It’s fair to say that the stomach is a sure-fire way to get to most people’s hearts. Impressing family, friends and dates with exceptionally prepared food, thoughtful appetizers and drool-worthy displays of the best snacks can win them over in a matter of seconds. This is where the art of charcuterie comes in. If you’re unfamiliar with charcuterie, we’re here to help by looking at how to produce the best charcuterie board along with some of the coolest coolest charcuterie boards available online.
What is Charcuterie?
Charcuterie, specifically, means the preparation of cured hams and salamis, but is usually more generally used to describe the collection of meats, cheese, dips and fruit garnered together on some kind of beautiful display platter — a charcuterie board.
When it comes to producing an amazing charcuterie board, you’ll likely find yourself asking questions like what is the best meat for a charcuterie board? What is the best cheese for a charcuterie board? And what are the best crackers for a charcuterie board? Of course, there is no one answer to each of these questions and much of what finds its way onto your board will come down to personal taste and preference. However, to get your creative juices flowing, here are some of the items most commonly found on a charcuterie board:
- Cured meats (e.g. prosciutto, mortadella and Spanish chorizo)
- Cheese variety (hard, firm, soft, semi-soft and blue)
- Crackers (e.g. grain, buttery, flaky and water)
- Hors d’oeuvres/canapés
- General appetizers
- Fruit (fresh or dried)
It’s important to remember the answer to the question of what is the best charcuterie board really comes down to what works for you and your guests. Filling a charcuterie board with fancy things that look nice but won’t be eaten by your vegetarian/vegan or particularly picky visitors isn’t necessarily the best idea, so checking with your guests about what kind of delights they prefer most may result in greater success.
What’s the Difference Between a Cheese Board and a Charcuterie Board?
As you can probably guess from the names alone, the biggest difference between the best cheese boards and the best charcuterie boards comes down to what you will find on them. For the most part, a cheese board is made up of a mix of cheeses, while a charcuterie board features a mix of meats, and more often than not cheeses, crackers and a range of other accompaniments, too.
Both the best cheese boards and the best charcuterie boards are definitely on the list of the best gifts for foodies. A good serving board is a versatile piece of kitchenware which is a must for anyone who loves to host.
Scroll down to discover our top 10 picks for the best charcuterie board. We’ve included a range of different styles, sizes and material types to ensure there’s a charcuterie board to fulfill your needs.
1. SMIRLY Bamboo Large Charcuterie Board
The SMIRLY Bamboo Large Charcuterie Board ticks all the right boxes for your charcuterie needs. This multi-piece set comes with a large board, a range of forks, knives and other handy utensils, a cheese board guide and an accompanying fruit tray, ensuring you have everything you need to produce a comprehensive spread to impress your guests. It also comes backed by more than 4,500 five-star ratings from Amazon users, meaning you can have confidence that you’re also going to love it. Additionally, for a level of customization, the board’s utensil holder has a magnetic base, allowing you to attach it and remove it as and when you want.
2. Hossejoy The Ultimate Bamboo Cheese Board Set
We are loving this 3-in-1 Hossejoy The Ultimate Bamboo Cheese Board Set. It’s crafted from bamboo and integrates a designated place for bread, dips, cheeses and meats. It also includes a wooden slot for the four stainless steel knives and utensils for serving your pre-dinner delicacies. The board’s durable construction also ensures it’ll last for years to come. The simple yet versatile design means it can also be used for displaying gourmet treats as well as desserts and slices of bread. Plus, the set is ready to be used straight out of the box and makes for a great gift idea for the foodie in your life.
3. RusticFlitch Oval Olive Wood Cheese Board
The RusticFlitch Oval Olive Wood Cheese Board is a versatile kitchen addition which can be used for everything from charcuterie displays to cutting your vegetables (although we think it’s too good looking to be used this way). Each board is produced from one piece of ethically sourced olive wood which sports its own unique and attractive patterning, shape and color. Additionally, the board comes in either large or small.
4. Juvale Black Slate Charcuterie Boards
These Juvale Black Slate Charcuterie Boards offer just the right amount of versatility and customization to make them a handy addition in any kitchen. The set includes six eight by 12-inch boards for displaying food and three pieces of chalk for explaining exactly what the cheese, meats, hors d’oeuvres and appetizers are. To protect your surfaces and prevent the boards from slipping when in use, each one has padded dots in all four corners. Furthermore, their slate construction makes them quick and easy to clean.
5. Sur La Table Italian Olive Wood Cheese Paddle
Thanks to its olive wood construction, this single-piece Sur La Table Italian Cheese Paddle is one of the most stylish charcuterie boards on our list. Add in the rounded edges, pre-drilled hanging loop and easy-carry handle, and it’s easy to see why this paddle is so popular with Sur La Table customers. Handily, the board is available in either small or large, making it possible to choose the one best suited to the number of guests or family members who will be feasting from it.
6. Epicurean x Frank Lloyd Wright Cut-and-Serve Board
If you’re looking for a darker charcuterie board which delivers as much style as it does display space, check out this Epicurean x Frank Lloyd Wright Cut-and-Serve Board. It’s constructed from Richlite resin-infused recycled paper which has been accented with a graceful, geometric design. It’s heat-resistant to 350°F, can be used with non-stick cookware and can be cleaned in a dishwasher. Plus, the board comes in either small, medium or large, meaning there’s one to suit every size of household or get-together.
7. Olivewood Rectangular Cheese Board
If you prefer to know that the materials used in the production of your charcuterie board come from a sustainable source, this Olivewood Rectangular Cheese Board should be speaking to you. It’s crafted from solid, boldly grained olive wood which comes from either Italy or Thailand. The wood’s natural graining means every piece is also truly unique, making it a great gift for house-warmings or other occasions. Additionally, it’s available in medium, large and extra-large sizes and comes with a pre-drilled hold in the handle for easier storage.
8. Shanik Lazy Susan Board Set
For round tables, there’s no better option than this Shanik Upgraded Lazy Susan Board Set. By sporting a round design with four built-in spaces for housing foods separately alongside a larger, circle space in the middle, you’ll be able to display all kinds of foods, from cheese and crackers to olives and meats. The kit also comes with two utensils and two oven-fired white ceramic bowls which fit perfectly into the board’s outer spaces. Perhaps best of all, the board features a rotating function which allows it to move freely for greater grabbing convenience when guests are seated.
9. Brandless Eco-Friendly Host Bundle
The Brandless Eco-Friendly Host Bundle comes with a range of handy items to make hosting a classy get-together a cakewalk. Pieces in the set range from a serving spoon and turner to cotton baskets and the board itself. Furthermore, the majority of the pieces included in the set are made from high-quality acacia wood which is visually appealing, durable and sustainable all at the same time. This comprehensive kit is a fun, functional and thoughtful gift idea for new homeowners or hosts and hostesses who love nothing better than hosting.
10. Prep & Savour Dangelo Rectangular Wood Board
With its longer-than-average length, this Prep & Savour Dangelo Rectangular Wood Board makes an ideal choice for use on rectangular tables. At 40 inches long, every guest at the table will be within arm’s reach of all the delights on show. The board is also available in your choice of either cherry or walnut wood, making it easier to match your charcuterie board to the rest of your decor. As well as charcuterie items, the board’s large surface can be used for serving other food ideas, such as hot pizza or bread or even just standing hot pots and pans on. In addition, the USA-made board is slightly raised, sitting on four wooden legs so it’s easier to pick up and put down.