Friends and family assemble in anticipation as the air is filled with the smokey, sweet aroma of barbecue, and the sound of laughing and celebration can be heard across the backyard. Nothing beats indulging in a delectable outdoor meal during BBQ time. A barbecue spread would not be complete without the ideal accompaniments—the BBQ sides that give the table flavor, texture, and diversity. While the sizzling meat is unquestionably the show’s highlight, the BBQ sides are the perfect complement.
Although grilled steaks, hamburgers, and hot dogs are perennial favorites, a well-chosen side dish may enhance your barbecue experience. These sometimes neglected culinary delights, which range from light salads to filling starches and enticing dips, can steal the show and elevate a simple barbecue into a memorable event.
With that said, we’ll take you on a delicious tour of many BBQ sides in this blog that deserve a seat at your picnic table.
Table of Contents
Grilled Corn on the Cob
The process’s natural sweetness and pleasant smokiness enhances every mouthful of grilled corn on the cob. The result is a delectable side dish that compliments any BBQ spread, whether you cook it with the husk on or remove it for those lovely grill marks.
Butter is often smeared onto the corn, melts, and oozes into the cracks to provide a delectable and creamy coating. The flavors are further elevated with a sprinkling of salt and pepper, bringing out the corn’s sweetness.
Every bite delivers a delicious crunch, followed by a blast of juicy richness that contrasts gorgeously with the slightly scorched exterior. The flexible side dish of roasted corn on the cob may be served plain or spiced with different ingredients, such as chili powder, garlic, or lime juice, for a little more zing.
Grilled Peppers and Onions
This scrumptious mix of peppers and onions on the grill offers a blast of flavor and a pleasant smokiness to your barbecue meal. The ideal grilling surface is created by chopping colorful bell peppers and onions into thick rings or strips.
These veggies are thrown straight onto the hot grill grates after being lightly greased, seasoning with salt, pepper, and sometimes a little garlic powder or your preferred spice combination. The natural sugars in the peppers and onions caramelize as they sizzle and sear, giving the food a sweet and savory flavor. The flavor profile is improved by the faint smokey taste added by grilling.
Grilled peppers and onions transform into a flexible side that goes well with various barbecued meats by becoming soft and slightly scorched and adding a crisp, reviving flavor to every bite. These grilled peppers and onions will unquestionably improve your BBQ experience with their tantalizing scent and delectable taste, regardless if you use them as a topping for succulent burgers, as a filler for fajitas or tortillas, or simply as a tasty companion to grilled chicken or steak.
This cabbage-based salad is frequently made with delicately cut onions, carrots, and green or red cabbage that have been shredded for a pleasing crunch. A creamy mayonnaise-based dressing or a tart vinegar-based dressing are two possible variations of the dressing.
The creamy version creates a smooth and rich dressing that coats the veggies and provides a delectable texture by combining mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, sugar, and a hint of mustard. The vinegar-based variation, on the other hand, is more light and energizing. It combines apple cider vinegar, oil, sugar, and spices to give it a tangy kick that balances out the intense flavor of BBQ flavors.
In addition to giving your food a pleasing crunch, coleslaw functions as a palette cleanser, counteracting the savory, smokey flavors of BBQ meats. Because of its adaptability, you may alter the flavor by using extra ingredients like raisins, apples, or even jalapenos.
These beans are boiled in a rich and savory sauce that often contains molasses, brown sugar, mustard, ketchup, and occasionally even little pieces of bacon or ham. They are cooked at low temperatures.
The savory and sweet flavors blend to create a mouthwatering flavor that goes well with the smokey char of the BBQ meats. The beans eventually become very soft and absorb the sauce’s savory flavor.
With the sweetness of the molasses and brown sugar producing a caramelized richness that perfectly complements the smoky, charred deliciousness of the grilled meats, each mouthful is a delicious burst of flavors. The beans’ pleasing texture balances the chewy texture of the meat by providing a subtle smoothness.
This traditional side dish combines boiling potatoes with creamy mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, and spices dressing. The potatoes are normally diced or cubed. The outcome is a tasteful blending of textures and flavors. The creamy sauce provides a delightful richness, while the potatoes are robust and sturdy. The richness is broken through by the mustard’s and vinegar’s tanginess, adding a lively and reviving touch.
Diced onions, chopped celery, and crisp pickles can be added to the recipe to provide flavor, texture, and a wonderful crunch. Another factor contributing to potato salad’s popularity is how easily it can be altered to accommodate personal preferences.
Some people choose a more traditional technique, while others want to add a unique touch by using fresh herbs, bacon, or hard-boiled eggs. Potato salad pairs superbly with the smokey flavors of BBQ meats, whether served cold or at room temperature.
Macaroni and Cheese
Your palate will be dancing with delight due to the dish’s pleasing blend of textures and flavors, created with soft macaroni noodles and a thick, velvety cheese sauce. Every strand of pasta is covered in cheese sauce, which is often a combination of cheddar or a variety of cheeses. This comfort food-inspired meal is gooey and decadent and impossible to resist.
Cornbread is simple to make and always tastes delicious since it only requires simple ingredients, including cornmeal, flour, sugar, eggs, buttermilk, and leavening agents. Cornbread is a flexible side dish for grilled meats, whether served as a complete pan or in a muffin shape.
The capacity of cornbread to absorb sour, hot BBQ sauces makes it even more alluring, transforming each mouthful into a mouthwatering burst of flavor. Additionally, you may always add sliced jalapenos or crumbled cheese to the mixture for a hot, more decadent twist.
A look into the world of barbecue sides brings individuals numerous delightful choices that work well for barbecued meats’ smokey flavors. These sides give any grill feast richness and variety, going from conventional top choices like coleslaw and baked beans to a wider range of creative options like barbecued peppers, onions, and cornbread. So, begin the barbecue, set up these tasty sides, and prepare to partake in a remarkable BBQ buffet.