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      Charcuterie Board vs. Cutting Board: What’s the Difference?

      It can be difficult to differentiate between a cheese board vs cutting board, especially when both look like basic wooden boards. But, there are a few notable differences that can help you determine which is which and what is the best option for you.

      cheese board vs cutting board

      What is a charcuterie board?

      A charcuterie board is a serving board used to display a mixture of cheese, crackers, cold cuts, fruit, olives and more. The term “charcuterie” is actually derived from the French term for “cold cuts”

      Charcuterie boards are often used during special occasions such as weddings, graduations and holidays. But they aren’t just for special occasions. You can enjoy a charcuterie board at a dinner party or just a cozy night in.  

      Varieties

      There are a few varieties or styles of charcuterie boards. Choose one based on your aesthetic preferences and ease to use. 

      Most charcuterie boards are made of wood, but there are also marble boards and stone boards which can be more elegant. 

      There are also various features you can find on charcuterie boards. Some have hidden drawers on the sides or decorative handles and designs. 

      Popular options

      SMIRLY Charcuterie Boards Gift Set

      Rating: 4.8 (17,012 ratings)

      This charcuterie board is a popular choice for a few reasons. It comes with a hidden inner tray and a separate fruit board. It’s a gift set so it also comes with two ceramic bowls, cheese knifes, slate labels and chalk markers. It’s such a good deal overall!

      ChefSofi Charcuterie Cheese Board and Platter Set

      Rating: 4.8 (7,721 ratings)

      This cheese board has a cool rustic look and a moveable top compartment that reveals a set of cheese knifes. The design is very space efficient and the four bowls fit perfectly into the design and separate the ingredients perfectly.

      Royal Craft Wood Large Round Cheese Board and Knife Set

      Rating: 4.7 (3,265 ratings)

      This charcuterie board is super affordable and has a very cute round design. I love this board because of the convenient and space-efficient compartments. This design also makes it easy to organize your board in an aesthetic way without putting in too much thought.

      The above links are affiliate links. I do make a small commission if you purchase using these links

      cheese board vs cutting board

      What is a cutting board?

      A cutting board or chopping board has a different use compared to a charcuterie board. Cutting boards are used for the preparation of ingredients such as raw vegetables and meats.

      They are a kitchen necessity for home cooks, similar to a good quality knife or skillet. Some cutting boards are made of wood, but they are also found in plastic varieties. 

      Varieties

      Cutting boards come in a wide variety based on your aesthetic preferences, preparation needs and ease of use (and cleaning). The type of board you use should match your needs.

      While a good wooden cutting board is a kitchen essential, plastic cutting boards can be easier to clean and store. Even some butcher block countertops can be used for food preparation.

      There are also features that can make food preparation easier. For example, many newer cutting boards have juice grooves that collect runaway juices from foods like tomatoes. 

      Popular options

      Royal Craft Wood Wooden Cutting Boards for Kitchen Meal Prep & Serving

      Rating: 4.6 (27,533 ratings)

      This cutting board set is a great choice if you are looking for a durable cutting board set that is beautiful and functional. These boards have juice grooves so you don’t have liquids spilling onto the counter. Plus, they double as serving boards!

      SMIRLY Bamboo Cutting Board Set

      Rating: 4.6 (13,833 ratings)

      This cutting board set comes in three colors so you can choose whichever one fits your personal preference. It also comes with a holder piece so you have a place to store your cutting boards. This option also include outer grooves to keep in juices.

      Farberware 3-Piece Kitchen Cutting Board Set

      Rating: 4.4 (18,055 ratings)

      This cutting board set is a great budget option that doesn’t skimp on quality. This basic set has a natural look which looks good in any kitchen, plus they can double as cheese boards. Overall, this is the best budget pick.

      The above links are affiliate links. I do make a small commission if you purchase using these links

      cheese board vs cutting board

      The Biggest Differences

      The main difference between a cheese or charcuterie board and a cutting board is of course its purpose. But there are several other key differences when comparing the two boards. 

      Size

      Cutting boards and cheese boards both come in a variety of sizes, but for the most part charcuterie boards are going to be larger. 

      This makes sense considering cutting boards need to be easy to move around and clean since they will be used on a regular basis. 

      Charcuterie boards come in different sizes depending on how large of a group you will be serving. Match the size to the occasion!

      Material

      Both cheese boards and charcuterie boards come in a variety of materials. Charcuterie boards are typically made with bamboo or wood, with some marble or stone varieties.

      Cutting boards tend to have a wider variety of different materials ranging from wood or bamboo to plastic. They are typically thinner and less durable compared to cheese boards.

      Due to the similarity in material, some cutting boards can also be used as cheese boards. Your guests may not even notice the difference. 

      Weight

      Cheese boards tend to be heavier compared to cutting boards. This is typically due to them being larger in size and width. 

      It’s important for cutting boards to be lighter since you will be moving around your cutting board and washing it more often. 

      Appearance

      Cutting boards and charcuterie boards can look very similar, but there are a few key differences to look out for when determining which is which.

      Charcuterie boards can be shaped in unique ways like a circle or oval instead of rectangular. They also may have hidden drawers or moveable parts. 

      Cheese boards are all about the visual appeal whereas cutting boards are more about utility. The only unique feature I see often on cutting boards is juice grooves. 

      Purpose

      Of course the biggest difference between a cheese board vs a cutting board is the purpose. They serve very different functions and different purposes.

      Cutting boards are for food preparation, typically for raw vegetables and meats. Cheese boards are for food presentation, typically displaying cold cuts, cheese, crackers and fruit. 

      cheese board vs cutting board

      How to take care of wooden cutting boards

      Proper care and cleaning for your wooden cutting boards can be a lot of work. But, in the long run, your wooden cutting boards will last longer and maintain good quality. 

      To clean your board, first use warm water to rinse off any food particles that are sticking to the board. Use dish soap and a sponge to gently clean the cutting board more thoroughly. 

      Once clean, dry off your cutting board with a paper towel or clean microfiber towel. Avoid air drying your board since this can give bacteria the opportunity to grow in a moist environment.

      Then set your cutting board upward to finish drying off before your next use. Once a month, use mineral oil to coat your cutting board. This “seasons” your cutting board and creates a protective barrier. 

      How to make a beautiful charcuterie board

      Making a beautiful and crowd-pleasing charcuterie board can seem like a daunting task, but it isn’t as difficult as it seems. Here are a few basics to get you started:

      • Cheese: You will want to use a few different types of cheese including soft cheese like goat cheese and hard cheeses like cheddar. 
      • Crackers: Adding something crunchy like crackers or chips to eat alongside your cheese is an essential step. 
      • Fruit: Add some fruit that is easy to eat with your fingers such as grapes, strawberries or cherries. 
      • Cold meats: Add some slices of cold cuts like prosciutto, deli turkey, salami or pepperoni.  
      • Extras: Throw in some “extras” like olives and dips to spice up your board.

      Once you have your main ingredients, decide how you want to organize your food for a beautiful presentation. I love looking on Pinterest or Instagram for inspiration.

      You’ll want to include a few “accessories” to your charcuterie like small bowls and cheese knives. These will not only help organize your board, but will also add to the aesthetic. 

      cheese board vs cutting board

      Frequently Asked Questions

      Can you use a cheese board as a cutting board?

      It depends. Most cheese boards can be used as a cutting board. That being said, they aren’t made for daily use like a cutting board is. 

      If you choose to use a cheese board as a cutting board, make sure you are properly caring for it and cleaning it. And do not put it in the dishwasher under any circumstances!

      What is the fancy name for a cheese board?

      The fancy name for a cheese board is the French word “charcuterie”. You’ve probably heard this term before, especially since it’s recently become popular on social media. 

      That being said, charcuterie boards typically include more than just cheese with ingredients like crackers, fruits, cold cuts and olives. 

      Are plastic or wooden cutting boards better?

      It depends on what your needs are. Plastic boards are easier to care for and clean and may be safer food safety wise when it comes to handling raw meat products. 

      That being said, wooden cutting boards typically last longer, especially with proper care and are most durable. Overall, it depends on your personal preferences.

      What are the best cheeses to use for a charcuterie board?

      Any cheese can work great on a charcuterie board, but it’s best to choose options that withstand being left out for longer periods of time. 

      I tend to avoid soft cheeses like mozzarella and burrata and opt for goat cheeses and brie instead. All hard cheeses tend to work well except for very crumbly cheeses like cotija and parmesan. 

      That being said, it depends on your preferences. There are no “off-limit” cheeses. 

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      tia glover rd

      My name is Tia and I am a registered dietitian and content creator.

      My goal is to help young people learn how to eat a nutritious, balanced diet without restriction or giving up cultural foods. 💛

      Hapa/Japanese American 🇺🇸🇯🇵

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