It's almost universal. People love a backyard barbecue with family and friend, but there's a lot more to it than just throwing a hunk of meat over the flames. Look no further than this gathering of resources for the home grillmaster. Even if you've never manned the grill before you'll find plenty of tips and techniques to get you going. If you're already the go-to person for cookouts and barbecue dinners, step up your game by trying out some of the delicious traditional recipes here. Or, get really creative and try some of the more unusual on-the-grill meal ideas listed at the end of this guide. No matter who you are or what you like to eat, you can master the art of BBQ and have a lot of fun doing it.
Awesome BBQ Recipes
Once you're feeling comfortable around the grill, it's time to arm yourself with some killer crowd-pleasing recipes. There's no excuse for serving up bland barbecue when there are so many how-to guides and recipes available for free online. It can be overwhelming, however, to figure out which recipe site to visit. The recipes found in this section come from trusted sources and receive consistent positive reviews.
Food Network Barbecue Recipes -- The Food Network, home of popular TV BBQ masters like Guy Fieri and Bobby Flay, serves up dozens of can't-fail backyard barbecue recipe ideas. One of the coolest features of this site is that recipes are accompanied by tutorial videos - not to mention that it's all free to use.
Summer Grilling Ideas -- If you're looking to add a touch of class and creativity to your bbq fare, try out some of the recipes in Food and Wine Magazine's summer grilling collection. There are tons of unique and restaurant-worthy ideas like Grilled Miso Shrimp and Red Chili Burgers.
Grilling by Epicurious -- Epicurious also has an extensive collection of mouth-watering barbecue recipes to try, each with beautiful photos and step-by-step instructions.
Barbecue Sauce Recipes -- Whether to use a dry rub or a sauce is a subject of debate among grilling enthusiasts, and a person's preference usually depends more on geography than anything else. One thing's certain: if you're going to use sauce, make sure it's really good. The homemade sauce recipes here will have your guests singing your praises.
BBQ Facts, History, and Safety
Get geared up for grilling by reading through some interesting factoids about the popularity and history of barbecue style cooking. Then, make sure to familiarize yourself with the fundamentals of grillside safety before you begin. Nothing ruins a backyard barbecue like someone getting hurt or sick, so take food handling guidelines and fire safety concerns seriously. The pages in this section will give you a lesson in barbecue grilling and prepare you to man the grill with confidence.
Fun Facts About Barbecue -- The Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Association put together this fun and informative page with some interesting historical factoids about BBQing in the United States. You can also find lots of other good bbq .. by clicking around and exploring the rest of the site.
14 Things You May Not Know About Barbecue -- Look to this Yahoo Voices article for some insight into the origins of barbecue style cooking, as well as several interesting factoids about grilling in America today. This could be a great place to find some conversation-starting material for your next cookout.
Barbecue and Food Safety -- Before you start grilling with abandon,read through this tip sheet from the USDA's Food Inspection and Safety Service. Learn how to handle raw meat the right way, how to preserve leftovers safely, and even read up on the latest information about claims that eating grilled food can lead to certain types of cancer.
Gas vs. Charcoal, "The Grate Debate" - Is it better to use charcoal or gas for grilling? It's long been the subject of impassioned debate amongst grilling enthusiasts, with pretty convincing arguments on both sides. This easy-to-read and informative article from Chow.com will run you through the major pros and cons of each so you can decide for yourself which heat source is best in your book.
Tips, Tricks, and Techniques
Good barbecuing is both an art and a science, and nothing beats experience when it comes to getting things just right. Take a look at the articles and images in the following section for tips and tricks, dos and don'ts, and general guidelines from leading experts in the barbecue cooking world.
Five Things Every American Needs to Know About Barbecue -- This article, from Time magazine, offers a blunt - and somewhat humorous - rundown of the "rules" for backyard barbecuers. While you may not agree with all of the grilling commandments (like, "gas is for saps", for instance), this is a fun read with some great tips.
Grilling Tips for Pros -- This slideshow, from Better Homes and Gardens, features invaluable tips from grilling pros to ensure that you get the most out of your efforts.
Grilling Tips and Tricks -- This fun article from Esquire magazine is loaded with all you need to know about barbecuing. Even if you aren't an expert, you may just be able to act like one after reading this.
Grilling Tips from HowStuffWorks -- You might want to print this page and hang it where you can reference it easily. Besides some great tips for excellent barbecue, it has organized charts to help you decide how long to cook different types of foods on the grill.
Many people don't realize that just about anything can be cooked on a barbecue grill, and that burgers and steaks are just a couple of the endless possibilities. Browse through the resources in this section to inspire your creative side and help you to create unusual, unexpected, or specialized dishes right on the grill.
Barbecue Desserts -- What? Dessert on the grill? Believe it. This Buzzfeed article is chock-full of scrumptious desserts you can make barbecue-style.
Vegetarian Barbecue Recipes -- Who says you have to be a meat-eater to enjoy barbecue? VegKitchen.com provides some delicious vegetarian and vegan recipes for the grill, sure to please any herbivore (and everyone else will probably want some, too).
9 Breakfast Recipes for Your Grill -- 9 Breakfast Recipes for Your Grill Breakfast on the barbecue? Who knew? Apparently, the people at The Daily Meal did - and they are sharing their 9 favorite grillable morning dishes.
Unusual Grilling Recipes -- Looking for something totally different to wow your guests with? Try some of the unexpectedly excellent dishes in this gorgeous recipe slideshow from Delish.com.
Foods to Barbecue -- Still hungry for more interesting and unusual foods to throw on your grill? Try this article from HuffPost Canada to explore even more interesting ideas for cooking unorthodox items on your barbecue.