Is Birch Good for Cutting Boards?

Cutting boards get a tremendous amount of use in home kitchens, and, of course, you would want your tool to serve faithfully for many years. With that in mind, what type of board should you go for?

Birch wood is perfect for cutting boards. It’s easy to sanitize due to its tight grain and it is hard enough to absorb chopping blows without breaking your kitchen knives; moreover, birch boards are able to withstand marks and scratches which makes them incredibly durable.

Below you will discover a few helpful tips on how to maintain your gorgeous birch cutting board (right after we talk a bit more about the qualities of this wonderful wood).

Qualities of a Birch Cutting Board

  • Easy to sanitize

This dense wood is tight-grained which means that small food bits won’t get trapped in the board. In the majority of cases, a soapy rinse would be enough to make the birch board sparkly clean again.

  • Dense and durable

Yellow birch, for example, has a Janka rating of 1260 which is perfect for cutting boards as it’ll take 1260 pounds of force to impact the lumber. At the same time, wood with such a rating is not too hard, and you wouldn’t have to worry about damaging your favorite kitchen knives.

In fact, any wood that has a Janka rating between 900 and 1500 is suitable for making cutting boards. This makes not only Yellow birch but also Paper birch (with a Janka rating of 910) and Sweet birch (1470) great board materials.

  • Reasonably priced

You wouldn’t want to pay a small fortune for a cutting board. Even though birch wood is not cheap, it, in general, costs less than the boards made out of maple wood, for example. And taking into consideration the material’s durability, the chances are high that the purchase will get paid off dozens of times.

  • Beautiful and unique

Cutting boards are attractive kitchen pieces when not in use. Birch is a beautiful-looking wood and many home cooks are going to appreciate the fact that each piece is unique.

How Do You Maintain a Birch Cutting Board?

Even though cutting boards made out of birch are extremely durable, you can contribute to the piece’s lifespan by properly sanitizing and periodically conditioning it.

Here are the tips that you might want to take into consideration:

  • Wash your birch cutting board by hand. The chemicals and the excessive heat from the dishwasher can make the wood dry out and crack.
  • Don’t leave the board to soak in water (it is okay to quickly submerge it in water, however). After cleaning, wipe the board dry and let it air-dry on one of its sides.
  • You shouldn’t use anything harsher than regular liquid dish soap on your birch cutting board.
  • Your birch board deserves a pamper every 1-2 months. Saturate it with food-grade mineral oil to keep the beautiful hardwood lustrous and shiny. Conditioned wood also does not absorb as much moisture and odors.