A barbecue is an informal way to bring friends and family together for socializing and fun. Food is the most important part of a barbecue, the event is defined by it. While certain foods are often associated with barbecuing, take into consideration the type of foods you enjoy and your skill level when it comes to cooking with a grill.
Hamburgers are commonly associated with barbecues no matter where they are held. They are simple to serve and easy for guests to handle in a social setting. There are different meats you can use to create homemade hamburgers that are suitable for the grill, such as beef, lamb, ground turkey or chicken. For vegetarians or vegans, you can serve vegetable burgers made of portebello mushroom or black bean.
Often, a barbecue that has hamburgers also serves hot dogs. Typically, they are served on buns with relish, mustard, ketchup and a choice of other condiments guests can tailor to their tastes. Like hamburgers, there are different types of hot dogs on the market, such as beef, turkey, pork or vegetable or tofu-based.
Have plenty of plates and napkins available if serving ribs at your barbecue. There are different types of ribs from which to choose when planning your menu, such as pork baby back, spareribs, St. Louis cut and beef ribs. Use a dry rub to marinate your ribs for extra flavor before cooking and serve coated with your favorite store-bought or homemade barbecue sauce.
When serving chicken at your barbecue, cut it into quarters or parts, and marinate it before grilling. Use wet or dry marinades and let the flavors work into the meat for several hours prior to cooking. Serve with or without barbecue sauce.
Salads and Slaw
For side dishes, offer guests potato salad, coleslaw or both. A cold potato salad made by mixing boiled and diced potatoes, mayonnaise, boiled egg, mustard and relish is easy to make and complements most foods you might serve. Coleslaw is also a common accompaniment to barbecue meals and consists of shredded cabbage, carrots, mayonnaise, cider vinegar and sugar.
Corn on the Cob
Corn on the cob can be grilled and served with or without the husks attached. Smooth an herb butter mix over the corn before setting it above direct heat for approximately 12 minutes. Turn the corn every few minutes to ensure all sides are properly browned. Corn on the cob works well at barbecues that also serve grilled chicken or ribs.
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