Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Jun 9, 2008 09:24 AM

The best BBQ menu you can think of?

Hi All -

I'm not sure this is the best board but I think so. I'm trying to plan my rehersal dinner - prob about 125 ppl and we're thinking of a bbq buffet. What would your ideal menu be for a perfect BBQ from appetizers to main courses to sides and desserts. The one caveat is some of our family is kosher and I'm trying to think of a way around pork ribs. (we don't have to think of kosher food for everyone, just trying to avoid them feeling uncomfortable)...

The standard menu includes:

beans, corn, cole slaw, chicken, pork ribs and chocolate chip cookies. I'm trying to personalize it a bit more.

Your input is so appreciated as always!


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. You could add grilled artichokes as appetizers. Also grilled fruit is a nice dessert....maybe peaches brushed with balsamic glaze? or pineapple slices?
    How about grilled salmon as a main course? You can pick up those large pieces at Costco.(if you're trying to keep costs down)
    And a lot of folks on this board are big fans of Nigella's watermelon salad with feta. Might be nice and refreshing with your menu.

    1 Reply
    1. re: perk

      I love grilled fruit! I've done peaches and plums with a vanilla mint glaze. Yum. Cupcakes are always a good dessert too.

      I also love mac & cheese with bbq. Not boxed mac & cheese, but a good gourmet one. Maybe scalloped potatoes too. Cucumber salad.

      And here is an interesting and different garlic bread that my husband and I love: French bread, cut and spread with a thick layer of butter. Top with powdered garlic or crushed garlic, and a little bit of caraway seed and red pepper flakes.

    2. Brisket
      Why do ribs at all if you are worried about people who keep kosher feeling uncomfortable?
      I'd think about brisket / salmon / chicken.

      Appetizers: I'd stick with low maint. Chips/dip, salsa, guac, cheese trays. BBQ will steal the show - especially a good brisket. Not much q can top a good brisket. I do love ribs, but good brisket is a whole different level of q.

      Main: chicken / brisket/ fish/ grilled vegetables, corn on cob, beans
      Salads - simple mixed green / slaw / tater

      1. For real barbecue, I have to agree with brisket, smoked and cooked slow. With that, I would serve barbecue beans--pintos with onion, homemade barbecue sauce, and a bit of brisket stirred in (rather than pork) and potato salad. A chop salad: romaine, small cubes of cheese, meat like salami (optional), onion, garbanzos, red bells. Coleslaw with creamy dressing. Jalapeno cheese bread.

        Pie, like fruit or coconut cream would be a nice finish, as would strawberry shortcake or fruit served over pound cake.

        for starters--cold things like shrimp cocktail?

        1 Reply
        1. re: cocktailhour

          what if bbq isn't "real" and done by a (good) caterer? are you still a fan of brisket?

        2. Appetizers: Marinated grilled shrimp on skewers
          Punch bowls full of icy cold gazpacho
          Main Course: Smoked Beef Briskets (these can be done ahead and freeze very well)
          Grilled chicken (buy Kosher)
          Sides: Cole Slaw, Sliced Tomatoes & Cucumbers, BBQ beans, Fresh corn off the cob salad with fresh basil and chopped red onion, potato salad, deviled eggs, maybe a pasta salad sans meat for vegetarians

          Rolls or Cornbread, Honey Butter

          Dessert: Brownies, Watermelon

          Is this being catered or is someone doing the cooking at home?

          5 Replies
          1. re: anni

            Is shrimp even kosher?
            Pardon my ignorance if it is indeed, kosher, but I thought it was not.

              1. re: gordeaux

                Oh! Did they want a totally kosher menu? I guess I misunderstood.

              2. re: anni

                it's being catered, which is why I said it won't be authentic bbq/home cooked.

                1. re: gramercyfoodie

                  If your caterer can't handle it, aren't there all kinds of places that you can order a fully cooked (smoked) brisket from? I'm sure your caterer can understand if you purchased the brisket and asked them to heat it up (for an extra charge, of course.) Surprising they don't have the smarts to offer it. They can just order it, slap a new price tag on it, slice it, warm it, and serve it.

                  A quick simple search turned up numerous options for buying vaccuum packed, fully cooked briskets.

              3. I keep kosher - so my ideal menu would include either beef ribs, brisket, or skirt steaks - for people who do not want beef mayne some BBQ or beercan chicken for sides grilled corn, baked beans (I cheat and use Bush's Vegetarian Baked Beans), ,potatos baked on the grill, cole slaw - for appetizers grilled kosher salami with BBQ sauce and grilled veggie skewers and for dessert a nice fruit pie -

                1 Reply
                1. re: weinstein5

                  I second the brisket. Can they make blackeyed peas? I also would vote for mac and cheese (those who keep kosher can skip it, but if there are any kids there, it would be a hit with them.) For dessert: peach cobbler, which would not be kosher if it's made with lard, but you could ask them to do a butter crust or a crisp instead.