Man grilling vegetables on the bbq with his friends sitting behind him

The Best Barbecue Ideas for a Crowd

The Best Charcoal Grill Tips for Beginners Reading The Best Barbecue Ideas for a Crowd 6 minutes

Summer is synonymous with barbecue, and nothing beats the joy of hosting a barbecue party for a crowd. Whether it's a family reunion, a birthday celebration, or just a casual get-together with friends, a barbecue offers the perfect blend of delicious food, social interaction, and outdoor fun. However, feeding a large group requires some planning and creativity to ensure everyone leaves satisfied. 

In this blog, we share some barbecue ideas to help you throw a memorable outdoor feast with a focus on grilled delights. Read on! 

Planning Your Menu

When catering to a crowd, variety is key. A diverse menu ensures that there’s something for everyone, from meat lovers to vegetarians.

Main Dishes

  1. Classic Burgers and Hot Dogs: These are always a hit and easy to prepare in large quantities. Offer a variety of toppings such as lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, cheese, and condiments to allow guests to customize their own.
  2. Pulled Pork: While traditionally slow-cooked, pulled pork can also be grilled. We recommend using a smoker or indirect heat on the grill to cook pork shoulders until tender. Serve with a selection of barbecue sauces and soft buns for easy sandwiches.
  3. Grilled Chicken: Marinate chicken pieces in different flavors such as lemon herb, teriyaki, or spicy buffalo. Grill them to perfection and serve hot.
  4. Steak and Sausages: For a more substantial option, consider grilling steaks and a variety of sausages. You can also offer different cuts and types, such as ribeye, sirloin, bratwurst, and chorizo.
  5. Seafood: Grilled shrimp, salmon, or fish tacos can add a sophisticated touch to your barbecue. Seafood cooks quickly, making it a great option for feeding a large group.

Vegetarian Options

  1. Veggie Burgers: Provide plant-based patties for vegetarians. Brands like Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger offer tasty alternatives that even meat-eaters will enjoy.
  2. Grilled Vegetables: Skewers of bell peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes make for a colorful and healthy feast! Don’t forget to brush them with olive oil and sprinkle with herbs before grilling.
  3. Stuffed Peppers or Portobello Mushrooms: These can be filled with a variety of ingredients such as quinoa, cheese, beans, and spices, then grilled until tender.
  4. Tofu or Tempeh: Marinate tofu or tempeh in flavorful sauces and grill until crispy. These protein-rich options are excellent for vegetarians and vegans.

Side Dishes

Side dishes that can be grilled are essential for complementing the main course. They should be easy to prepare and serve.

  1. Corn on the Cob: Grilled corn is simple yet delicious. Serve it with flavored butters, such as garlic herb or chili lime.
  2. Grilled Potatoes: Slice potatoes and wrap them in foil with butter, garlic, and herbs. Grill until tender.
  3. Grilled Fruit: Pineapple, peaches, and watermelon are fantastic on the grill. Their natural sweetness is enhanced by the smoky flavor.
  4. Grilled Asparagus: Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and grill until tender for a healthy and tasty side.

Appetizers and Snacks

Scared of hangry guests? Keep guests satisfied while the main dishes are cooking with a variety of our favorite grilled appetizers and snacks.

  1. Grilled Flatbreads or Pizzas: Top with a variety of ingredients and slice into small pieces for easy sharing.
  2. Grilled Skewers: Mini skewers with cherry tomatoes, mozzarella balls, and basil leaves drizzled with balsamic glaze make for a quick and tasty appetizer.
  3. Grilled Bruschetta: Toast slices of baguette on the grill and top with fresh tomatoes, basil, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Desserts

End your barbecue on a sweet note with these grilled desserts.

  1. Grilled Fruit: Try grilled peaches with honey and cinnamon or banana boats filled with chocolate and marshmallows.

Effortless Grill Ignition 

Grilling your favorite barbecue foods has never been easier or more efficient than with The RocketFire™ Fire Starter. This revolutionary tool features a powerful flame and ergonomic design, swiftly igniting charcoal and eliminating the need for messy lighter fluid or time-consuming chimney starters. Its precision control allows you to effortlessly adjust the flame intensity, ensuring even heat distribution for consistent cooking. Using The RocketFire™ Fire Starter revolutionizes the way you grill, allowing you to achieve perfectly cooked dishes with ease and efficiency. 

Tips for a Successful Barbecue

Preparation is Key

Plan your menu in advance and prepare as much as you can ahead of time. Marinate meats, chop vegetables, and make salads the day before. This not only saves time but also enhances the flavors as they marinate.

Set Up Stations

Create separate areas for grilling, serving food, and drinks to keep things organized and avoid congestion. This helps in smooth operation and keeps the flow of the party uninterrupted.

Keep it Simple

Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many dishes. Focus on a few key items and do them well. Quality over quantity ensures that each dish is delicious and memorable.

Consider Dietary Restrictions

Be mindful of guests with dietary restrictions and offer suitable alternatives. Clearly label dishes to help guests with dietary needs.

Safety First

Ensure your grill is in good working order and have a fire extinguisher nearby. Keep raw and cooked foods separate to avoid cross-contamination. Use separate utensils for handling raw meat and cooked food.

Temperature Control

Use a meat thermometer to ensure meats are cooked to the correct internal temperatures. This is especially important when cooking for a crowd to ensure food safety.

Clean as You Go

Keep your grilling area tidy by cleaning up spills and disposing of trash regularly. This makes the post-party cleanup much easier.