How to Upgrade Your Summer BBQ and Set Up Burger Bar

Whether you are throwing a small shindig or a huge summer BBQ, burgers are most likely on your menu. Sure, you could put out plates of tomatoes, lettuce, and onions. Add some bottles of ketchup and mustard, jars of pickles, and a bag of chips and you have your BBQ. 

You can upgrade your summer BBQ with a few small changes from the normal way of serving burgers. 

Display tempting toppings in a unique way, and build a do-it-yourself burger bar. Here’s how:

1.    Set up a long buffet-style table or counter. Put out the food in order of burger building (rolls, condiments, burgers, toppings, sides).
2.    Include a variety of buns, like brioche, potato, and kaiser.
3.    Upgrade your condiments. Give your ketchup, mustard, and mayo a kick! Add some chives and bacon to mayo. Combine siracha and mayo. Include unique condiments like teriyaki, relish, guacamole, or olive tapenade.
4.    Include a variety of burger choices, such as beef, turkey, chicken, and veggie.
5.    Plate several unique toppings. Include toppings like sautéed mushrooms and onions, Applewood smoked bacon, avocado, or large, flat portobello mushrooms. Plate several types of cheese. Step up the party décor by labeling the choices with toothpick signs. Definitely still include the basics: lettuce, tomato, and onion.
6.    Upgrade your sides from a bag of chips to grilled corn on the cob, deviled eggs, potato salad, pasta salad, and cucumber salad.
7.    Create a signature drink for your party! Try this Blue Margarita recipe from Confessions of a Foodie:

•    1 recipe homemade margarita mix
•    3/4 cup (6 oz) silver tequila
•    1/2 cup (4 oz) curacao
•    lime wedges/slices for garnish (optional)

•    Add homemade margarita mix, tequila, and curacao to the pitcher. Mix well.
•    Pour over ice and garnish with lime slices.

If you will be grilling while party guests arrive, set out a few conversation-starting appetizers. Pita chips with three different kinds of hummus. Include tortilla chips and multiple levels of ‘hot’ salsa – guests will challenge themselves on who can handle the hottest one! Bruschetta is always a party favorite.

No summer party is complete without games for kids… and adults! Set up a bean bag toss in the yard, and water slides and moon bounces for the kids.

 Written By: Erica Lucas
Managed By: Adam Beal


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