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Get Grilling! BBQ Menu Ideas and Checklist

BBQ Sauces, Condiments, Recipe Ideas, & More

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Whether you're planning a big backyard BBQ party, or just want to get family or friends together for some casual summertime grilling, this checklist will keep you on track with great BBQ recipes and menu ideas. You'll also get the skinny on the best BBQ sauces and artisan condiments, so you can cut down on prep time in the kitchen and enjoy the outdoors with your guests.

1. 10 Best BBQ Sauces

American Stockyard Harvest Apple BBQ Sauce
Image Courtesy of Original Juan Specialty Foods

Even if you swear by your own personal, super-secret, homemade BBQ sauce recipe, these outstanding prepared BBQ and grilling sauces are worth a try. Changing up flavors and sauce styles keeps things exciting, and since you'll save time in the kitchen, you can spend more playing grillmaster.

2. Gourmet BBQ Condiments

Dulcet Curry Ketchup
© Alan S. Weiner

No matter what's coming off the grill, BBQ parties always feel more festive when there are lots of condiments for customizing those burgers, dogs, or kebabs. So why not give your toppings an upgrade, with these gourmet spins on classic condiments? You'll find everything from artisan ketchups and pickles to tantalizingly spiced mustards, mayos, and chili sauces.

3. BBQ Recipes & Resources

Saffron Citrus Fish and Vegetable Kebabs
© 2008 Miri Rotkovitz

Of course, the most essential part of planning any barbecue is figuring out what to throw on the grill. These recipes will get you started: 

And if you're looking for more inspiration, you can't go wrong with these
Top Ten Books About Grilling.

4. BBQ Sides

Forbidden Rice Salad
© 2011 Miri Rotkovitz

Sure, coleslaw and potato salad are BBQ side dish classics, but it's refreshing to change things up. Heartier pastas and grain-based side dishes not only complement grilled meats and fish, they give vegetarians a real meal option, too. And charring vegetables on the grill is not only easy, it brings out amazing flavor.

5. Cookout Desserts

Peach Mango Pie With Streusel Topping
© 2011 Miri Rotkovitz

No BBQ is complete without a sweet (and preferably fruit-filled!) finish. Keep it simple with fresh melon, or some Strawberry Salsa spooned over sorbet. Or treat summer's succulent tropical or stone fruits to a few minutes on the grill. And seasonal fruit pies are always a hit!

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