If you love eating at barbecue restaurants, consider throwing a themed party at home. Use your favorite barbecue restaurant as inspiration when creating the menu, or hire a professional caterer to do the work for you.
A barbecue-themed event menu, which will typically consist of a variety of grilled meats and savory sides, will work well for a wide variety of special occasions. You can serve this casual-yet-delicious food at both kids' and adults' birthday parties, graduation or anniversary celebrations, baby or bridal showers, and even holiday gatherings for family and friends.
The theme is best for warm spring and summer events so that you can cook the main courses outside on a grill. If your budget doesn't allow you to cater the entire meal, you can have the caterers or local restaurant just provide the meat while you cook the sides, which saves you both money and time in the kitchen.
Barbecue-inspired menus will appeal to guests of all ages since you'll be able to serve several different options buffet style. Be sure to provide a few meatless main courses, such as soy-based sausage or black bean burgers, for any vegetarians and vegans in the group.
Here are some barbecue-themed party food ideas:
1. Hamburgers and Hot Dogs
No barbecue-inspired event would be complete without hamburgers and hot dogs, which are easy to prepare and customize. Provide a mix of regular and vegetarian meats, along with a table full of toppings and condiments, such as ketchup, mustard, pickles, tomatoes, onions, and relish.
Give the guests a choice of cheeses, as well as fancy fixings such as caramelized onions, onion rings, fried eggs, and chili. You can also serve sliders, which will be ideal for kids or adults with smaller appetites.
Treat guests to grilled kebabs filled with ingredients such as chicken, shrimp, squash, mushrooms, and even pineapple and mango for a tropical twist. Have the skewers premade or allow guests to customize their own.
If you're using wood skewers, be sure to soak them in water first so that they don't burn. Metal skewers are also available.
1. Baked Beans
A staple at barbecue restaurants, baked beans are so hearty that they can even serve as a main course for non–meat eaters. Personalize the beans any way you'd like, adding bacon, maple syrup, brown sugar, and diced green pepper and onions.
Include a few different fresh salad choices to help balance out the meaty main courses. Ideas include caprese salads—which consist of sliced tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil topped with balsamic vinegar and olive oil—or creamy Caesar salads.
During the summer, get creative by adding fruit to the salads, such as watermelon and tomato or strawberry, grape, and cucumber salads.
For more information, get in touch with a local barbecue restaurant such as Grumpy's Bar B Que Roadhouse.