Barbeque Menu Plan

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In the Southern U.S., barbeque refers to both a type of food and an activity. Different to standard grilling, barbeque is slowly cooked over indirect heat, such as charcoal or wood. For many people, it's a main part of their regular diets. Barbeque foods vary by region. For example, beef brisket is one of Texas's main staples, while Tennessee is known for its pulled pork and chicken. If you are planning a barbeque party, you can choose from main dishes, side items and seasonings.

The Meat

The main types of poultry used in traditional barbeque dishes are turkey and chicken. While you can go the healthy route and stick with the low-fat chicken breast, most barbeque restaurants feature chicken leg quarters and wings. If you want to stick with beef, one of the most popular barbeque staples is beef brisket; you can also find beef ribs in some places. Pork is one of the most commonly used barbeque meats. Choose from pulled pork, which is the shoulder cut; hot links -- sausages -- and pork ribs.

Side Items

You can choose from different types of traditional barbeque side items for your party. The most common sides are creamy coleslaw, baked beans and potato salad. Potato salad types include mustard based, mayo based and redskin potato salad made with dill and sour cream. Try using creamy salad dressing or dip as a flavorful way to hold your potato salad together. Examples of hot barbeque sides include scalloped potatoes, black-eyed peas, fried okra, pinto beans, macaroni and cheese, and green beans with bacon. Popular cold side items include tomato and cucumber salad, English pea salad and broccoli salad. Don't forget to put out sliced onion, dill pickles and jalapenos as well.

Barbeque Sauce

Barbeque sauces also vary from region to region. Choose a few for your guests to sample. Some are made with molasses and taste sweet. In Texas, the sauce is usually made from ketchup, chili and Worcestershire sauce and has a bit of a kick. BBQers in the Carolinas go for a mustard-base sauce. Hickory sauces are found at most grocery stores, as well. Remember that some popular barbecue sauces, especially those used with hot wings, are served with creamy dip on the side to cool things down.

Drinks and Desserts

You can't have a barbeque without serving sweet iced tea and beer. Include a dessert for your guests as well. Choose from common barbeque desserts such as banana pudding with vanilla wafers. Cobblers of all kinds will also be a hit. Choose from peach cobbler or blackberry cobbler and top it off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream if you really want to impress your guests with authenticity.