We Explore Simple Yet Flavorful Ideas To Make Your Next Cookout A Success!
Are you stumped for impressive main dish ideas for your next summer cookout? Worry not! We’re here to help give you the best summer cookout ideas. Simple, delicious and full-flavored, these main dishes, paired with salads, grilled corn, coleslaw, condiments, and possibly grilled fruit for dessert, are all you need to make your barbecue come alive.
Perfectly Grilled Garlic Thyme Steak
You can’t beat a good steak; it’s a must-have for your summer cookout bbq recipe repertoire. Marinate simply in garlic, black pepper and thyme (or rosemary), baste in some butter, and you’ve got yourself a crowd pleaser. Rib-eye steaks have excellent marbling, which provides for a lot of succulence, but if you want something that grills faster, opt for the chateaubriand (filet steak), which is lean, but equally as flavorful.
Tender Rosemary Lamb Chops
Some guests prefer gamier meat, and lamb chops are the perfect option. They don’t need much; some olive oil, lemon juice, black pepper, and rosemary (or thyme and oregano) will do the trick. Grill for 3 minutes per side for medium-rare, and up to 5 minutes for medium-well. Allow 2-3 chops per person, and you’re good to go.
Chili Garlic Prawns
Don’t leave out the pescatarians! Prawns are a light alternative to red meat, and Chili Garlic Prawns bring a taste of the Med to your cookout. Featuring olive oil, garlic, red chilis, and paprika, they’re guaranteed to please. Marinate for only 20 minutes, grill for 3-5 minutes and voilà! For those who can’t stand the heat, leave out the chilis, and if any guest has a shellfish allergy, you could serve lemon and dill salmon as a tasty alternative.
Sweet Smoky Baby Back Ribs
Tender, fall-apart, and simply addicting! Ribs are a much-loved American cookout staple and with good reason. Marinate in a barbecue sauce, liquid smoke, chipotle pepper, and cola mixture, for that signature sweet, smoky taste. Wrap in foil during initial cooking to prevent burning, and grill low and slow over indirect heat until tender. Once cooked, unwrap, baste with leftover marinade and cook over direct heat to achieve smoky pork heaven.
Grilled chicken is the work-horse food item for every barbecue, but it doesn’t have to be boring. A simple marinade of lemon, black pepper, honey and perhaps some Dijon mustard will give your chicken body and zest, enough to deliver big flavor but mild enough for all invited. Chicken thighs and drumsticks grill slower than the breast, so bear that in mind when cooking. Chicken must reach the safe temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit before it is served, so make sure to check for this with an instant read meat thermometer.
And finally, one for the vegetarians! You don’t have to make the dough yourself, many decent store-bought options exist, but if you can, it’s well worth it. For an authentic Neopolitan experience (this pizza originated in Naples, Italy), top your dough with good quality fior di latte (cow’s milk mozzarella), San Marzano tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, extra-virgin olive oil, and salt, and grill over indirect heat. For strict vegans, use vegan cheese instead of mozzarella.
A Final Word
Summer is the perfect time to catch up with friends and family. What, with the Fourth of July and Labor Day coming up, you’ve got to be well prepared. We hope you enjoy making these simple but flavorful summer cookout main dishes, to keep your friends and family coming back time and again.