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The Absolute Best Plastic Cutting Boards You Can Buy Right Now

published Dec 24, 2021
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Credit: Amazon, Material Kitchen

The one tool that gets used the most in my kitchen is neither fancy nor expensive. (I didn’t even do any research before buying it many years ago — I just threw it in my cart.) I once tallied how many times I reached for this kitchen tool over the course of an average day, and I used it eight times! I’m talking about … the humble plastic cutting board. 

When I’m spending a dedicated day in the kitchen testing recipes for magazines, I do the whole mise en place thing you see on television cooking shows. I set up my thick maple Boos Block, hone my knives, set out a million tiny bowls for all my chopped pieces, and get to work. But, in between those elaborate kitchen assignments, life sneaks into the kitchen. I want a lemon wedge for my tea, I’m packing my daughter’s lunch before school, I need something under my apple as I slice it. For these one-off jobs, I don’t feel like pulling out my 12-pound board (or committing time to properly cleaning the wooden beauty afterward). For the quick chop or gotta-hurry-up-and-go prep work, I always reach for my handy plastic cutting board. 

Before this testing, I was using a 15-year-old ugly lime green cutting board warped from the dishwasher; any time I set something down to cut, it immediately rolled into the bowed middle of the board. The board smelled like gym shoes and had more scratches than a tap dance stage. But, I never replaced it. I thought, eh, it’ll do. If you can relate to anything about this not-so-great picture I’ve just painted, it is time to get a new and fabulous board. Please, treat yourself.

So what exactly are we looking for in a go-to plastic cutting board? It has to be easy to clean and handle, it should be stable on its own (without requiring a mat or damp towel underneath it), and it should feel good under the blade of your knife. It should not retain any odors, stains, or deep scratches. For this test, I focused on “large” boards (varying from 10×15 to 15×20 inches). I worked with dry and crusty, meaty and juicy, smelly and pigment-filled ingredients to test the limits of each board. I chopped and sliced and minced and carved to find you a few winners. 

Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell

The Best Plastic Cutting Boards

The Tests

  • Smash a head of garlic into cloves and mince each one.
  • Carve a roasted bone-in chicken breast. 
  • Pour 1/2 cup of chicken broth over each board.
  • Leave frozen blueberries, sliced beets, and a chopped onion on each board overnight.
  • Slice through half a baguette on each board with a serrated knife.

Why You Should Trust Us

I spent a month living and working with a dozen new cutting boards. I subjected my iPhone to quite possibly the most boring photo stream it has ever captured — just frame after frame of chicken broth spill patterns on different boards. I ran and documented these tests in an unbiased search for the very best plastic cutting boards for you. I am a professional recipe developer and food writer; my work can be seen in Cook’s Country (magazine and television show), America’s Test Kitchen Kids cookbooks, Serious Eats, Hannaford’s Fresh magazine, and Kitchn. 

What to Consider When Buying a Plastic Cutting Board 

Should you get a flat board or one with a well (or “juice groove”)?

Per usual, it really depends on what you prepare most often at home. If you do a lot of carving, or work with extremely juicy ingredients, you may want to consider a cutting board with a well (or a “juice groove”) — a little trench around the perimeter of a board to catch liquid from spilling onto your counter. (Alternatively, check out the super-innovative Joseph Joseph Cut & Carve Multi-Function Cutting Board, which uses a sloped cutting surface and good ol’ gravity to catch juices and crumbs.)  

  • Flat boards: If you use your plastic cutting board for mostly dry ingredients, you might not need a well at all. (Perhaps you, like me, already have a favorite wooden carving board for juicy roasts.) A benefit of a flat board is the ease with which you can sweep prepped ingredients off the edge of the board into a bowl or pot or any next destination. My favorite of the flat boards I tested, The reBoard, has some brilliant texture on the surface — this makes scratches almost invisible and also has an impressive moisture-pooling effect that keeps liquid from running off the board.  
  • Boards with wells: The best-designed boards with wells also have spouts or “pour corners” to efficiently and effectively transfer the collected juices to another vessel (to make a pan sauce or gravy, for instance). I was surprised to find that some of the boards I tested had completely useless wells; they were too shallow and the liquid just rushed up and over the edge onto the counter. 
  • Boards with both: And then, there’s the best of both worlds — the double-sided boards that have a well around the perimeter of one side and a flat profile on the other side (like the OXO Good Grips Carving and Cutting Board). Having two usable sides is a major bonus when preparing a meal with many components.

How stable is the board?

A common trick is to put a damp paper towel (or a special non-slip mat) under your board to keep it from slipping and sliding on the counter. But a good cutting board should, ideally, stay in place on its own! Some boards do have special, let’s call it, “gripping technology” like rubberized corners, gripper feet on the underside of the board, and rubber borders extending partially and all the way around the perimeter of the board.

I tested each board’s stability by smashing heads of garlic with the side of my chef’s knife to gauge how the board reacted to forceful impact. Then, I minced the cloves of garlic to see how the board moved (or stayed in place) with a repetitive knife rocking motion. I also observed each board’s stability under the sawing motion of my serrated knife while slicing through a baguette. Some boards danced all around my prep table, while others aced each and every test. Spoiler alert: The OXO Good Grips Carving and Cutting Board, the overall winner of this testing, sat still through it all — hooray!

How big and bulky is the board?

You want to have enough space to comfortably work on your plastic cutting board, but you also want it to be a convenient size to fit in your sink, dishwasher, and storage cabinet. Again, it depends on what kind of prep work you do. Obviously, if you’re carving up a whole turkey, you want a large board. If you shuttle prepped ingredients to the stovetop on your board, a smaller, lighter board may serve you well. 

The key is finding the board with the dimensions of your choice and optimized usable space. Watch out for handles or hanging holes, which can eat into valuable cutting real estate and swallow prepped ingredients. My favorite board with a hanging hole is The reBoard — its small circular hole in the corner of the board is effective for hanging storage and handling stability, but it doesn’t drastically reduce the board’s usable space.

How durable is the board? What’s the surface texture like?

I was somewhat shocked at how beat-up some of these boards looked by the end of testing. Sure, I put them through the wringer, but I expected them to look, at worst, “gently used” after just a month in circulation. (Granted, they are all still worlds better than my old, sad, lime green board.) The board surfaces I tested spanned the gamut from textured, to slick and shiny, to matte and smooth. This affected how the knife blade felt on top of the board and general product durability.

  • Scratches: Examining the scratches etched into each board tells us more than just the aesthetic value of the board. Scratches are breeding grounds for bacteria growth and cross-contamination, so a good board won’t harbor deep grooves.
  • Knife blade interaction: You don’t want to subject your knife to a dangerously hard cutting board, as that will dull and damage your blade. You want there to be a little give and take between the blade and the board as you rock your knife against it, without feeling any slipping, scraping, or grinding. 

What We Look for in a Plastic Cutting Board

I judged all of the cutting boards on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being the worst and 5 being the best) through a course of five tests, evaluating them each on the following criteria:

  • Performance: I tested the board’s stability while smashing and mincing garlic. I looked at how chicken broth ran off the board (as a standardized indicator for how the board would respond to prepping extremely juicy things) and how the board handled heavy, bulky things by carving the meat off a bone-in chicken breast.
  • Durability: To see how scratched-up each board would get, I used the sharp teeth of a serrated knife to slice through half a crusty baguette on each board. I left stinky sliced onions and colorful blueberries and beets on each board overnight to determine if they stained easily or retained odor. (Fun fact: None of the boards stained!)
  • Cleanup: I washed each board by hand at least five times (after each test) and ran them each through the dishwasher (excluding the one board in the lineup that the manufacturer specified was hand-wash only) to look for warping. 

Best Overall (with juice well): OXO Good Grips Carving and Cutting Board

I’m not surprised this OXO Good Grips product wins most of the cutting board reviews out there — it is stellar. The smooth board is easy on the knife blade and provides a comfortable chopping block. The rubber edges and non-slip feet held the board totally still while I crushed heads of garlic, minced the cloves, sliced onions, and carved a chicken breast off the bone. I love the double-sided design that gives you the best of both worlds — a carving gravy groove on one side (with easy pouring corners) and a smooth clean slate on the other side. Because only the two shorter ends are rubberized, the long sides of the board are free from obstruction, so you can swiftly sweep prepped ingredients off the edge and into a bowl, pot, or pan. It is the largest board I tested, which can be a huge bonus for cutting surface area. However, because of its size, it didn’t easily fit in my kitchen sink or drying rack (a small price to pay for this super product). It got a little scratched-up after slicing through the baguette, but nothing egregious. 


  • Materials: Plastic and rubber
  • Weight: 3.39 lbs
  • Dimensions: 21.11 x 14.34 x 0.25 inches 

Rating Criteria

  • Performance: 4.75
  • Durability: 4.75
  • Cleanup: 4.75

Who it’s best for: Home cooks who want plenty of space to prep any and everything.
Good to know: This cutting board is dishwasher-safe and double-sided.

Best Overall (no well): Material reBoard

I’d heard a buzz about The reBoard long before starting this testing, but I didn’t predict it would blow me away! It’s truly a great board, and oh-so beautiful! It has an intriguing texture to the surface of the board that feels really comfortable to cut on and it miraculously helps resist scratches. When I poured chicken broth onto the board (simulating runoff from a juicy roast), I thought it would ooze right off the edges of this flat board (because it has no well). But, instead, the liquid pooled and stayed on the board; when I moved the board to collect the juice, I was able to save half of the broth I initially poured onto the board — impressive! The convenient hanging hole is smartly located in the corner of the board so it doesn’t interfere with your prep, but it does help to stabilize your hold while moving a full board around the kitchen. It’s probably not the board you’re going to reach for on Thanksgiving Day to carve your bird, but I bet you’ll use it for just about everything else.


  • Materials: 75% recycled plastic, 25% renewable sugarcane
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Dimensions: 14.75 x 10.75 x 0.375 inches

Rating Criteria

  • Performance: 4.5
  • Ease of use: 4.75
  • Cleanup: 5

Who it’s best for: Everyday preppers looking for function and style.
Good to know: The eco-conscious reBoard comes in seven colorful options. The brand also recently came out with matching mixing bowls that are made of the same material.

Most Innovative: Joseph Joseph Cut & Carve Multi-Function Cutting Board  

You can use this double-sided board for anything, but it really shines when prepping juicy things. It felt a little less sturdy than other heavier boards when slicing and mincing, but it didn’t slip or slide around the counter. The innovative sloped board takes a little getting used to, but once I became familiar with the angle, it really served me well catching breadcrumbs during the baguette slicing test and collecting not just some, but ALL, of the chicken broth I poured onto it. The well-designed corners make it easy to pour off the collected liquid — truly ideal for making pan sauces or gravies with drippings. It did scratch up a bit during testing, but the grooves weren’t too deep and cleaning was still easy.


  • Materials: Plastic and rubber
  • Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Dimensions: 14.5 x 11.5 x 0.75 inches

Rating Criteria

  • Performance: 4.5
  • Ease of use: 4
  • Cleanup: 4.5

Who it’s best for: The cook who doesn’t want a drop — or crumb — escaping her board.
Good to know: This board also comes in black, white, red, and green.

Kitchn’s Best List Promise

We will do our homework, going wildly in depth with our testing. But we’ll condense the info into easy, breezy summaries, so that you can see what we picked and why, and then move on with your life. Because we know you’re busy!

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Do you have a plastic cutting board you love? Let us know in the comments!