Charcuterie boards are a favorite for hosting large groups of people, because not only do they great but the wide variation of foods means that there is something for everyone!
As charcuterie boards typically contain lots of cured meats and cheeses, you might be wondering: How do I keep my charcuterie board cold?
In this article, I will explore some key information about preparing charcuterie boards, including how to keep a charcuterie board cold.
Let’s get started.
If you’ve never made a charcuterie board before, it can be difficult to gauge how much time they take to assemble, and how to keep a charcuterie cold once you’ve assembled it.
While charcuterie boards are fun and relatively easy to throw together, some thought should be considered when it comes to serving them.
This comes down to the fact that although they are delicious, many deli cuts and other cured meats and cheeses must be kept cold to ensure that they are safe to consume.
When certain foods that need to be refrigerated are stored at room temperature for a significant period of time, the pathogens can multiply at a rapid rate.
This can result in your cured meats spoiling, and can therefore increase the risk of people becoming ill if you’re not mindful of this.
Bearing this in mind, you should always make sure that you note the time that your charcuterie board was taken out of the refrigerator, as cured meats shouldn’t be kept out of the refrigerator for very long periods of time.
How Do I keep My Charcuterie Board Cold?
There are a variety of different ways you can keep your charcuterie board cold when you’re hosting a party, dinner party, or event.
These methods include but are not limited to:
Don’t Serve Your Charcuterie Board Too Soon
It might sound simple, but the easiest way to keep your charcuterie board cold is to make sure that you don’t serve it too soon.
While you might be busy preparing other aspects of your party and be tempted to prepare your charcuterie board to get ahead of the game, it still needs to be kept in the refrigerator.
This comes down to the fact that the longer the cheese and cured meats are kept out of the safe temperature zone in the refrigerator, the warmer (and less safe to consume) they will become.
While you can assemble your charcuterie board a few hours ahead of your party or event, you will need to make sure that you wrap it in plastic wrap and keep it in the refrigerator.
You can take your charcuterie board out of the refrigerator 30 to 40 minutes before you’re ready to serve it, as this will allow the cheeses to come to room temperature.
However, it’s worth noting that cured meats shouldn’t be left out at room temperature for longer than two hours, so you might want to reduce this time in order for your guests to graze for a longer period of time.
You will also need to make sure that you don’t add the crackers to the charcuterie board until just before you’re ready to serve, as well, as they will get stale and might even become soggy in texture in the refrigerator.
Keep The Charcuterie Board Far Away From Hot Foods
If you’re serving a charcuterie board amongst other buffet foods, you will want to make sure that you are serving it away from hot foods.
If you’re serving a variety of different foods on the buffet table, the best option to keep your charcuterie board cool is to keep them as far away from the hot food as possible.
Better yet, why not place it on a separate table entirely to ensure that it isn’t becoming too warm.
Make Use Of Ice Boxes
Rooms can get pretty warm very quickly, especially when there are lots of people in them. Another method you can try to keep your charcuterie board cold for longer is to make use of ice.
Simply fill a clean plastic or metal tub and place your charcuterie board on top. While you will need to be aware of the ice melting,
and will need to place the foods back into the refrigerator after two hours to make sure that the cured meats aren’t spoiled, this is another option to ensure that your charcuterie board remains cold.
Serve Multiple Smaller Charcuterie Boards
Depending on how many guests you have, another option is to serve charcuterie on multiple smaller boards, and bring out new boards when the last one has been finished or is close to being finished.
You will also want to make sure that you don’t add more fresh food to a half-empty charcuterie board, as you’ll struggle to keep track of how long the food has been out of the refrigerator.
It can be a safer option to make smaller boards that are consumed at a quicker rate, as you know that the food hasn’t been left out of the refrigerator for a long period of time.
You can assemble your charcuterie boards ahead of time and leave them in the refrigerator until you need them, only needing to add the crackers and bread before you serve.
This method will also encourage your guests to finish what they started before you serve up a whole new charcuterie board, meaning that you could minimize any food waste.
Other Serving Tips When Serving A Charcuterie Board
Always Provide Plenty Of Serving Utensils – Bacteria on people’s hands can contaminate your charcuterie board and other buffet foods when you’re hosting a party or event. Bearing this in mind,
you will want to make sure that you provide toothpicks and serving utensils so that your guests don’t ever need to resort to touching the food with their bare hands.
Know When It’s Time To Refrigerate Again – Although charcuterie boards are great for grazing, it’s important that you make a note of what the time is when you take the charcuterie board out of the refrigerator and serve it to your guests.
This is because cured meats can only spend a certain amount of time out of the refrigerator before they are no longer safe for consumption.
For instance, salami can safely sit out of the refrigerator for around 2 hours. After this time has passed, it’s recommended to put salami in the refrigerator as if it’s left out any longer,
it’s suggested that salami should be discarded to prevent illness from occurring.
Can You Refrigerate A Charcuterie Board?
Yes, you can refrigerate a charcuterie board. That being said, you will want to ensure that you don’t refrigerate all of the foods that you’d add to a charcuterie board.
While it’s important to refrigerate the cheeses and cured meats, other foods, such as crackers, bread, and breadsticks shouldn’t be refrigerated.
This is because this will increase the risk of these foods becoming stale and soggy in the refrigerator.
To keep these foods as crunchy and as fresh as possible, make sure that you don’t add your crackers, bread, and breadsticks to your charcuterie board until you are ready to serve it.
There are a variety of different ways to keep your charcuterie board cold, but the easiest way is to make sure that you don’t serve it too soon!
Hopefully after reading this article you have a better idea of how to keep your charcuterie board cold and tips you can bear in mind when it comes to serving it for your guests.
Good luck preparing your charcuterie board, and make sure you save these tips for later!