3 Unbeatable Advantages of a Walnut Cutting Board
Here at Virginia Boys Kitchens, our favorite wood is sustainably sourced American black walnut.
Walnut makes for durable products in gorgeous shades of deep brown, making it perfect for a cutting board.
As the gold standard of woodworking materials, we’re proud to work with sustainably produced American black walnut wood.
So today, we discuss the attributes we love most about walnut wood:
- Walnut’s aesthetic qualities
- Walnut’s durability
- Walnut’s sustainability
Before we talk walnut, let’s review the first choice that cutting board buyers have to make: wood or non-wood.
Choosing the Best Cutting Board Material
The most popular cutting board material options are wood and plastic. Other less common choices include steel, glass and bamboo.
Let’s consider a few pros and cons of wood, plastic, steel, glass, and bamboo boards.
|Cutting Board Material||Advantages||Disadvantages|
|Wood||Durable, gentle on knives, and attractive||Expensive; requires some effort to clean and maintain|
|Plastic||Low-priced, lightweight, and easy to clean||Plastic surface scratches easily; not as gentle on knives as wood; minimal aesthetic appeal|
|Steel||Easy to clean and durable||Damages knives|
|Glass||Hygienic and easy to clean||Damages knives; slippery surface isn’t good for cutting; glass surface may shatter or chip|
|Bamboo||Lightweight||Damages knives; not durable; more expensive than regular wood; sometimes glued together with toxic adhesives|
Steel and glass boards are brutal on knives. Along with mercilessly dulling your knives, you’ll end up exerting extra force when you come into constant contact with the unforgiving surface.
Bamboo boards perform fairly well, but the material is a bit on the hard side and can damage your knives. Bamboo cutting boards also wear out quicker than wood, in addition to being more expensive.
Plastic is the best non-wood option. Most plastic cutting boards are reasonably priced and are decent at limiting knife damage; not as gentle as wood, but not bad.
However, a high-quality wood cutting board is a functional work of art. Every piece is a one-of-a-kind and you get the varied colors and grain patterns that only well-crafted wood products provide.
Along with its aesthetic qualities, wood is the best performer. It’s durable, but doesn’t damage knives.
In addition, wood is surprisingly sanitary. Research comparing different cutting board surfaces shows that wood boards naturally trap and kill bacteria, making wood boards just as hygienic as plastic boards.
As the most attractive and functional material, expert chefs from home kitchens to five-star restaurants opt for wood cutting boards.
Now that we’ve established that wood is the best material for cutting boards, let’s talk about why walnut is our favorite wood.
1- Walnut Is a Beautiful Wood
Black Walnut Color
Walnut is the only dark-colored wood that’s native to North America. Walnut heartwood (from the center of the tree) is a deep shade of brown, typically described as a coffee or chocolate color.
It’s a rich brown which often contains a range of shades. A single piece of walnut may display several different browns, running side by side in lovely patterns.
Black Walnut Grain
A wood’s grain is its arrangement of fibers. Grain mostly runs in a single direction that aligns with the vertical growth of the tree trunk. The variation in grain movement is responsible for much of the beauty in a piece of wood.
Walnut is typically straight-grained, meaning that its grain lines run in one mostly uniform direction. The grain of walnut is sometimes described as “peaceful,” containing a multitude of gentle waves and bends.
2 - Walnut Is a Durable Wood
Walnut is known as a shock-resistant wood and one of the best for making built-to-last products.
It holds up as well to intricate cuts and carvings, which is why walnut is so popular for complex crafts, such as furniture and small wares.
American black walnut scores 1010 on the Janka scale—a measure for the hardness of wood. The Janka hardness test involves pushing a steel ball through a piece of wood to measure its resilience to pressure.
American black walnut scores mid-range on the Janka test—lower than the hardest woods, but higher than other species, such as pine and fir.
Most importantly, walnut resists shrinking and warping from water exposure, making it ideal wood for the hard (and frequently wet) life of a cutting board.
3 - American Black Walnut Trees Can Be Harvested Sustainably
The American black walnut tree is native to North America and grows throughout much of the eastern United States.
Indigineous people in North America appreciated walnut trees for their nuts long before Europeans arrived on the continent.
Today, walnut trees are less common in wild forests but of tremendous value as a commercial crop.
Compared to most hardwood species, black walnut grows quickly—young trees can grow up to four feet in height per year.
At Virginia Boys Kitchens, all of our walnut wood is procured with environmental sustainability in mind—forests we source from have growth rates of at least 2.4x their harvest plus mortality rate.
We also make sure to use 100% recycled and 95% post-consumer materials for packaging our goods.
Beautiful Walnut Boards for Your Kitchenware Collection
For your next cutting board, choose an American black walnut board from Virginia Boys Kitchens.
With over a dozen cutting boards, cheese boards, and charcuterie paddles, we have a range of shapes and sizes available to meet your culinary needs and fill your home up with gorgeous walnut kitchenware.
”VBKis the real deal. I LOVE my large cutting board.”
— Maureen B., ★★★★★ Verified Virginia Boys Kitchens Reviewer
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