The best BBQ party menu ideas

by | Dec 3, 2021 | Menu Inspiration

It’s never the wrong time of year for a backyard cookout or barbeque party, and there’s really nothing better than a relaxed day with your mates with the grill sizzling in the background.

We often think of a BBQ as the most straightforward option when it comes to throwing a party. It makes for a relaxed get-together with nothing to stress about — right?

As the host, you might find a successful BBQ party can easily become as complicated as a three-course sit down dinner party. Without the right equipment, drinks, and mood music, your BBQ can quickly turn from fire to flop. 

As with any party, preparation is critical. Whether a traditional Aussie cookout is on the cards or you’re thinking about going more ‘grill gourmet’, let us help you create the perfect BBQ party with some of our hottest tips. From sauces to sides, our handy guide below has you covered.

First things first: BBQ party essentials

Get your grilling equipment in order

It might seem obvious but, to host a killer BBQ party, you need a barbecue! Looking for recipes for summer barbies is the fun part, but first we need to talk tools.

Beyond the BBQ itself, there are plenty of other utensils and tools you need to get your party started. Perhaps most important of all, make sure you have enough gas or charcoal to fuel the grill. You’ll also need to invest in foil, a stainless steel spatula, tongs, and a grilling fork. 

Depending on your BBQ menu, you may also need wooden or metal sticks (if you’re making kebabs or pork skewers, for example). And always remember: safety first. Soak those wooden skewers first so they don’t catch alight, and get yourself some flame-resistant gloves and apron to complete your grill master look. 

Grilled prawns on a summer table

Don’t forget the drinks

No outdoor party is complete without thirst quenchers. Make sure you have a range of different beverages to suit all your guests, including a variety of non-alcoholic refreshments and sodas. 

Supply a range of beers and wines to match the food you’re offering and, on a hot day, keep a cooler handy or clear enough fridge space to keep the drinks ice cold. Always check there’s plenty of water in the fridge to keep everyone hydrated, too.

If you want to get fancy, there are some drink recipes or cocktail recipes you can whip up for the occasion: fruit punches or homemade lemonade are always a success at a summer cookout!

Think about table setting & party vibe

As the host, of course you want to be the gold standard of barbecue parties! There’s nothing better than having your guests refer back to your fabulous lunch or dinner parties every time you see them.

The first step for a memorable BBQ is deciding on the vibe: is it an easy summer party, or a thoughtful get together for Memorial Day or ANZAC Day? Who’s coming, and what kind of setting will make everyone feel the most comfortable?

Your BBQ might be a more relaxed affair with guests grabbing plates as they wish, but BBQs can be fancy too. If you want to have everyone seated around a table to eat, set up your dining area to make it obvious so your guests know what to expect.

Arrange your table ready to accommodate the shared feast down the middle, from all that glorious grilled meat to refreshing side salad recipes. And of course, no party is complete without a great playlist. One sure-fire way to host a successful barbecue is by enlisting your guests to help curate the perfect playlist for the day!

An outdoor table setting

Onto the good stuff: BBQ menu ideas

Keep it simple or go gourmet

If you’re looking for more gourmet food ideas, you might consider a slightly more upmarket menu for your BBQ. If it’s a special occasion like a birthday party or wedding, BBQs can actually be quite elevated.  

If you’re a talented chef, think about how you might prepare your meat differently before whacking it on the grill. It doesn’t have to be all beef burgers and ketchup!

We know the search for fresh barbecue recipes can be challenging, but we also know you want to impress your guests with stand-out dinner recipes as a host with the most – and that means going beyond the classic lamb chops and chicken skewers.

The secret to catering the perfect barbecue party is always opting for the best, local ingredients. Make sure you’re sourcing your BBQ menu from the best, from barbecue chicken courtesy of your local butcher to corn on the cob from the farmer’s market.

Quality ingredients always create the most flavoursome, delicious recipes and do most of the work for you to make your summer party a stunner. From beef recipes to pork recipes, knowing what to serve at your cookout can be overwhelming. The options are endless: chicken skewers, kofta kebabs, BBQ prawns, BBQ lamb…

The good news is there’s little that doesn’t taste good on a barbie, and you don’t have to make it too complicated. Just remember to think about the dietary requirements of your guests (i.e., have you got veggie burgers and gluten-free options on the menu?)

And don’t forget dessert! A great summer dessert idea a meringue piled high with fresh seasonal berries, or a zesty cheesecake.

Watermelon salad and lime cheesecake

Consider your condiments & sides 

With all the focus on chicken recipes and whether you’re grilling pork chops or lamb cutlets (or haloumi!), condiments and sides can often get left by the wayside. 

Your side dishes can make or break your BBQ menu: are you going to have prawn skewers to start? Corn on the cob? Your trademark pasta salad or potato salad recipes everyone always asks you to bring? Get creative with your salad recipes and make them shine by using the best seasonal produce.

And when it comes to barbecue sauces and condiments, be prepared with BBQ sauce, tomato sauce, and mustard at the very least. You can elevate things by adding Piri Piri, a lemon garlic sauce, or aioli, and while we’re on the subject of elevated…

Gathar’s Elevated BBQ Menu

How can you possibly master your obligations for summer entertaining and still enjoy yourself while you’re stuck cooking, serving and cleaning the whole time?

Have you thought about enlisting a private chef to help you make light work of your BBQ? Our talent chefs will cook, serve and clean up, meaning you can step away from the grill and get back to the party.

Honestly, there’s no easier way to host a memorable summer party than by getting the pros in to do the hard work for you, and our Elevated BBQ is the best way to make your BBQ party deliciously easy.

Trust our chefs to prepare the perfect barbecue recipe for your party while you sit back and enjoy the time with your guests. Our BBQ options will spoil you and your guests with the delicious options below…

BBQ platter with corn, pita bread, chicken, tomatoes and salad

What’s on our catered BBQ menu?

Entree options for our Elevated BBQ Menu include chicken wings cooked to perfection and served with garlic ranch and spring onions; char-grilled pita bread basted in yoghurt, seeds and spices; and fresh cucumber salad with celery, tomatoes and charred lemon slices.

For the main course, you have a choice of two delicious dishes from a selection of four. Whether you opt for our finest Australian beef, tender pork kebabs, charred BBQ chicken, or exceptional crispy salmon, your party food will be memorable. All mains are shared dishes, too, so your guests have the chance to taste a little bit of everything.

We also offer several mouth-watering sides to complement your grill: choose from watermelon and feta salad, crispy Hasselback potatoes, grilled buttery broccolini, or charred paprika corn.

This is a menu designed to get tastebuds tingling and leave your guests begging to know the recipes, finished off with one of our cracking dessert recipes: your choice of either vanilla cheesecake or a rich chocolate tart. 

If you like the sound of this, check out our other BBQ menu: Bryce’s American Favourites.

Leave it to the grill masters

There’s no harm in admitting we’re not all perfect cooks (well, except our chefs of course!). It might not seem like there’s anything too complicated about Googling grilling recipes and throwing some burgers on a barbie, but it can take a lot of skill to cook the perfect BBQ.

It’s always an easy barbecue party when you invite Gathar around. You can focus being the perfect BBQ party host, while our chefs man the grill and make sure everything is running smoothly. All you need to do is supply the equipment, and we’ll make sure you have the best summer BBQ party possible.

No more frantically looking for dish ideas days before the event, panicked shopping for the sides you forgot about, or sweating away behind the grill. Doesn’t that sound delicious?

Whether you’re looking to cater for a summer lunch, BBQ party, birthday get-together or a wedding, Gathar can take the hard work out of any occasion. Invite us over so you can get out of the kitchen and back to the party!