Big BBQ coming up? Not sure what to serve? Don’t panic! Our fantastically simply BBQ party food ideas have you covered!
From BBQ beginner to grilling expert: sometimes we all need a little inspiration to get that BBQ party off to a blast! With our selection of BBQ food ideas for your party you will never be left wanting for that special something to make your party unforgettable!
BBQ Party Food
Traditional BBQ fare tends to be fairly simple within itself. Many grill the meat, provide simple salad for the burger toppings and buy in some buns. While this is perfectly acceptable it doesn’t leave a lot of room for guests with intolerances or food allergies… even the fussy.
If you want to throw a killer BBQ you need to please those people too; and that’s where you need us!
Traditional BBQ includes more choices in meat than it does anything else. With burgers, hot dogs, steaks and pork chops all standard eating. Let’s take a look at how we take these elements beyond the standard, and turn them into food to die for!
The Humble Hot Dog
A Hot Dog might not seem like the best BBQ party food – but if you do it right you will be onto a winner.
- First of all; keep your buns in the packaging. Nobody wants a stale bun.
- Second: go large… the more gigantic the hot dog the better. We like these, from Walmart.
- Of course you can’t just grill the dog and expect the smoky flavor to carry you – not if you want to do it right. Get a frying pan on the BBQ, melt about 6 oz of butter in it and toss in a white onion, finely sliced.
- Once your onion is translucent and soft take it out and repeat the process with sliced mushrooms.
- What you need now is mustard, tomato sauce and mayo. Now that you have all the bases covered, your hot dog will be the talk of the party.
Triumphant Cheese Dip
This cheese dip with a difference will take your chips to the next level.
- Take one round portion of Camembert (a lovely, medium strength French cheese) and sit it on the top rack of your grill – not over the direct heat, but somewhere close enough to warm it thoroughly.
- After about 20 minutes your dip is ready. That’s all you need to do.
Camembert melts to a lovely goo that makes a perfect dip. You can take the skin off and pour it over nachos, adding a sprinkle of fresh chilies, or you can simply leave the lid off the tub and let your guests dip…
How to make a slaw with a difference?
- Mix one grated carrot, one white onion, a quarter of a cabbage and one pre cooked beetroot.
- A candy-stripe beetroot is best for color purposes. Thinly slice the cabbage, the onion and the beetroot then add in the grated carrot.
- Next, season with one part pepper to five parts salt mixed together.
- Once done, add a couple of dollops of mayo and mix it all well.
The beetroot will turn the mayo purple but don’t worry about it. If you want to, you can even use red cabbage instead of the traditional white.
BBQ Party Salad
So salad is not what everyone wants to eat, but there is always one who is ‘on a diet’, gluten-free or otherwise unable to eat too much meat. Let them eat salad – but at least make it good for them.
- Red onion
- Grated carrot
- Beetroot (on the side)
- Pickles (on the side, gherkin or onions)
- Cheese selection (on the side because it is an allergen)
- Cold meat selection (on the side for the vegetarians)
- Potato Salad
- Toasted nuts or croutons for crunch
A perfect salad is about variety of ingredients. All of the above are optional, of course, but combine any of them and you will be left with a wonderful salad combo… now we just need to worry about the dressing.
With the Ultimate Dressing…
This is a very simple dressing which you ought to be able to do with ingredients already in your kitchen.
- Mix two parts olive oil to one part vinegar.
- Add a crushed clove of garlic and a pinch of whatever herb you like. Keep it Italian and you won’t go wrong. Mixed Herb or Italian Herb Seasoning will do just fine, but basil, oregano, rosemary and even parsley are acceptable options.
Match your dressing to your protein:
- If you are serving smoked fish from your BBQ grill then use dill as your herb of choice.
- If you are having pork choose rosemary.
- For chicken go with thyme and add a squirt of lemon juice.
Let your dressing sit for a few hours, making it the night before, if possible. Then strain it before use. Add a few drops to the salad bowl or serve it on the side and let your guests help themselves…not everyone likes garlic, after all.
Cooking Proteins for Your BBQ Party
Your proteins are the best bit of the BBQ and we are sure you have a few tricks of your own up your sleeve – but we have a few to share, too!
When cooking proteins remember that you can apply bastes to keep it moist or to add flavor. A favorite trick of ours is to use Italian Pesto as a coating for the chicken while it cooks, or to coat the protein in curry paste such as this, from Patak’s, which is a particular favorite of ours.
Rubbing lemon or garlic over a chicken will allow for fulsome flavor, similarly stuffing a breast by slicing it in half almost all of the way will allow you to add cheese, garlic butter or any other flavoring you like!
For beef similar rules apply; but we are less likely to add any flavoring other than our salt/pepper mix and a little oil to the surface of the meat before cooking. Beef can be marinaded – it’s just more traditional to add the sauce afterwards.
A perfect pepper sauce can be made by slowly heating butter and cream with a blend of black or pink cracked peppercorns. A garlic butter is an easy answer for moisture and can be made in advance. Add two cloves of butter to 8 oz of butter and mix…
…a little secret from a professional kitchen. Garlic butter that you buy from the shop traditionally comes with little green flakes of chopped parsley in it. The reason for this is because garlic butter and normal butter look the same.
As a result, a chef can easily add the wrong type of butter to a dish. At some point chef’s solved the issue by adding chopped parsley so that they could tell the difference. Hundreds of years later and garlic butter now has parsley in it as a matter of course… an ingredient that it has absolutely no need to contain.
Marinades were made for pork. Mix honey, soy sauce, a few drops of vinegar, a little rock salt and some garlic in a dish then soak the pork for two hours before cooking.
Marinade takes a few hours to soak in, so the thinner the slice the better. Of course if you are doing ribs there is nothing better than a sticky BBQ sauce – but try adding a spoonful of honey to your normal recipe for added stickiness.
Pork loves rosemary but doesn’t like garlic as much as the other proteins. Try to cook it based on temperature rather than the juices running clear.
Pork on the grill is naturally a little tough so overcooking is common. That being said raw pork is incredibly unhealthy so make sure to get it just right. According to the USDA pork is properly cooked when the thickest part of the meat reaches 160 degrees, although it will be cooked at 145.
Fish is a very delicate meat although it does depend on the species. A fish like monk fish is much more meaty and tougher than a fish like cod. Let’s assume you are cooking an ordinary white fish such as haddock or cod and go with delicate. Monk fish is hard to prepare even for the best of chefs.
Wrap your fish in foil or pink paper, add a little moisture in there alongside it, such as butter with lemon juice or zest, a little oil and dill or some white wine.
What people don’t realize is that fish needs to be seasoned. It doesn’t need much, but a tiny bit of your salt/pepper mix will suffice. Rub it into the meat and seal the parcel. It will cook in about 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillet.
We guarantee this method will produce restaurant quality fish straight from your BBQ grill
We have bags of BBQ recipes and party food ideas so check out our chicken recipes and our take on how to please those vegetarian guests.
Alternatively, bookmark our page and come back when you need any BBQ Grill information! If you love BBQ as much as we do, then you will love our page – check in frequently for more!