If you are planning a party in the near future and are looking for fun and tasty way of feeding your guests, you should try to make a charcuterie board. Jim Gilles, who owns Hill View Farms Meats in Owensboro, Kentucky, is sharing his pro tips on how to make the perfect one.

Jim actually whipped up a massive charcuterie board over the weekend as the Chiefs and the 49ers battled their way to conference championships and berths in the upcoming Super Bowl.

If you're going to attempt a charcuterie board, Jim says you should 'go big or go home." He went big and his board featured 28 different items from his farm store. Forget football fans. He could have fed an entire football team with this spread.

Jim Gilles
Jim Gilles
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He used those 28 items strategically and checked off the boxes from his list of charcuterie 'must haves.' Here's a look at Jim's handy tips!

Tip #1- Find a Centerpiece/Star of the Show

Jim says the centerpiece of your board could really be anything, but he wanted to showcase a Hot Ragin' Cajun dip. So, that became the focal point of his board and everything else revolved around it and grew from there.

Tip #2- Honor the History of Charcuterie and Feature Meats and Cheeses

The word charcuterie means "cold, cooked meats collectively" so Jim says your board should honor that tradition. He used a variety of meats on his conference championship board- summer sausage, smoked sausage, and beef.

To accompany the meats, Jim loaded up his board with cheese too. He included Pepper Jack, Colby, Southern Gem, Smoked Monterey Jack, Spicy Chipotle and Mild Cheddar.

Tip #3- Add Crunch and Color

Jim says a great charcuterie board should pack a punch with some crunch. That means fresh veggies (carrots, okra, broccoli, etc.), pretzels, chips, pita strips, Bruschettini, crackers and more. And Jim says the more color, the better.

Tip #4- Feature Multiple Dips

Jim Gilles
Jim Gilles

While Jim's Ragin' Cajun dip was the professed star of the show, that dip had a big supporting cast too. Jim included all sorts of varieties of dip. He had an Herb Garden dip, Beer Cheese, Laughing Cow Garlic Herb- just to name a few.

Tip #5- Add Something Sweet

Jim says you can't go wrong with adding something sweet to the board as well. That could include fruit, a tasty fruit dip, chocolates and more. In the case of his most recent charcuterie board, Jim tossed in a delicious Blackberry Chutney.

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Gallery Credit: Charlotte Barnett

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