why different shaped cutting boards

Why Different Shaped Cutting Boards?


Almost every household in the world has a selection of cutting boards in the kitchen. They are made of different materials and come in a range of shapes and sizes. Due to the concern about the environment the recently popular plastic chopping boards are rapidly falling from favour.

Many different types of wood can be used for these boards but by far the best is olive wood which is environmentally sustainable, durable and has natural anti-bacterial qualities. As these boards are used to cut, prepare and serve food it is important to have boards for that are only for meat and poultry, for both preparation and serving. The choice of shape is largely a matter of preference, but there are many practical reasons why people have various shaped cutting boards in their kitchens.Every kitchen needs at least two cutting boards, one for meats and one for vegetables and everything else.

What are the different shapes for wooden cutting boards?

Leaving plastic cutting boards, which nearly always tend to be rectangular, out of the picture, we can discuss the different shapes of wooden cutting boards. The prime material for making cutting boards is hard woods, particularly olive wood as it is hard-wearing, attractive and has natural, anti-bacterial properties that make it the ideal surface for preparing food.


  • These are the easiest boards to make and are consequently cheaper to buy.
  • Easy to store as they can be slipped into the side of a shelf or a corner of the worksurface.
  • The simplicity of the shape makes them perfect for all types of food preparation.
  • A set of these would give you everything you need for all food preparation.


  • Excellent for cheese.
  • Good for meat.
  • Not really the ideal shape for chopping but are alright if they are large enough.
  • Round boards make excellent bread boards.
  • Great for serving cold meats and cheeses.
  • Not very easy to store.

Meat Boards

  • Specifically designed for cutting both raw and cooked meats.
  • A choice of sizes to allow for small or large amounts of meat.
  • Slightly irregular, rounded shape to allow for cutting and setting aside.
  • Most will have a groove around the edge for catching juices.
  • Always have a handle to allow for easy lifting and moving.
  • Also ideal for serving meat at the table.

Rustic Boards

  • Rustic boards are just that, totally irregular shape, rough looking boards.
  • These type of boards come in all shapes and sizes, no two will ever be the same.
  • Perfect for any type of chopping or cutting, you just have to choose the right size.
  • These boards are usually made from olive wood so have beautiful grain.
  • As they are so beautiful this type of board is usually left out as a kitchen decoration.
  • Many people have a really large one of these which is left in a permanent position on the work surface.
  • Also ideal for serving food, either to pass around or as a table centrepiece.

Cheese Boards

  • These are boards specifically for displaying and cutting cheese at the table.
  • They come in all different shapes and sizes, usually with a dedicated cheese knife.

Bread Boards

  • A slatted board sitting in a tray to catch the crumbs.
  • Popular in Italy.
  • Enables you to cut bread at the table, or in the kitchen, without making a mess.

There is such a large range of chopping boards and in the end, the choice usually comes down to preference, taking into account the size of your kitchen, the amount of food you cook and prepare and the size of the knives you mainly use. Some cutting boards have handles, mainly on the larger, heavier boards as the handle is purely to make the board easier to lift and move around. Others will have a groove around the edge and the purpose of this is to catch the juices from products such as meat, tomatoes and citrus fruits. Lastly, you will notice that some boards have a hole in them. This hole serves no purpose other than to hang the board up, which is beneficial, particularly for olive wood boards, as it allows the board to dry out on both sides after washing. A longer, rectangular hole doubles as a handle.

There is also a large selection of boards on the market purely for serving or displaying food rather than cutting it. They have a tendency to be long and narrow, with or without a handle, and slightly less thick than larger chopping boards. You can even buy smaller ones to use as a plate, and the irregular, rustic ones make an attractive alternative to china.

Olive Wood cutting board
Rectangular board (large)
Olive Wood cutting board
Olive Wood cutting/serving board
Steak board (large)
Olive Wood cutting/serving board
Hand carved from Olive Wood
Angular chopping board (medium)
Hand carved from Olive Wood
Modern Olive Wood grinder
Salt or Pepper Mill (small)
Modern Olive Wood grinder
Hand carved Italian olive wood box
Seven Piece Sommelier Set
Hand carved Italian olive wood box
Solid Olive wood rolling pin
Rolling Pin (45cm)
Solid Olive wood rolling pin
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