Charcuterie boards are a great centerpiece to entertain your friends, guests, and even yourself with. This French board can look super intimidating if you’ve never made one before. However, with the use of this step-by-step guide and tips from an expert in the industry, you can easily put together a fabulous centerpiece dish for all your meat and cheese board needs! This guide will impress your guests and will leave them craving more.
We had the chance to interview Meghan Geier, a gifted artist who created her brand, Crave A Board. She finds unique elements for all of her amazing boards which can be found on her Instagram, @craveaboard. She gave us an inside scoop that will make a first time charcuterie board easier than you think.
Step 1: Cheese! Having good cheese is an essential part of the board. Meghan’s #1 advice for beginners is to go to your local grocery or specialty store and try all the different cheeses. That way, you will know exactly what you’re putting on your board. Having different textures is a must for your charcuterie board. So be sure to include soft and hard cheeses. Some popular cheeses include brie, gouda, cheddar & Meghan’s favorite, Murray’s 1 Year Manchego cheese. Start by cutting the hard cheeses into bite-sized chunks and soft cheeses into wedges. We also recommend leaving multiple knives on the board for your guests to use.
Step 2: The meat is next! It is also important to have a variety of quality cooked and/or cured meats. Popular meats include prosciutto, salami, spicy salami, pepperoni, turkey and ham. You can set the meat on your board by rolling up the thinly sliced meats, folding them into quarters if it’s big enough, or laying them on top of each other.
Step 3:Time for the side pieces. The sides on your board is also a crucial element to making an average board, an excellent board. They should complement the meat and cheeses on your board. Add sides like fresh and dried fruits, olives, veggies, hummus, honey and jams. This also adds color on to the board for those perfect Instagram pictures! Use this step to be creative and add in fun colors. Check out Meghan’s Instagram for some inspiration. Meghan’s favorite side pieces and must haves include Ben’s Sugar Shack Acacia Honeycomb Jar, which pairs very well with cheeses, and Partanna Castelvetrano Green Olives. Yum!
Step 4: Now, it’s time to add the crackers! Crackers will balance out your meat and cheeses! One of our favorites is Beecher’s cracker biscuits! You can also add a variety of crackers that include raisin rosemary crisps, multigrain pita chips, and even Ritz crackers.
Step 5: One of the last steps is to fill in the gaps on your board. You can do this by adding in your favorite nuts. My personal favorites include almonds and peanuts. But the list goes on for you to choose your favorites.
Step 6: The last step is to arrange your board. A tip to keep in mind is to group each element together and place them in small sections all over your board. Start by placing your cheeses in small groups on different sides of the board. Then, do the same with your meats and crackers. Tip: You can keep the crackers standing up-right by using cheeses or the side pieces to hold them in place. Group them together and place them on different sides of the board. Use your side pieces to add color and also place them around the board where you see fit. Lastly, fill in the gaps with your nuts.
Arranging your charcuterie board is meant to be fun and creative! Once you place an element onto your board, you will gain the natural ability to arrange your board however you see fit. You will have a show-stopping, centerpiece charcuterie board in no time!