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Grilling for a group?

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I'm having a pretty decent sized group of people over next weekend for an outdoor get-together on my back porch. I've got a couple cool recipes that I'm trying to decide between for "upgraded" potato salad (one grilled new potato salad that involves hefty amounts of bacon!), a few slaw/salad options, a couple interesting dips, and so forth.

What I'm missing is the main protein.

I don't really want to do something "standard" for grilling like burgers, but I don't want to go super upscale (it will be served on paper plates, needs to be able to be easily eaten either by hand or with plastic utensils, etc.)

One thought that I had was pork shoulder, which you could braise off and then finish on the grill when it's showtime.

So, collective wisdom... any other thoughts as to what I could grill?

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  1. what about kabobs, you could have a variety - they cook up quickly. Make em small enough chunks. pork is great marinated in a soy type marinade, I love chix wrapped in bacon, we recently did lamb kabob that was fantastic, can't beat steak tips, you could even do a surf and turf with some nice fish/shrimp/scallops too.

    or instead of chunks do like those terriyaki beef and chix - flat but threaded on skewer!

    1. I like to grill pork chops for a group. People don't normally expect them as cookout food, and they're one of my very favorites. Maybe make a couple of different sauces to serve alongside. They have the added advantage of being wallet-friendly.

      Lexpatti's idea is pretty spectacular too. Many people don't think to grill kabobs, so they have a great wow factor.

      1 Reply
      1. re: dmd_kc

        I agree with the pork chop idea--everyone loves them. Or a couple of pork tenderloins wrapped in bacon. For beef I would go with a tri-tip pr flank steak.

      2. Maybe fajitas?

        You could do flank steak, chicken breast, and even shrimp. You'd also have to grill some onions and peppers, but you could buy the other toppings like, salsa, sour cream, and guacamole and then let everyone assemble their own.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Philly Ray

          love that idea, last night I took one of those big foil sq roasting pan and threw in a bunch of sliced red onions and spanish onions, olive oil, s&P and just threw the whole thing on the grill (we are renovating so the grill is getting some major use) - tossed a few times and they were fantastic. I kept picturing some peppers in this mix and a flank steak for some fajitas. Instead, we just did thin bagels with an herbed cr. cheese and these roasted onions for dinner. worked!!

          1. re: lexpatti

            Shrimp tacos/fajitas would be awesome. Make up some guacamole and chips, a a black bean and corn salad, some salsas, you are good to go.

        2. Spanish Chorizo

          1. Pesto Pizzas
            Spareribs
            Stuffed Artichokes
            Sukiyaki
            Kielbasa and Fruit Kebabs
            Asparagus
            Bacon-Wrapped Scallops (in foil)
            Peaches and Pineapples...

            1. I like to do salmon fillets on the grill for a big group. I go to Costco, where the big pieces are really reasonable. Then I'll serve it with a couple of different salsas...maybe mango
              and somethng else.
              Also, flank steak on the grill is good for a group. Also good prices at Costco--two to a pack. I'll marinate overnight in an Asian blend, and just throw it on the grill at the last minute. It cooks pretty quickly and is really tasty!
              Or...you could do both.....

              1. Do something they have never heard of or seen before. "Fred Flinstone Ribs"... "Dinosaur Bones" and otherwise un sawed-off Beef Short Ribs. Generally you have to ask the butcher to get some out of the back, and you buy the full cryopack of 4 racks. 3 bones each rack.

                I smoke them and they take as long as pork ribs about 6 hours.

                 
                 
                1. Pork shoulder is great and has the advantage of being very inexpensive without seeming "cheap" (like, say, plain old hot dogs might). You can cook it right on the grill for the whole cook (if you have gas, leave off the flame right above the meat). Try to keep the temp around 250, should take 8 hours or so to cook so you can start it first thing in the morning. (Add some wood chips wrapped in foil to get some smoke on it).

                  I also like the kebabs idea. You can also do Turkish style, use ground beef mixed with ground lamb and plenty of spice mix (I google for Kofta and cobble something from those recipes). You can form ground meat like a hot dog shape right around the skewers.

                  1. how many people are you having?

                    1. Thanks to all for the great ideas! The "build-your-own-fajita" is fantastic, as are kebabs and pork chops. I guess I just need to have SEVERAL of these!

                      FYI, I'm looking at around 18 people for this event.