10 Summer BBQ Party Ideas

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With summer barbecue season just around the corner, you may be looking for ideas on how to spice up your party game this year. After all, the same old thing is the same old thing. Here are ten great ways you can add some life to your summer barbecue.

1. BBQ at Sea
We’ve all done burgers, dogs, and steaks so many times that they are just a little too familiar. Change is always a good thing in life, and that certainly goes for your summer barbecue. So why not switch up the menu to make your event into something new?

Seafood is a great choice for grilling out. Salmon, shrimp, and mahi mahi are just a few great options for a charcoal-fired meal. Throw in some seaboard decor and you’ll quickly flip the script into an exciting new choice.

2. Putting the “Bar” in “Barbecue”
We don’t (necessarily) mean the kind of bar where a cold beer joins the fun. We’re talking about a buffet where guests get to assemble their own entrees.

Grill up the burgers or dogs, then set everything up in a simple bar format with the produce in iced bowls and condiments dolloped out into cupcake pans. It’s a unique way to put the food out there without the constant overturned bottles and missing lids.

3. A Cloud of New Flavors
Most barbecues stick with the tried and true propane or charcoal, sometimes with a little mesquite or hickory to enhance it. Those classic standbys add great flavor, but they lack the “wow” factor that brings new life.

Check the charcoal aisle at your favorite store or view options online. You can get cherry, apple, cedar, and many other woods to use in grills and smokers to impart a fresh new flavor. The top pellet smokers can easily use fuel based on any type of wood, so there’s no surprise in making it work with a new flavor.

4. Dinner and a Movie
Outdoor living is really ramping up lately. Homeowners are building outdoor kitchens and dens that are equipped comparably to their indoor counterparts, right down to the big-screen TV.

Why not tie in a great movie with a great dinner? Showing a classic or a new release through a streaming service can be a great way to make your barbecue more than just a meal.

5. Boat-becue
If your menu has to fit landlubbers but you still want to add a splash to your barbecue, set it up for eating on the pool. Lots of new pool floats feature cup holders and enough space to hold plates.

If you are frightened at the idea of chips in your skimmer, provide for trays along the pool’s edge so that guests can cool off in the deep blue while enjoying a classic backyard menu.

6. Veg Out
One of the awkward things that can happen when you invite guests over is finding out that someone is vegan or vegetarian. Given the traditional meat-centered nature of barbecues, they’re not likely to show up.

Plan ahead to work around that. Check out some of the new products that grill and broil just like meat but are composed entirely of vegetable products. Make sure everyone knows that both options will be available and that you label each product clearly on the dinner line. And of course, make sure to cook meats and non-meats separately.

7. Debut Some New Equipment
Over time, many barbecue systems slowly come apart. The impact of weather and rust leave them rickety and performing inconsistently. If last summer’s last cookout left your grill on its last leg, the professionals at Smokey Steak Ranch have product reviews to guide you toward a better burner for this year.

After you’ve assembled your new grill and done a test drive or two (or three), put it through its paces. Plan a barbecue that highlights how well the new one performs in terms of turning out a large quantity of a consistently delicious product.

8. Bring Desserts into the Party
Every barbecue has a few sweets to finish up the night, but why can’t they be front and center the same way that the meats are? Featuring new desserts at your barbecue will get your guests excited about staying a little longer, and it may even convince them to cut back just a little on the meal itself.

With unique creations like cake pops, s’more buffets, and fondue setups, it’s easy to add not just great desserts but also a little guest participation in assembling their own finishing touches, with nary a store-bought cookie in sight.

9. Go Back to the Basics
Barbecues have wandered a long way from the classic red plaid tablecloth days of our youth. Underneath all the new menu items and cooking methods, it’s still all about a fire-cooked meal served in the great outdoors.

Recapturing that simple burgers-and-beans menu can be just as innovative as the more complex setups you’ve been doing for years. You and your guests will find it surprisingly refreshing to rewind to a simpler cookout time. Add atmosphere with an FM radio and an open fire for marshmallows.

10. Roadhouse Barbecue
Nothing goes together like music and barbecue, but sometimes we can lose track of the music. Go beyond the MP3 player or the satellite radio and create a way to have live music right at your barbecue.

You can go lots of directions with this. Invite your guests to bring whatever instruments they may play and string together a few songs as you eat. Get a karaoke setup and see who’s got the courage to bring out their inner rock star.

A barbecue is by nature more than just a meal. It’s an experience that brings together family and friends with a different way to prepare food than the ordinary oven.

With some creativity, you can revitalize your traditional barbecue in a way that provides more fun, fresher flavors, and great memories of those long summer nights

About Author

Avatar
LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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