There’s no denying that some of the best days of the summer are those spent with meat on the grill surrounded by family and friends. But nothing will ruin one of these days quicker than a bad spread. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to help keep diners happy and satisfied. Here are our favorite tips for choosing the menu for your backyard barbecue.
Many guests arrive hungry and ready to eat, so having some appetizers from the very beginning is a smart strategy. Options like potato chips, pretzels, and nachos are all great starters. Certain finger foods like pizza rolls and chicken wings are also a good stopgap measure for anybody who’s hangry. For those looking for a healthier alternative, you can also consider serving sliced fruit or a veggie platter to appease your guests. Remember to moderate to avoid guests who are full before the main course is ready.
Generally speaking, you want to offer at least two proteins in the form of meat to your guests. There is nothing wrong with keeping things simple with burgers, sausages, and hotdogs. Steaks, chicken, fish, and pork are also great choices to show off your grilling prowess. When selecting the meat, be sure to ask your butcher for serving recommendations or for cooking advice if you do have any questions.
While you are concentrating on the main course, consider assigning side dishes to your guests. This will help spread out the cost and ensures each person or family brings something they will eat. This also helps broaden the selection of available food at your event. Typical side dishes to consider are macaroni and cheese, baked beans, salads, coleslaw, and potato chips. Even desserts like cookies and marshmallow squares can serve as side dishes and are always a welcome treat.
Be sure to include all the necessary topping for your guests as well. Things like cheese, ketchup, mustard, and BBQ sauce are all pretty standard. Include buns if you plan to serve pulled pork, burgers, hot dogs, or sausages. Other foods might also require pickles, lettuce, relish, and onions. Think about what your guests will need to complete their meals.
Round off the meal by making sure you have a wide selection of drinks available. Soda, juice, and water for the younger audience is pretty standard fare, while adults are more likely to enjoy beer, wine, or some other form of alcoholic beverage. Just be sure that nobody leaves your party in a state unfit to drive.
If you need help choosing the menu for your backyard barbecue, stop by the experts at Vincent’s Meat Market. We are the premier shop in all of Little Italy to find your grilling favorites, including the best place to buy sausage in The Bronx.