickly switch between prepping meats and vegetables without worrying about contamination. As with any John Boos board, it’s built to last a lifetime and is perfect for professional and home kitchens alike.

Pros

  •     Reversible
  •     3 inches thick
  •     Sustainably made
  •     Integrated hand grips
  •     Durable, long-lasting
  •     Easy on knives
  •     Large enough for most kitchen needs

Cons

  •     Requires regular care (conditioning)
  •     Square boards may be harder to get used to if you regularly use rectangular boards – especially for working with meats.

John Boos Block CCB18-R Classic Collection Maple Wood End Grain Round Chopping Block

Best for: Heavy kitchen prep

A highly durable cutting board that’s round, built to last a lifetime in any professional or home kitchen.

  •     Material: Maple Wood
  •     Size: 18-inch diameter, 4 inches thick
  •     Price Range: $250 – 350
  •     Warranty: 1-year manufacturer’s warranty against defects
  •     Best Feature: Thickness of the board

This John Boos Classic Round Chopping Block is ideal for heavy kitchen prep as its thickness makes it a heavy and sturdy board that will stay put no matter your task. Its height makes it easy to scoop or slide ingredients into bowls or pans.

Pros

  •     4 inches thick
  •     Sustainably made
  •     Durable, long-lasting
  •     Easy on knives
  •     Height makes it easy to transfer ingredients

Cons

  •     Requires regular care (conditioning)
  •     Not reversible

John Boos Block CCB183-R Classic Collection Maple Wood End Grain Round Chopping Block

Best for: All-Around Round Chopping Board

This John Boos Round Chopping Block is a great all-around round chopping board. At an average price-point for butcher block boards and the perfect mid-size and thickness, this board will fit great in even the smallest home kitchens.

  •     Material: Maple Wood
  •     Size: 18-inch diameter, 3 inches thick
  •     Price Range: $200-300
  •     Warranty: 1-year manufacturer’s warranty against defects
  •     Best Feature: Overall size and thickness

It can be used for any of your kitchen prep tasks, no matter how big or small. It’s a true kitchen essential.

Pros

  •     3 inches thick
  •     Sustainably made
  •     Durable, long-lasting
  •     Easy on knives

Cons

  •     Requires regular care (conditioning)
  •     Not reversible

John Boos Block CCB183-R-H Maple Wood End Grain Round Cutting Board with Stainless Steel Handles

Best for: Serving

This John Boos Block Cutting Board with Stainless Steel Handles is an excellent choice for a study chopping block that can double as a serving tray. While at 3 inches thick, the block will be heavy, it can still be easily transferred to your dining table for entertaining using the built-in metal handles.

  •     Material: Maple Wood
  •     Size: 18 inches in diameter, 3 inches thick
  •     Price Range: $250 – 350
  •     Warranty:  1-year manufacturer’s warranty against defects
  •     Best Feature: Built-in handles

A great block that’s built to last, whether you’re prepping dinner for the family or serving up an epic charcuterie board for your guests.

Pros

  •     3 inches thick
  •     Sustainably made
  •     Durable, long-lasting
  •     Easy on knives
  •     Can double as a serving tray
  •     Built-in metal handles

Cons

  •     Requires regular care (conditioning)
  •     Not reversible

John Boos Block B12R Round Maple Wood Edge Grain Cutting Board with Feet

Best for: Display and Serving

This John Boos Cutting Board with Feet is the perfect board for those who typically do light kitchen prep and want a stunning board that can double as a serving tray or display.

  •     Material: Maple Wood
  •     Size: 12 inches in diameter, 1.5 inches thick
  •     Price Range: $50-65
  •     Warranty:  1-year manufacturer’s warranty against defects
  •     Best Feature: Feet

Perfect for displaying cakes and pastries, serving appetizers when you’re entertaining, it’s the ideal size for any smaller kitchen tasks or serving needs.

Pros

  •     Sustainably made
  •     Durable, long-lasting
  •     Easy on knives
  •     Can double as a serving tray or display board
  •     Built in wood feet
  •     Small size makes it easy to move/serve
  •     Affordable

Cons

  •     Requires regular care (conditioning)
  •     Not reversible
  •     Not for heavy/regular kitchen prep
  •     Small

FAQ

Question: What is so special about butcher block?

Answer: Most butcher block is a thick piece of end grain wood. This is special because the thickness allows the board to handle more heavy kitchen prep, such as deboning or chopping meats. In addition, the thickness adds weight, keeping it secure and durable even through the most intense parts of cooking and prep work.
Additionally, end grain wood is more resistant to damage from knives such as cuts or grooves and can even self-heal over time. This makes it a cutting surface that can last you a lifetime when properly cared for.

Question: What kind of wood is used for butcher block?

Answer: There is no one specific type of wood that’s used for butcher block. Instead, butcher blocks come in an array of woods such as maple, oak, bamboo, teak, and cherry wood. Traditionally most butcher block is maple, however, other options like bamboo have become popular and widely available in recent years.

Question: Is butcher block any good?

Answer: Butcher block is a great cutting board option. Its thick, durable wood material can last a lifetime and is ideal for a variety of your kitchen prep needs, from chopping vegetables to slicing bread to carving a roast.

The Final Say

All in all, maple is a fantastic choice if you’re looking to invest in a butcher block. While the upfront cost may seem a bit steep, a high-quality butcher block like the John Boos Block CHY-RA03 Maple Wood Edge Grain Reversible Cutting Board will last you a lifetime.

As always, if you liked this article please comment down below and for even more cutting board roundups and tips be sure to check out our guide to the best maple cutting boards!

Scroll to Top