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A charcuterie board typically features a selection of cured meats and cheeses, like salami, prosciutto, Brie, and Gouda, and other bite-sized accompaniments, like hummus, jam, baguette, honey, fruit, flowers, and more. The nice thing about a platter like such is that it doesn't require any culinary skill to put one together, although it may take a bit of practice to make the finished product look aesthetically pleasing.
While you can technically serve your sweet and savory selection on a cutting board or plate, investing in a beautiful charcuterie board truly ties everything together—and with a dish like this, it's all about presentation.
Here, the best charcuterie boards.
Best Overall: Vistal Supply Cheese and Charcuterie Board Gift Set With Cheese Knives
Comes with tools
Great for picnics
More generic than the others
This 13 x 13-inch bamboo board comes with a handy built-in storage drawer for its cheese knives, and there's a rim around the edge that's perfectly shaped to hold crackers and slices of bread. The board comes with four serving utensils, all made from stainless steel: a serving fork; a plane knife, which is used for softer cheeses; a spatula for serving those that tend to crumble (like blue cheese); and a heart-shaped knife that will help you dig into harder ones.
Bamboo is considered a renewable resource, so you can feel good about choosing it as a material, and it's also easy to keep clean, though like any wood, it's not dishwasher friendly.
Material: Bamboo | Dimensions: 13 x 13 inches
Best Stone: Anthropologie Agate Cheese Board
On the smaller size
Measuring approximately 11 x 7 inches, this gleaming board comes in several different colors, including two shades of blue, rose quartz, and amethyst. It's made from agate, which is a rock that's typically volcanic and contains a mix of silica and quartz. The edge is brass-plated, which gives it an extra glamorous look.
Note that some reviewers mentioned the boards seemed small in size and vary greatly in terms of color and shape (some ordered a few so they could choose the one they liked best). Others used them as trivets or a place to hold candles or perfume bottles rather than snacks or desserts.
Material: Agate stone and brass plating | Dimensions: 11 x 7 inches
Best Oversized: Tableboards by Spinella Cheese Board and Platter
Plenty of room
Pricier than others
At 3 feet long, this massive showpiece board is meant to be placed in the center of a dining or coffee table. There are two color options—walnut and cherry—and both have beautiful accent colors that complement their tones. Some reviewers also enjoy using their boards for shared dishes, such as pizza, or as a place to put several hot serving dishes, eliminating the need for trivets.
Although they work well for cheese and charcuterie, the creator of Tableboards says the long platters were inspired by a request from his partner Liz, who wanted to be able to bring hot food to the table immediately and have a place for it to cool before cutting.
Your Tableboard will need a regular dose of mineral oil to condition it and help it repel water, but reviewers felt that the little bit of work was well worth the effort to show it off.
Material: Pine wood or cherry wood | Dimensions: 36 x 12 inches
Best Rustic: Pottery Barn Olive Wood Rustic Edge Cheese and Charcuterie Board
Plenty of room
Harder to take care of
This elegant board is dense, sturdy, and non-porous with a dark wood edge. The board's classic, rustic aesthetic makes it a good candidate for a casually arranged spread, like cascading bunches of grapes and piles of different meats and vegetables. Handmade at a family-owned workshop in the small town of Sfax, Tunisia, these boards are made by skilled woodworkers who only use sustainably sourced olive wood from olive trees that no longer bear fruit. The last step is polishing it with olive oil to create a surface that’s moisturized with vivid color and grain. This timeless item will last a lifetime and look great the whole way through, especially if you’re taking care to hand wash and polish with mineral oil.
Material: Olive wood | Dimensions: 15.75 x 6.5-7.5 inches
Best Personalized: Whitney Herndon Rustic Serving Tray
A personalized touch
Eight character limit per line
This handmade board is made from pine wood and accented with cast iron handles that make it easy to carry from room to room. Pine is a great choice for a charcuterie board because it's nonporous and therefore won't absorb odors or stain as quickly as softer woods.
The board can be personalized with either a name or zip code and measures approximately 17 x 11 inches. The only downside is that there is an eight-letter limit per line (with two lines offered, so 16 characters split between the two), so if your family has a longer last name, it may not fit on one line.
Whitney Herndon is an independent artist based in the historic downtown area of Brunswick, Georgia. She also makes many other stylishly rustic home decor items, like wall-mounted bottle openers and chalkboards.
Material: Pinewood and cast iron | Dimensions: 17.25 x 11 inches
Best Eco-Conscious: Val Huegerich Recycled Wine Bottle Platter With Spreader
Great for wine lovers
A very specific aesthetic
Artist Val Huegerich is based in Wyoming, where her shop is called Cowgirls Re-Ride. Not surprisingly, she focuses on giving recycled items new lives as artwork or home decor. These funky platters made from old wine bottles, which would make fitting gifts for wine lovers and eco-conscious households, are formed in a kiln.
They measure 12 x 5 inches, and each one comes with a cork-handled spreader that can easily be stored in the neck of the wine bottle. Not only are the platters good looking, but they're also low-maintenance and can be run through the dishwasher. Glass is an ideal material for serving cheese and meat because it's easy to clean and doesn't absorb odors or harbor bacteria.
Material: Upcycled glass | Dimensions: 12 x 4.5 inches
Best Marble: Food52 x JK Adams Marble Board
Doubles as a surface for chilled doughs
On the heavier side
If you like to throw up your cheese and charcuterie boards on social media for the world to feast their eyes on, this beautiful marble board from Food52 will be just the thing. It also happens to double well as a baking assistant, keeping your dough for croissants, pies, and more chilled. It can even act as a great surface for tempering chocolate. Due to the natural quality of the marble, the exact pattern and grain will vary depending on your exact board, but this made-in-Vermont piece looks like an heirloom and will make you feel like Martha Stewart.
Material: Marble | Dimensions: 10.25 x 5.5 inches
Best Slate: Crate and Barrel 20 x 12-Inch Cheese Board
Write directly onto it
Slate is a nonporous material that's easy to keep clean; you can give it a little extra luster by rubbing in a few drops of mineral oil after you wash it with soap and water. This simple black board measures 20 x 12 inches and has a flaked edge that gives it an especially distinctive look.
Felt pads on the bottom of the board mean you can put it directly on a wood or glass table without worrying about leaving scratch marks. There's also a fun factor with slate: You can use chalk to write directly on the board, so guests will be able to tell distinguish the Brie from the Camembert. To truly nerd out, write down the region and purveyor, too.
Material: Slate | Dimensions: 20 x 12 inches
Vistal Supply's Cheese and Charcuterie Board Gift Set With Cheese Knives (view at Walmart) will set you up with a decent size serving area—and crevices for cradling crackers, bread, and other accompaniments—as well as the different knives you need to enjoy them. For something chic that's sure to stun grazers, we recommend the gorgeous Anthropologie Agate Cheese Board (view at Anthropologie).
What to Look for in a Charcuterie Board
A good charcuterie or cheese board should fit your budget, of course. It’s also worth considering its utility. Does it double as a serving tray? As a surface for working with chilled dough? Is it transportable? If one or more of those qualities are important to you, make sure your desired item is up to the task.
There are several different materials to choose from when you’re buying a cheese or charcuterie board. Obviously, you should choose the one that you like the looks of the best. It’s also worth noting that different materials have different care requirements. Wooden boards should be hand washed, kept away from long soaks in water, and oiled with mineral oil every two weeks to a month. Just about everything else (ceramic, porcelain, slate) can be thrown in the dishwasher, but always double check the care information to make sure.
Before you buy a board online, check the dimensions to get a sense for how big it is. If you entertain frequently, a larger board may be best. You should also scroll through the photos to see if there are staged options to get a sense for how it will look with food on it.
For some more clarity on charcuterie and charcuterie boards, we spoke with Marissa Mullen, founder of That Cheese Plate and Cheese by Numbers, and author of the bestselling book "That Cheese Plate Will Change Your Life," a how-to guide for crafting beautiful and delicious cheese boards.
What does charcuterie mean?
The French term “charcuterie” originally described the shops in which cured, aged, and cooked meats were sold—primarily pork. In the present day, the term “charcuterie” typically refers to the cured or aged meat on a cheese plate. Although the term has its French origins, I like to use mainly Italian salumi, including sopressata, salami, mortadella, prosciutto, bresaola, or capocollo. These meats make a great compliment to cheese, both having fatty and salty tasting notes.
What goes on a charcuterie board?
With the rise in popularity of cheese and charcuterie boards especially in the U.S., the term “charcuterie” has become synonymous with any type of cheese plate or cheese board. I’ve even seen creations of chocolate and cookie boards being referred to as “dessert charcuterie,” which is just not factually correct. Personally, I’ll only refer to something as a charcuterie board if it includes these types of meat, but "cheese board" is a great blanket term for any plate with cheese involved.
What is the best way to transport a charcuterie board?
It depends on the gathering. Will you have space to build it on-site or are you entering the party with board in hand? For ultimate freshness, I always like to transport the prepped ingredients separately and arrange once I'm at the gathering. For example, wash and cut your produce at home, pre-cut any hard cheeses, and even fold your meat in advance. If you're bringing the board intact, I would recommend serving the crackers on the side to avoid them from softening with the moisture from the fresh foods. I like to transport my cheese plates on a tray, platter, or plate with edges to avoid anything from rolling off.
What else do you serve with a charcuterie board?
There are so many excellent pairings to choose from. In the summer months, I love a fresh fruit pairing, like feta, watermelon, and mint; or cantaloupe, prosciutto, and fresh chevre. A favorite classic pairing of mine is a nutty aged Gruyère with fig jam.
How do you clean a charcuterie board?
I love using porcelain, ceramic, or slate plates for my boards because you can easily pop them in the dishwasher to clean. With wooden boards, always hand wash them with soap and warm water. I also recommend oiling your boards with mineral oil every so often to keep the wood moist. This avoids the board from cracking. Never let a wooden board soak in hot water or sit in steam.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Christine Clark is a writer and professional cheese eater. She teaches cheese and pairing classes throughout the United States and is dedicated to helping people expertly get their cheese fix. Her cheese adoration is so strong that she has a whole podcast dedicated to it. She is a Certified Cheese Professional through the American Cheese Society. She interviewed one expert for this roundup.