When the weather is warm, there’s nothing better than getting together with friends and family to enjoy a great outdoor dinner. And what better way to do this than with Easy Summer Charcuterie Board Ideas for Cookouts?
A charcuterie board can be easily tailored to fit your summer entertaining by adding fresh fruits, herbs, and cheese that will make it perfect for those warm summer days.
With a variety of cheeses, small bowls of freshly chopped veggies, soft cheeses, dried fruits, and edible flowers—plenty of great options make for a perfect summer board.
What is a Charcuterie Board?
A charcuterie board is a platter or board that is typically made up of a variety of cured meats, cheeses, fruits, nuts, bread, and other accompaniments such as olives or spreads, such as fig jam.
The word “charcuterie” itself is derived from a French term that refers to the art of preparing cured meats.
Typically, a charcuterie board will feature a range of different meats, such as prosciutto or salami, as well as different types of cheese that might include hard cheeses, soft cheeses, or a combination of the two.
The ultimate goal is to create a visually appealing and delicious spread that can be enjoyed as a snack, appetizer, or part of a meal.
Easy Summer Charcuterie Board Ideas for Cookouts
What Do You Put On a Charcuterie Board for Summer?
Here are some tips on creating the perfect charcuterie board while adding a summer twist so you can wow your guests!
Check out Outdoor Charcuterie Board Ideas to Make for Summer for more great charcuterie ideas!
1. Start with a hard cheese: A great way to start is with a hard cheese like Parmesan or Gouda. If you are like me, and like an in-between cheese, Havarti is an excellent not too hard not too soft kind of cheese. These will add crunch and flavor to the summer charcuterie board. Another favorite of mine is Emmental Swiss!
2. Add some fresh herbs: Fresh herbs like basil, rosemary, oregano, and thyme can bring out the flavors of the meats and cheeses on your board. Include them for an extra pop of flavor!
3. Choose your favorite things: Whether it’s thinly sliced salami or creamy brie, pick out your favorite items to include on your cheese platter. You can also add your favorite crackers and slices of bread for added texture and flavor. Dried fruit can be a great way to add in more shelf stable ingredients.
4. Mix in some tantalizing sides: Favorite fruits like strawberries, blueberries, and melon add a hint of sweetness to the board, while garden-fresh veggies such as tomatoes and cucumbers give a crunchy texture. Olives are also a great way to add flavor and texture to your board.
Need ideas for displaying your strawberries? Take a look at How to Cut Strawberries for Your Charcuterie Board!
5. Spice it up with cured meats: A great charcuterie board isn’t complete without adding a variety of cured meats like salami, prosciutto, and pepperoni. These will give your guests something savory and delicious!
6. Make it fun with unique items: Don’t forget to have fun when creating your charcuterie board! Include unique items like pita chips, pickles, and jams to give your board a special touch for your summer gatherings.
Want more ways to make appetizers fun for your crowd? Try Festive 4th of July Charcuterie Board Ideas!
How Do You Serve Cheese On a Hot Day?
Serving cheese on a hot day can be a challenge, as it’s important to keep it cool and fresh.
One option is to create a chilled cheese board with a variety of cheeses, fruits, and crackers, keeping the cheese in a cooler with ice until ready to serve.
Another option is to serve slices of cheese on a cold plate or slate, or even over a bed of ice to keep it cool.
Soft cheeses like brie and camembert can be served with chilled grapes or melon slices for a refreshing twist.
I tend to avoid pungent cheeses like blue cheese, especially during the summer months to avoid that flavor being absorbed by the other foods on your platter.
Ultimately, it’s important to monitor the cheese and ensure it stays at a safe temperature to prevent spoilage.
How Long Can Cheese Sit Out on a Hot Day?
When cheese is left out on a hot day, it can quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria which can cause food poisoning.
It is recommended that cheese should not be left out at room temperature for more than two hours, and for no longer than one hour if the temperature is above 90°F (32°C).
Soft cheeses, such as brie or camembert, will spoil more quickly than harder cheeses.
To avoid the risk of food poisoning, it’s best to keep cheese refrigerated and only take out what you need for immediate consumption.
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How to Choose Your Charcuterie Meats
There are many types of charcuterie meats to choose from, including salami, prosciutto, and cured sausage.
When selecting your meats, it’s important to consider the flavors, textures, and presentation of each option.
It’s also helpful to select a range of options to accommodate different taste preferences and dietary restrictions.
Doing some research and tasting different options can help you choose the perfect selection of charcuterie meats for your next gathering.
Slice Up Your Vegetables and Pickles
When it comes to creating a beautiful and delicious charcuterie board, the presentation is crucial.
One way to make your board more visually appealing is to slice up your vegetables and pickles.
Thinly slicing carrots, cucumbers, and radishes not only adds color and texture to the board but also makes them easier to eat.
Pickles, such as cornichons and pickled onions, can also be sliced into smaller pieces for easier snacking.
Remember to vary the shapes and sizes of the slices to create interest and variety on the board. With some thoughtful slicing and arranging, your charcuterie board is sure to impress your guests.
Savor Those Summer Fruits
Summer is the time for juicy seasonal fruits. Stone fruit like succulent peaches and fresh berries like sweet strawberries.
There is an abundance of delicious produce available during this time of year. And what better way to showcase these fruits than on a charcuterie platter?
Place handfuls of fresh summer berries anywhere there are open spaces on your board. It adds a lovely pop of color and fills in any gaps.
Whether you’re hosting a summer soirée or simply enjoying a lazy afternoon on your porch, a colorful arrangement of summer fruits can add a refreshing touch to your snack spread.
Plus, it’s a healthier alternative to other snacks and adds variety to your typical charcuterie board. So go ahead and savor those summer fruits in style!
Add Your Garnishes for a Charcuterie Board
When it comes to putting together a stunning and delicious charcuterie board, choosing the right garnishes is key.
These small accents can elevate the flavors, colors, and textures on display and help create a visually appealing spread.
Popular garnish options can include fresh herbs, citrus rind, and even edible flowers. By carefully selecting and arranging your garnishes, you can take your charcuterie board from basic to unforgettable.
Thoughts About Summer Charcuterie Board Ideas
These easy steps give you the perfect summer charcuterie board for your next cookout or pool party.
Whether you’re hosting a warm summer night movie night or just want to add a little something special to your picnic, these ideas will make it extra memorable!
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and create your next masterpiece!
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