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Mar 30, 2006 09:10 AM

BBQ Must Haves

  • k

Okay, so we are having a bbq this Sunday. There will be about 20-30 people. I was wondering if anyone could offer some "must have" recipes. We are just going to do hamburgers and hotdogs as a main dish. Thanks for your help. =0)

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  1. Not to be rude, but I don't think hamburgers and hot dogs qualify as BBQ. That would be grilling. BBQ would be ribs, brisket, maybe some hot links. However, grilling dogs and burgers isn't all bad. Some really good potato salad, maybe some BBQ beans, sub a few brauts for some of the hot dogs, always like deviled eggs.

    Hope the weather cooperates.

    25 Replies
    1. re: Monty

      I'm sorry, I guess I should have stated we are having people over to do "a grilling". Just doesn't sound the same. All in all, I was just looking for some suggestions on some tried and true sides and apps for an "outdoor get together"

      1. re: Kelly

        Like I said, I wasn't trying to be rude, forgive me if I was. With burges and dogs simple sides are the best in my opinion. The problem this time of the year is not be able to get really good fresh fruits and veggies, things like good tomatoes, peaches or apricots for cobbler, etc.

        A pasta salad, a roasted potato salad, even a green bean salad, all would work. I mentioned deviled eggs, we wouldn't do a cookout without them. Perhaps some good guac would work, a slightly different direction. Find some interesting breads, maybe forccia, kaiser rolls or something along that line instead of plain old buns.

        Hope you're someplace other than the west coast as it's suppose to rain here all weekend which makes cooking out no more than a dream.

        1. re: Kelly

          My two favorite easy sides when "grilling"
          1. Broccoli salad made with florets, red onion, crumbled bacon, grated cheddar and dried cranberries
          2. Black bean and corn salad with choppd red pepper, green onions chopped cilantro in a dressing made of slightly heated cider vinegar,balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, cumin and garlic

          1. re: Kelly

            The term BBQ is regional and is becoming elitist.

            I am in California, and as a kid, BBQ always meant burgers and hot dogs. As an adult BBQ meant steaks. Grill was a piece of metal with heat applied, burger places cooked burgers on a grill.

            I like 60s style food with burgers and dogs; chili with beans, potato salad, potato chips.

            1. re: Alan408

              I am in California as well. So, that must be where it comes from.

              1. re: Kelly

                Yeah, I got invited to a BBQ ib Seattle once and was surprised when it was burgers and dogs. I wasn't complaining though, as it was very good.
                In Texas BBQ is brisket, sausage, ribs, smoked with indirect heat with oak, pecan, or mesquite.

                1. re: Spencer

                  Not always indirect heat. The barbecue places in Llano, Mason, Fredericksburg and that area cook directly over burned-down coals. That's how I cook barbecue, too.


                  1. re: Jim Washburn

                    How hot? I heard a place in central Texas cooks briskets at 400+.

                    1. re: Spencer

                      I have no way of knowing how hot the commercial pits are, and I don't use a thermometer when I cook barbecue. Usually when I get to the commercial places the cooking is over for the day and they are just holding the meat at serving temperature. When I cook barbecue at home the heat is high enough that you can hear the fat sizzling but not very loudly.


                      1. re: Spencer

                        Never saw one that used high temps. Around 225 is the norm for brisket, 10-12 hours or longer, ribs a little bit shorter. I can't imagine that a 400 degree brisket would be worth a damn. It's tough cut that needs lots of time.

                        Then again, only lived for 30 years in Texas so could be wrong.

                        1. re: Monty

                          I feel pretty certain that most of the central Texas barbecue places cook a lot faster than that. Briskets are probably done in six hours or less. At the places I go to, the good ones, the brisket is most definitely worth a damn. By the way, I've lived in Texas for about 48 years total.


                          1. re: Jim Washburn

                            Hey, I wouldn't dispute another Texan. Just never seen any cooked that way. Only had BBQ in Austin area once. In the Dallas area it was always long cooked.

                            I guess who cares how it's cooked as long as it tastes great. Currently in San Francisco anc believe me, there is NO BBQ in this area, as in NONE. I be happy with terrible and can't even find that.

                          2. re: Monty

                            I have had good success at 200-225. Never tried one at high temps, so I could be totally ignorant on this hi temp subject.

                          3. re: Spencer

                            I believe Kreuz's Market cooks in that 400 plus range, and/or maybe Smitty's

                    2. re: Alan408

                      Most hamburger joints cook hamburgers on a griddle, BurgerKing uses a converor grill. FYI

                      1. re: Alan408

                        How is the term BBQ becoming elitist?

                        BBQ is a food not a verb or a grill.

                        1. re: BlueHerons

                          On the contrary, Barbecue is a technique, not a food. To barbecue means to cook seasoned meats over low heat with an open flame, usually with smoke provided by wood chips that have been soaked in water. More often than not, it does not involve coating the meat with a sticky, syrupy sauce. Barbecue is about taking a tough cut of meat and rendering it tender and falling apart by low and slow cooking.

                          Grilling is what you do with burgers and hot dogs.

                          They are both very different, yet everyone seems to think they are the same thing.

                          1. re: cooknKate

                            You can call me a snob or elitist, but I believe that barbecue is a noun. But I don't feel the need to correct people every time they refer to burgers on the grill or the device that they cook on as "a bbq".

                            I do believe that barbecue is defined by tough cuts of meat cooked for long periods over a low heat fueled by wood rendering the fat and collagen while tenderizing and flavorizing the meat.

                            As long as you don't give me boiled ribs, or brisket drenched in sauce out of a crockpot and call it bbq we'll get along just fine.


                            1. re: BackyardChef

                              ??? Every time???

                              One post on one board clarifying one term doesn't necessarily qualify for every time.......

                              1. re: cooknKate

                                I wasn't referring to anyone here-- I meant that even though I'm probably one of those 'elitists' about bbq, I, personally, don't feel the need to clarify the terms every time someone misuses it. Hard to convey tone in a post, but it was not snark. I can see how it could've been taken that way, but not intended.

                      2. re: Kelly

                        I grew up calling anything cooked on a grill "bbq." Whoo, then I worked with someone from the Carolinas and they set me straight!
                        As for other ideas, I like a variety of sausages, smoked, chicken, spicy, etc. I usually grill them and slice them into chunks so people can try more than one kind. Grilled asparagus is nice and in season right now, veggie kabobs or grilled onions and peppers are nice. If you have the time, a marinated tri-tip grilled rare is great and very easy, just sear it and move it over to an indirect heat area of the grill til it's done. I would recommend getting a meat thermometer (even a $8 one from the grocery store) for larger cuts. Marinated pork tenderloin is also very easy if you don't dry it out.

                        1. re: Candice

                          Oh yeah, lightly grilled hearts of romaine with bacon and blue cheese is also a very tasty salad.

                          1. re: Candice

                            That salad sounds great! Thanks =0)

                            1. re: Kelly

                              Grilled, marinated fish is also great. I usually do wild salmon or mahi mahi marinated in soy, ginger, garlic, green onions, evoo and sesame oil, a few splashes of rice vinegar, and some sriacha or crushed red pepper. I put it skin side down until it's done and then it slides easily off the skin, which I discard.

                      3. re: Monty

                        And not to disagree with you, but you corrected her about barbecueing (with which I agree) but then you recommended "BBQ" beans. Perhaps you meant baked or just slow-cooked beans as I don't see tons of people slow-smoking beans.

                        1. A super-easy, different coleslaw for a crowd: shredded red cabbage, carrots, julliened cukes. Toss with hot pepper sesame oil and salt and pepper. Yum.

                          1. IMO, simple, traditional mains call for simple, traditional sides. Potato salad, macaroni/pasta salad, cole slaw, baked beans, tossed salad, corn on the cob...and be certain to have a good variety of condiments, i.e. ketchup, mustard, mayo, onions, relish, cheese, pickles.

                            1. This is a simple slaw recipe and I've served it many times to rave reviews. Dress it just before you serve it.