How To Put Together The Perfect Backyard BBQ Menu
December 10, 2020 / Mr. Redneck / Comments
If you’re like us, you believe that every day is the perfect day for a backyard BBQ.
An old-fashioned barbecue is the best way to get friends and family together for good times, good laughs, and of course, even better food!
However, for those hosting the shindig, creating a delicious party menu can be stressful. Between everyone’s individual food preferences, finding ingredients at the grocery store, and strategically scheduling grilling times, it’s a lot to take on.
But, it doesn’t have to be this way! Planning a backyard BBQ menu is simple.
A BBQ party is all about making memories with the ones you love—don’t let worrying about the menu stand in your way of having a good time.
Lucky for you, we’ve got plenty of BBQ experience under our belt and are going to show you:
- How to plan a backyard BBQ menu in under 3 minutes (Go ahead, time us!)
- 6 Redneck-approved grilling tips for the best BBQ ever
- Everything you absolutely need for your BBQ
By the time you finish reading our guide, you’ll have a BBQ menu everyone can’t wait to eat!
How to Plan a Backyard BBQ Menu in 3 Minutes or Less
Got your timer? Ready? Set… Go!
To plan a BBQ menu in three minutes or less, all you have to do is make a few quick decisions and your BBQ food list builds itself.
Start with Appetizers
Always expect guests to arrive hungry. They’re likely coming from a long day at work or out and about and need something to munch on.
Begin your BBQ menu with a handful of light appetizers to get the party started. Make sure your choices aren’t too filling. After all, your smoky, tangy BBQ is the main event!
Choose three to four little appetizers, like:
- Tortilla chips with salsa
- Potato chips and homemade dip
- A veggie platter
- Sliced fruit
Remember, the key is to avoid having hangry guests without spoiling the main course.
Pick Two Proteins
Now for the main course—the meat!
While you might be inclined to buy out the entire meat selection at your local grocery store to satisfy everyone at the party—don’t.
All you need is two protein choices for the grill. Don’t overcomplicate it.
Among the most popular BBQ protein options are:
- Hot Dogs/Sausages
It’s your party, so go ahead and choose at least one of your favorite proteins to throw on the grill.
Choose Four Sides
Protein is usually the main event at a backyard BBQ, but don’t neglect your sides. They’re an easy way to demonstrate BBQ prowess.
You can’t have a BBQ without classic side dishes like:
- Potato salad
- Macaroni and cheese
- Baked beans
- Grilled veggies
Again—don’t go wild! Four side dishes are more than enough to satisfy even the hungriest guests. If you’re concerned about variety, try choosing two vegetable side dishes and two potato or pasta dishes.
Of course, if your family has a cherished side dish recipe like Grandma’s famous butter rolls, it has to wind up on the menu!
Don’t Forget the Fixings!
Always make sure your menu has the right amount of BBQ fixings and condiments, such as:
- Slaw or relish
- BBQ Sauce (We know of a REALLY good sauce.)
The last thing you want is plain meat or veggies. How boring and dry!
Grab Some Drinks
There’s nothing worse than dehydrated party guests.
Keep your crew happy and hydrated by making sure your BBQ menu has:
- Cold water
After all, cold beer and tasty BBQ is all you need for a good time.
Put Out Dessert
Just when you thought your guests were stuffed with BBQ, it’s time for dessert.
Since you already have a substantial BBQ food list going, don’t feel like you have to go all out with dessert. Some cookies or homemade banana pudding will do the trick.
Of course, a little ice cream never hurt anyone…
Dealing with Dietary Restrictions
When putting together your food menu, dietary restrictions can be a bit tricky to navigate.
First, ask your guests if they have any allergies you need to be aware of. Make sure to avoid any life-threatening allergies, such as peanuts, if someone mentions them. If you’re not sure how to plan around a dietary preference, like veganism, just reach out and ask!
If you are uncomfortable with cooking for severe allergies or restrictions, you can politely ask guests to provide their own entree/side dishes to accommodate their personal needs.
6 Redneck-Approved Grilling Tips for the Best BBQ Ever
Whether it’s your first time behind the grill or you’re a seasoned pitmaster, these grilling tips are Redneck-certified and sure to transform your BBQ from good to great.
1. It’s Not a BBQ Until Everyone Has Some Redneck Lipstick
When you add Redneck Lipstick BBQ sauce to your menu, you take your backyard BBQ to the next level.
Our easy-to-use BBQ sauce is a timeless family recipe combining traditions from around Arkansas and the south for a mouthful of flavor. This Southern-certified BBQ sauce is perfect on anything.
Seriously, anything. Try it out!
Don’t be shocked if your guests ask you what your BBQ secret is, too. They won’t be able to help themselves after devouring your backyard BBQ menu!
2. Say NO to Gas Grills (If You Can)
Ask any BBQ pro about the secret to grilling and they’ll tell you it’s all about the smoke. You want a grill that can produce the optimal amount of heat and smoke to cook tender, juicy BBQ.
But, gas grills produce heat, not smoke!
Instead, opt for a charcoal grill and use charcoal, wood chips, or logs to create that savory, smoky BBQ taste we all long for.
3. Low and Slow is the Way to Go
There are two main mistakes impatient novice grill cooks fall victim to:
- Removing the meat from the grill before it’s ready, resulting in undercooked, raw meat.
- Ramping up the heat, incinerating the meat to a burnt crisp.
Instead, the key to a Redneck-approved BBQ is to go low and slow. Keep your heat low and be patient.
In his book, “Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue,” John Shelton Reed and Dale Volberg Reed suggest to not check the temperature more than every half an hour. Doing so cools off the grill, ruining the grilling process.
Instead, be patient and enjoy the BBQ while keeping a watchful eye on the grill.
4. Aluminum Foil is Your Friend
Stock up on aluminum foil before your BBQ—you’re going to need it.
Before you light up the grill, line the bottom with a few sheets of aluminum foil. This makes for a super easy cleanup process when the party’s over. Because once all the fun is done, who wants to spend the night cleaning?
You can also grill veggies, potatoes, and fish covered with spices and herbs and wrapped in aluminum foil for a smoky flavor.
5. Give Yourself Enough Time to Grill
Remember—low and slow.
This means you need to light your grill well before your guests arrive. Otherwise, they’ll be waiting around with rumbling stomachs in the hot summer sun. (Not a good combination.)
Light your grill at least 30 minutes before guests arrive. This gives the grill enough time to produce the right amount of heat and smoke to cook your perfect backyard BBQ menu.
6. You Can BBQ Anything
No one said Redneck food was restricted to meat!
You can BBQ anything. Use the grill to its full potential and throw on some:
- Burger/Hot Dog Buns
Your options are limitless! Just remember to use some Redneck Lipstick in each recipe for the ultimate flavor.
Everything You Absolutely Need For A Memorable BBQ
No backyard BBQ is complete without…
Grab a Bluetooth speaker and turn up the tunes! We’re partial to some Johnny Cash or Lynyrd Skynyrd, but we’ll let you be the DJ of your party.
Keep your guests entertained with popular BBQ games like:
- Can Jam
- Bocci Ball
If you know little kids will be at the party, have a few activity options available for them, too.
A few bites into your BBQ and everyone will be covered in Redneck Lipstick! You’ll want to have paper towels handy at all times. Some moist towelettes couldn’t hurt, too.
Cooler with Lots and Lots of Ice
Make sure you have a large cooler or several smaller coolers filled with ice and drinks. Have extra ice on hand to keep drinks frosty throughout the day.
Trust us, warm beer does not go well with BBQ.
Since your guests will be outdoors for the duration of the party, offer sunscreen. The only thing you want burning during your BBQ is the food low and slow on the grill.
It’s Time to Host the Best BBQ Ever
See how easy putting together the perfect backyard BBQ menu is? After you build your menu, you need a secret ingredient to tie it all together:
With our kick-ass sauce, you’re an instant BBQ pro as the smoky-sweet and spicy smooth flavors turn any Redneck food into a menu staple.