Want something a little different for this year’s backyard barbecue? Grilling the same old steaks, burgers, and chicken pieces gets old, after all. If you are tired of making the same thing year after year, you are not alone. Here are some backyard barbecue menu ideas that will help you enjoy outdoor cooking all over again. You will be surprised at the difference they can make.

If the family loves burgers, you can make them with a twist for something a little more interesting. Cheddar, bacon, mozzarella, and sun dried tomatoes; caramelized onions and fire-roasted peppers are all an excellent choice for your burgers. Mix in interesting spices, such as curry powder or garlic, and see how much a tiny change can do for your meal.

Marinate chicken in scallion or garlic based marinades, with a touch of brown sugar or bourbon. Just remember that chicken often cooks quickly on the grill, and that the white meat may become dry. If cooking whole chickens, be sure to use indirect heat for the best results.

Instead of hot dogs, check your local ethnic grocery for interesting sausages. There are some fantastic spicy ones out there that cook up well. Dress up regular hot dogs with interesting toppings such as specialty mustards or curry ketchup.

The sides can use a little bit of pepping up, too. Instead of your ordinary potato salad, try one with Gorgonzola instead of mayonnaise, with roasted potatoes, or with ripe olives, parsley, and feta. Potato and pasta salads also do well with extra virgin olive oil and fresh ground black pepper.

Marinate vegetables in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and use colorful, flavorful vegetables. Grilled asparagus, ripe sweet bell peppers, and large mushrooms are a hit, as is baby bok choy grilled and flavored with soy sauce.

There is a whole world of vegetables out there that often gets ignored when we go to grill. However, broccoli and carrots do just fine, and grilled tomatoes with a little garlic are incredibly good.

You can even grill fruit as a delicious hot dessert or side dish. Pineapple is a particular favorite, and can be served sweet, as a dessert, or savory, with ham. Pears and apples can be grilled and served with cinnamon and honey, and grilled peaches and whipped cream is an incredible treat. Try a grilled mango, too.

Just make sure that you take care not to overcook soft fruit – a few minutes are all it needs. Soak fruit in water to keep it juicy, and serve hot. Marinating fruit in brandy or rum can also be a great choice. There are lots of different things you can do when you have run out of ideas for your next backyard barbecue. Try a few of these and use your imagination for a menu that cannot be beat.

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Christine Szalay-Kudra

My name is Christine and I am delighted to welcome you here. Easy Barbeque Recipes aims to demystify the world of barbequing and turn anyone into a brilliant backyard chef regardless of culinary knowledge or past cooking experience. Cooking with fire is not only an easy cooking method but it is the original cooking method. An open fire was used to cook before there were such things as ovens, microwaves or crockpots. Barbequing is not just a cooking method either. It is a social event. Inviting friends over and grilling food for them is always fun and adding home-cooked food to any party is a surefire way to please a crowd. Nothing beats the incredible flavor of flame-grilled food, and you can barbeque all kinds of ingredients and recipes, including meat, poultry, fish, seafood, veggies, and even pizza.


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