When you don’t want to be tied down to planning a formal dinner but want to entertain some friends, then it’s time to pull out the charcuterie board. These “boards”, which can be made of bamboo, different kinds of wood or even metal, allow you to present a variety of appetizer-type finger foods that pair nicely with each other.
Using a charcuterie board is an opportunity to be creative in how you serve a selection of different cured meats and any foods that go with them such as cheese, fruit, bread, crackers, mustard, tangy pickles, sweet jam and anything else that catches your fancy. The eclectic assortment satisfies most tastes, and the presentation is perfect for an informal gathering, or as an appetizer tray before a sit-down meal.
We feature a list of some of the best charcuterie boards you can purchase online. Read on to find the one that meets your needs.
1. Editor’s Choice: SMIRLY Large Bamboo Charcuterie Board and Knife Set
Get ready to feast! This charcuterie board is the perfect set for all of your small and large gatherings. Super versatile, there are so many pieces and serving options, you can use it for an intimate snack for two or for a large informal brunch for family and friends.
The round tray can be used on its own for one or two people or is a perfect complement to the larger charcuterie board in the set. With five sections, you can fill it with fruit, bread, nuts, crackers or other foods to pair with what is on the larger board.
Measuring 16 inches by 13 inches by 2 inches, the main charcuterie board can hold a wide assortment of cured meats, cheeses, crackers, sliced bread and fruit. There is also room in the corners to place the two ceramic sauce bowls that are included. Two pull-out side drawers offer extra space for garnishes.
There is also another drawer that houses four stainless steel knives, two white markers, two black slate labels, four small forks and a wine opener. It even comes with a booklet with ideas on how to set up the food.
- Versatile use
- Comes with knives, forks, ceramic saucers, slate labels and a wine opener
- Two pull-out side drawers
- A bit pricey
- May be too large for some uses
2. Runner Up: Picnic at Ascot Patented Bamboo Charcuterie Board
Not all charcuterie boards are square or rectangular. Many are round, like this one from Picnic at Ascot. But what we really love about this charcuterie board is its versatility. The multi-layered board closes into itself to store easily away in a compact 9.5-inch wedge. When company comes and you want to serve up some appetizers, it swivels open to an 18-inch-diameter, four-tiered round charcuterie board and serving platter.
Made from a high quality bamboo, the attractive board also has an integrated drawer to store the three cheese knives that are included with in the set. It’s easy to open and you can artfully arrange an assortment of cold cuts, cheese, crackers, nuts and fruit onto each tier, enough for an informal gathering. And, as the food begins to disappear, you can fold in the sections to make it smaller. When you are done, cleanup is easy using soapy water or a damp cloth.
This round charcuterie board would make a unique and thoughtful housewarming or anniversary gift.
- Round shape
- Folds into a compact wedge
- Four tiers
- A bit tricky to wash
- A bit pricey
3. Best Plank Shape: TOSCANA Artisan Raw Edge Charcuterie Board
This is another atypically shaped charcuterie board that is ideal for anyone who loves to be a little different and add a touch of artisan appeal to their entertaining vibe. This plank-shaped serving platter is large – 30 inches long – and narrow, only eight inches wide, but it will cut an impressive picture on your table, with enough room for cured meats, cheese, bread, fruit and crudities to satisfy a large crowd.
Made from durable acacia wood, it’s hardy and durable to use for cutting on and it is naturally water resistant, so you don’t have to worry if anything spills on the surface; just wipe it clean. The rustic piece also has a unique, live bark edge that gives it an interesting appeal. Use the hemp hanging loop on one end to proudly display the plank-style board on your kitchen wall to up your kitchen décor and wow your friends.
- Made from durable acacia wood
- Unique plank-style shape
- Hemp hanging loop
- Not easy to store unless hung on the wall
- No drawers to store utensils
4. Best Slate: GXCDIZX Natural Slate Charcuterie Board Knife Set
For a classic modern look, you might want to move away from a wood or bamboo charcuterie board and try this stunning natural slate model. Truly unique, the quarter-inch thick slate has an organic flaked edge, with a surface that has been treated with a 100 percent food safe coating that makes cleanup easy with mild soap and water.
The board measures 12 inches by 16 inches, large enough to fit a satisfying assortment of cured meats, cheese, fruit, bread chunks and crackers, and has handles, so it is easy to carry. The set includes three white mini ceramic bowls that not only make a striking color contrast against the dark slate, but are also suitable for serving spreads, condiments and sauces to complement your appetizers.
This set includes a rose gold chisel knife, a black cheese fork, a gold heart cheese knife and a silver blade knife, plus white chalk so you can write directly on to the slate to identify specific meats and cheeses. This slate charcuterie board would make an awesome gift for the foodie in your life.
- Modern looking design with handles
- Made of slate
- Comes with ceramic bowls and cheese knives
- Cannot be used as a cutting board
- Slate can dull a knife and may crack under too much pressure
5. Best Small Size: Frux Wood Charcuterie Board Set
Not all parties are large. In fact, sometimes all you want or need is an intimate get together for yourself and that special someone. Whether it’s for yourself as a special treat or for you and a friend, this wood charcuterie board is perfectly sized to hold just the right amount of food.
And while it may be a bit smaller – and more affordable – than the other charcuterie boards on this list, it still has a number of useful features and accessories that make it a good purchase. For example, it’s made from eco-friendly, sustainably grown 100 percent natural bamboo, and it is stain and odor-resistant for long-lasting use.
It has a carved well around the perimeter to fit crackers, bread chunks, fruit and nuts, and the inner section, which measures 13.3 inches by 13.3 inches, can accommodate a generous amount of cured meat and cheese. The set includes four stainless steel cheese knives, which can be conveniently stored in the hidden pull-out drawer.
- Made from sustainably sourced bamboo
- Hidden draw to store cheese knives
- Carved well around the perimeter for crackers
- May be too small for some needs
6. Worth Considering: ABELL Acacia Charcuterie Board
This charcuterie board is a bit expensive, but it has an interesting design that lets you expand its size to suit different entertaining needs. The size of the board measures 14.17 inches by 12.6 inches, but there are two pull-out drawers on each side that when open, gives you the extra space you need when that small party you planned suddenly gets bigger overnight.
Made from rustic and durable Acacia wood that it will not absorb the smell of food, we love its unique design that incorporates a removable, double-sided marble slab in the middle of the board that creates a unique aesthetic and a lovely surface for cutting cheese.
To keep this charcuterie board looking nice, it does require some care. It should only be hand washed with mild soap and water, wiped down, air dried and then treated with oil to maintain its luster. The board also comes with steel cheese knives with ceramic handles and two small ceramic bowls, so it’s ready to go when you are.
- Expandable size
- Unique removable marble slab in middle of board
- Made of durable acacia wood
- Requires some maintenance
7. Best Unique Design: Thirteen Chefs Wine Barrel Inspired Charcuterie Board with Handles
And now for something completely different! If you are looking for a truly unique – but functional – charcuterie board that will stand out above the rest, then you may want to consider this model from Thirteen Chefs.
Perfect for a rustic farmhouse vibe, the design of this round board comes from everyone’s favorite drink – wine. In fact, the charcuterie board is made from stained cypress wood made to resemble the top of a rustic wine barrel, with a one-inch thick black metal band and sturdy handles, so it’s easy to carry.
Measuring 20 inches across, it’s large enough to feed a crowd. Place it on a table so your guests can serve themselves or use the handles to pass it around the room. The naturally moisture-resistant properties of cypress wood will keep this charcuterie board clean and free of harmful buildup, offering up years of use. It would make a great gift for the host or hostess in your life.
- Affordably priced
- Unique design
- Has handles
- No drawers
- A bit heavy
8. Best Splurge Buy: Resinate Exotic Furniture Handmade Walnut Charcuterie Board
You know that friend, the one who has everything? Or the one who needs to own only original pieces? If you are looking for a gift for THAT person (or even for yourself), then you will love this handmade charcuterie board. Each board is hand-crafted with live-edge wood so no two boards of this style will ever look identical.
Made from black walnut wood and finished with epoxy resin, the board comes in four distinct designs – Bora Blue, Charcoal Black, Lava Red and Pearl White — each of which has a brilliant wave of colour running down one side. The sturdy boards measure 18 inches long by 10 inches wide and one inch thick, so there is plenty of room to arrange a delectable assortment of cured meats, cheese, crackers, nuts and fruit.
The surface of the board is finished to make it easy to clean and there is a round hole in one corner so it can be hung from a hook when not in use. And while it is very expensive, this one-of-a-kind hand-crafted charcuterie board will make the ideal gift for the fussy foodie who has everything.
- Epoxy resin finish
- Four colors to choose from
- No drawers or accessories
What to look for when choosing a charcuterie board:
This is probably the most important factor to consider when purchasing a charcuterie board. Luckily, these boards come in a nice variety of sizes and shapes, so it’s not hard to find one to suit your needs. You can choose from square, rectangular and round, each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages.
That being said, it all really boils down to how you intend to use it. If you know you will only use it for one or two people, then stick with a smaller size. Not only will it be more affordably priced, but your food arrangement will look nicer. That’s because a smaller amount of food placed on a large charcuterie board will look sparse and unappealing. With the right size, even a on a small board, you can artfully arrange the food to make it look abundant and appealing.
If you entertain small and large groups of people but don’t have the space or want more than one charcuterie board, then look for one that expands in size to meet a variety of occasions. The expansion can come in the form of pull-out drawers that can be used for crudities, fruit or nuts, extra tiers that can be folded open or closed to suit the number of people being served, or a set that includes a large board with drawers plus a round board with sections.
Finally, think about your storage space. A long plank-style charcuterie board may look appealing, but it will be more difficult to store away when not in use, while one with expanding drawers may fit nicely into your kitchen cupboard.
Many charcuterie boards come in sets. This means you get extras like utensils, usually in the form of cheese knives, small ceramic bowls into which you can put sauces, dips, olives and condiments, and slate labels and chalk to identify the name of the cheese or meat you are serving. These extras can come in handy, but if you already have these items in your kitchen, you might not want to buy a set with them included. However, if you are purchasing a charcuterie board as a gift, then included utensils and bowls would make a thoughtful addition so the recipient has everything they need to entertain right out of the box. If you are gifting a novice, look for a set that also includes a booklet with instruction on how to create a beautiful board.
Another accessory that some people don’t take into account are drawers. Most charcuterie boards that come with knives have a hidden drawer in which to store the utensils, which is really handy. As well, a board with pull-out drawers offers extra surface space to put food. Finally, some charcuterie boards have handles. This is something to consider if you want the option to carry it around the room to serve, or you want a safe way to carry a board laden with food,
It’s never a good idea to spend more than you can afford but luckily, charcuterie boards come in such a wide range of price points, you’re bound to find something within your budget. A few factors will affect the cost, like the size, the material the board is made of, and if it comes with accessories.
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