Sometimes the appetizers and side dishes are the best things on a restaurant menu. You know, the killer crispy French fries at a good burger place. The amazing warm bread at a fine dining restaurant. And the mac and cheese that’ll blow your socks off at a barbecue joint.
For most folks, meat’s the thing when you’re going for barbecue. Give me the brisket, pork and sausage…maybe a slice of white bread on the side. That’s it! No sauce. No nuthin’. Just meat! For others, the beans, the cornbread, the taters, the mac and cheese…these are what make the meat taste even better. Side dishes are like the intermission. You get a break from the action, then when you go back to the main event, it’s even more delicious than before!
Here are some of our favorite go-withs for classic American barbecue like sliced brisket, pulled or chopped pork, smoked ribs, and smoked sausage. You’ll see all the standards here, including potato salad, cole slaw, cornbread, baked beans, and mac and cheese. Plus sides like guacamole and spicy cucumber salad for international barbecue. Mix it up and serve your barbecue with whatever floats your boat!
This cook can live on potatoes and wine and nothing else. Fortunately they pair perfectly with barbecue and can be cooked outdoors easily. Here are some of my favorite potato recipes and sweet potato recipes inspired by dishes from around the world.
Beans are an important part of American culinary heritage. This section contains the canon of American bean dishes, always found accompanying local versions of barbecue. Their roots are often in other cultures, but the recipes have been thoroughly Americanized.
What parent hasn't thrown up their hands at a child's reluctance to eat vegetables. Brussels sprouts, lima beans, broccoli, even asparagus all experience the same rejection. But sometimes, a simple change in cooking technique can quickly elevate their status at the dinner table and turn those frowns upside-down. Check out our recipes.
The bible calls bread the "staff of life." But you don't have to go to church to know that one of the most important parts of a meal is the bread. It could be crumbly cornbread, a buttery roll, or a poppy seed hamburger bun. Show me a barbecue joint that doesn't serve garlic bread and I give them less than a year.
The secret to this great mac and cheese recipe is its big rich gutsy cheesy flavor. With each cheese you use, you add a layer of complexity. The concept of the dish is elegantly simple and brilliant: Chewy tubes of macaroni filled with rich creamy cheese that sizzles when it comes out of the oven.
Macaroni and cheese rises to new heights after hitting the grill in this smoked mac and cheese recipe. Baked over live fire with the perfect touch of smoke, the end result is a rich and smoky mac-and-cheese that you’ll dream of for days to come. Served as a main course or side dish, smoked mac and cheese is a surefire hit.
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.
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.
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.
Add some sweet heat to sandwiches, favorite side dishes, cornbread, and much more for this recipe for Cowboy Candy, a.k.a. candied jalapenos. This recipe is a refrigerator pickle, so all jars must be stored in the fridge. When you are done, save the syrup for us in DC Mumbo sauce, barbecue sauce, cocktails, and more.
Add a touch of Thai to your next backyard cookout with this recipe for sweet and tangy cold cucumber salad. One of the simple pleasures of dining in a Thai restaurant is the lovely delicate cucumber salad they serve as an appetizer and now you can replicate it at home with this simple to prepare recipe.
If you're a fan of tangy deli pickles and pickled tomatoes then you'll be ready to dive in to this recipe for classic deli-style Kosher sour dill pickles. Even better is the fact that they can be made in one day! This recipe is also perfect for pickled tomatoes, a great way to utilize end of season green tomatoes.
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.
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.
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!
Even if you haven't tried grits you are certain to fall in love with this classic recipe. In the south, where corn is king, grits are it. They are especially good with cheese, ham, shrimp. Purists prefer stone ground grits, and never buy instant grits, which have been processed to speed cooking.
Southern biscuits are not as hard as some folks want to make them. These biscuits can be served plain, with butter and/or jam, with turkey and the fixings, with ham, smothered in sausage gravy, and as sandwiches. They can be used as a topping for fruit cobblers, pot pies, or chili baked in a Dutch oven.
Top Chef Fan Favorite Kevin Gillespie says that barbecue is always served with Brunswick stew in his native Georgia. Squirrel is the traditional meat, but Kevin likes to use beef and pork or even scraps of barbecued pork. His recipe also includes a secret ingredient that amplifies the flavors of everything else.