Best Cheese Plates

Updated October 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

39 Models Considered
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best cheese plates

Last Updated October 2020

Whether you want to display Wisconsin’s Finest at a dinner party or munch on cubes of California’s dairy goodness during the big game, every household needs a cheese plate. Cheese plates are appropriate when hosting any sort of get-together, from birthday parties to a New Year’s Eve extravaganza. They can be filled with meats, crackers, and cheeses — or simply a variety of cheese. Pass it around the dinner table as you visit together or keep it nearby during game night.

The question is, which cheese plate whets your appetite? A cheese plate should be big enough to hold multiple servings of several types of cheeses. You can opt for a fancy plate or a simple one. You can choose something that matches your dinnerware set or opt for a unique conversation-starter plate.

We’ve done the work for you. Read on to find out about the best cheese plates available. In this shopping guide, we also include tips and FAQ to help your next smorgasbord go off without a hitch.

When purchasing a cheese plate, keep in mind that you also need room for people to cut and slice the cheese. A tiny plate without enough room for maneuvering the cheese can be frustrating.

Key considerations

Function

When purchasing a cheese plate, keep in mind what events you want to use it for. If you host fancy black-tie parties, you may want a silver plate with intricate designs rather than a wooden one resembling a cutting board. If you plan on serving cheese during game night or movie night, a wooden cheese board may be perfect for the ambiance of the event.

Size

The size of the cheese plate is a significant factor to consider. How many guests do you serve, on average? How many cheeses would you like to display? And lastly, how much room do you have to house a cheese plate, both while serving and while storing?

Set vs. singular

You’ll find cheese plates for sale in sets and as singletons. A set is helpful if you anticipate needing to serve different numbers of people at various functions. You will pay more for a set since it contains more options, but sometimes, having more options is worth the extra money.

If you’re looking for a unique piece with intricate details, a single cheese plate might be more your speed. However, you won’t have as much space to spread out your cheeses as you would with a set of plates.

Features

Shape

Oval

Traditional cheese plates are oval in shape, which is similar to a traditional food platter you might use on Thanksgiving. An oval platter may or may not include handles that are connected to the narrower ends of the oval. If you opt for a plate with handles, the server’s hands will never touch the plate the food rests on.


Square/rectangle

Square and rectangular cheese plates are often referred to as cheese boards. Using a cheese board can add a rustic feel to your culinary experience. These boards usually do not have protruding handles. If there is a handle, it’s likely to be one similar to what you’d see on a cutting board.


Other

It’s possible to purchase cheese plates in other shapes, such as a triangle or octagon. Some cheese plates are custom-shaped into your home state or a favorite sports team logo. However, these plates are often difficult to find.

One drawback to using an irregularly shaped cheese plate is that it may be difficult to fit as much cheese as you would like on the plate.

Material

Wood

While wood cheese boards offer a great way to serve cheese, they also run the risk of absorbing some of the smell or flavor of cheese, as wood is a permeable material. If you want to use a wood board, try placing a handkerchief or thin fabric over the board to protect it. This can also add a flash of color or flair to your cheese plate.


Metal

Stainless steel cheese plates are easy to clean and don’t run the risk of absorbing flavors or odors. However, the silver color often clashes with the rich oranges and yellows of cheese. Using stainless steel does send a classy message, though.


Marble/stone

These materials are dense and cool to the touch, which aids in keeping cheese in the right temperature zone. While marble and stone cheese plates can be heavy, they are more durable than other cheese plate materials. Because marble and stone are slightly permeable, there is still a small risk that the plate will absorb cheese odors and flavors.


Ceramic/porcelain

While it’s possible to buy a ceramic or porcelain cheese plate, it is rare. These materials are prone to breaking and cracking, and they are quite heavy. However, they do make great family heirlooms or decorations for a curio cabinet.

Cheese plate prices

The most affordable cheese plates cost between $20 and $30. These plates will likely serve four or five guests. If you’ve never served a cheese plate before, you may want to start with this type of plate in order to discover what works for you and what doesn’t.

The next price range falls between $30 and $50. You can purchase a set of cheese plates if you require different sizes, or you can buy an elegant singular cheese plate made from stainless steel, marble, or stone.

The most expensive cheese plates cost $50 or more. They often include features like collapsible compartments and drawers. The set may also include accessories to aid in serving the cheese. If you’re paying this much, expect the materials to be of the highest quality.

Tips

  • If you’re unsure what types of cheeses your guests will enjoy, try picking a few soft ones, a few hard ones, some with a rind, and some that are spreadable. This will give you a full variety.
  • Contrary to what some may think, cheese should be served at room temperature. This is when the full flavor of the cheese will be available.
  • Label the cheeses for your friends so they know what they are consuming. This can be as easy as placing the package label near the cheese.
Cheese can be made from three different kinds of milk: cow’s milk, goat’s milk, and sheep’s milk. For the ultimate variety, choose some of each kind.

FAQ

Q. Can I put other food besides cheese on a cheese plate?
A.
Yes. You may want to match your cheese with other foods that complement and contrast their flavors. These can be nuts, berries, breads, crackers, and more. It’s possible to use a cheese plate to serve other appetizers, as well.

Q. How long can a cheese plate sit out?
A.
If it’s only cheese on the plate, it can sit out for four to eight hours before losing quality and becoming inedible, depending on the cheese. Softer cheese lasts about four hours, whereas harder cheese may last a bit longer.

Q. Do any utensils come with a cheese plate?
A.
In some cases, yes. There may be utensils included to help serve cheeses, such as knives and spreaders.

The team that worked on this review
  • Ciera Pasturel
    Ciera Pasturel
    Digital Content Producer
  • Jennifer Manfrin
    Jennifer Manfrin
    Writer
  • Melinda Snowden
    Melinda Snowden
    Web Producer
  • Melissa Nott
    Melissa Nott
    Senior Editor
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