How to make an expensive looking meat platter at home
Meat platters are usually a big hit at parties, but buying them pre-made can cost you big bucks. With the right tools, like the best cheese slicer, a flat piece of wood and high-quality ingredients, you can make an impressive, drool-worthy board quite easily at home for a fraction of the cost.
Meat plates are traditionally made with cured pork products such as salami and ham, as well as cheese, olives, nuts, dried fruit, crackers and other condiments such as honey, mustard or chutney. The fun part is that you can customize them for your audience by making them vegetarian, nut-free, or dairy-free. You can also make them holiday-oriented by adding seasonal ingredients like spiced nuts and cheese balls during the holidays.
Some seasonal options can also save you money. For example, fruits that are in season usually cost less and taste better.
Unlike other recipes, you can pick and choose what you use. There are no hard and fast rules about what you can and can’t include. You also don’t need to be a food stylist to put together a delicious plate, we promise. Once you create one, you may never want to stop.
How to prepare a charcuterie board
A stunning charcuterie board can be the centerpiece of a wine night or serve as an appetizer at a party. Since these boards are meant to be grazed, it can be difficult to determine how much feed to place. As a general rule, you can estimate 2 to 3 ounces of meat and 1 to 2 ounces of cheese per person.
Gather your ingredients and chop
Cold meats are generally served sliced as thinly as possible, while cheeses can be cut a little thicker. Dried fruits and nuts can be scattered. Grapes are also a nice addition to have. For slices of bread or crackers, assume that each piece of meat or cheese will need a piece to go with it, and then add a handful of extra slices on top.
The best cheese slicers will be multi-functional, allowing you to not only effortlessly slice hard or soft cheese, but also meat and vegetables. If you’re looking to pick up one of these handy items, check out our selection of the best cheese slices that have been vetted by a team of experts.
Variety is king with meat plates
Remember that serving a multitude of different ingredients with various textures and tastes will make a plate more visually appealing. To do this, use a combination of hard and soft cheeses, crackers, soft bread slices, condiments, and smaller items like nuts, seeds, and pickled vegetables.
The cheese section of many grocery stores will have a $5 basket loaded with smaller pieces of a variety of cheeses. This is a great place to pick up a few different varieties without spending a lot of money.
There is no formula as to how to arrange the ingredients for display. Most charcuterie boards have a wooden base, such as a cutting board or pizza board, but you can also use a large ceramic or slate plate. If you have a collection of small bowls, they can be spread out to hold various ingredients. And if you happen to have more food to serve than your plate has room for, that’s okay too. Simply surround the platter with additional bowls or small plates.
Don’t let the charcuterie board sit for too long
For food safety reasons, only leave the boards out for about two hours. Serve the platter with glasses of wine or sparkling mocktails.
What might be best about meatballs is that you can make them hours or days ahead and keep them wrapped in the fridge. This can take some of the stress out of having company over.
Don’t let a good board go to waste! If you have leftovers, use the ingredients to create sandwiches or chop them up to add to a pasta salad or frittata.