Cherrywood cutting boards seem to be everywhere these days. After years of plastic cutting boards gaining popularity, it seems more and more people are turning to natural alternatives, and cherrywood is a favorite.
Cherrywood cutting boards are popular because they are durable, non-toxic, aren’t harmful to knives, and they look good sitting on the countertop.
There are many reasons why you should consider adding a cherrywood cutting board to your kitchen. In this article, we’ll discuss in-depth why cherrywood cutting boards are popular, and what you need to know before you buy one.
Why Cherrywood is so Popular for Cutting Boards
Cherrywood is popular for cutting boards because it meets all the requirements of a wood that will come in contact with food, AND it is a beautiful wood. Let’s take a closer look at the qualities that make cherrywood the ideal wood for cutting boards.
Cherrywood Cutting Boards are Durable
Cherrywood is well known for its durability. Buying a nice cherrywood cutting board will be money well spent because if you take good care of it, it will last years! But why is cherrywood so durable?
Cherrywood is a Hard Wood
Cherrywood is a hardwood. In fact, depending on which variety of cherrywood is used, it has a Janka hardness rating of around 1,000 pounds of force. This means that it takes about 1,000 pounds of force to embed a .44 inch steel ball .22 inches into the wood.
To give you a comparison, according to the Wood Database, these are the harness rating for other woods.
- Sweet Cherry: 1,150 pounds of force
- Black Walnut: 1,010 pounds of force
- Black Cherry: 950 pounds of force
- Soft Maple: 950 pounds of force
- Redwood: 450 pounds of force
- Sugar Pine: 380 pounds of force
Of course, the hardness of the wood isn’t everything, and you don’t want the wood to be too hard. We’ll talk about that more in a later section.
Cherrywood is Self-Healing
Unlike materials like plastic or even stone, cherrywood’s cell structure means that it can actually heal itself from any minor damage caused by your kitchen knife. A plastic cutting board will deteriorate rather quickly while your cherrywood cutting board still looks brand new.
End grain cutting boards are better at self-healing than edge grain boards. What’s the difference? Picture a 2×4. Edge grain boards are made with the long, smooth, flat side facing up. End grain cutting boards are made with the 2”x4” rough end facing up.
It takes a bunch of these small ends to make an end grain board, and then they must be glued together. This extra processing makes them more expensive.
Even Cherrywood can’t heal from deep gouges, so you should always treat your cutting boards well. They put up with a lot of abuse, so no need to test out the extent of the self-healing properties.
Cherrywood has Tight Grain
Cherrywood, like all woods used for cutting boards, has a tight or fine grain. This means that the fibers of the wood sit close together. The tighter grain wood has, the better because it means that it has a less porous surface. There aren’t as many places for bacteria to hide, and the wood will not stain as easily as a wide grained or open-grained wood.
Cherrywood Won’t Hurt Your Knives
We’ve already talked about how cherrywood cutting boards are hard and durable, but they aren’t too hard, and that’s important. Cutting boards made of stone like granite will dull knives rapidly, rendering them unusable over a short period of time if you don’t sharpen them regularly.
For cherrywood, this isn’t a problem. The wood is soft enough that it isn’t a problem for your knives.
It also means that the cutting board won’t damage your countertop like a heavy granite cutting board could.
Cherrywood is Safe and Clean
When it comes to your kitchen, safe and clean are a top priority. Nobody likes food poisoning. Cherrywood hits the marks for both of these, and here’s why:
- Anti-Microbial: Experts agree that wooden cutting boards are safer for food preparation because they trap bacteria away from your food. When they dry, the bacteria are killed. They also have fewer places for bacteria to hide because they don’t get cut into as much as plastic cutting boards.
- Non-Toxic: Cherrywood is food safe! Most trees that produce edible fruit, nuts, or sap have non-toxic wood. Although if you’re making a cutting board yourself, you should probably double-check on the specifics of the wood you intend to use.
Cherrywood Makes Stunning Cutting Boards
There is no denying the visual appeal of cherrywood cutting boards. Let’s take a look at some of the ways cherrywood is used to make beautiful cutting boards:
- Edge cut cherrywood cutting boards are generally simple with a natural but neutral look. They are finished with a food-safe oil that deepens the natural color of the wood, while subtly highlighting the simple grain pattern.
- End cut cherrywood cutting boards are eye-catchers. You noticed these cutting boards, and usually, you want to run a hand over their smooth surface. These are usually a little darker than the edge cut boards, but this is not always the case. Because different end pieces are put together to create the board, there is more interesting color variation and grain patterns.
- While cherrywood cutting boards can be eye-catching, they don’t usually go overboard on the drama like some other materials. A walnut cutting board, for example, is often one of the focal points in a kitchen, and you have to decorate around it. Cherrywood will usually go well with just about any kitchen décor.
Overall, cherrywood cutting boards are a safe addition to the kitchen from the point of view of style, which is another reason that they are so popular. They appeal to just about anyone.
What You Need to Know About Cherrywood Cutting Boards
Although the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages of cherrywood cutting boards, there are some things that you should know before buying one.
- Cherrywood cutting boards are slightly harder to take care of than non-wood cutting boards. You cannot put them in the dishwasher, and they need to be oiled periodically with a food-safe oil to protect them and keep them looking good. This is true of all natural wood cutting boards.
- Eventually, the cutting board will get cut marks. Because cherrywood isn’t super hard, it will eventually show wear and tear, and it will show that wear and tear sooner than granite or glass cutting boards.
- Cherrywood cutting boards are an investment. You aren’t going to get away cheap with a cherrywood cutting board, especially if you’re looking for a high-quality end cut cutting boards. Worth the investment? We think so.
Are Cherrywood Cutting Boards Sustainable?
This is a tricky question. Cherrywood cutting boards that are made from sustainably harvested trees are certainly one sustainable option.
But there is a more sustainable option: sustainably harvested bamboo. These cutting boards are very similar to cherrywood in the essentials. They’re durable, safe, and they shouldn’t dull your knives needlessly.
However, you also have to consider where those materials are coming from. Bamboo coming from China is going to require more resources than cherrywood that was grown a couple hundred miles from where the cutting boards are made.
So we say, sustainably harvested cherrywood is a reasonably sustainable option.
Are Cherrywood Cutting Boards Worth the Hype?
Cherrywood cutting boards are popular for good reason. They are good at what they do. They are durable, beautiful, and even pretty sustainable!
You really can’t go wrong with a cherrywood cutting board, so we say yes! It is worth the hype.