Whether you’re whipping up a snack for a spontaneous soiree or planning a decadent appetizer for a formal affair, everybody loves a charcuterie board. Creating a beautiful, delicious charcuterie plate is an essential skill for hosts of all experience levels—so why not learn new tips and tricks for sprucing up a wood charcuterie board in your home? Between choosing unique flavors, searching for special cheeses, and curating your dinnerware and serveware collections, join us to learn four ways to build your charcuterie wood board today.
The Rise of the Charcuterie Board
Charcuterie boards have risen in popularity over the last few years, thanks to online trends and magazine spreads—and with good reason! Who doesn’t love good cheese? With the perfect blend of easy-going finger foods and the ability to personalize every aspect of the wooden serving board, charcuterie is an art form that works for every home and type of gathering.
While some form of charcuterie has always been around, its sudden spike of fame makes complete sense. Between holiday gatherings and intimate dinner parties with friends, a charcuterie plate brings a luxurious feel to any situation. Show your guests your attention to detail by designing vibrant and tasty charcuterie plates full of everyone’s favorite flavors and join this popular foodie trend.
Why We Love Creating Charcuterie Boards
We believe that all hosts should try their hand at creating a charcuterie plate because they’re a completely non-threatening and approachable way to feed guests of all ages. With countless ways to mix and match foods for a wood charcuterie board, you can easily customize them with whatever ingredients you have on hand. Experimenting with different designs, shapes, colors, and tastes is fun for hosts of all levels, whether you’re a novice entertainer or an experienced pro.
Charcuterie plates are instant crowd-pleasers. Choosing seasonal ingredients for themed holiday boards or making multiple boards for a larger gathering allows you to personalize the experience for your guests at every event. The curated foods and spreads on a charcuterie plate offer enough variety to enable guests to take what they want according to their taste and hunger levels, encouraging them to mill about and mingle with the other guests.
Not to mention that a wood charcuterie board is completely customizable to your tastes. Unlike recipes for appetizer dishes, if you don’t like a certain ingredient, like a type of cheese or pickles, you can switch them out and find a replacement you enjoy. Every element on a charcuterie plate is your choice, and between choosing complementary flavors and designing a board around favorite ingredients, who wouldn’t love personalizing one?
What is the 3-3-3-3 Rule for Charcuterie Boards?
No matter the style of the wood charcuterie board, you can always follow the 3-3-3-3 rule. Every charcuterie board should have three meats, three cheeses, three starch options, and three accompaniments, such as fruit, nuts, or veggies. Extra additions, like dips and garnishes, complete the board, but this rule can help inspire you as you start to lay out a charcuterie plate.
Why We Love to Reinvent the Classic Wood Charcuterie Board
Like any fad that has a quick and fast following, at some point, it can start to feel overdone. If you find yourself thinking, “been there, done that,” know that you’re not alone. That’s why, after hosting endless gatherings, we reinvented the charcuterie board by mixing fresh ideas with the classic approach to revamp the trend!
Great Ways to Elevate Your Next Wood Charcuterie Board
Whether you’re putting together a traditional wooden serving board or finding ways to make an old favorite more exciting, gathering new and fresh ideas is important to keep your entertainment at the top of its game. At your next event, try these four ways to switch up your wood charcuterie boards and wow your guests:
1. Make a Traditional Charcuterie Board
Traditional wood charcuterie boards feature our favorite cheeses, meats, crackers, and breads. These types of wooden serving boards are classic, welcomed, and well-loved by guests on any occasion. They are also perfect for all-sized gatherings since they feature ingredients you can buy in bulk without making the serving wood board look too complicated. With minimal preparation, you can customize every item on a classic charcuterie wood board, throwing them together at the last minute or carefully curating the look for a themed event.
When to Use a Traditional Board
Traditional wood charcuterie boards are great for elevating simple and straightforward casual gatherings. Build your board for weeknight dinners, casual game nights, or last-minute get-togethers, and wow your guests with minimal effort—and a delicious payoff.
There’s no need to include special or crazy ingredients for this option, so a traditional style wooden serving board dish is the perfect excuse to put timeless favorites out for your friends and family.
How to Set Up a Traditional Board
Traditional charcuterie wood boards are the easiest to prepare; anything is fair game. First, choose your favorite rectangular or round wood board (or multiple if your gathering is large). Then, collect all your ingredients in one place so you can see everything you’re working with as you build your board.
Start by arranging cheeses and meats atop the board, add crackers, and then fill in the empty space with fresh and dried fruits, veggies, herbs, spreads, and any extras. Experiment with different shapes and structures to create a daring visual aesthetic and enhance your charcuterie plate.
2. Create a Cocktail Garnish Board
A cocktail board is the perfect special touch to enhance any event, featuring tasty additions for favorite signature drinks. Match the atmosphere of your event by pulling special ingredients to enhance your cocktails. Make a charcuterie plate of olives, bacon, celery, pickles, tomatoes, and peppers to accompany a delicious Bloody Mary bar or prepare fresh fruit to pair with a summery sangria or morning mimosas. Make a few boards to rotate around the room and inspire guests to customize their drinks throughout the evening.
When to Use a Cocktail Garnish Board
Cocktail boards are crowd-pleasers and can be prepared on any charcuterie plate or a few smaller wooden serving boards. Give your guests fresh, fun ingredients to add to their cocktails at a variety of different gatherings, such as:
- Weeknight dinner parties
- Baby showers
- Game nights
- Football watch parties
- Casual brunches
- Lunch parties
- Girl’s nights
How to Set Up a Cocktail Garnish Board
Cocktail boards are best served on smaller rectangle boards or round wood boards, so plan to have a couple on hand for your event. Set up each wooden serving board with specialty items to complete a cocktail, whether you’re hosting a margarita night for your girlfriends with a selection of sliced citrus or muddled herbs and fruits for mojitos. Spread out your delicious garnishes in a beautiful design for your guests to enjoy as they personalize their beverages!
3. Wow Your Guests with a Grazing Board
Grazing boards combine the best qualities of a traditional charcuterie plate with large-scale planning and more filling ingredients. These spreads are normally arranged on a larger wooden serving board or even across a whole table. Guests are encouraged to pick at the food throughout the event.
Any traditional meats, cheeses, crackers, fruits, veggies, and more can be put together in beautiful designs at any scale for a larger gathering, giving your guests the agency to choose exactly what they want to eat and curate their plates. The key to a grazing board is many, many accompaniments: add heartier ingredients, such as eggs or nuts, to your board to keep guests satisfied.
When to Use a Grazing Board
Because a grazing board can include a little bit of something for everyone, they can be used at any event. Whenever you have a large guest list to feed, you can skip the sit-down appetizer round and pull together delicious ingredients for a grazing wooden serving board. Plan to prepare your grand grazing wood charcuterie board at large-scale events such as:
- Wedding receptions
- Corporate events
- Bridal showers
- Graduation parties
How to Set Up a Grazing Board
Grazing boards are a great way for us to show off our hosting skills. Whether making the viral salami roses or coordinating all the fruits and vegetables in color order, feel free to take creative liberty when designing a large charcuterie plate for grazing to impress your guests and make the gathering memorable. Create separation and give depth and levels to your board by utilizing small charcuterie bowls to hold different ingredients, dips, and sauces.
4. Put Together a Healthy Crudités Board
A crudités wooden serving board is made up of raw, fresh vegetables arranged on a platter, typically paired with a complementing sauce or dip. Move away from the classic charcuterie plate of cheese, meats, and crackers whenever you need a fresh, healthy snack at a gathering.
When to Make a Crudités Board
What gathering couldn’t use an extra dose of vegetables? Whether you’re showing up with a healthy side for a potluck or giving your guests a fresh palate cleanser before a decadent meal. Chop up your favorite veggies and make a crudités wooden serving board at events like these:
- Holiday gatherings
- Backyard barbecues
- Buffet dinners
How to Set Up a Crudités Board
Tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, radishes, bell peppers, and other favorite vegetables are bright, colorful, tasty options for a crudités wooden serving board. These should always be served with a delicious dip, such as ranch, hummus, or cheese dip. Arrange the vibrant veggies in striking designs around charcuterie board bowls full of dips to give your guests a tasty treat!
Why Do You Need Bowls for Charcuterie Boards?
We love to feature small bowls on charcuterie boards in any style. Whether you’re making a traditional board or customizing it for a more contemporary feel, bowls can elevate the look of your board and make it visually dynamic. Charcuterie board bowls are also a great way to hold key ingredients on your wooden serving board, including cheese dip, salsa, jelly, spreads, nuts, and olives.
Essential Serveware for Charcuterie Boards
To create a delicious charcuterie plate assortment whenever the mood strikes, you need to have the correct wood charcuterie board serveware on hand. Stock up on these essential items and complete your curated collection:
Wooden Serving Boards
You can’t create unforgettable wood charcuterie boards without a few wooden serving board options! Wood is the traditional material for a charcuterie plate, bringing a classic and rustic touch to any tablescape. Round wood boards give an organic shape, while rectangle boards can modernize the style. Collect a few everyday wood charcuterie boards as well as some seasonal options so you can switch your dishes out for different events throughout the year!
Wood charcuterie boards aren’t the only option—you can also choose a favorite serving platter. Bring out a seasonal serving platter for a holiday gathering, or bring a splash of color to your tablescape with an Iris Blue Drop Large Handled Oval Platter.
Bowls are crucial for any style of charcuterie plate. From holding different dips and sauces to corralling slightly messier ingredients, bowls separate a wooden serving board, allowing you to get creative with placement. Our small dipping bowls are an essential item in all of our homes.
Appetizer spreaders and miscellaneous utensils are nice to have in your kitchen to help guests serve themselves. From adding a dollop of spinach artichoke dip to a plate with a Gold Small Dot Appetizer Spreader to spreading honey over ripe fruit with a honeycomb, filling your wooden serving board with a variety of utensils will prepare you for any charcuterie plate.
Don’t forget about tabletop accessories! When you’re setting out a grazing board for your guests or plan to rotate a couple of smaller wooden serving boards throughout the night, adding small touches like a citrus toothpick holder and cocktail napkins can pull everything together and show your guests the care they deserve.
Get Inspired to Put Your Own Twist on Your Charcuterie Board
With four ways to embrace a classic trend, it’s time to get inspired to create your wood charcuterie boards! Whether hosting a Char-BOO-terie Gathering to prepare for trick-or-treating with the family or pulling your fanciest cheeses and nuts for an intimate dinner party, try to combine interesting flavors and textures as you build your board. Play with seasonal ingredients, lean into a theme for colors or unique shapes, and be bold as you make a charcuterie plate.
Celebrate with your loved ones with decadent foods and garnishes on a sophisticated wood charcuterie board for every occasion. Lean into traditional for a last-minute get-together, elevate your wooden serving board with fancy cocktail additions, create an over-the-top grazing board for larger gatherings, or go fresh with a colorful crudités board. Whatever method you choose, you can reinvent the charcuterie board trend in the comfort of your own home!