One of the absolute hits of the summer is a backyard party. And what does a backyard party scream for above all other things… That’s right. A Barbecue! A backyard barbecue is one of my favorite go-to party ideas. Causal or dressy, down home or elegant, a barbecue party always hits the right note with your guests. Whether you are serving burgers and hot dogs, fish, chicken ribs, kebabs, or steak, guests always have a great time at a barbecue.
Barbecues are generally a casual affair. Decorations can include bandannas and daisies or sunflowers. Use small mini hay bales (available at any craft store) as ways to add varying levels of height to your party tables. Flowers can be displayed in tin cans or wood crates. Silverware can be wrapped in bandannas and put in mason jars. Food can be made more convenient for the guests by putting it on sticks.
A barbecue is a budget-friendly party idea. You can make it pot luck and everyone brings their favorite special dish, or prepare everything ahead of time yourself. You can barbecue everything from the appetizers to main course to side dishes to the dessert. And, if you use paper plates, there is hardly any clean up! Here’s some sample menus and be sure to check out the recipes (linked to recipe name):
Backyard Pot Luck Barbecue
- You provide the meat – either chicken, ribs, brats, etc.
- Each guests brings either an appetizer, side dish or dessert
- Ice Cream Bar
Down Home Burgers & Hot Dogs
- Appetizer: Atomic Buffalo Turd Jalapeno Poppers
- Appetizer: Fruit Tray
- Main Dish: Texas Backyard BBQ Burger (see video below)
- Main Dish: Grilled Hot Dogs
- Side Dish: Grilled Corn on the Cob
- Condiments: Grilled Peppers, Onions, Tomatoes for the burgers or dogs
- Dessert: Grilled Banana Boats or Chocolate Churro Quesadillas
Upscale Barbecue Party
- Appetizer: Carolina Grilled Shrimp or Baked Brie with Jezebel Peaches
- Appetizer: Fruit tray
- Main Dish: Grilled Jerk Shrimp and Pineapple Skewers and/or Jamaican Jerk Grilled Chicken Kebabs
- Side dish: Bacon Wrapped Grilled Peaches with Balsamic Glaze
- Side dish: Mexican Street Corn
- Dessert: Grilled Pineapple with Coconut Sorbet or Grilled with Brown Sugar
You can fill in any gaps with snack mixes, chips & dip, veggie platters, whatever you like best. And, as always you can have either cake or cupcakes along with the above mentioned desserts or instead of them. After all, this is YOUR party. You can do WHATEVER you like!
For more tips and recipes, please visit
our Barbecue Party Ideas pages.