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The Only Memorial Day BBQ Cookout Menu You’ll Ever Need

Memorial Day food

Memorial Day is a time to honor those who gave their lives in service of our country. This holiday also marks the beginning of summer, and it’s a time-honored US tradition to gather outside with friends and family to enjoy a barbecue over Memorial Day weekend.

Since chicken is America’s most popular meat, it takes center stage in our holiday BBQ and grilling menu. Whether you like to grill or smoke the whole bird, bone-in parts, or skinless boneless chicken breasts, we’ve got you covered. We even have a recipe for a citrus herb spatchcocked whole chicken that cooks quickly and evenly.

The rest of the menu features time-honored American classics like coleslaw, potato salad, and baked beans, as well as some extra special offerings like grilled lemonade, bacon-wrapped corn, grilled strawberry shortcake, and more. So pull up a chair and your favorite drink, gather around the table with your family, and enjoy America’s most popular foods on our most venerable holiday.

Chickens dunked in Alabama white BBQ sauce at Big Bob Gibsons

Big Bob Gibson’s Bama Birds With White BBQ Sauce Recipe

By:

Meathead

Packed full of flavor, this recipe for Alabama white BBQ sauce is the perfect addition to grilled and smoked chicken. Adapted from the original white BBQ sauce that was created by famed Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Que in Decatur, Alabama, this isn't your ordinary sticky sweet BBQ sauce as it relies on mayonnaise and vinegar.
Smoked chicken quarter

Sweet Georgia’s Brown Smoked Chicken Recipe, Parts Or Pulled

By:

Meathead

You've never truly had BBQ chicken until you bite into this recipe for smoked chicken, Georgia style.
Plated grilled spatchcocked chicken

Grilled Citrus Herb Spatchcocked Chicken Recipe

By:

Clint Cantwell

If you’ve been frustrated by unsuccessful grilled chicken, this recipe for citrus herb rubbed spatchcocked chicken will be a revelation. By removing the backbone and grilling it bone-side down, the chicken slow roasts without drying out or burning while also making sure the dark and white meat cook evenly.
Grilled Cornell chicken

Crispy Grilled Cornell Chicken Will Have You Clucking With Joy

By:

Meathead

If you like grilled chicken with golden crispy skin then you're about to fall in love with this recipe for crispy grilled Cornell chicken. In New York's Finger lakes, Bob Baker's famous Crispy Cornell Chicken recipe is served in every home, every fire department cookout, and little league BBQ and now you can enjoy it!
Grilled boneless chicken breasts

You’ve Never Experienced Better Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

By:

Meathead

There's no reason to settle any longer for dry, flavorless grilled boneless skinless chicken breasts. The secret? My famous mustard marinade.

Perfect Grilled Boneless Chicken Breasts, The Sous-Vide-Que Method

By:

Clint Cantwell

Ensure moist and tender boneless chicken breasts on the grill every time with this ultimate guide to the sous-vide-que cooking method. By starting the boneless chicken breasts in a low and slow sous vide water bath then finishing them with a flavorful touch of smokiness on the grill and you've got chicken perfection.
Simon and Garfunkel rubbed grilled chicken

World Famous Simon & Garfunkel Grilled Chicken Recipe

By:

Meathead

Grilled chicken has never tasted better thanks to this recipe featuring our amazing Simon & Garfunkel Dry Rub, a wonderful herb based rub that is great on chicken, turkey, and veggies. As with most grilled chicken recipes, we recommend you cut the bird into parts so that you can ensure each is cooked to perfection.
Grilled huli huli chicken

Having A Luau? Here’s The Easiest Hawaiian Huli-Huli Chicken Recipe Ever

By:

Meathead

If you like teriyaki chicken, you'll flip for this Hawaiian Huli-Huli Chicken. Let's make this dish more popular on the mainland.
grated carrot and cabbage make coleslaw

The Best Basic Creamy Southern Coleslaw Ever

By:

Meathead

Just say no to bland store bought coleslaw and hello to this delicious homemade recipe. This classic simple creamy Southern coleslaw recipe is not only the perfect side dish for your next BBQ and grilling cookout but is also amazing on a Memphis and South Carolina style pulled pork sandwich or on a West Virginia style hot dog.
grated carrot and cabbage make coleslaw

Make This Easy Deli-Style Coleslaw At Home

By:

Meathead

Here's the recipe for that great creamy cole slaw they sell in the delis, and the secret ingredient is sour cream mixed with mayonnaise.
potato salad

Mom’s Old Fashioned Potato Salad Wows ‘Em Every Time

By:

Meathead

Make mom proud with this recipe for the perfect potato salad. No backyard BBQ is complete without potato salad but often times it can be lacking in flavor. The secret to old fashioned potato salad is the dressing, a simple blend of mayonnaise and sour cream that perfectly complements the other ingredients.
red potatoes with pesto in a bowl

Pesto Potato Salad: Summer’s New Favorite Side

By:

Meathead

It's time to rethink serving ordinary potato salad as a side dish at your next BBQ and grilling cookout thanks to this delicious recipe for pesto potatoes. Pesto is a savory pasty green sauce that traditionally includes basil leaves, olive oil, plenty of garlic, pine nuts or walnuts, and parmesan cheese.
German potato salad

Oktoberfest Hot German Potato Salad Is A Hot Take On A Popular Side Dish

By:

Meathead

Hot German potato salad is sweet and sour, spicy, savory, rich, meaty, and warm all the way down. This Oktoberfest recipe is perfect for those chilly fall tailgates.
Deep fried pickles in a serving platter

Fried Pickles Are An Addictive Appetizer, Especially When Prepared On The Grill

By:

Clint Cantwell

Why fry inside? Your outdoor grill handles the job better and makes incomparable fried pickles. Coated in a light and airy tempura batter, this delicious fried pickle recipe is a novel appetizer for your next cookout. Be prepared to make multiple batches, as everyone will be clamoring for more.
bbq baked beans

Bourbon BBQ Baked Beans, A Simply Amazing Side

By:

Meathead

Step up your next cookout with this recipe for the ultimate BBQ baked beans featuring a kiss of Bourbon. This will arguably result in the best baked beans you've ever had, certain to wow your guests. While there are a lot of ingredients, it's actually quick and easy to assemble then stew to perfection.
Boston BBQ baked beans

Simple Boston Baked Beans Recipe, As Easy As They Are Delicious

By:

Meathead

Looking for the perfect side dish for your next cookout? Nothing screams BBQ more than a sticky and smoky bowl of Boston baked beans. It was in Beantown that the notion of mixing dried beans with molasses was conceived. This flavorful recipe is an ode to the original while offering suggestions for amping them up.
grilled sweet corn

The Best Grilled Corn You’ve Ever Eaten

By:

Meathead

You will never look at corn the same way again after trying this recipe for the ultimate grill roasted corn on the cob recipe. While boiling and steaming are popular methods of cooking corn, the smokiness and caramelization achieved by grilling it directly over live fire. Butter and tarragon help round out the flavor.
bacon wrapped corn

Griddle Grilled Bacon Jalapeño Wrapped Corn

By:

Paul Sidoriak

This griddle grilled corn dish makes a perfect accompanying act to almost any recipe, but it could star as a lunch all by itself. The sweetness of the corn works great with the saltiness of the bacon, and the punch of heat from the jalapenos is tempered by the cream cheese.
Plated griddle corn cakes

Griddle Grilled Corn Cakes, Fresh Corn At Its Finest

By:

Clint Cantwell

This griddle grilled corn cakes recipe is the perfect side dish for any backyard cookout. The recipe begins with fire roasting fresh ears of corn. The kernels are then removed and added to a light and airy batter that is grilled on a griddle until fluffy and golden brown. You can even customize your corn cakes!

Benchmark Barbecue Sauces And How To Make Them

By:

Meathead

The US has several distinct barbecue sauce styles from Kansas City to South Carolina, Eastern Carolinas, Western Carolinas, Texas, Alabama, Kentucky, Hawaii, Florida, Memphis and more. Here is a description of them, and links to buy them, and recipes.
Grilled lemons

Grilled Lemonade, Summer’s Most Refreshing (And Smokiest) Beverage

By:

Meathead

When life gives you lemons and a grill, why not make grilled lemonade! Nothing is more refreshing on a hot day than lemonade and this recipe takes it over the top. Lemons are halved then grilled until lightly charred before creating a smoky homemade lemonade that will be a surefire hit at any backyard BBQ bash.
Apple pie

Grilled All-American Apple Pie Recipe

By:

Meathead

Surprise the guests at your next BBQ cookout with this recipe for apple pie on a grill. What could be better after an All-American BBQ than all-American apple pie, cooked on the already warm grill. To make it easier to prepare, the recipe uses a crumble topping versus a second crust on top or a lattice topping.
Grilled strawberry shortcake with whipped cream

Smoked Whipped Cream: The Secret To Amazing Grilled Strawberry Shortcake

By:

Clint Cantwell

Briefly grilled strawberries and smoked whipped cream are the stars of this delicious BBQ twist on southern strawberry shortcake. This delicious strawberry shortcake grilled dessert recipe features lightly charred grilled strawberries, blueberries for a patriotic touch, and whipped cream that has been lightly smoked.

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Published On: 7/1/2019 Last Modified: 5/17/2022

 

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