Once upon a time in Kentucky, an avuncular looking ‘colonel’ with glasses had a brain wave. He took a pressure cooker, modified it into a pressure fryer and fried a little poultry. His new technique reduced cooking time, putting the timeframe on a par with deep-frying, whilst simultaneously retaining the chicken’s quality and more of its nutritional value. Fast food, franchising and financial success followed. In 1940 he would develop one of the most famous trade secrets in the catering industry – his ‘Original Recipe’ 11 herbs and spices covering the chicken. We are going to be more forthcoming today with our BBQ recipes and tips.
That’s right you curious cats, we will be doing some big picture thinking when it comes your BBQ menu and BBQ recipes. Yes we will touch on specifics, but we are mostly here to offer a little strategy and infrastructure to your BBQ menu approach. If you can handle the bigger picture, the smaller details will take care of themselves. Ready? Let’s jump into BBQ recipes and BBQ menus.
What’s a good BBQ menu?
The knee jerk response to this question always lies in the BBQ recipes. Yes of course the food is important but it is easy to have culinary tunnel vision and neglect the wider elements at play. Wow you spent so much effort creating 20 perfectly seared rare sirloins, only to have 15 thrown back in your face by a bunch of disappointed vegetarians and one vegan incandescent with rage. The point is that when it comes to a good BBQ menu, you should start with the mechanics. So pause, take a moment and indulge in a little thought, strategy and planning
Planning the right BBQ menu starts with assessing different factors
Not to shove the point down your throat, but your BBQ recipes don’t exist in a vacuum. Your BBQ menu actually starts with people and practical logistics. Feast your eyes on some general factors and consideration to swish around your cerebral spin cycle.
- Number of guests
- Basic ratio of vegetarians to carnivores as well as any information on specific guest allergies or dietary issues
- The amount of drinkers and non drinkers
- Number of children coming to your BBQ
- Available funds for the whole BBQ
- The time of your event
- The number of hours you will have for prep and cooking
- Will you have a particular culinary theme for the BBQ?
- Your grill skill level of BBQ tekkers
When you have answered these questions, the first little green shoots of your BBQ menu and BBQ recipes will begin to germinate. In other words some basic parameters will be set, that in turn begin to add a little ‘shape’ to both your BBQ menu and BBQ recipes. For instance, after these ‘calculations’ you will a clearer picture of the amount of meat, fish and veg needed, the quality of the meat relating to budget and any ingredients to avoid at all costs. These guideline factors will help you move into BBQ recipe specifics for your BBQ menu.
Split your BBQ menu into categories
As you can tell, we are slowly moving from the abstract to the tangible and real. A hypothetical BBQ menu will have the men in white coats coming to burst your BBQ bubble in no time. We are not quite ready to look at BBQ recipes yet; however once you complete this next step you can loose yourself in a realm of flavour. This isn’t Multiverse Theory or Quantum Mechanics. It’s all fairly simple. Subdivide your BBQ menu into the following sections.
- Meaty Mains
- Vegetable side
- Starchy carb side
- Sweet dessert
- Cocktail, punch or other special drink
Obviously this BBQ menu breakdown is catered more towards those of a carnivorous persuasion. If your BBQ is going to be more of a vegetarian affair then simply pull the old meat to veggie switcheroo. See below.
- Veggie Main
- Meaty side
- Starchy carb side
- Sweet dessert
- Cocktail, punch or other special drink
A quick nod to the supporting BBQ menu cast
As with so many things in life, we are drawn to the brightest of stars. The BBQ recipes and BBQ menu world is no different. For example, we ruminate on cuts of beef for hours, selecting that BBQ showstopper that will thrust you into BBQ infamy. However we cannot neglect the other simple BBQ menu characters – the unsung heroes that will tie everything together. Here are some of the simpler players.
These secluded liquids pack a punch to the palate in any BBQ recipe. Different marinades mix and match with different meats and fish. We don’t have time to unpack here. Good thing we did a thorough examination of marinades right here.
Beautiful BBQ sauces
There is a vast plethora of BBQ sauces out there to elevate your BBQ recipes to OMG status. Flavours and sensations vary form the tangy and sweet to the fiery and peppered. School yourself on what’s out there and fill your BBQ sauce boots. Check out this BBQ Sauce Blog with BBQ sauce recipes and get up to speed.
Meet the usual suspects.
- Hot Sauce
Your toppings are often the hidden Piece de la resistance. These all may seem obvious but you can never have too much reinforced knowledge.
- Hamburger or Hot Dog Buns
Delightful Dips and extras
Doing your dip due diligence is definitely a directive (thanks alliteration). A few well-selected dips can always add a palate-pleasing twist to your BBQ recipes and BBQ menu. Check out these dippy characters.
- French onion dip
- Tandoori Masala
- Ranch dip
No BBQ menu is complete without some booming beverages to tickle the throats of your friends and family. Sure you can go for the standard drinks and that’s totes ok. However your drink selection is another way to elevate your BBQ and BBQ menu in the minds of others, adding a liquid layer of experience into the mix.
First up cover your beverage bases. Basically ensure that you have both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options. Yes some do love a tipple but plenty of others are just about the refreshment. If the day is a belter with hot temperatures, makes sure you have some good old H2O to keep peeps nice and hydrated. We all know the usual soft drink options, so why not flip the liquid script with some mocktails or a fruit punch? If you’ve got some juicing skills, we would recommend some smoothies or cold pressed juices too.
Everyone is familiar with the old BBQ plus Beer equation. However the world of alcohol is vast and winding. Rather than beer perhaps serve some ales, stouts or ciders. If you’re deep in the meats, then choosing a few complimentary wines will turn each mouthful of masticated meat into magic. Don’t just think about your drinks in isolation. Think about how they can compliment the food on offer with aroma, taste and texture.
Ideas for a great BBQ menu
Bring on the BBQ recipes! All this planning and methodology does make us yearn to put our knowledge into practice. The great news is that we have truckloads of BBQ recipes on our website to flick your inspiration switch. Whether you’re partial to some magnificent meat-based BBQ recipes
or some perfect plant based BBQ recipes, we have you covered. Looking for BBQ recipes for sauces and rubs? Easy – wrap your mind around marinades and how to make your own BBQ sauce, ridiculously good rubs and more.
What is the main ingredient in any BBQ recipe?
Guys this next point isn’t coming from a marketing-based hyperbolic PR spin cycle, but rather from the heart. Charcoal is the key ingredient in all BBQ recipes using the grill. It decides everything form the texture and taste of your dish, to the aroma and look on the plate. Please please do not underestimate the importance of choosing quality charcoal you can trust. A recipe is like a car and the charcoal is the fuel. There’s no point having the best technology and engineering under the bonnet only to add the wrong fuel into the tank. In other words even the best ingredients and BBQ recipes won’t taste good with the wrong charcoal.
It’s a fortuitous thing that you are reading the words of charcoal pros. We have been in the game for over 50 years refining and improving our quality charcoal ranges. At Big K quality matters and it is this philosophy that drives everything we do. Want to kick things up a notch? Check out our pro charcoal range here. More of a casual griller? Our clean and quick or home charcoal range should tick your boxes. Deep into sustainability? Naturally we have that covered too with some awesomely clean and sustainable charcoal choices
For the best BBQ recipes and BBQ menu? Take your ego out of the equation
Just a final point here people: it can very easy to make your BBQ recipes and BBQ menu all about you. Your skills. Your dishes. Your amazing event. Don’t believe your own hype and fall into the ego trap. Always have your guests front of mind. What floats their boat? What will they enjoy the most? How can you serve them better? If you keep your self-love in check things should go super smooth.
You are tooled up and good to go. No excuses.
Stay on point you gorgeous guys and girls.