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cheap (and tasty) bbq ideas...

hey all-

having a 20 person bbq- and looking for something more than burgers/dogs, but wanting to not drop a bundle.

Some guests won't do beef, some won't do seafood.

Any ideas?


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    1. Kabobs!
      You can do some beef, some shrimp, some chicken, and some all veggie.

      I recently saw where if you do veggie only kabobs and protein-only kabobs, apparently its easier to get the veggies and particular meat to cook to the correct level of doneness... rather than alternating protein with veggies on the same stick and trying to pre-cook veggies or trying to get your pepper to cook completely while your shrimp is turning to rubber, etc

      1. jfood would recommend boneless chicken breast (bone your own breats to save lots of money) and skirt steaks (if you cannot fond skirts go with flanks). Marinate them in the fridege and onto the grill when needed. They both take about 6-8 minutes on the grill.

        Prior to make a nice salad and get some corn on the cob.

        1. Pulled Pork. At approx. $1-$1.29 per pound and packaged in 14-15 lb package from Sam's or Costco (labeled as Pork Butt), you can cap your meat budget at $1 per person.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jd of de

            Second pulled pork. $99 a pound at the local Latino bodega. If you don't have a dedicated smoker, you can pull it off using a Weber grill, albeit with a little more maintenance.

          2. Country Style Pork Ribs - Inexpensive, meaty, and easy to cook whether grilled, low & slow, oven, or crockpot.

            1. If you are adept at all things bbq, then spares, and beer can chickens, or nicely marinated chickens are both super cheap, and not at all time consuming (as far as actually having to tend do the food.) I might even think about doing a side of salmon, or lake trout as well.

              One thing I like to do is skirt steak, and boneless skinless breasts and thighs, and set up a taco bar thing. A fish would also work well. Timing is the downside of this, as you'd want all of your guests to be eating at the same time.

              Tip for whole chickens - stuff the cavity with kefir lime leaf or lemon balm leaf to permeate the flesh with a nice citrus hint.

              I'd probably go with spares/chicken/fish, and the standard sides plus a killer fruit salad.

              1. I made Batali's Citrus chicken under a Brick and it was fantastic. Also, made a nice garlic, olive oil, lemon marinade for lamb and also used the same marinade for lamb kebabs. I bought a bone-in leg of lamb and it was a lot of meat - I had 3 recipes from it. Pork butt is really cheap, too, but it is so fatty I might just do it in the oven and pretend it was on the grill ;)

                1. We did a grilled skirt steak for fajitas last weekend. That was pretty good.

                  1. When I want inexpensive fresh meat or seafood I head to the Chinese store. For a mixed grill I would include things not already mentioned like spare ribs (they'll cut to size) pork shanks or fresh hocks, tripe, marrow bones, and maybe even a pork belly if there is a low and slow part to the grill. Head on shrimp and a box of squid tubes will complete the bill

                    1. Sometimes I do a cedar-planked pork loin. Pork is really cheap around here, I can get a whole or half loin for as little as 1.47lb. I brine the loin for about 1hr, then slowly cook it on the soaked( for 24hrs) cedar plank. I might sprinkle on a grill blend. When its almost ready, I brush with a mix of a high quality bbq sauce mixed with some terriyaki or just terriyaki and some OJ.

                      1. on Mother's day, I did 2 beer can chickens. I used empty cambell soup cans instead though because they;re sturdier. I got the whole chickens for .69lb at Meijer in MI. I used Cook's Illustrated rub and method and they were fantastic. Check out the pics on my foodblog. 2girlsinthekitchen.blogspot.com.

                        1. Skirt steak I find can be surprisingly expensive (although very tasty). One thing we did recently that wound up being less per pound than organic chicken or the skirt steak was brisket. Cooked majority of the way in the crock pot and then grilled - wow. Super tasty. You could do that and then some veggie kabobs (shouldn't be too expensive for those). Grill up some corn on the cobb, possibly add a potato salad or something along those lines.