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What to Serve At A Summer BBQ

Top Summer BBQ Meats: Most Popular Selections

Lilly Gower |

When the sun shines through the leaves and gardens burst with colour, a summer BBQ is ideal. Surrounded by friends and the sound of grilling, the big question remains: what to serve at a summer BBQ to delight all guests? Explore our selection of summer BBQ menu ideas, chosen to make your grill talk of the town. Uncover a range of easy BBQ recipes for a memorable outdoor feast. We have succulent kebabs with exotic spices, superb plant-based choices, and simple yet irresistible desserts. Join us as we share dishes that turn a barbecue into a standout event. Now's the time to spark your culinary passion. Impress your guests with flavours that scream summer joy.

Introducing Your Ultimate Summer Barbecue Menu

As the warm summer weather invites us outside, nothing beats an outdoor feast's friendly vibe. To craft an irresistible set of summer barbecue menu ideas, remember everyone's tastes. This includes juicy BBQ staples, unique sides, or cooling BBQ drinks, ensuring a mix that pleases every palate. Impressing your guests with yummy outdoor party food involves choosing creative dishes. Consider the top-rated BBQ rum bananas foil parcels, rated 4.4 out of 5 by 9 people. Or the charred pineapple dessert, scoring a 4.7 from 3 ratings, for a tropical taste and a show. For the dessert lovers, don't miss the dessert spot. Chocolate-dipped strawberries and simple fruit salad both score a full 5. They're quick yet tasty, perfect for a chill summer day. The pavlova and Eton mess desserts are also hits, with ratings of 3.9 and 4.5 out of 5 respectively.
Dessert Star Rating (out of 5) Ratings Count
Simple Fruit Salad 5.0 4
Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries 5.0 10
Whole Roasted Pineapple Dessert 4.9 7
Eton Mess Dessert 4.5 32
Pavlova Dessert 3.9 7
No barbecue is complete without refreshing drinks for a BBQ. A cherry syrup and rum soda might be the perfect drink to quench thirst. These drinks enhance the meal and set the mood for a relaxing day outdoors. By carefully planning your menu, you ensure a barbecue that's memorable for its delicious spread. So, light the grill and let the aroma of summer fill the air!

What to Serve At A Summer BBQ: Pro Grilling Techniques

When the sun's out and your garden calls, learning key BBQ skills is a must. These tips will help you nail the best BBQ dishes. Your guests will love the tasty mains. You're set to make your BBQ a hit.

Marinating Masterclass: Flavours that Sizzle

Start by marinating your meats. The right spices and herbs add incredible taste. Whether you prefer sweet and spicy or tangy mixes, marinate well. This turns simple meat into BBQ stars. Below, find marinade ideas that will excite you:
Protein Marinade Flavour Profile Marinating Time
Chicken Skewers Korean sweet-spicy glaze 2-4 hours
Beef Ribs Smoky BBQ rub Overnight
Pineapple & Pepper Skewers Citrus zest and herbs 30 minutes

Grill the Perfect Steak: Timing and Temperature

For the perfect steak, timing and temperature matter. Get it right, and enjoy your steak just how you like it. A meat thermometer helps a lot. Here's how to cook your steak perfectly:
For a 2.5 cm thick steak, use direct heat:
  • Rare: 2-3 minutes per side (internal temperature of 50-52°C)
  • Medium-rare: 3-4 minutes per side (internal temperature of 55-60°C)
  • Medium: 4-5 minutes per side (internal temperature of 60-65°C)
  • Well-done: 5-6 minutes per side (internal temperature above 70°C)

Specialist Equipment: Getting the Best from Your BBQ

The right BBQ tools make a big difference. They let you cook amazing food easily. From air-fryers for crispy corn to baskets for veggies, the right gear helps a lot. These tools boost flavour and make cooking easy. Enjoy your BBQ with friends and family with these top mains. Grilling Tips for Summer Gatherings

Impressive Main Dishes for Your BBQ Cuisine

When you plan a BBQ, the main dishes make the event special. Whether your guests like meat, are vegetarian, or love seafood, it's important to choose a menu that everyone will enjoy. Here are some BBQ main dishes that are full of flavour and perfect for outdoor summer dining.

Expertly Grilled Meat Extravaganza

No BBQ is complete without grilled meats. Try making pulled pork with a tangy sauce, or pork skewers with a smoky taste. For something different, try Swedish meatball burgers or a Texas-inspired barbecue mix. And don't forget side dishes like sweet potato to complement the meat.

Vegetarian Delights: Veggie Burger Mastery

Veggie dishes are becoming more popular at BBQs. A spicy veggie burger can be the main event for vegetarians. You can also try aubergines with beans and salsa or halloumi burgers for a great taste. Adding pesto pasta salad and a salad bar makes everything more exciting.

Seafood Sensations: From Scallops to Sea Bream

Seafood dishes offer a fresh twist at a BBQ. Shrimp kebabs with chorizo and peppers taste amazing. Salmon wrapped in herbs or miso glaze is a lighter option. Pair them with a potato salad with chorizo for a great meal experience. A BBQ is about good food and friendship. Main dishes at your BBQ can start great conversations. Grilling is an art that enhances the flavours in meat, chicken, fish, and vegetarian options. Remember to grill safely. Next time you have a BBQ, try these favourites and impress your guests.

Refreshing Drinks to Complement the Grill

As the grill heats up and the smell of barbecue fills the air, nothing beats having cool drinks to go with it. These drinks do more than just quench your thirst; they make every BBQ side dish and main dish taste even better. Let's look at what drinks you should have at your summer barbecue. Refreshing Summer BBQ Drinks Cold sodas and lemonades refresh and revive you. Here are some top picks to keep everyone happy:
  1. Lime-infused Mocktails: These are great if you want a zesty drink without alcohol.
  2. Cherry Syrup Sodas: They're sweet and fruity, perfect for beating the heat.
  3. Iced Tea: Served with lemon, it’s both refreshing and flavourful.
  4. Fruit Punch: A mix of juices that pleases everyone.
If you enjoy alcohol, try these with your barbecue:
  • Frozen Margaritas: They're icy and have a bold tequila flavour.
  • Pimm's: Perfect for any BBQ and a British summer favourite.
  • Sangrias: Packed with fruit, they are ideal for summer.
  • Mojitos: The mix of mint and rum is incredibly refreshing.
Remember, the key to a great pairing is contrast. Your cool drinks should balance the heat of the barbecue.
Drink Type Highlights Perfect Pairing
Homemade Lemonade Non-alcoholic Classic, zesty Grilled chicken
Spiked Cherry Cola Alcoholic Sweet with a kick Pulled pork sliders
Sparkling Water with Cucumber Non-alcoholic Refreshing, hydrating Assorted kebabs
Beer Alcoholic Effervescent, varied Sausages and burgers
Adding these delightful refreshing drinks for a BBQ will make your guests happy and satisfied. From non-alcoholic mocktails to cherry syrup sodas, there's a perfect drink for each dish. Don't forget, these drinks also pair well with BBQ side dishes, creating a complete meal experience.

Barbecue Side Dishes That Steal the Show

As the grilling season starts, a smart choice of BBQ side dishes becomes key to a great outdoor dining experience. Sides often play a supporting role, but they can truly make the meal shine. This year, try new salad recipes and dishes from around the world to boost your summer BBQ menu ideas. Barbecue side dishes layout

Salads with a Twist: Charring for Extra Flavour

Adding a smoky taste to salad recipes makes them irresistible. Try a grilled Caesar salad with lightly charred romaine lettuce, or a caprese with grilled tomatoes. These twists will make your salads the talk of the BBQ circle.

BBQ Corn and Beyond: Vegetable Sides Reinvented

Corn on the cob becomes special with flavoured butter or spicy sauces. Move past boiled vegetables. Introduce grilled aubergines, courgettes, and sweet potatoes for colour and texture.

Global Inspirations for Classic BBQ Sides

Explore international flavours in your barbecue. Imagine Greek-style lemon rice, Brazilian farofa, or a tangy Asian slaw. These dishes will complement your mains and spark curiosity about different cuisines.
Side Dish Cuisine Inspiration Key Ingredients Perfect Pairing
Charred Romaine Caesar Italian with a twist Romaine lettuce, parmesan, anchovies Grilled chicken or shrimp
Gochujang BBQ Corn Korean Corn, gochujang paste, mayonnaise Beef bulgogi burgers
Lemon and Herb Rice Greek Rice, lemon zest, fresh herbs Lamb kebabs or grilled fish
Asian Rainbow Slaw Asian Cabbage, bell peppers, sesame oil Spicy pork skewers
Brazilian Farofa Brazilian Cassava flour, butter, bacon Picanha steak or chorizo sausages
Make your summer BBQ unforgettable with these delicious sides. Choosing the right flavours to match your main dishes creates a perfect feast. So, get the grill ready and let these sensational sides shine. They'll be the stars of the season.

Easy BBQ Recipes for a Stress-Free Cookout

Summer is a time to enjoy the sun, not spend ages cooking. Use easy BBQ recipes perfect for outdoor parties. They're quick to make and delicious. With these summer BBQ menu ideas, you'll have more time for fun and laughs. Here's a sneak peek of what you can cook for an easy outdoor party:
  • Succulent chicken pieces marinated in a blend of jerk seasonings
  • Aromatic beef burgers seasoned with your choice of herbs and spices
  • Pulled pork that has been slow-cooked to perfection and effortlessly shreds
These choices show what great outdoor party food is all about. They're sure to be hits with your guests.
Recipe Ingredients Preparation Cooking Time
Classic Beef Burger Minced beef, onions, breadcrumbs, egg, seasoning Mix ingredients and form patties 10 minutes on the grill
Quick Jerk Chicken Chicken thighs, jerk seasoning, lime juice Marinate the chicken and skewer 15 minutes on the grill
Spiced Pulled Pork Pork shoulder, BBQ spice rub, apple cider vinegar Slow cook pork and shred Several hours (pre-cooked)
With these easy BBQ recipes, you're set for a fantastic BBQ. These recipes are simple, tasty, and perfect for a relaxing summer day.

Outdoor Party Food: Crowd-Pleasing BBQ Snacks

In British summertime, nothing tops outdoor party food for helping guests mingle with tasty treats. It's often the small snacks that win hearts and create lasting memories. Let's dive into some BBQ snacks that'll be a hit at any summer event.

Skewer Soiree: Kebabs for Every Palate

Skewers let guests try many flavours without getting too full. Mild pork skewers suit kids, while spicy chicken kebabs with cool ranch slaw thrill spice lovers. Offering various kebabs means there's something for everyone at your summer BBQ.

Bitesize BBQ Treats: From Sliders to Wings

Sliders and sticky wings are great for mingling guests. These BBQ side dishes are not only tasty but also easy to eat on the go. Sliders work with many toppings, like Stilton cheese or American BBQ sauces. Meanwhile, chicken wings glazed in tangy-sweet sauce satisfy meat enthusiasts.

Bold Flavours: Dips and Sauces to Dial Up the Fun

Dips and sauces really boost the fun of outdoor food. From tangy ketchup to creamy garlic aioli, these extras let guests create their own flavour mixes. They make the BBQ more interactive and fun, ensuring your snacks are unforgettable. Focusing on varied, exciting snacks makes planning your BBQ fun. These easy-to-eat, flavourful options promise a successful summer party. They highlight the joy and friendship that come with a British summer BBQ.

Best Desserts for Summer Cookouts

When the BBQ's glow dim and joy lingers, the right dessert makes the night perfect. Guests can enjoy everything from light, fruity treats to rich, chocolate cakes. Picking desserts for a BBQ means finding something for everyone's tastes.

Guilt-Free Desserts: Light and Fruity Options

For a light end to your meal, consider fruity desserts. Imagine grilled pineapple with its sugars caramelised to perfection. Or a delicious pear crumble that feels like a slice of heaven. These options are healthier and provide a cool, fresh taste after a big meal.

Classic Comfort with a Grilled Twist

Classic desserts can become extraordinary with a bit of grilling. Think of an upside-down cake, now smoky and even more delicious. Even cornbread can be turned into a sweet treat that's both surprising and comforting. These options celebrate the joy of grilling.

Decadent Finishes: Marshmallow and Chocolate Concoctions

Then, for a lavish end, consider marshmallow and chocolate treats. Picture gooey brownies with caramel and salted almonds. These are perfect for leaving a strong impression, offering a cozy end to a sunny day. Such desserts blend indulgence with outdoor fun, ensuring a memorable BBQ.


What are some summer BBQ menu ideas for a successful cookout?

Consider offering various dishes for all tastes and diets. Include BBQ chicken, burgers, and vegetarian options. Also, have salads and grilled veggies on the side. Don't forget refreshing drinks and desserts. Mix fruit-based and rich sweets for a great end to the meal.

Can you suggest some easy BBQ recipes for a novice griller?

Start with easy, tasty options like marinated chicken skewers and veggie burgers. Add sides like corn on the cob and green salad. Focus on simple recipes that are big on flavour. Use marinades and rubs to boost the taste of meat and veggies.

What are essential grilling tips for summer gatherings?

Get your marinating right for flavour-packed meats. It's key to know the right grilling times and temperatures. Invest in good equipment like a meat thermometer and quality tongs for top BBQ results.

What types of refreshing drinks work well at a BBQ?

Offer a mix of drinks, including both alcoholic and non-alcoholic choices. Think homemade lemonades, iced teas, and fruity sodas. For the adults, add tropical cocktails or beer. Seasonal fruit punches and sangrias can also complement your grilled dishes.

What are some impressive main dishes to serve at a BBQ?

Prepare a variety of mains like pork skewers, beef burgers, and marinated chicken. Include veggie burgers or grilled halloumi for non-meat eaters. Seafood like shrimp kebabs or miso-glazed fish adds lightness and texture.

Can you provide creative BBQ side dish ideas?

Give BBQ sides a fresh twist. Add charred ingredients to salads, flavourful sauces to BBQ corn, and explore international dishes. Try sides like Turkish couscous salads or Brazilian farofa for global flavours.

How can I keep the food at my outdoor party convenient and sociable?

Choose easy-to-handle foods like skewers and sliders. Include finger-friendly snacks such as chicken wings and various dips. Offer both mild and spicy options. Special condiments can make the meal fun and interactive.

What are the best desserts to serve at a summer cookout?

Post-BBQ, guests might like lighter desserts. Offer grilled fruit or fruit-based crumbles for a lighter option. For indulgence, try grilled upside-down cake, smoky cornbread, or brownies with caramel. This balances the dessert menu perfectly.