Best Walnut Butcher Block Options: Our Complete Guide

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Do you know why home cooks are turning to walnut butcher blocks over other cutting boards? We’re excited to discuss the ins and outs of walnut butcher blocks and how to pick out a high-quality one for yourself.

We’ll also walk you through our top picks for the six best walnut butcher blocks you can buy based on their thicknessquality, and price. Ready to start? Let’s get chopping!

Top 3 Picks

If you don’t know where to start with walnut butcher blocks, these are the top 3 we recommend. All 3 of these walnut butcher blocks are made from high-quality wood and have their own admirable attributes.

Butcher Block vs Cutting Block

Just what is the difference between butcher blocks and cutting blocks/cutting boards? Here’s a quick side-by-side comparison.

Butcher Block

  • Thicker
  • More durable
  • Usually made from end-grain wood
  • Must be made of wood
  • Less common
  • Typically longer-lasting
  • Usually used for cutting meat

Cutting Block

  • Thinner
  • Less durable
  • Usually made from edge-grain wood
  • It can be made from a variety of materials
  • More common
  • It can be used for cutting any kind of food

Benefits of Walnut for Butcher Block

Benefits of Walnut for Butcher Block

Walnut is one of the top types of wood we recommend for a butcher block. This isn’t just because walnut is stylish with beautiful dark brown tones, but also because it’s hardwood.

Hardwoods like walnut make for the best butcher blocks because bacteria are less likely to penetrate below the surface. Also, wood fibers in hardwoods are held together more tightly than softwoods, meaning there’s less of a chance for mold.

How to Clean a Walnut Butcher Block

Now that you have a gorgeous walnut butcher block, how should you clean it so it stays in top form? Here are some general guidelines before you start:

  • If you are using your walnut butcher block for chopping meat, only ever chop meat on it and no other kinds of food.
  • Wash your butcher block as soon as you’re done using it to prevent stains and growth from mold and bacteria.
  • Never put a wooden butcher block in the dishwasher, or it can easily grow mold.

When it’s time to give your butcher block a good scrub, here’s what you do:

  1.  Use warm water and gentle soap to clean your butcher block, always handwashing it.
  2.  Never fully submerge your butcher block under the water as you wash it, or mold could grow.
  3.  Wash one side of the butcher block at a time with the gentle soap.
  4.  Let your butcher block airdry by setting it up on its side against the wall to ensure it dries correctly.
  5.  Let the butcher block dry completely before using it again.  

Do You Need to Treat or Seal a Walnut Butcher Block?

Yes, you should regularly seal a walnut butcher block. Sealing is easy-all you need is some mineral oil or beeswax and paper towels. Whenever you notice the wood is drying out or losing that glossy shine that it had when you pulled it out of the box, it’s time to seal it. Here’s how it’s done:

  1.  Buy mineral oil or beeswax to seal your butcher block because these will not go rancid like olive oil or vegetable oil.
  2.  Clean and dry your butcher block before sealing.
  3.  Spread mineral oil or beeswax all across the surface of your walnut butcher block.
  4.  Rub the oil or wax in with a paper towel.
  5.  Let the board soak up the oil for 15 minutes.
  6.  Wipe off any excess oil with more paper towels.
  7.  Let your butcher block rest for the next two days before using it again.  

What are the Best Wood Alternatives for a Butcher Block?

What are the Best Wood Alternatives for a Butcher Block

  • Maple: One of the hardest and most durable
  • Beech: Durable, similar to maple but cheaper
  • Birch: Light wood, stains easily, but durable
  • Teak: A softer wood, but very rich in color

What are the Best Finishes for Walnut Wood?

A food grade lacquer is best for finishing and sealing walnut wood. It’s easy to apply and dries fast. It’s recommended to do two coats, if you can. This will give it a high gloss sheen. Another alternative, if you prefer a softer look, would be to treat the wood with an oil based finish that requires regular sealing. 

What to Look for in a Walnut Butcher Block

We’ve established what a walnut butcher block is and how to care for one, so next up, we’ll tell you what to look out for. Choosing a quality walnut butcher block is simple as long as you keep a few pointers in mind.

Size

Walnut butcher blocks come in various sizes, though butcher blocks are usually bigger than cutting boards. You want a butcher block that is big enough so you can easily chop several cuts of meat at one time without having to clean off the board and start again.

Thickness

A butcher block should be noticeably thicker than a cutting board. The thickness of the board is a key aspect that separates a butcher block from a cutting block. As long as the walnut butcher block you want is at least 1.5 inches thick, you’re good to go.

Ease of Use

great walnut butcher block

A great walnut butcher block will be easy to use. What does this mean for a block of wood, you ask? Your butcher block should be:

  • Easy to cut on
  • A smooth, even surface
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Spacious enough for chopping cuts of meat
  • Juice Grooves

Juice grooves are your best friend when it comes to butcher block! Though not every high-quality walnut butcher block has juice grooves, having them is a huge plus. Juice grooves catch all the excess liquids on your block as you’re chopping, which makes clean up way less messy.

Price

Due to their thickness and tendency to be made of end grain wood, walnut butcher blocks are typically more expensive than walnut cutting boards. Usually, walnut butcher blocks will cost between $150-$350, but you can definitely find quality blocks for cheaper (around $100.)

Warranty

Walnut butcher blocks are an investment. Because of this, a lot of customers want peace of mind that their investment will be protected by warranties. To find out if the walnut butcher block you’re interested in is covered by warranties, you can always check the manufacturer’s website or inquire over email.

Top Walnut Butcher Block Ideas

Are you ready for the top 6 walnut butcher blocks you can buy online right now? If you’ve been on the fence about whether a walnut butcher block is right for your kitchen, we invite you to investigate these next six products with us.  

Mevell Walnut End Grain Cutting Board

Mevell Walnut End Grain Cutting Board

Best for: Small Butcher Blocks

This beautiful walnut butcher block measures 18” X 12” X 1.5”, making it a smaller butcher block. If you regularly cook for 1-2 people, this butcher block is perfect.

Being an end grain butcher block, it is less likely for it to be affected by mold and bacteria. Not to mention, the end grain wood makes a gorgeous design, which is perfect for food displays. This block also has a juice groove and serving handles.  

  • Material: Walnut wood
  • Price Range: $120-$140
  • Warranty: 1-year money-back guarantee
  • Best Feature: Compact size

Care

Never put this butcher block in the dishwasher. Instead, handwash your butcher block with warm water and mild dish soap. Never fully submerge your block under the water as you wash it.

Pros

  • Compact size
  • End grain wood
  • Juice groove

Cons

  • Too small when chopping meat for large groups of people

John Boos Block WAL-1812175-SSF Walnut Wood End Grain Butcher Block Cutting Board

John Boos Block WAL-1812175-SSF Walnut Wood End Grain Butcher Block Cutting Board

Best for: Best Overall  

This is our favorite walnut butcher block on the list for its high-quality walnut wood and professional finish. The nonslip feet on the bottom keep this board from moving around your counter while you’re trying to chop meat.

A juice groove keeps this butcher block from becoming a mess to clean up. Additionally, being a John Boos block, it is from a premium brand.

  • Material: Walnut wood
  • Price Range: $370-$420
  • Warranty: Please contact the seller directly
  • Best Feature: High-quality walnut wood

Care

To make sure this walnut butcher block retains its shine for decades after you buy it, you’ll need to seal it regularly. Seal your butcher block when the wood looks dry and it no longer has a glossy sheen. Use mineral oil or beeswax to seal the butcher block, rubbing either oil or wax into the wood.  

Pros

  • Premium brand
  • End grain walnut wood
  • Juice groove

Cons

  • Pricy

Mevell Walnut End Grain Cutting Board

Mevell Walnut End Grain Cutting Board

Best for: Best Design

The patterning with end-grain walnut wood in this butcher block made it stand out to us as the block with the best design.

The dark walnut tones make it an excellent choice for food displays as well as a block for chopping meat. With a juice groove and serving handles, this board also receives props in design for its ease of use. This butcher block measures 20” X 13” X 2”.

  • Material: Walnut wood
  • Price Range: $230-$270
  • Warranty: 1-year money-back guarantee
  • Best Feature: Beautiful end-grain pattern

Care

Never put your walnut butcher block in the dishwasher or fully submerge it under the water as you hand wash it. Be sure to wash this butcher block as soon as you’re done using it. Use gentle dish soap and warm water to clean one side of the block at a time before propping it up on its side against a wall to dry.

Pros

  • Gorgeous design
  • End grain wood
  • Serving handles

Cons

  • No nonslip feet 

SMIRLY Butcher Block Cutting Board

SMIRLY Butcher Block Cutting Board

Best for: Low price

This is the least expensive butcher board on the list, but don’t be fooled by the price tag! This board is made of durable walnut wood, too, and comes with a decorative gift box.

The juice groove and serving handles make this butcher block easy to use. The end grain wood makes this butcher block durable and allows you to see the beautiful rings of the walnut tree. Also, you get walnut salt and pepper grinders with this set!

  • Material: Walnut wood
  • Price Range: $60-$80
  • Warranty: Please contact the seller directly
  • Best Feature: Deep juice groove

Care

When your walnut butcher block isn’t as shiny as it used to be, it’s time to seal it with mineral oil or beeswax. To seal this butcher block, first thoroughly clean it and let it air dry. After, rub the oil or wax into the board with a dry paper towel. Let the oil or wax sit for 15 minutes before wiping away any excess with another paper towel. Let the butcher block sit for two days.

Pros

  • Low price
  • Juice groove
  • Gift box and salt and pepper grinders

Cons

  • Not as high-quality as some of the other brands

John Boos Block WAL-CCB183-S Classic Reversible Walnut Wood End Grain Chopping Block

John Boos Block WAL-CCB183-S Classic Reversible Walnut Wood End Grain Chopping Block

Best for: Charcuterie displays

This is a gorgeous end grain walnut butcher block from John Boos, a highly respected brand. This butcher block measures 18” X 18” X 3” and features a serving handle.

With the lack of juice grooves, giving it a smooth surface, this butcher block would be perfect for charcuterie displays or food photography. The John Boos logo is burned into the side.

  • Material: Walnut wood
  • Price Range: $450-$490
  • Warranty: Please contact the seller directly
  • Best Feature: High-quality walnut wood

Care

Always make sure to hand wash this walnut butcher block. Use a gentle dish soap so that residue won’t build up on the wood or strip it of its sealant as you clean it. Wash it under warm water, cleaning one side at a time. Never fully submerge your walnut butcher block under the water because this can cause mold.

Pros

  • Perfect for charcuterie displays
  • High-quality brand
  • End grain wood

Cons

  • No juice groove

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

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

Best for: Uniqueness

This walnut wood butcher block is unlike the others on this list because of its circular shape. If you want a unique butcher block from a top brand like John Boos, this is the butcher block for you.

It measures 18” round and is made from sustainably sourced American black walnut wood. For chopping meat or charcuterie displays, this butcher block makes for a gorgeous centerpiece in your kitchen.

  • Material: Walnut wood
  • Price Range: $450-$490
  • Warranty: Please contact the seller directly
  • Best Feature: Circular shape

Care

Always hand wash this butch block as soon as you’re done using it. Washing as soon as you’re done prevents stains from seeping into the wood, as well as mold and bacteria. Never put your butcher block in the dishwasher.

Pros

  • Unique circular shape
  • Great for charcuterie displays
  • High-quality walnut wood

Cons

  • No juice groove

FAQ

We’re ready to answer some of your most frequently asked questions about walnut butcher blocks! If your question isn’t answered here, don’t worry! You can always leave us a comment below with your question, and we will answer you as soon as we can.

Question: Is a Walnut Butcher Block Durable?

Answer: Walnut is one of the most durable hardwoods you can have for a butcher block! With proper care, your walnut butcher block should last you for decades.

Question: Is Walnut Good for Butcher Block?

Answer: Walnut wood makes a great butcher block material because it is resistant to mold and bacteria growing beneath the surface. Walnut doesn’t dull knives as quickly as non-wood materials, either.

Question: Is Walnut Butcher Block Expensive?

Answer: Walnut butcher blocks are typically more expensive than walnut cutting boards. Keep in mind, butcher blocks come in a wide variety of prices, and it is possible to find some for under $100.

The Finale

You’ve learned a lot about walnut butcher blocks today! We’ve gone through what a walnut butcher block is, the benefits of these butcher blocks, and how to care for one.

We’ve also given you our top 6 recommendations for the best walnut butcher blocks you can buy online. My pick would definitely be the SMIRLY Butcher Block Cutting Board due to its attractive price range.

Do you have a walnut butcher block at home, or do you have any questions about butcher blocks? Let us know in the comments down below! Also, if you want even more tips for helpful items to have around the kitchen, check out our guide to the best cutting boards with juice grooves!

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