Last updated: August 10, 2021

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Welcome to our big serving board test 2021. Here we present all the products we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best serving tray for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a serving tray.




The most important facts

  • There are three types of serving boards: the cheese board, the carving board and the catering serving board.
  • Wood is the most popular type of wood for serving boards. Boards made of wood usually have the most beautiful visual design.
  • Teak and walnut are best suited for carving boards because of their properties.

The Best Service Board: Our Picks

Buying criteria: You can use these criteria to compare and evaluate serving trays

In the following, we show you which aspects you can use to decide between the serving trays.

The criteria you can use to compare serving trays include:

In the following, we will explain what is important in the individual buying criteria.

Material

The great thing about serving trays is the wide range of materials. The most common materials are wood, plastic and stone. There are also boards made of glass, but these are much rarer. However, what are the advantages and disadvantages of these different materials.

Plastic has the obvious advantage that it can simply be put in the dishwasher after use for washing. This makes cleaning much easier.

Visually, however, most serving trays made of plastic have a rather simple design and are therefore not as beautifully designed as other trays made of wood or stone.

Wood is by far the most popular raw material from which serving trays are made. Due to the softness of wood, boards made of this material can be designed most beautifully.

In addition to the usually very pretty appearance, many woods are antibacterial and can therefore also be used in the household without restrictions.

Serving boards made of stone are becoming more and more popular, as they are visually very beautiful and thus make every dish shine. However, a major disadvantage of this material is its heavy weight and the risk of breaking if the board should fall on the floor.

Glass has the same properties as stone and namely glass is very easily breakable if it falls on the floor or hits a hard object too hard. Apart from that, glass is very easy to clean and like stone and wood, it offers a very beautiful and fancy look for serving food.

Equipment

The features of a serving tray can be summarised to 5 basic features. These would be a handle, a juice groove, a glass dome, a high rim and an "anti-slip" pad.

There is no serving board that has all of these features, as these features are characteristic of certain types of serving board.

The handle is usually a feature of a cheese board and the carving board. This is a practical addition to any board as it makes carrying much easier.

The next feature is the juice groove, this is a feature of a carving board. It helps the juices to drain off when cutting fruit, vegetables and meat.

The glass dome is a feature that fully belongs to a cheese board. Not only does it look good, it also helps with easy storage in the fridge.

The high rim and an "anti-slip" pad are characteristic of the gastronomy serving board. They are not for looks, but they are irreplaceable when it comes to carrying food and drinks safely.

Design

Design plays a role in everything. The serving board is no exception. Serving trays made of wood and stone are particularly popular because of their unusual or even elegant designs.

Stone and wood are so popular because they are the easiest materials to work with. Therefore, wooden boards made of stone and especially wood are available in every conceivable shape.

The more complex or unusual the shape, the more expensive the serving board. However, a complex design is usually only used for cheese boards and carving boards, as the catering serving board must be simple to be safe.

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying serving trays

In the following, we answer all the important questions about serving trays.

Who is a serving tray suitable for?

A serving tray fulfils many functions. For example, it can be used in the catering industry or at home to carry food or drinks, or to arrange them beautifully. These properties alone make the serving tray an important "must-have" for every household.

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You can arrange a delicious cheese platter wonderfully on a serving board.
(Image source: 123rf / Pauliene Wessel)

In addition to the obvious advantages of a serving board, there are also numerous types in a wide variety of designs. Serving boards come in every type of wood imaginable. In addition to wood, there are even boards in a wide variety of stones.

In addition to its appearance, the serving board has another important function. Depending on the material the board is made of, it can also serve as a chopping board.

Some boards therefore even have so-called juice grooves to catch the juice of vegetables, fruit or meat and make cutting easier.

So you see that a serving board is a great thing that can be used in several ways. With such a wide range of materials and functions, there is bound to be a board for everyone.

What are the characteristic features of a serving board?

Depending on the task for which a serving board is used, it has different characteristics that set it apart. A classic serving board, such as a cheese board, places a lot of emphasis on appearance. These boards are usually made of a beautifully grained wood so that the cheese can already be arranged and presented.

Serving boards that are used more for carrying drinks and food place more emphasis on practicality. Even if there are beautiful wooden serving trays for breakfast in bed at home, plastic serving trays are mostly used in the catering trade. These are then usually equipped with anti-slip protection.

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Serving trays in the catering trade are usually not convincing because of their beautiful design, but because of their practical use.
(Image source: pixabay / Pexels)

The last type of serving board is the carving board. This board is a kind of cutting board. But what makes it special is that it has a groove that runs around the board. This collects the juices from vegetables, fruit and meat, making it easier to cut and serve food.

How much should a good serving board cost?

Since serving boards come in all kinds of designs, the prices for them also vary greatly. Depending on the material used, serving trays are available for as little as €10. For a higher-quality finish and more luxurious materials, the price can go up to €250.

Price range Description
10 to 25 € Boards made of wood, but more cheaply processed
25 to 50 € Higher quality, more focus on design
50 to 80 € Solid wood, handcrafted
80 to 250 € Serving boards made of stone or high-quality woods

In the price range from 10 to 25 € you can already find very beautiful serving trays made of olive wood. Some even have a juice groove and can therefore be used not only as a serving board but also as a chopping board.

From 25 to 50 €, the quality of the serving boards is much higher. Here, much more attention is paid to the design than with boards in the first price range.

From 50 to 80 €, serving trays are much more solid. Most boards in this price range are made of solid wood. Here, a lot of work is done by hand, which explains the higher price.

In the last price range from 80 to 250 €, there are serving trays made of stone. Marble is particularly popular here. In addition to boards made of stone, there are also serving boards made of wood in this price range. However, the wood of these boards is of a much higher quality and better workmanship than those in the other price categories.

What alternatives are there to serving trays?

As mentioned in the introduction, the main tasks of a serving tray are to carry food and drinks and to serve them.

Since some serving boards, such as the carving and cheese boards, are also suitable for cutting, a normal cutting board is a good alternative.

However, a cutting board is not only a good alternative in terms of function, a classic serving board and a cutting board are also visually similar. As with a serving board, there are numerous materials to choose from, such as wood, stone, plastic and glass.

This means that you are sure to find the right model for you.

The only big difference between a serving and a chopping board is the way it can be carried and arranged. While chopping boards always have a flat surface without handles, many serving boards have a handle.

But not only that, the cheese board, for example, offers the possibility of placing a glass dome on the board, as this also allows it to be stored in the refrigerator.

What types of serving boards are there and which is the right one for you?

If you want to buy a serving board, there are basically three alternatives to choose from:

  • Carving board
  • Cheese board
  • Gastronomy serving board

In the following paragraphs, we will show you the advantages and disadvantages of each type.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a carving board?

The carving board is a very practical variant of the serving board. Like a normal serving board, you can arrange and carry food on it, but you can also cut it right on this board.

Advantages
  • Can be used as a chopping board
  • Juice groove makes cutting easier
  • Mostly nice wooden look
Disadvantages
  • Heavier than normal serving boards
  • Groove more difficult to wash
  • More expensive than normal serving boards

While normal cutting and serving boards are completely flat, the carving board has a practical juice groove. This groove, as the name suggests, allows the juices from cutting fruit, vegetables or carving meat to run off.

This makes the carving board not only a serving board, but also a more versatile cutting board.

Like most boards, the carving board comes in a wide variety of materials. However, since this board also functions as a cutting board hybrid, these are usually available in wood or plastic. While wood provides a beautiful look and is gentle on your knife when cutting, plastic offers the possibility of simply putting your board in the dishwasher.

What distinguishes a cheese board and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The cheese board is the most beautiful type of serving board. Here, full attention is paid to the appearance and design. With this type, the food and the presentation are in the foreground, which is why you will mostly find it for sale in noble woods.

Advantages
  • Pretty look
  • Often with practical glass dome
  • Wood offers antibacterial properties
Disadvantages
  • More expensive than gastronomy serving trays

Not only are the materials used for this board very noble, the design is usually also something very special. Like the carving board, the cheese board usually has a handle that makes it easier to carry.

In addition to the beautiful appearance and the fine wood, many cheese boards are also very practical for storing food. Some cheese boards have a groove like the carving board, but this is not intended for the juice of food, but for a glass dome. This glass dome not only looks elegant, but also allows you to store the cheese easily in the refrigerator.

What distinguishes a gastronomy serving tray and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Compared to the other two types, gastronomy serving boards focus less on appearance and more on functionality. While the carving board and the cheese board are very often made of fine woods, the gastronomy serving board is mostly made of plastic.

This is because plastic is much easier to wash than any type of wood.

Advantages
  • "Anti-slip" base
  • Higher edge
  • Cheap
Disadvantages
  • Boring look
  • Mostly only made of plastic

To make it possible to carry a lot of food and drinks, the catering serving board usually has a "non-slip" pad on the top and bottom of the board. This pad ensures that glasses and plates, as well as your hand, cannot slip off the board.

Most catering serving trays also have a high rim. This not only makes it easier to pick up the board, but also protects food and drinks even more from a stupid mishap.

Which types of wood are best for wooden serving boards?

Wood is without question the most popular material when it comes to beautiful serving trays, but not every wood is suitable for this.

The three most popular and suitable types of wood are bamboo, walnut and teak.

Type of wood Properties
Bamboo wood Very dimensionally stable, antibacterial
Walnut wood Beautiful grain, particularly dimensionally stable and durable
Teak wood Beautiful dark grain, antibacterial, soft and gentle surface for a blade

Bamboo is made into what we know as bamboo wood through a complex process. After this process, however, bamboo keeps its shape very well and is also very suitable for cutting food. The special thing about bamboo, however, is that it has an antibacterial effect due to its structure.

Walnut is also a great type of wood for use as a serving board. Not only is it a real eye-catcher visually due to its grain and dark colour, it also has other great features.

Due to the structure of walnut wood, it is particularly dimensionally stable and durable. Because the grain is very fine, it is also very smooth and can therefore be cleaned very easily.

The last wood on this list is teak. This has the highest resistance to bacteria and fungi due to its structure and is therefore perfect for carving boards. Like the top two woods, teak is very dimensionally stable. In addition, it is very gentle on blades due to its soft surface.

How do I make my own beautiful serving board?

Nowadays DIYs are more popular than ever and therefore we also want to give you the opportunity to build a beautiful, rustic serving board out of wood. Admittedly, you will need a few tools to make this board, but then you will have a homemade unique piece.

Image source: 123rf / victor69

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