Butcher block

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Butcher block in modern American kitchen
A circular chopping block used in a restaurant in Haikou, Hainan, China

A butcher block or butcher's block is a heavy duty chopping block, typically laminated of hardwood.

Traditionally made of hard maple, it was commonly used in butcher shops and meat processing plants but has now become popular in home use.[1][2]

The term “butcher block” can also refer to the pattern or style of a traditional block adapted to other functions, such as table tops and cutting boards.[3]

There are two basic styles of butcher block: end grain and edge grain.[1] Besides maple, popular contemporary woods include teak, birch, or walnut, sometimes in alternating patterns.

A simple variant of the function of a chopping block is made out of a several-inch-thick cross section of a wide hardwood log.


Butcher blocks have been used in butcher shops for centuries, and still are in many European countries. Increasingly, a version of butcher block is also being used in domestic kitchens as an alternative to stone and laminate countertops. This has created a new industry in the kitchen design arena and many furniture manufacturers and hardwood flooring companies are getting into the production of butcher blocks and butcher block countertops, in part because the countertops can be constructed from left-over wood that would otherwise be discarded.


  1. ^ a b "Butcher Block Terms". Archived from the original on September 2, 2012. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
  2. ^ "Oxford English Dictionary: butcher's block". Archived from the original on January 28, 2013. Retrieved October 5, 2012.
  3. ^ Old-House Journal 09 1992, pg.38

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