It’s hard to explain a chef’s love for a wooden cutting board. Although alternatives such as marble and plastic cutting boards seem more stylish, every old-fashioned chef will pick a wooden board all day.
But it’s understandable. Wooden butcher blocks are sturdy, hygienic, and easy on the knife. On the other hand, a marble cutting board is slippery when wet and susceptible to cracking. Meanwhile, a plastic cutting board dulls knives within seconds.
So, today we want to evaluate acacia wood cutting boards. Is acacia wood good for cutting boards? Are the boards strong and hygienic? Are they durable? Read on to find out.
Is Acacia Wood Good for Cutting Boards?
Yes, acacia is a good material to consider for wooden cutting boards. An acacia wood chopping board is gentle on knife blades, water-resistant, and long-lasting. Moreover, acacia is a nontoxic wood with a characteristic sweet scent.
What Makes the Perfect Wooden Cutting Board?
Unfortunately, not all wood types make good cutting boards. So, what makes a great wooden cutting board? It comes down to seven critical factors;
The best cutting boards are safe for the user and those who consume the ingredients prepared on the boards.
Unfortunately, not all wood types are safe for human health. For instance, pine, birch, and western red cedar produce harmful toxins that can cause health problems (See white cedar vs red cedar).
The same applies to rosewood and American mahogany. You must avoid toxin-filled woods when making cutting boards.
Constant chopping and movement put cutting boards under significant pressure. Cut marks, scratching, and denting are very likely. Of course, the activities also increase the rate of general wear.
Therefore, the best chopping board is strong enough to withstand “abuse.” It must be hard enough to resist cut marks and strong enough to take occasional falls.
Balsa, cedar, spruce, Douglas fir and pine are a few examples of soft lumber that don’t make very good cutting boards.
3. Tight wood grain
Chopping boards should be rot-resistant, decay-resistant, and easy to clean and maintain. Therefore, you must avoid porous wood with open grains that readily absorb water and juices and harbor dirt and bacteria.
For instance, though beautiful and strong, mahogany is a highly porous wood that readily absorbs water and juices. The same applies to oak, butternut, and ash. These woods make very poor cutting boards.
The best wood cutting board is easy on the knife blade. Otherwise, you may need to sharpen your knives after every use.
This can be a confusing requirement, given that you also want a hard, strong, durable chopping board. However, it only means that you should stay within the medium-hardness range.
For instance, teak, though good in other areas, is too hard. Bamboo also dulls knives easily.
Here is an article about cedar cutting boards. Is it food safe? Read more.
Why Use Acacia Wood for Cutting Board?
Acacia wood makes a great material for cutting boards for many reasons. It’s beautiful, strong, and durable. Acacia is also highly sustainable and nontoxic.
Let’s examine some of the acacia’s main properties, pros, and cons.
Acacia Wood Properties
Acacia is popular, durable, and sustainable exotic hardwood tree or shrub that primarily grows in Australia and Africa. It’s often used as an alternative to the highly sought-after teak wood.
Color and aesthetics
It’s a reddish-brown wood, though the color varies depending on the type of acacia and where it grows. Generally, most acacia woods range from a light amber tint to a dark mahogany hue.
The wood has straight grains, sometimes with a hint of wavy patterns. It also contains multiple knots because the trees produce a high number of branches.
Strength and hardness
Acacia is a very strong hardwood. A Janka rating of 1750 lbf puts it among the hardest hardwoods in the US. It’s also very strong, with compressive strength (breaking resistance) of 10,142 psi.
This means it can bear a significant load without succumbing.
Water and rot resistance
Acacia is naturally water and rot-resistant. It contains natural oils that repel water and protect the wood from decay-causing bacteria.
As a result, even raw acacia wood can live for many years without rotting or succumbing to weather elements. Acacia also resists warping and shrinking. No wonder many people prefer using acacia wood for outdoor furniture.
Acacia is a very dense wood at 760 kg per cubic meter. This puts it within the range of the most sought-after hardwoods.
For instance, oak wood weighs 700 kg per cubic meter, and teak weighs 800 kg per cubic meter. Meanwhile, softer woods such as pine weigh 400 kg per cubic foot or less.
Acacia’s exceptional strength, hardness, rot-resistance, and high density make it a very durable wood.
Indeed, it’s rated class 1-2 in hardness, putting it in the same category as hickory and black locust. These woods can last generations with good maintenance.
An outstanding quality of acacia wood that makes it so desirable among woodworkers is that it’s easy to work with despite being one of the hardest, strongest woods.
Although drying acacia is a little complicated due to the risk of deformation, it saws, brushes, and glues effortlessly. It’s also fairly easy to nail and screw.
When it comes to finishing, staining acacia butcher block is a breeze. Acacia wood boasts a warm and rich appearance that complements unpainted wooden items exquisitely. A simple application of natural wood oil serves to repel moisture and accentuate the wood’s innate charm.
Furthermore, owing to its high density and tightly-knit wood grain, acacia wood readily accepts paint, providing a versatile canvas for creative expressions.
Here is a comparison of Douglas fir and cedar wood.
Acacia Cutting Board Pros and Cons
From its properties, it’s easy to see that acacia is a high-quality wood that can make beautiful and highly durable wooden cutting boards. The following are the pros and cons of an acacia cutting board.
- Hard, strong, and durable
- Water, decay, and rot-resistant
- Beautiful with charming grains
- Highly workable and easy to finish
- Acacia is nontoxic, thus safe for humans
- Good for end grain and edge grain cutting boards
- Acacia boards are easy to clean and maintain
- Acacia is sustainable
- Acacia wood boards are affordable
- Acacia planks rarely have a uniform appearance.
- Acacia is more expensive than common hardwoods.
- It’s an exotic wood that’s not readily available.
- Scouring pads, alcohol, and silicon-based products can damage acacia wood.
Acacia Wood Cutting Board Care
You must take the best care of your acacia wood cutting board to keep it in the best shape and prolong its life. The following are a few tips to consider;
Do Acacia cutting Boards Need Oiling?
Yes, you need to oil your acacia chopping boards regularly. Some of the advantages of oiling an acacia cutting board include;
- Oiling the chopping board helps preserve the rich color of acacia wood.
- Regular oiling helps fill/block scratches and cut marks to keep out bacteria.
- Filling the wood pores with oil also enhances the board’s water resistance.
- Oiling keeps the grains moisturized, thus preventing drying, splitting, and cracking.
- Oiling keeps acacia cutting boards shiny as new and prolongs their life.
What’s the Best Acacia Cutting Board Oil?
Choosing a wood oil for your acacia cutting board shouldn’t be difficult. You only need to ensure three things;
- Choose food-safe oils: You don’t want to use toxic oils that put your health at risk. For instance, synthetic oils are a no-no.
- Consider the smell and color: Different oils have different scents and colors. Therefore, finding odor-free oils or ones with sweet, nontoxic smells is important. Additionally, transparent oils work best.
- Avoid fatty oils: Oils that eventually solidify into fats often attract bacteria and may produce pungent smells.
So, which is the best wood oil for cutting boards? We recommend mineral-based food-grade oils. Mineral oil is odorless and colorless. It is also water-resistant. Alternatively, consider beeswax-based creams or specialty coconut oil products.
How to Oil a Wooden Cutting Board
Oiling a wooden cutting board is a straightforward process. Clean the board, then proceed as follows;
- Pour a little mineral oil onto a clean, dry rag and slowly and steadily rub the board in circular movements. Begin from one edge and work your way to the other edge, working along the grains.
- Wait about five minutes. Then wipe the excess oil with another clean, dry cloth.
- Allow the board to dry away from direct sunlight. We recommend oiling it at night and letting it dry overnight.
How to Clean Acacia Butcher Block
First, you need to note that putting acacia cutting board in the dishwasher is asking for trouble. The heat and water can damage the surfaces.
Instead, gently hand-wash the board in the sink with soap and water. Then allow it to dry away from direct sunlight.
However, if soap and water aren’t enough for you, use some salt and baking soda. Alternatively, wash it with a lemon-based cleaner.
Top 3 Acacia Wood Cutting Boards
Hopefully, you now know enough about acacia cutting boards to easily pick the perfect one for your kitchen. However, if you’re interested, the following are the top three acacia cutting boards in 2022;
1. Paten Acacia Patten Cutting Board (with handle)
The rectangular Paten cutting board is one of the most popular acacia cutting boards. An extra large and thick board measuring 17 x 12 x 1.0 inches for a larger surface area and greater stability when cutting, it’s durable, strong, and very beautiful.
The Paten board features a deep juice groove to catch excess liquid when preparing food, so you don’t lose the juices you so much need.
The groove can hold 3.5 ounces of liquid. In addition, Paten provides a one-year warranty for each chopping board.
- Extra-large cutting board
- Deep juice groove to catch liquids
- It’s affordable
- Minimal aesthetics
2. FANICHI Extra Large Cutting Board (Reversible)
The 16 x 12 x 1.5-inch FANICHI extra large and thick acacia wood cutting board is another excellent option. It also has a groove to hold excess juices and is reversible.
Also, it has side handles for easy grabbing. But the best part is that the company offers a full refund or free replacement if you don’t like the product!
- Juice groove to catch liquids
- Side handles
- It’s reversible
- It lacks visual appeal
3. Ironwood Gourmet Large Acacia End Grain Cutting Board
Consider the Ironwood Gourmet Large Acacia End Grain Cutting Board if you’re looking for a premium board with an extra-large surface area.
It’s almost three times as expensive as the first two boards. However, it’s a high-end grain cutting board that immediately adds class to the kitchen.
The 20 x 14 x 1.25-inch chopping board is a multifunctional board that serves as a prep station, cutting, and serving board.
- It’s a beautiful end-grade board
- Convenient handles for carrying
- It’s a multifunctional board
- It lacks a juice groove
Read also: Is pine good for cutting boards?
Is acacia or teak wood better for chopping boards?
Both acacia and teak are excellent choices for wooden chopping boards. Teak wood is soft enough at 1000 Janka. Moreover, it’s more moisture-resistant and rot-resistant than acacia. However, acacia wood, rated 1700 lbf on the Janka scale, is a more desirable cutting board material as it is more durable and affordable.
Acacia vs bamboo cutting board?
Acacia wood makes far better butcher blocks than bamboo because it’s durable enough to last a long time but doesn’t dull knives. Bamboo cutting boards are also common. However, it dulls knives easily because of its natural glue. Moreover, bamboo has a high silica content. Excessive silica causes inflammation and scarring in the lungs. Bamboo strength (28,000 pounds per square inch (psi)) can withstand high compression.
Can you stain bamboo cutting board? Read to find out.
Is an acacia cutting board better than a maple cutting board?
Yes, an acacia chopping board is better than a maple cutting board. The main reason is rot resistance. Whereas acacia is a durable wood with high moisture and rot-resistance, maple is not rot-resistant. So, you need great care to keep maple cutting boards in good condition.
Is acacia wood good for butcher block?
Yes, acacia wood is one of the best wood for chopping blocks. It is hard and strong and thus resists scratching and denting. It is also water and rot-resistant. More importantly, acacia wood is exceptionally durable. Acacia wood chopping boards can last many years with good maintenance.
Which is the better choice for cutting boards, acacia or walnut wood?
Regarding cutting boards, the decision between walnut vs acacia wood is a matter of personal preference. Walnut wood offers a dark, rich color and tight grain, while acacia wood has a lighter, golden-brown appearance with a unique grain pattern. Both woods are durable and suitable for cutting boards, so choose based on your aesthetic preference and intended use.
Acacia Chopping Board Summary
So, Is acacia wood good for cutting boards? Yes, acacia makes some of the best chipping boards as it’s naturally water and decay-resistant.
It’s also a hard and strong hardwood that’s naturally durable even without treatment. Above all, acacia cutting boards are food-safe.