20 Classic American BBQ Foods You've Been Waiting All Year To Eat

20 Classic American BBQ Foods You've Been Waiting All Year To Eat

Get ready to throw the ultimate summer barbecue this year. These parties are all about the food, so make sure you're prepared! Here are 20 classic barbecue item must-haves that you definitely need to include on your menu. Your guests will be mind-blown!

1. Ribs

When you think about delicious, smoky classic American BBQ foods, one of the first things that probably comes to mind is the ribs. After all, once they've been slow-cooked to utter tender perfection, each melt-in-your-mouth bite is loaded with so much tangy and smoky BBQ sauce, it's absolutely irresistible. 

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2. Pulled Pork

Another staple to any backyard barbecue is the pulled pork, a classic favourite that's shredded up and mixed with some deliciously addictive bbq sauce. Whether you eat it in a sandwich or just on its own with some coleslaw and mac 'n cheese on the side, it's always a standout dish at any summer party.

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3. Brisket

People all over the world come to the US just to try some of the most famous BBQ brisket the country has to offer. But for home cooks who are having a simple barbecue party in the backyard, you don't have to worry because this cut of meat will always be the star here too. 

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4. BBQ Chicken

If you want to throw the best barbecue party ever, that means you've got to include every kind of meat on the menu, and that includes chicken! BBQ chicken is always a hit with the crowd - if it's marinated properly or slathered in a good sauce, throwing it on the grill is definitely the best way to cook it.

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5. Hot Dogs

Can you really have a barbecue without any hot dogs? This American favourite food belongs at every summer party, and the good news is, it's so easy to prepare. There's deliciousness in simplicity after all! And when these hot dogs are grilled to give it that nice smoky taste, it's just so yummy to enjoy for kids and adults like. 

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6. Burgers

If we're talking hot dogs, we can't forget to leave out burgers! All you have to do is leave out a large array of different toppings for everyone to choose from and watch them all go crazy. Everyone's favourite part of any summer party is building their dream burger and taking that first amazing, juicy bite.

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7. Corn on the Cob

It's not just about the meats and the mains, the sides at any barbecue are just as important! Take corn on the cob for example; it's a must-have side dish! It's an addictive side thanks to its sweet kernels that give off a slightly charred taste thanks to being thrown on the grill. If you want to spice things up, serve it with some butter, salt, and a sprinkle of chili powder to really blow your guests' minds.

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8. Coleslaw

Coleslaw is an underrated, unsung hero at any barbecue. It's always there, and you don't really think about it, but it's the perfect acidic and tangy side that cuts through all the fatty meat you're eating. It definitely deserves some more props!

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9. Baked Beans

If you're craving something a bit heartier, more filling, and something a bit richer, baked beans are where it's at. It's the ultimate BBQ side dish that complements every item on the menu. Often cooked with some smoky bacon and brown sugar that gives it a unique sweetness, you'll have to be careful not to fill up on the beans before even touching the meat! 

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10. Potato Salad

Another excellent must-have side is potato salad. Compared to the tangy and acidic cole slaw, potato salad tends to be a lot creamier and richer. It's made from boiled potatoes mixed with a hearty sauce of mayo, mustard, and sometimes eggs and pickles. It's a great carby complement to all those meats you're about to inhale.

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11. Grilled Sausages

No, sausages are not the same as hot dogs! Grilling sausages of your choosing completely elevates the meat and tastes different from your typical breakfast sausage. They offer a different texture and flavour from most of the other barbecued meats, giving you some extra variety that is always welcomed.

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12. BBQ Shrimp

Let's not forget about the seafood lovers, shall we? Switch things up and offer a different protein by grilling up some delicious BBQ shrimp. Whether you have them skewered up or just tossed on the grill, you'll be surprised how well this seafood works for a barbeque. It's a great lighter option too!

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13. Macaroni Salad

Creamy, cool, rich, and addictive, macaroni salad is a comforting side dish that's ideally eaten under the hot summer sun, next to a plate full of juicy, savory BBQ meats. It's served cold, making it a refreshing bite every time you go back for more.

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14. Grilled Vegetables

Let's introduce something a bit healthier on this list! Sometimes, simple is best, and there's no dish that perfectly represents that than some grilled vegetables. All you need to do is throw some of the best summer veggies like zucchini, bell peppers, and eggplant onto a grill to give it that nice charred flavour. While you're chowing down on all those meats, don't forget to load some of these vegetables onto your plate to get a more balance meal!

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15. Watermelon

Need we say more? There's nothing more refreshing, hydrating, and cooling than some juicy slices of fresh watermelon after a satisfying BBQ meal. You don't have to add anything to it - it's perfect exactly as it is. 

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16. Macaroni and Cheese

While macaroni salad is a cool side dish, you can't go without the classic mac and cheese too! The perfect comforting side dish to complete your meal, this beloved cheesy dish makes every plate so much better. Throw some BBQ meat on top to create the most delicious and satisfying combination of flavours.

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17. Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs always make an appearance at every summer BBQ, making it a favourite amongst party-goers. These bite-sized goodies pack so much flavour in every bite, making them not only easy to eat, but also so enjoyable. They're the perfect little appy to get the party started.

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18. Peach Cobbler

We can't forget about dessert! What barbecue would it be if you didn't finish off on a strong note? In the summer, peaches are in their prime, bringing about a juicy and sweet taste that's best enjoyed in a cobbler. Combining those scrumptious peach flavours with a buttery, crumbly topping, finish it off with a hefty scoop of vanilla ice cream to end things off right.

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19. Cornbread

Down in the South, if there's one side dish that always makes its way to the table at any barbecue, it's the classic cornbread. Your plate definitely feels empty without it! Sweet and buttery, it's the perfect accompaniment to all those grilled meats. 

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20. BBQ Chicken Wings

Last but not least, we couldn't leave out chicken wings when we're talking about a grill party. Chicken wings are a staple at any event, whether it's a summer barbecue, football watch party, or late night snack. There are so many different ways you can prepare them, from dry rubs to marinated sauces. But no matter how you choose to prep them, grilling them always ensures they're crispy but juicy at the same time.

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