How To Keep Your Charcuterie Board Cold All Summer

How To Keep Your Charcuterie Board Cold All Summer

14 minute read

Are you ready to crank up your summer cookouts and outdoor picnics? This is how to keep your charcuterie board cold all summer.

Don't forget one of the most essential picnic components: putting together a charcuterie board! But with all that hot summer sun, how can you keep it cold enough so that everything is just right - two words: food grade.

With the right tips and tricks, most people will be able to enjoy their delicacies in perfect temperatures.

Read on for our top secrets on keeping your food chilled while you bask in the warm summer rays (and get creative sharing your plate creations with friends!). 

1. Chilled Serving Platter

Charcuterie boards are frequently present at events, particularly during the summer months and warmer months. A chilled serving platter can be utilized to keep the food cold, and it is one of the simplest and most convenient methods.

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Simply place the platter in the freezer for a few hours prior to usage, and it will maintain your cheese, meats, and other food items chilled for an extended period of time.

However, if you do not have a chilled serving platter, you may use a regular one and place a layer of ice underneath to ensure that the food remains cold.

        Material                                                     Benefits
 Ceramic  Retains cool temperature for extended periods of time, keeps food fresh and crisp   and provides an elegant presentation.
 Glass  Easy to clean and maintain, provides a sleek and modern look, and can be pre-chilled in the fridge or freezer.
 Stainless Steel  Durable and long-lasting, can be pre-chilled in the fridge or freezer, and keeps food chilled for a long time. 
 Marble  Naturally cool and retains temperature well, provides an upscale and sophisticated look, and can be pre-chilled in the fridge or freezer.

How To To Keep Your Charcuterie Board Cold All Summer

2. Freeze Grapes and Other Fruits

Grapes are a favorite food item on charcuterie boards but can quickly lose their freshness if exposed to heat.

As a result, it's recommended to freeze them for a few hours before serving. Additionally, freezing other fruits like watermelon, pineapple or berries is an excellent alternative as they add a pop of color to your board, bowls, plates, or table and also keep them chilled.


          Fruit                    Tips For Chilling                         How To Use
 Grapes  Rinse grapes and pat them dry, then place them in a zip-lock plastic bag and freeze them for at least two hours.  Use frozen grapes as a refreshing and healthy snack or as a decorative element on a charcuterie board.
 Watermelon  Cut watermelon into bite-sized cubes and place them in a single layer on a   baking sheet. Freeze for at least 2 hours before serving  Place the cubes into a bowl or ramekin. You can use a cookie cutter to cut them into fun shapes.

 Cut pineapple into small pieces and place on a baking sheet. Freeze for at least 2   hours before serving.

 Frozen pineapple can be threaded onto skewers and arranged in a decorative pattern on the board to eat.
 Berries  Rinse berries and pat them dry, then place them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Freeze for at least two hours before serving.  Frozen berries can be placed in a small bowl or cup and added to your board for a sweet and refreshing touch.

Chilling fruit is a great way to keep it fresh and add a refreshing touch to your summertime dishes.

When serving chilled fruit, be sure to use it within a reasonable amount of time, as frozen fruit can become mushy and lose its flavor if left out too long and you won't want to eat it.

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3. Use Small Dishes for Dips

Dips like hummus or salsa are popular on charcuterie boards, but they can become warm and taste unappetizing if left in the sun.

To avoid this, use smaller bowls or plates and place them on a bed of ice to keep them cold.

This not only helps keep the dip fresh but also makes it easier for dinner guests to access and taste it without contaminating it with other food items.

4. Choose Cured Meats

Cured meats like salami and prosciutto are an excellent addition to charcuterie boards because they do not require to be stored in a refrigerator.

They can be stored at room temperature for a few hours without spoiling, making the meat ideal for outdoor events during the summer months.

Not only do they add variety to your charcuterie board and picnic table, but they are also convenient and easy to prepare. Keep in mind that they can become unappetizing if kept in the sun for too long.

Here are a few different meats and tips on how to keep them cool for longer.

     Cured Meat                                  Method Of Keeping Cool
 Salami  Wrap in parchment paper or cheesecloth, then place on a chilled serving platter.
 Prosciutto  Place on a chilled serving platter or wrap in damp paper towels and refrigerate until ready to serve.
 Chorizo  Slice and place in bowls or a small dish on a bed of ice.
 Pepperoni  Place in a small dish on a bed of ice.

5. Keep Cheese Cool

Cheese is a staple on charcuterie boards, but it can become oily and unappetizing if exposed to heat. To prevent this, store the cheese in the refrigerator until the last possible moment before serving.

Additionally, placing a small bowl of ice next to the cheese can help keep it cool and fresh. It’s also important to select cheeses that are low- to medium-moisture as they tend to be more heat resistant. 

           Cheese        Moisture Content          Characteristics           Serving Tips
 Cheddar  Low Moisture  Hard, crumbly texture with a   tangy flavor  Serve in small cubes or slices on a chilled serving platter or cheese board.
 Parmesan  Low Moisture  Hard, granular texture  Shave into thin pieces using a cheese grater or knife.
 Gouda  Medium Moisture  Semi-hard texture with a   nutty, caramel-like flavor   Cut into small cubes or slices and place on a  chilled serving platter.
 Manchego  Medium Moisture  Semi-firm texture with a   buttery, slightly salty flavor  Serve in thin slices on a   chilled serving platter.

6. Use Chilled Condiment Dispensers

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When serving condiments like mustard or honey on a charcuterie board, these can become warm and unappetizing if left out in the sun.

Rather than serving these items in a jar or bowl, chilled foods and condiment dispensers can be used to keep them cool.

These dispensers can also be placed on the table on a bed of ice to help maintain a lower temperature.

  • What are chilled condiment dispensers?- Chilled condiment dispensers are containers designed to hold and dispense condiments while keeping them at a cool temperature. They are typically made of materials like plastic or stainless steel and may have an ice chamber at the base to maintain a cooler temperature.
  • What are the benefits of using chilled condiment dispensers?- Using chilled condiment dispensers can help keep condiments cool and fresh for longer periods of time, especially in warm weather. They can also help prevent cross-contamination of condiments by allowing guests to dispense only what they need without having to touch the condiment itself. 
  • How to use chilled dispensers on a charcuterie board?- Place the chilled dispenser on a bed of ice to help maintain a lower temperature. Place it in a strategic location on the board where guests can easily access it without contaminating other items. If the dispenser does not have an ice chamber, consider refreshing the ice regularly to keep the condiments cool.

Cooled condiment serving container

7. Keep Everything Covered To Maintain Cold Food

Another technique to keep your board cold is to cover all the food items with a lightweight cloth or netting. This serves to keep the food items cool and free from debris or pests that could contaminate the board.

  • What materials are suitable for a charcuterie board?- Lightweight and breathable materials like cotton, linen, or cheesecloth are suitable for a board cover. Avoid using heavy materials or plastics as they can trap heat and moisture, causing the food to spoil.
  • How to properly cover a charcuterie board?- To cover a charcuterie board, place the cloth or netting over the entire board, making sure that all the food items are covered. Tuck the edges of the cover under the board to keep it in place.


8. Use Ice Packs or Gel Packs

When a chilled serving platter is not available, ice packs or gel packs can be used to keep the foods sitting on the charcuterie board cold. Ice packs can be placed under the platter or in between the plates of the already cold food items to help regulate the temperature.

  • What types of ice or gel packs are suitable for a charcuterie board?- Ice packs or gel packs that are designed for food use and are leak-proof are suitable for a charcuterie board. 
  • How to use ice or gel packs?- Place ice or gel packs under the serving platter or in between the food items to help regulate temperature. Be careful not to let the ice or gel pack touch the food directly, as this can cause it to freeze or become too cold.
  • How long do ice or gel packs keep the charcuterie board cold?- The length of time they keep the charcuterie board cold will depend on the size and type of pack that is used. Generally, they can keep the board cool for a few hours, but it is recommended to replace them every hour or so to maintain a consistent temperature.
  • How to clean and store ice or gel packs?- After use, clean the packs according to the manufacturer's instructions. Dry them thoroughly before storing them in the freezer until the next use.

Reusable ice packs

This is how to keep your charcuterie board cold all summer.

9. Serve Cold Beverages

Serving cold beverages such as iced tea, lemonade, or beer can also help to keep your charcuterie board cool. This will give your guests a refreshing beverage while snacking on the board, and the cold beverages will help maintain the desired temperature.

For more information on some different types of beer and foods to enjoy with your charcuterie board, read my blog 7 delicious beers to pair with your charcuterie board.

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10. Keep the Board in the Shade

Lastly, it's crucial to keep the charcuterie board in the shade during outdoor events to prevent direct sunlight from warming up the board and spoiling the food items. If possible, set up the outdoor event under a shade umbrella or tent where the board can be kept away from the sun. This is how to keep your charcuterie board foods cold all summer.

Crostini's Recipe for Charcuterie Board



            Nutrition Facts:


  • 3 cups of cubed French or Italian bread
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. Place the cubed bread onto a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat evenly. 
  3. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly golden and toasted.
  4. Serve warm or at room temperature as part of your charcuterie board.


  • Serving size: 1/3 cup cubed bread
  • Calories: 140
  • Fat: 5g
  • Carbohydrates: 18g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Sodium: 180mg
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg


Summer, especially in more humid climates, can be a difficult time keeping food fresh and cold. With these 10 tips and tricks, you'll be able to keep that charcuterie board as cool as if you'd just pulled it out of the refrigerator!

From chilled serving platters and condiment dispensers to simply using plastic wrap and wet paper towels for insulation and storing your cold food away from direct sunlight, you're sure to find something that is workable for you or your business.

And remember; when all else fails, just add more ice packs!

Now that you know how to keep your food cooler in the summertime, why not try one of the tips today? Show us your results by taking a picture of your successful dish and sharing it with us in the comments below.

How have you been keeping your food cold in the summer? Let me know in the comments below!

"Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I may earn a commission if you make a purchase through those links at no additional cost to you."

If you're looking for a personalized charcuterie board check out

Alex Roig is the owner of Ask Alex Wood Worx, a high-end woodworking site that sells personalized charcuterie boards and other wood products. With 15 years of woodworking experience, Alex is a master of his craft. His attention to detail and passion for his work sets him apart from the competition.

When he's not in the workshop, you can find him spending time with his beautiful wife and daughters or working out and gardening (he has a gardening YouTube channel called Fathers Love Fathers Heal). But his true passion is making unique, one-of-a-kind charcuterie boards that are perfect for any occasion.

About Me

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