Outdoor Charcuterie Board Ideas to Make for Summer

As a lover of outdoor entertaining, I always look for ways to up my game for picnics and camping trips. These Outdoor Charcuterie Board Ideas to Make for Summer are an excellent way to do just that!

Whether you are looking for a simple snack to enjoy on a hike or a more elaborate spread for a picnic in the park, a charcuterie board is a versatile and easy option.

bright red summer strawberries in a white bowl to slice up for outdoor charcuterie boards

Summer Ready with Outdoor Charcuterie Board Ideas!

When it comes to creating a perfect outdoor charcuterie board for summer, there are a few key things to keep in mind. 

First, choose a variety of meats, cheeses, and accompaniments that will appeal to a range of tastes. Think about including some salty cured meats, hard cheese, and crunchy crackers or bread. 

Don’t forget to add some fresh fruit or veggies to balance out the richness of the meats and cheeses. And of course, don’t forget beverages to enjoy alongside your board!

Speaking of being summer ready! Make sure you take a look at Easy Summer Charcuterie Board Ideas for Cookouts!

Choosing the Right Board

When it comes to outdoor charcuterie boards, choosing the right board is crucial. Here are some things to consider when selecting a board:

Wooden Boards

Wood boards are a popular choice for charcuterie boards because they add a rustic and natural element to the presentation. Here are some things to consider when choosing a wooden board:

  • Type of wood: Different types of wood have different characteristics. For example, maple is a popular choice because it is hard and durable, while bamboo is eco-friendly and lightweight.
  • Size and shape: Consider the size and shape of the board based on the number of guests you will be serving. A larger board can accommodate more food, but a smaller board can be easier to handle.
  • Maintenance: Wooden boards require some maintenance to keep them in good condition. They should be washed by hand and oiled periodically to prevent cracking.

Plastic Boards

Plastic boards are another option for outdoor charcuterie boards. They are lightweight and easy to clean, making them a practical choice for outdoor gatherings. Here are some things to consider when choosing a plastic board:

  • Material: Look for a plastic board that is made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) because it is durable and resistant to cuts and scratches.
  • Size and shape: Similar to wooden boards, consider the size and shape of the board based on the number of guests you will be serving.
  • Cleaning: Plastic boards are easy to clean and can be washed in the dishwasher.

When choosing a board, consider your personal preferences and the needs of your guests. A well-chosen board can enhance the presentation of your charcuterie and make your outdoor gathering a success.

emmental swiss cheese sliced up on a cutting board to prepare outdoor charcuterie boards

Selecting the Cheeses for Your Outdoor Charcuterie Board

When it comes to creating an outdoor charcuterie board, selecting the right cheeses is crucial. I won’t lie, cheese is one of my favorite things, so I always aim to include a variety of textures and flavors to cater to everyone’s taste buds. Here are some tips on the perfect way to select cheeses for your picnic charcuterie board:

Soft Cheese

Soft cheeses are a must-have for any charcuterie board. They are creamy, spreadable, and pair well with fruits and nuts. 

My go-to soft cheeses are:

  • Brie: A classic cheese with a soft, buttery texture and a mild flavor.
  • Camembert: Similar to Brie, but with a stronger flavor and a slightly firmer texture.
  • Cream Cheese: Tangy and creamy, this cheese is perfect for spreading on crackers or bread.

Hard Cheese

Hard cheeses are perfect for adding a salty and nutty flavor to your cheese board. They also pair well with meats and olives. 

My favorite hard cheeses are:

  • Parmigiano-Reggiano: A hard, nutty cheese that is perfect for grating over salads or pasta dishes.
  • Havarti: A cheese with a creamy texture, buttery taste, and remarkable versatility, noted for being in between hard and soft. 
  • Gouda: A mild and creamy cheese with subtle hints of sweetness and nuttiness.  

Variety of Cheeses

A variety of cheeses is essential for any charcuterie picnic board. It adds depth and complexity to the flavors and textures. Here are some other specialty cheeses that I like to include:

  • Boursin: A creamy and smooth spreadable cheese, with a slightly tangy and mildly salty taste. What truly sets Boursin apart is the aromatic blend of herbs and spices that infuse the cheese.
  • Babybel: The original Babybel offers a mild and creamy flavor. Additionally, there are variations infused with herbs, spices, and even smoked flavors, catering to diverse palates.
  • Feta: A crumbly cheese with a tangy, salty flavor that pairs well with olives and tomatoes.

When selecting cheeses for your outdoor charcuterie board, it’s important to consider the flavors and textures of each cheese. Aim for a variety of soft and hard cheeses, and don’t be afraid to try new flavors and combinations.

fresh lemons sliced up on a cutting board to set up outdoor charcuterie board garnishes

Adding Fresh Produce

As I prepare a beautiful charcuterie board, I always like to include a variety of fresh produce to complement the meats and cheeses. Here are some of my favorite options:

Fresh Fruit

Fresh fruit is a great addition to any charcuterie plate. I like to include a mix of sweet and tart fruits to balance out the flavors. Some of my go-to options include:

Just in case you would like some creative ideas for slicing strawberries, here’s How to Cut Strawberries for Your Charcuterie Board!

Seasonal Fruit

Incorporating seasonal fruit is a great way to add some variety to your charcuterie board. Depending on the time of year, you can include summer fruits like:

  • Peaches
  • Nectarines
  • Plums
  • Pears
  • Persimmons

Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes are a great option for adding some color and freshness to your board. I like to include a mix of red and yellow cherry tomatoes for a pop of color. I can always find a variety at a local farmers’ market.

Red Grapes

Red grapes are a classic choice for a charcuterie board. They add a touch of sweetness and pair well with a variety of cheeses.

Fresh Herbs

Fresh herbs can add some depth of flavor to your board. I like to include herbs like:

  • Basil
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Sage

Overall, adding fresh produce is a great way to elevate your charcuterie board and provide a variety of flavors and textures.

outdoor charcuterie board ideas presented on a wooden charcuterie board

Incorporating Other Snacks

When it comes to outdoor charcuterie boards, there are plenty of snacks that can be incorporated to make it even more delicious. Here are a few of my favorite snacks to add to the board:

Dried Fruit

Dried fruit is a great addition to any charcuterie board. It adds a natural sweetness that pairs well with salty meats and cheeses. My go-to dried fruits are apricots, figs, and cranberries. They are easy to find in most grocery stores and come in small, bite-sized pieces that are perfect for a delicious snack.

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is another great addition to an outdoor charcuterie board. It provides a rich, decadent flavor that pairs well with savory meats and cheeses. I like to choose high-quality dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao. It’s best to break the chocolate into small pieces and place them in a small bowl on the board.

summertime outdoor charcuterie board with a fresh lemon and a bottle of sparkling water

Assembling the Outdoor Charcuterie Board

Now that I have all my ingredients ready, it’s time to assemble my perfect summertime charcuterie board. Here’s how I do it:

  1. Start with the perfect board: I like to use a large wooden board or a slate platter for my charcuterie board. It gives a rustic and natural feel to it.
  2. Add some cheese: Cheese is a must-have on any charcuterie board. I like to include a variety of cheeses such as brie, cheddar, and gouda. I arrange them in different shapes and sizes to add visual interest.
  3. Add some meat: I prefer to use cured meats like prosciutto, salami, and chorizo. I arrange them in a way that complements the cheese and adds texture to the board.
  4. Add some fruit: Fruit is a great way to add some freshness and balance to the board. I like to include grapes, sliced apples, and figs. They not only add color but also complement the flavors of the cheese and meat.
  5. Add some nuts: Nuts are a great addition to any charcuterie board. I like to include almonds, walnuts, and pistachios. They add crunch and texture to the board.
  6. Add some crackers: Crackers are a simple and easy way to add some carbs to the board. I like to include a variety of crackers such as water crackers, wheat crackers, and rice crackers.

Small Bowls

Small bowls are a great way to add variety to your charcuterie board. You can fill them with nuts, olives, or even dips like hummus or tzatziki. I like to use small, colorful bowls to add a pop of color to the board. It’s also a great way to keep the different snacks organized and separate.

Overall, incorporating other snacks into your outdoor charcuterie board is a great way to add variety and flavor. Whether it’s dried fruit, dark chocolate, or small bowls, there are plenty of options to choose from. So get creative and have fun with it!

Overall, assembling a charcuterie board is a great idea for any outdoor gathering. It’s a simple and perfect option that everyone will love. With a few simple ingredients, you can create a typical charcuterie board or a cheese plate that is sure to impress your guests.

Entertaining a crowd for Independence Day? These Festive 4th of July Charcuterie Board Ideas are just what you are looking for!

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