Can You Use a Wood Cutting Board to Cut Meat?

One of the most common kitchen tools is a cutting board. Chopping meat can be tough on your cutting board, and you might be wondering what type of board to use with meat, a wood cutting board or a plastic one?

Can you use a wood cutting board to cut meat?

A cutting board made from wood is the perfect surface to chop and slice meats on. You can use any type of wood for your cutting board, but be sure to choose a strong enough board to handle the weight of your knives and meat.

They are eco-friendly, but wood boards also have a nice, smooth finish that makes them easy to clean.  

In this guide, we’ll look in detail at using a wood cutting board to cut meat, how to clean them, and their Pros and Cons.

Can You Use a Wood Cutting Board to Cut Meat

Are Wood Cutting Boards Suitable for Cutting Meat?

In general, wooden cutting boards are fine for chopping meat, as they are made from sturdy, hardwood pieces that will not cause any damage when sharpened against meat. Additionally, wooden boards have a natural luster and a smooth finish that can help keep food clean while it is being cut.

Since wood is more porous than plastic, it can hold on to bacteria longer than a plastic cutting board. As a result, it’s not ideal to cut meat. However, if you like the look and feel of a wooden board, you can use one for chopping vegetables and fruit to create a food station-like effect in your kitchen.

Can You Cut Raw Meat on a Wood Cutting Board?

You can cut the raw meat on a wood cutting board; however, it’s not recommended. When it comes to cutting raw meat, using a wooden cutting board is the safest option. But due to the porous surface, these cutting boards can easily catch and hold bacteria.

There are several advantages to using wooden cutting boards. They’re easy on your knives; they won’t dull the blade or experience any wear and tear that plastic cutting boards do. Wood is naturally porous—unlike plastic cutting boards, it doesn’t harbor bacteria.

You can find this Large Walnut Wood Cutting Board on Amazon by clicking here.

What Type of Meet Can You Cut on Wooden Cutting Boards?

Yes, you can cut any meat with a wood cutting board. In fact, wood cutting boards are the preferred choice for many chefs because of their stability, durability, and natural antiseptic properties.

But most experts will tell you to avoid cutting raw poultry or fish on wood. This is because these meats are more likely to harbor bacteria than other types of meat, and it’s harder to clean between cuts. Fish and chicken are also more likely to add stains to your board.

Wooden cutting boards can handle all types of red meat that have little or no fat content, such as lean beef and lamb. These meats will not stain your board like fish or chicken do, making them easier to clean. Red meats with high-fat content should probably be kept off your wooden board, too — dripping oils can cause unsightly staining and discoloration over time.

What Kind of Wood Is Not Suitable for Cutting Boards?

Whether you choose maple, bamboo, or hardwood, the end result will be a cutting board that’s beautiful to look at and easy to care for. You should choose a material that will not damage your knife or food.

The wood should be sturdy enough to withstand the weight of knives used for chopping and slicing. Also, consider how much space you have to avoid having too much wood on display.

The wood chopping boards are often outdoorsy tools, and if they were put under extreme conditions (due to poor handling), some pieces might be damaged more quickly than others. Some types of wood allow for fast and easy staining, so if you’re in an area with high humidity, consider getting one of those instead!

Meat on Wood Cutting Board

How to Clean Wooden Cutting Board After Raw Meat?

When it comes to cleaning your wood cutting board after raw meat, the most important thing you can do is clean it immediately. If you wait too long, bacteria may start growing.

Here are a few steps to take:

  • Start by rinsing the cutting board with hot water and use dish soap if necessary. In some cases, the dish soap may not be essential if you’ve used hot water right away and quickly given it a rinse.
  • Dry thoroughly with a towel or paper towels so that no moisture is retained in the board (which could cause warping).
  • Do not let your wooden cutting board soak in water, as this will warp the wood over time. Do not use bleach or ammonia cleaners on wood cutting boards, as these can dry out and crack the board over time.

Also, check our guide about are wood cutting boards heat resistant, for more information about wood cutting boards.

How Do I Clean My Butcher Block Cutting Board?

To clean your butcher block cutting board thoroughly, use warm soapy water and a soft cloth. If it’s been marred by spills or is just looking dull, give it an extra wash with equal parts white vinegar and water or ammonia-baking soda mixture.

You can find this Ziruma End Grain Teak Wood Cutting Board on Amazon by clicking here.

Does Vinegar Disinfect Wood Cutting Boards?

Vinegar is a natural disinfectant, and it’s also inexpensive. To effectively use vinegar as a disinfectant on your wooden cutting board, you’ll want to combine it with salt and baking soda.

After you’ve washed your board with soap and warm water, sprinkle some baking soda over the board’s surface, then sprinkle coarse salt. Pour a cup of vinegar over everything, let the mixture stand for ten minutes, then rinse the cutting board off with warm water. The vinegar will remove any germs or odors from the surface of your wooden cutting board!

If you don’t feel like making this mixture every time you need to clean or disinfect your wooden cutting boards, there are other things you can do as well. You could simply wash your hand very thoroughly after handling raw meat. Be sure to use soap and wash between each finger! You could also periodically clean all kitchen surfaces—including wooden cutting boards—with bleach diluted in water (one part bleach to ten parts water).

You can find this PREMIUM ACACIA Cutting Board on Amazon by clicking here.

Do’s and Don’ts When Using a Wood Cutting Board to Cut Meat

Here are some do’s and don’ts when using a wood cutting board to cut meat:


  • Ensure the cutting board is clean and free of any food or grease. 
  • Make sure the edge of the cutting board is smooth so that your meat doesn’t get stuck on it.
  • Place your meat on the cutting board perpendicular to the board’s edge.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut your meat across the grain.


  • Do not use wooden cutting boards for raw meat. The use of wooden cutting boards for raw meat is not recommended due to concerns that bacteria may grow in the scratches on the board. Instead, you should use plastic when handling raw meats.
  • Do not use wooden cutting boards for raw fish. Raw fish preparation requires more care than most proteins due to its high-fat content, which can cause it to spoil quicker than other types of meat and fish. Therefore, you should still limit your use of a wood cutting board with raw fish. However, research shows no significant difference between bacteria on wood versus plastic in this food group.
  • Do not cut hard vegetables on a wooden cutting board. You should avoid putting too much pressure on your wood cutting board by exerting too much force when chopping hard produce (such as butternut squash). This can cause the wood fibers to crack and create unsightly marks on your product if done repeatedly over time.
  • Do not flip the meat while you are cutting it.


Wood is a natural and durable material that can be used to create a cutting board. This material is resistant to odors and flavors, so you can chop your meat without worrying about any smells or tastes transferring to the food.

The durability of wood boards makes them ideal for chopping fruits and vegetables—or even boning fish and chickens if you’re adventurous. The knife blades on wood allow them to maneuver easily around foods without crushing them when slicing through thick meat areas.

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