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Barbecue Themed Dinner - Any suggestions for mains?

While "barbecue'" might not sound like much of a theme, it was what was chosen for our dinner club.
I am the host and responsible for the main course. Appetizers and Desserts are also supposed to be grilled. I am looking for some new ideas. Hamburgers or steak feels a bit predictable. I have considered pizza. Any recommendations or suggestions for some creative grilled main courses?

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  1. Lamb...sorry prolly not all that inventive...but sooo good...with corn and grilled veg. Try grilled peaches with a nice ice cream for desert. Also flat breads for the kids to make slouvki type roll ups.

    1. Grilled pizza sounds like an unexpected surprise.Also, do you have access to a goat or whole pig? I agree with Luna, grilled halved peaches with a scoop of premier Vanilla ice cream in the pit space would be good, especially if you have a good sauce to baste them with while they grill (maybe butter, rum, and brown sugar with a pinch of cinnamon?).

      1 Reply
      1. re: PotatoHouse

        Are you actually using a BBQ? If so, you could do beer can chicken.

      2. Not to be pedantic, but do you mean barbecue or grilling? Here are some suggestions:

        1. You can't go wrong with pulled pork or beef. A nice pork shoulder or chuck roast slowly smoked will be a hit.
        2. Consider something that is not normally cooked on a grill or bbq cooker. For example, I make grill-fried chicken sometimes, where you batter chicken pieces in some chicken fry, and cook on the grill at high, indirect heat until done. Just baste with a little oil about 10 minutes into the cook, and it will give you a great flavor and texture. (pizza is a good thought, too. With a pizza stone and a good, hot grill, you can turn out some nice pies).

        2 Replies
        1. re: bagofwater

          Have never ever thought about doing something like this, but now I've got to try this. Will wonders never cease: grilled fried chicken.

          1. re: mamachef

            Here's the method I followed. I've had success with both storebought chicken fry and homemade. Make sure you baste the pieces with oil or the breading will have too much crunch.


        2. The summer BBQ item that people crave in my area is "BBQ" chicken halves cooked low and slow on the grill.

          The halves are basted in a simple sauce of tabasco, vinegar and a bunch of other things (I can give the the recipe, it is super easy but at home while I am at the office at the moment) and the halves get a nice smokey-grilled flavor, the skin gets crispy and the seasoning is simple, it doesn't overwhelm. It is not at all like mainstream BBQ sauce.

          These could be done ahead of time and kept in a warm oven. We do it over a wood fire but I have gotten great results on the gas grill when I didn't need to cook for a crowd.

          1. barbecue not much of a theme?
            Well of course not if you are thinking burgers and steaks. That sounds like griling and not barbecue if you ask me.

            Chicken / beef / lamb boti
            Jerk Chicken / pork
            brisket / pulled pork (more advanced bbq)

            If you really are just going to grill stuff and not barbecue:

            grilled outer skirt steak and chicken thighs for a taco / tostada bar.

            Jerk chicken will work as well, but is really so much better when it is barbecued rather than grilled.

            Shish kebob varieties.

            1. So it's "grilling" not "barbeque"?

              If so, what about grilling some watermelon to have as a salad with tomatoes, feta and mint?

              Pineapples and peaches take to the grill pretty well.

              1. On the dessert side, grilled pineapple is stupendous. Grilled peaches are also amazing. You can sprinkle a little brown sugar on either fruit to make them that much more enticing. I have done grilled peaches with a balsamic vinegar glaze, too. Plunk that down with some good vanilla ice cream and you are done. Super easy.

                (Edit: sorry, LeoLioness, I didn't notice that you had just posted about pineapple and peaches too! But I second the recommendation!)

                1 Reply
                1. Hands down pulled pork!!! Can slow cook the day before then add whatever bbq sauce you want to use to add to the pulled pork. Easy to eat, a favorite to everyone. Plus pork is the other "white meat". I agree with bagof water just can't go wrong with pulled pork or beef. So many spice variations you can use. Think making pizzas on the grill would be too time consuming since you would have to make so many and would need lots of grill space for each one and think you would run the chance of burnt pizza dough is you didn't watch them every second and you would be spending all of your time at the grill instead of enjoying everyones company.

                  1. i am also going with "grilling as the theme" u mean?
                    barbeque is low and slow with seasoned cuts of meat such as brisket,pork shoulder..ribs...whole hog...type stuff and usually takes several hours if not overnight....

                    for desserts...u can "grill" pretty much anything....
                    fruits..as mentioned...peaches,pears,watermelon,pineapple,bananas...and pair with any kind of ice cream or sorbet..or sauce
                    u can even grill cake.....pound cake..angel food cake...(not the frosted kind)

                    veggies ...the same...grilled tomatoes...bacon or pancetta wrapped asparagus...
                    eggplant...onions..corn on the cob...peppers (any kind u like)
                    even grilled radicchio or romaine for the salad...

                    mains..."beer can" chicken altho it doesnt have to be beer...
                    fish...u can plank grill almost any kind of fish...
                    pork chops..
                    veal chops..
                    or combine the veggies and meats..any kind of kebob u can think of....
                    pizza is good grilled as well..
                    and a real quality steak grilled nicely is always good.....

                    1. If you are grilling, for dessert you could make Bananas Foster in a small cast iron skillet on the grill. It's a great dessert that really impresses people that don't know how truly easy it is.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: PotatoHouse

                        You can do those bad nanners right in their own skin, too: just slit em, put in a dabby of butter and some brown sugar, and let them roast; finish with a good spoonful of rum (when they're off the grill and away from the flame, natch.) and give a squeeze like you would a baked potato, then top off with a scoop of yummy vanilla bean or butter pecan ice cream.

                      2. What about grilled chicken halves with white barbeque sauce? Or comeback sauce? Kebabs are also nice, and while not unique aren't just the old tried and true burgers and dogs....and can kinda be made to spec., if someone doesn't care for meat, or seafood, or whatever.....

                        remember you can wrap potatoes in foil, and "bake" them in the coals while meat is grilling: not gourmet by any stretch, but then you could have a toppings bar which is fun. The universal favorite though, seems to be pulled meat of some type. I'd run with chicken or beef or both, for a crowd, since some people avoid pork heavily. Oh, and a wonderful side that's also grill (or bbq-themed) is halved baby romaine, drizzled with oil and minced garlic, s&p, and finished with a good squeeze of lemon. That one is generally unexpected, not to mention well-liked and received. Oh (edit) and if you grill those lemon halves for the romaine? Very showy, delicious and juicy. And everyone everywhere's not quite doing it yet, so you can be the trailblazer for your crowd.

                        1. Thanks for all the posts.
                          I fancied myself as a bit of chef - until I read your replies.
                          I have a Weber Gas Barbecue. Is that not a Barbecue? When I put food on it, am I not barbecuing? Or is that a grill? Is a Barbecue one of the ones that use coal? Or what am I missing?

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: cookerlady

                            Purists refer to barbecue as meat cooked "low and slow", as opposed to grilling, which tends to be a hotter fire, a quick cooking time, and (crucially) not necessarily meat.

                            1. re: cookerlady

                              barbeque is the low and slow method of cooking...
                              grilling is hot and fast..

                              u have a weber "grill"
                              so yes technically you are grilling...
                              the fuel doesnt matter so much ..charcoal,gas or wood...(it does depending on where and who is doing the cooking)

                              so when u say were having a cookout...think grill..hot dogs, hamburgers and steaks...
                              when u say barbeque...think ribs.brisket,pulled pork....

                              when u say barbeque...people will give u answers based on that
                              and completely different answers based on grilling...

                              1. re: cookerlady

                                I hope I've got the semantics of this one down...
                                My best understanding is that what you own is a charcoal grill. Purists (and I am not sneering at all) would say, therefore, that what you're going to do is grill. The difference seems to be that barbeque proper is smoked first and then finished on the grill. A lot of it seems to be locale-driven: what's considered barbeque in Texas is smoking meat in California. The wood or charcoal used is also figured into the equation. This is like seeking a medical opinion: for every doc. you see, you'll wind up with a different answer. But that's my best understanding. And I think the fact that yours is a gas-powered grill will also figure into some folks' replies.
                                Either way, gonna be delicious. Enjoy your fete.

                                1. re: cookerlady

                                  Barbecue is more about the method than the fuel. With barbecuing, you are cooking with indirect heat at a low temperature, for a long period of time. With grilling, you are cooking at a high temperature over direct heat.

                                  You can do either with a gas grill, though a charcoal grill lends itself better to barbecue (oxygen flow is a prime design consideration, considering it is required to keep the coals burning, which means you can get better heat and smoke convection). Some gas grills don't move heat around the cooking chamber very well, but the Weber gassers do. Just crank up a burner on one end, and cook the meat at the other.

                                  If you're looking for a really good grilled food recipe, try this roadside chicken recipe. A lot of people on the forum cook with indirect heat, but while I generally cook my chicken that way too, I like direct grilling with this particular recipe. That could be a theme of your party -- roadside foods: roadside chicken, roasted corn, etc.:


                                  1. re: bagofwater

                                    It is all about indirect (BBQing) or direct (grilling) heating. I was hoping someone would jump in with the good sooner. Finally...Thanks bagowater! Good tips there too.