grazing board vs charcuterie

There is a must-have at every party or gathering – a charcuterie board or grazing board!  We hear these names of boards often, but have you ever wondered, what is a grazing board vs charcuterie board?

Grazing Board vs Charcuterie Board

We have put together a comparison of a grazing board vs charcuterie board for you.  Grazing board and charcuterie boards are often thought of as a party staple due to their variety of ingredients and interesting appearance.  

The majority of the ingredients are the same, however, there are a few subtle differences in a grazing board vs charcuterie board.  

We also cover grazing tables and grazing platters due to their similarity to grazing boards.  In addition, many of these words are used interchangeably due to their unique ingredients.

In addition to being a great option for meals and parties, grazing boards and charcuterie boards can vary in shapes and sizes.  

Most grazing platters can be made into a diy grazing box for a grazing platter on a budget.

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What is a Grazing Board

A grazing board is a platter of snack items arranged in groups around a board. The snacks on a grazing board can include a variety of flavors and types of food. A grazing board is popular for parties and gatherings to have plenty of options for your guests.

That being said, a grazing board is also ideal for kids parties or even afternoon snacks for a small group.

Let’s talk about what makes a grazing board vs charcuterie board. A grazing board includes a variety of foods.

The main feature of the grazing board is the variety and wider range of snacks versus the charcuterie board which has a main feature of the meats.

The usual ingredients on a grazing board include the following:

Variety of Cheeses

Cheeses can be a variety of shapes, color tones, sizes, slices, cubes, and spreads. Goat cheese is an example of a type of cheese on a grazing board.

Fruit Varieties

The varieties include dried fruits such as dried apricots and raisins. Additionally, grazing boards include fresh seasonal fruits such as sliced apples and grapes. In addition, fruit flavored jams and jellies for your charcuterie board add so much palate pleasing flavor.

Items from this Pink Foods List or Orange Food List makes a colorful addition for the board’s eye appeal.


Nice fresh crunchy vegetables like carrots and bell peppers are great ideas for grazing boards.

Snacking Nuts

A nice inclusion on the grazing board is small bowls of nuts such as pistachios and almonds.


These are a must-have on a grazing board to combine with all of the delicious snacks on the board. Crackers are also great palate cleansers for eating a variety of flavors.

Types of Grazing Boards

Adult Grazing Platter Boards

Adult grazing platter boards are perfect for combining with wine tasting events, wedding receptions, a baby shower, or celebrating the holiday season. An adult grazing board can include many varieties of board ideas including a selection of aged cheddar, soft cheeses, artisan cheese, fresh herbs, meat products, and crackers.  

Healthy Graze Board

Adding a variety of items such as fresh fruit, cherry tomatoes, along with a selection of meats and cheeses make a great serving board with more nutritious items.  When selecting meat for the board, look for lower saturated fat meats such as grilled chicken slices, lean sliced roast beef, or turkey pepperoni.

Fruit Grazing Board

A fruit grazing board is the perfect board for creating lots of visual interest with colorful fruits.  Be sure to choose a variety of colors to add to the board making it a rainbow of colors and elevating the nutrition.

Cheap Grazing Platter

A grazing platter lends itself nicely to being an affordable and cheap grazing platter. The cost of the grazing platter depends on the selections added to the platter. 

Here are a few ideas for less expensive items to add to the grazing board:

  • Store brand crackers or generic crackers are good options to save on cost.
  • Carrots and celery are nice fresh produce items that are easier on the wallet.
  • Seasonal fruits that are on sale or apples and grapes.
  • Hard-boiled eggs are a nice source of protein for the grazing platter.
  • Popcorn is a great snack to add to the grazing board.

Grazing Plate

A smaller version of a grazing table or grazing platter is a grazing plate. Sometimes it makes sense to make a grazing plate for a smaller group or for one. This is also a great option to eat while waiting for the main course to be prepared.

How to Create a DIY Grazing Board or DIY Grazing Platter

DIY Grazing Boxes

Create your own DIY grazing boxes by combining a selection of cheeses and simple finger foods to make the perfect snacking and grazing box.  A small cake box with a window on the top make a perfect display.  

Here are some items to include in  the grazing box:

  • crackers
  • strawberries
  • blueberries
  • olives
  • pretzels
  • a variety of cheeses
  • nuts and dried fruit
  • small jelly
  • small honey

A DIY grazing box is great for grab and go options for picnics, boxed meals for groups, gifts, edible party favors, and birthday parties.

grazing box, grazing board vs charcuterie
This grazing box gives great visual appeal with its variety of items.

Grazing Tables and Platters

If you are looking for a large scale grazing option, then clear the table, and get ready to make a big display. To make a grazing table, start by covering the grazing area with butcher paper. In addition, gather small bowls to add dips and wet items like olives to the table.

You can also think about making a kids grazing table with unique items geared toward kids such as yogurt tubes, boxes of raisins, applesauce squeeze pouches, along side fresh fruits and cheeses and more.

Grazing table, grazing board vs charcuterie
Looking for ideas for a grazing table? Take a look at this table from The Baker Mama. There are many selections on this table, pick a few favorites for ideas for your grazing table.

Grazing Board Supplies

There are several different grazing board supplies that you can use.

Oval Serving Platters

These platters make a nice eye appeal as you look around the board the variety of snack choices.  Here is an oval serving platter on Amazon perfect for grazing.

Rectangular Snack Serving Board 

Some of these boards have handles on them. They make a great display for a large grazing board or charcuterie platter display.  This rustic rectangular board on Amazon is very unique and has metal handles.

Cupcake Stand 

That’s right, cupcake stands are not just for cupcakes. Think about layering grazing snacks on the stand. Colorful fruit choices on the stand will also make this display really stand out as a unique party platter.

charcuterie stand
This cupcake stand can be used as a charcuterie stand.

What is a Charcuterie Board

The word charcuterie means according to Merriam-Webster is that charcuterie is a noun meaning delicatessen specializing in dressed meats. Of course, the common thought of charcuterie has really evolved over recent years. 

Typically a charcuterie board features a wooden board topped with a variety of cured meats as the star of the board. Whereas, a grazing board features more of a variety of snacking elements.

A simple charcuterie board pairs well with white wine and a variety of cheeses such as white cheddar or brie cheese. However, a traditional charcuterie board can be customized to have the snacks to your liking.

If you love boards, you will love these seafood charcuterie board ideas.

Charcuterie Boards – Where to Begin

Building a charcuterie board is super simple when you have a good variety of meats, pickles, olives, bread, and crackers. Additionally, charcuterie boards are known for accompaniments such as jelly and honey.

Start with the board itself and look at the shape of the board. Then add two or three small bowls on the board for variation of shapes. Use the bowls for items that may we other items such as pickles and olives.

Add items in handfuls around the board and varying in color and shape.

Find ideas for bread for charcuterie board in this post.

I really like these diagrams for a visual on how to set up a charcuterie board.  However, really the sky is the limit with setting up the board.  There are no true rules to setting the board.  

However, there is an artistic feel to the board where the color, shape, and flavor variations really define the look of the board. 

Charcuterie Board Supplies

Which type of board is best for a charcuterie? Gathering supplies such as the best board for your charcuterie and dipping bowls is the easy part. You can use anything from a nice charcuterie platter to a large cutting board to display your charcuterie additions.

What is the Difference Between a Charcuterie Board and a Cheese Board?

The difference between a charcuterie board vs cheese board is simple. The charcuterie board mainly features an array of meats. The cheese board mainly features the cheeses. Both of these boards also offer a variety of accompaniments such as crackers, fruit, vegetables, and pickled items.

grazing board vs charcuterie
How to Set Up a Classic Charcuterie Board by Happy Housie

What is a Butter Board?

The butter board became popular on social media and features a board covered with butter and a side of breads to dip into the butter board. The butter board is high in saturated fat, where as a charcuterie board offers more of a variety of sides such as fruit and vegetables.

What is an Antipasto Board?

An antipasto board is a board which features Italian appetizers such as meat, cheese, along side of sliced bread.

In summary, looking at both types of boards, grazing board vs charcuterie, there are so many occasions and types of foods to add to these boards.

Both the grazing board and the charcuterie board are very similar as far as snacking is concerned.  Either type of board can boast added nutrition by adding extra fruits (fresh and dried), sliced fresh vegetables, and a varitey of nuts. These nutritious items pair well with filling items such as a types of cheese and cured meats.

Moreover, these boards can used for main dishes as well.  Have leftover items on the board? Use the leftover items recipes or freeze the items.  

Grazing board food items can also be a great way to have a light lunch. Create your own mini grazing container for the lunch box.

Create a grazing station or charcuterie station at work.  Here are Healthy Snack Station Ideas to get started.


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