First things first: the base! Make sure you have a cutting board or serving platter that can comfortably fit all your BBQ charcuterie board goodness. If you don’t have a big enough board, just use two boards, and place them beside each other. Next, consider your guests and what they like. Will they want plenty of sides, or are they all about that meat? Then, keep stress levels low by planning your grocery list a few days in advance. Oh, and don’t forget the napkins—they are a must!
We’re seriously passionate about BBQ charcuterie boards. So, if it were up to us, this is what we’d add to our lists. For meats, we’d include Polska kielbasa, Slow-Cooker Barbecue Beef Brisket, Oven-Fried Barbecue Chicken and Slow-Cooker Barbecued Ribs. Did we just make things even easier and hyperlink our favorite recipes? You know it. Check each recipe for the items you need and add them to your shopping list.
Keep it easy! Purchase some or all of the barbecue meat at your favorite ‘cue joint. Heck, go hog wild (pun intended) and pick up some sides from there, too. If you want to discard the evidence before your guests arrive, our lips are sealed.
Don’t sleep on the sides! Barbecue lovers often enjoy potato salad, mac and cheese, baked beans and mashed potatoes. You can’t go wrong with classic favorites! Corn on the cob, coleslaw, cornbread and buns also help take BBQ charcuterie boards from good to great. Try adding pickles, banana peppers and at least two to three barbecue sauces for a pop of color and variety.
Let’s talk about portions! You’ll need to have about 4- to 6-oz portions of meat per guest, but having more never hurts. Who doesn’t love leftovers? Plus, you never know what your guests will gravitate to. For serious host-with-the-most-vibes, place warmed shredded and sliced meats in 2-cup portions on the board. For easy board refreshment, make sure to have more at the ready, in microwaveable containers in the fridge just waiting to be reheated.
The options for meat are endless! In addition to what we provided above, pulled pork shoulder, smoked turkey legs and smoked chicken wings are always huge hits.
If your party includes kids, add slider buns or other smaller buns to your board. It’s also perfect for grazing grown-ups who would like to try the brisket and the pulled pork, or just the brisket with two different barbecue sauces. Best part? Hawaiian buns freeze magnificently, so no worries if you buy too many.
Tips and Tricks
Since BBQ can be a little on the messy side to eat, plan to host your meal outside. This way, if there’s some spillage—and let’s face it, that’s bound to happen—it’s no problem.
When arranging your BBQ charcuterie board, there are a few things to keep in mind. The first thing you should place on your board is the meat. Why? It’s the focal point of your board, and you want to make sure it has enough space. Try placing your meat on the edges of the board rather than the middle.
Next, place anything that’s super runny or liquid-based into bowls (think sauces, coleslaw, etc.) and add them to the board.
Then, use your accoutrements (pickles, peppers, rolls, etc.) as fillers. They are a great way to separate the meat and add texture and color to your board. Those super-heavy sides (such as corn on the cob, potato salad, etc.) can be placed in bowls to the side of the board. And don't forget the buns and cornbread!
Lastly, don’t forget to snap a picture of your BBQ charcuterie board; we already know it’s going to look great.
Get creative with your tablescape! Try fun tablecloths, napkins, even a signature drink or fresh flowers to help set the mood.
For a signature drink, try our Citrus Margarita with Smoky Chile Salt or our White Wine Sangria. If you were to add a little bourbon to your sweet tea or some vodka to your lemonade, that’s barbeque approved!
When thinking about plates to use, opt for something sturdy. No one wants to see their mouthwatering BBQ meal outweigh a flimsy paper plate! If you’re in your backyard, a custom playlist and string lights can elevate any occasion.
BBQ charcuterie boards are meant to be enjoyed. So, dive in, get messy and create some memories to savor with the people who matter most.