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Can You Use Birch for Cutting Boards? (Answered)

Cutting boards can be made of many materials, but wooden ones are the most classic and beautiful. But all types of wood are not suitable for making cutting boards.

This article will explain if birch wood can be used for cutting boards and other related information about wooden cutting boards.

Can you use birch for cutting boards?

Britch woods are one of the finest picks for cutting boards. It is non-toxic if you don’t use any chemical coating, and It’s hard and durable so it will get fewer strains from the knife. Britch wood has closed pores, so bacteria and fungi can not colonize birch wood cutting boards.

Cutting boards are essential components of our kitchen, and we use them several times every day. Not just for cutting, it’s useful for food preparation and as a serving station.

A cutting board is always in contact with our food, so what are the essential attributes of a perfect wooden cutting board? And does birch wood has the features to be a cutting board?

The answer is yes. Britch wood has most of the characteristics of a great cutting board. Here is the explanation.

First, wood needs to be harmless to be used for cutting boards. Britch wood is harmless, and it does not have any toxic components.

It’s an essential attribute a wooden cutting board should have. But things can get a bit complicated when it comes to health. Here is the simplified explanation.

Wood is made of tiny tubes of cellulose. The tube is used for transporting sap when the tree is alive. Those little tubes remain empty in the wood and can absorb the water and moisture.

So when we use a wooden cutting board, food and liquid can enter the pores and make it a perfect breeding ground for the bacteria, fungus and molds. Those microbes can contaminate your food easily, leading to health complications.

So, how can you avoid this? By using closed-pore wood, the chances of infection reduce dramatically. Most of the danced wood has tiny pores suitable for making cutting boards.

Birchwood fulfills those criteria very nicely. Birchwood has closed pores, so it does not absolve many food particles, and it is easier to wash and maintain hygiene.

Now let’s talk about the hardness. A chopping board needs to be hard enough to be durable and resist strains and knife scratches. But if the wood is too hard, that can harm the sharpness of your knife.

And if the wood is too soft, the cutting board be damaged by the knife and become fragile over time. The hardness of the wood is measured by the Janka meter. The wood with a 900-1500 rating in the Janka meter is suitable for cutting boards.

Birchwood has a 1260 rating on the Janka meter. So as you can see, it is at the middle point of the hardness range. It will be durable enough to resist the knife stains and not very hard, which will reduce the sharpness of your knife.

We will discuss birch wood cutting boards in more detail, but first, let’s find out if you can make cutting boards with birch plywood.

Birch plywood:

Birch plywood is inexpensive, and you can make your birch wood cutting board if you have basic woodcraft skills. Yellow birch plywood works best for cutting boards.

Is birch safe for cutting boards?

Birchwood is one of the safest for making cutting boards. The wood has tiny pores, and the grains are also closed. So, food particles cannot enter the pores making the cutting board favorable for the microorganism.

After treating the wood with food-grade mineral oil, you can easily make it safer. Oil will make the board hydrophobic and easy to clean.

Beeswax is another excellent item to treat your birch cutting boards. Beeswax enters the tiny pores and becomes solid inside the wood. So, beeswax can protect your cutting board for a long time.

Birchwood itself is harmless, and it has no poisonous characteristics. So, birch wood has no chance of negatively affecting your health once you coat the cutting board with a food-grade coat.

Plants that provide eatable fruits, leaves and sap are safe for making cutting boards and other stuff that comes in contact with food.

Is birch food safe?

Birch is food safe, and you can eat all the parts of the birch tree without any issue. (I can’t guarantee the taste). When you cut your food on a wooden surface, tiny wood particles will enter your food as a knife will make small dust of wood while chopping.

It is essential to make a cutting board with food-safe wood and coat the wood with a food-safe wood coat.

If you use mineral oil on birch wood, the oil will resist the moisture from getting inside the wood and make it almost impossible to become infected by the bacteria, fungus and molds.

Beeswax is also nontoxic but last longer on the wood. Beeswax keeps the natural beauty of birch wood and provides an excellent finish.

Is yellow birch good for a cutting board

Yellow birch is one of the best types of birch for cutting boards. Its beautiful grain and color suit most of the kitchen easily.

Yellow birch has a 1260 rating on the Janka meter, which makes it quite versatile for everyday use. If you care more about your knife and keep them sharp forever, you can choose paper birch.

Paper birch has a 910 rating in the Janka meter. It is very soft, and you will have to use a paper birch cutting board carefully.

There are harder variants of birch too. Sweet birch has a 1470 rating on the Janka meter. It is very durable and can be used for cutting boards.

5 reasons why you can use birch for cutting boards

Check out why birch wood is suitable for use on cutting boards.

It’s nontoxic:

Birchwood does not have any toxic effect on human health, so that you can use it without worries about the toxicity.

Small and closed pores:

Tiny and closed pores protect the food parts from entering the wood’s pores. And after curing with oil, the wood becomes bacteria and fungus resistant entirely.

Suitable hardness:

Cutting board wood needs to be within a hardness range for the best result. The wood with a 900 to 1500 rating in the Janka meter is suitable for making cutting boards. Birchwood is in the middle part of the hardness range.

Can absorb chopping blows:

Birchwood can absorb chopping strains easily and can last long years without issues. The hardness and density of birch wood are to the point where it will not hurt the knife much and are strong enough to resist the scratches and breaking.

It suites well in most kitchen:

Birchwood has a beautiful light reddish-brown color with grains. It has a neutral color, and it will fit in most of the kitchen without any issues.

How do you care for a birch cutting board?

Caring birch cutting board is relatively straightforward. You just need to ensure that the wood resists moisture and is not too dry.

Dry wood tends to become carved and fragile. Using oil every two months is enough to keep the cutting board good shape. Here is a list of tips that will help you take care of a birch cutting board.

Oiling method:

Oil your birch cutting board every two months or when the wood looks dry. You can use food-grade mineral or coconut oil on the wood. Beeswax is another excellent product for a long-term and effective solution to make your cutting board moisture resistant for a long time.


Mix one part of beeswax with two-part of hot mineral oil and evenly apply on the birch cutting board. Keep the board in the dark for six hours and remove the access beeswax. You can start using the cutting board after another six hours.

Wash regularly:

Always wash the birch cutting board after using and then wipe the board with a clean cloth.

Apply vinegar:

Use vinegar and water mixture to clean your cutting board to eliminate any strong food smell.

Final Thoughts

Birchwood works great for cutting boards as it is non-poisonous, durable and has tiny and closed pores. Small pores with food-grade oil coats resist microbes from colonizing. It has a nice light reddish-brown color and can be a great addition to your kitchen.