As the temperature begins to rise, gatherings are moving outdoors. Today I’m sharing my best tips on how to build the perfect charcuterie board for your next outdoor event. In my opinion, grazing is the best way to eat in the warmer months. Filling a board up with beautiful fruits, veggies, cheeses, and meats is easy and so satisfying for your guests. Snacking on a poolside charcuterie board is the perfect way to spend a lazy afternoon!
How do you make a charcuterie board for a picnic or other relaxing day outdoors? It all comes down to the details. And there is a method to creating the ultimate outdoor charcuterie board. A well-balanced platter should include a variety of cheese, several meat options, colorful produce, and accouterments. Impress your friends with an epic board with my insider tricks below.
Selecting a Board
You can create your charcuterie board on anything your heart desires: a wooden board, a plate, or a serving tray. For an outdoor event, I recommend a platter with an edge or lip–that way all the goodies stay contained.
A mix of hard and soft cheeses is the way to go. Between 3-5 types is a good target. This gives guests a variety of choices without overwhelming them.
A few of my favorites:
- Soft: brie, camembert, goat cheese
- Semi-soft: gouda, port salut
- Hard: cheddar, manchego
Pro Tip on Serving Cheese:
Keep soft cheeses whole and serve with a cheese knife. Semi-soft and hard cheeses can be pre-cut for your guests.
Include a couple of different meat options. A spicy salami and a smooth prosciutto are two of my go-to options.
I love adding in lots of colorful fruits and veggies–this will really make your board stand out! Be sure to include some summer favorites like strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, grapes, kiwi, cucumber, and pomegranate seeds.
Pro Tip on Selecting Produce:
Spend time perusing your local grocery store or market and pick what is seasonal and fresh!
When adding in the accompaniments, try to include something salty (nuts), sweet (honey, jam), and tangy (olives, anything pickled). Keep your crackers and bread on a separate serving dish (no soggy carbs!). There are so many textures and flavors to include on a charcuterie board–have fun and experiment here!
Building the Board
- 1. Place any ramekins or serving bowls on the board first. These could be filled with nuts, honey, jam, or cornichons.
- 2. Lay out your cheeses. Keep space between varieties!
- 3. Fill in all the nooks and crannies with the remainder of your ingredients. A bountiful board is inviting and beautiful!
- 4. Garnish with fresh herbs (rosemary, mint, thyme), dried fruits, and edible flowers. This will take your board to the next level!
Pro Tip on Selecting Produce:
How do you keep a charcuterie board fresh outside? Keep your charcuterie board fresh for longer by covering it tightly with plastic wrap.
Enjoy Your Poolside Charcuterie
Your charcuterie board will make the perfect accompaniment to a relaxing day on the pool ledge. Lounge and snack the day away!
Ready to take your pool ledge to the next level? Add some in-pool seating and a tanning ledge table to set down your charcuterie board during the pool party.
About the Author
Danielle is a food stylist and charcuterie board creator based in Tampa, Florida. See more of Danielle’s creations and food styling tips by following her on Instagram @theboardandbeyond