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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.

                              Link: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

                              1. Is avacado dip passe in your neck of the woods? Around here they gobble it up.

                                1. Baked beans are a must-have when we do a cook-out (burgers & hot dogs) or a bbq (ribs, brisket, pulled pork). Ever since I tried this recipe, the family requests the beans to be done this way, every time. YMMV, Art

                                  Link: http://www.beanbible.com/modules.php?...

                                  1. Woops when I posted this I didnt see that it was from march!
                                    sorry bout that.

                                    For excellent bacon cheesburgers:

                                    -Start with some nice fatty mincemeat,preferabbly ask your butcher to grind for you a combo of chuck, or brisket, with some sirloin thrown in for flavour

                                    -Grill some scallions, put them on your burgers after you flipped them once,

                                    -then put some crisp bacon,

                                    -and finally top with a nice sharp cheddar,

                                    -once the cheese melts serve with garlic/onion jam(available at most gourmet shops or nice supermarkets), and whatever other toppings you like.

                                    -If you dont like your burgers over cooked, make em nice and thick.

                                    General Tips:
                                    -for the love of all that is good, be patient and wait till all flames have died down! Otherwise your food will burn especially that barbecue chicken with all the sweet sauce on it
                                    Keep a bottle of beer on hand to stop any flame ups

                                    -Dont use those round little sawdust abominations (dont even think of using something self lighting)that are called charcoal these days.

                                    -Use real wood. If you cant do that use real hardwood charcoal, and throw some soaked wood chips on there

                                    -For an apetizer while the grill is still real hot, just sear up a double thick ribeye, or sirloin steak till its a slightly charred on all sides but still med/rare to rare on the inside. take it off the heat, let it sit a few minutes, then slice thinly and serve with a dipping sauce made from soy sauce, ginger,scallion, cilantro,fresh chili and a little water to dilute the soy sauce.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: gastrognome

                                      "for the love of all that is good, be patient and wait till all flames have died down! Otherwise your food will burn especially that barbecue chicken with all the sweet sauce on it"

                                      Putting sweet 'barbecue' sauce on raw meat BEFORE cooking is a huge faux pas in grilling. The sweet sauce will scorch and burn before the meat even begins to cook. For the best approach, cook the meat thoroughly, then apply the sweet sauce for about 5-10 minutes to impart flavor, and use extra for dipping.

                                    2. Well must haves, as you must already know are Mac salad, Potato salad, Coleslaw. I got a recipe from a Bon Appetit many years ago for a Southwestern Black Bean and Rice Salad that everyone who has tried it has asked for the recipe. It's pretty easy as well and the taste far exceeds the effort involved. And it compliments grilled food perfectly. If you'd like I'll post it for you.

                                      1. If burgers and dogs are on the menu, then make sure the beef is not the cheap stuff...there's a huge difference when making burgers out of good quality 80/20 ground chuck like Black Angus. Do you have any local German, Polish, or Italian butchers? I usually buy a variety of German Bratwurst, wieners, Polish keilbasa, and Italian sausage for my barbacue's. The real stuff like here in Chicago is night and day from the Johnsonville, Oscar Meyer and other high volume chemical laden brands, etc. If you do not have any decent ethnic butchers then look for Boars Head or Usinger Brand wieners, bratwurst, thuringer, and knockwurst sausages...they're excellent. Check with Whole Foods and Trader Joe's.

                                        1. Kelly, another thought would be to make a toppings bar.

                                          We gave this a try several times this summer. We served things that go well on top of burgers & hot dogs and our guests brought THEIR favorite side dishe or dessert.

                                          Beer, wine, a few well placed lights and its a party!

                                          1. When the cooking is done, and the fire is burning down, put some hard cooked peeled eggs away from the heat. Load the coals with hickory, shut all the vents and smoke the eggs. Be sure the coals aren't very hot. Just enough to smolder the hickory for an hour or so. Won't help your party, but you will have the makings for killer smoked deviled eggs the next day.
                                            I like to grill asparagus. Just toss it lightly in a vinagrette and put it right on the grill. You can also never go wrong with mushrooms. Good with the burgers too.

                                            1. I've been using this bean recipe lately -- Soda Jerk Beans. Love it! Sweet and spicy. I tone down the sugar a bit, and you don't need to use this exact mix of beans or even both sodas -- in other words, totally adaptable to your tastes (read the reviews, I'm "mascher"): http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

                                              I like my grandma's potato salad -- with a creamy dressing of mayo/milk/vinegar, hard boiled eggs, celery, onion, and topped with copious amounts of celery seed.

                                              Mac n cheese is always good.

                                              And cole slaw -- a quick convenience I've been doing lately is bagged slaw with Marie's cole slaw dressing. Not half bad in a pinch.

                                              1. You're probably looking for main courses but if you want dessert, grilled pineapple is great w/ ice cream. If you have kids, they can split a banana, fill it w/ pb, chocolate chips, marshmallows, etc., close it up in aluminum foil and grill. Ice cream optional.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: chowser

                                                  grilled pineapple is great, and reminds me of the grilled pineapple served after gorging on Brazilian BBQ.

                                                  I baste mine in a combo of melted butter, dark rum, turbinado sugar, and lots of cinnamon.