It is always a great idea to throw a BBQ for all of your freidns and family memebers. But, all of the work that goes into hosting a social gathering can get overwhelming. Let us help rid you of all the party planning stress. Our tips and tricks will help you with your BBQ menu and recipe planning.
Cooking for a Crowd
A cookout is not a dinner party. No courses, no place-cards, no roast-carving. And that, friends, is a good thing.
There are two categories of food: what you made ahead of time, and what you make when guests arrive.
If you want to keep sane and actually hang out with your friends, try to put as much food as possible into the make-ahead category. Like, all of it.
The goal here is avoid being a slave to the grill, running around and making sure you’re not burning stuff and checking food temperatures.
Make your food ahead of time!
Lots of food actually tastes better the next day. The trick is to pick a main protein that benefits from being cooked ahead of time, when you can attend to it to make sure it’s done properly. You want something that needs to be cooked low and slow … on a grill. We’re talking barbecue, people.
Regionally, backyard entertaining events are called a cookout, a barbecue, a picnic, a weinie roast, and the like. The common theme throughout? They’re named for the food, particularly, food cooked outside.
While standard images of hosts manning the grill all night are common, this doesn’t have to be true at your house. You can infuse lots of grilled, smokey flavors into your food without having to be chained to the coals all night.
For this type of party, stick to party food classics that everyone loves, but add a little twist to bring in the grilled and roasted element, and lots of extra flavor.
Here’s our menu, with notes. You’ll see the twist and added grilled element to each item.
Apps and Starters
- Grilled Carrots with Harissa Yogurt - A twist on the standard crudités platter. It’s veggies and dip, but with actual flavor.
- Guacamole and Chips with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds - Party classic, and a nod to California cuisine.
- Charcuterie and Cheeses and Smoked Olives - Works with wine, tastes delicious. #curedmeat
- Barbecue pulled pork - prepared the day ahead, reheated and sauced so it’s delicious
- Smoked “pulled” mushrooms - for the vegetarians and non-pork eaters. And anyone who loves awesome food.
- Caraway pickles and pickled onions - some acid and crunch to match the tender, smokey pork
- Grilled corn with roasted pepper butter - Summer classic with added smokiness from the roasted peppers and grilling the corn in the husks
- Cilantro-Lime Coleslaw - a must with barbecue
- Grilled Potato Salad - a picnic classic, but with a great depth of flavor from grilled potatoes and scallions
- S'mores - Duh, there’s a campfire. We stepped ours up with high-quality chocolate bars with added flavors and crunch like pretzels, caramel, and sea salt.
With this menu, only thing has to be made once your guests have arrived: the grilled corn. Well, that and the s'mores, but your guests will be able to make ‘em on the spot. So, there’s still a “hey - we’re grilling out” vibe, but all the work has been done before your cleaned up your kitchen…and yourself.