How To Select The Right Wood Species for your Wooden Salad Bowl

Wooden salad bowls are so popular because of the warmth and texture they add to every tablescape. A beautiful wood bowl can transform even the most basic salad into what looks like a culinary masterpiece.

But, how do you select the right bowl for you? It is surprisingly easy…

How do I choose the best wood for a wooden salad bowl?

First, you need to focus on quality. Bowls made from lightweight, inexpensive wood will not hold up over time which is frustrating. Investing in a high-quality bowl means you can use and pass down your heirloom-quality bowl over the years.

All American Farmhouse Bowls are handcrafted from premium solid hardwood and graded to be #1 quality, free of defects and knots. They all have a Lifetime Guarantee so you know they stand the test of time.

Next, it is important to select a bowl that is natural wood and free of glues, additives, fillers, and stains. Wood is so beautiful on its own that there is no need to “enhance” it with stains. If you want a light-toned bowl, choose Maple. Love darker bowls? Then Black Walnut is for you. Always avoid a bowl that appears to be pieced together from smaller pieces of wood as the glues and fillers may not last.

All American Farmhouse Bowls are crafted from a single piece of North American hardwood - no fillers or glues, ever.

What is the best wood for a wooden salad bowl?

Now that we’ve addressed quality, let’s focus on color and strength in selecting a wood bowl. We’ll use the Janka test, which measures the level of hardness of each wood and assigns it a number that corresponds to the wood’s resistance to denting. A higher Janka rating means that the piece of wood has a lower chance of getting damaged.

Cherry- with a Janka rating of 995, cherry offers strength and durability against denting and scratching. It is also known for its special color properties in that the wood naturally darkens over time- from light, warm golden tan to a richer reddish-brown with the occasional dark flecks.

With their vibrant color and very smooth finish, cherry wooden bowls are considered the “universal” wood species for bowls due to their popularity in gift-giving. They are ideal for serving your crisp and fresh green salads. 

Black Walnut- a durable hardwood that scores 1,010 on the Janka scale, Black Walnut is popular for its distinct light tan and rich dark brown coloration as well as its beautiful grain that goes from straight to wavy.  Black Walnut bowls are for you if you love drama.

Red Oak- a well-loved hardwood with warm red and brown hues, Red Oak comes in a one-of-a-kind design with circular or parallel lines. With a Janka rating of 1,450, Red Oak offers solid performance for everyday chopping while creating a striking look to serve your favorite dishes. These wooden bowls are also popular as fruit bowls.

Maple- a creamy white hardwood, Maple has an impressive Janka rating of 1,450, making it ultra-durable and looking great for the many years to come. With their light tan color and smooth, fine texture, it’s easy for our maple wooden bowls to create a gorgeous contrast with bright, colorful fruits and salads.

Honey Locust- with creamy wood grain and golden hues, Honey Locust wooden salad bowls are elegantly stunning bowls with their swirling patterns and eye-catching loops. With a remarkable Janka score of 1,580, Honey Locust makes for superior heirloom bowls that are a charming aesthetic addition to your kitchen and table.

Beech- very similar in appearance to cherry with a pale cream to reddish-brown color and fine, smooth texture, Beech wood is a hardworking species with a high Janka rating of 1,300 resulting in durable, solid wood bowls. Known for their toughness and versatility, they make wonderful chopped salad bowls.

How do I choose the right size of a wooden salad bowl?

Available in various sizes, our wooden salad bowls also come in different colors and patterns depending on their wood type. The larger bowls have a lot more room and are perfect for tossing and serving salads for up to 12 people.

The 10-Inch bowl serves a salad for 1-2 persons while the 12-Inch bowl serves 3-4.

The 15-Inch bowl holds a full salad for 6-8 people while the 17-Inch bowl is perfect for 10-12.

Learn more about our wooden bowls and how to handle them with care using our guide on How to Treat Your Wooden Bowls.