Memorial Day BBQ Menu Ideas & Tips

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You probably have a long-standing family tradition about backyard barbecuing, but pay special attention to safety this year. Once foods are removed from the refrigerator they should be consumed or re-refrigerated after two hours at room temperature. If you're outdoors and the temperatures are hotter than room temperature, foods should be refrigerated more quickly.

These BBQ meal ideas & tips will help you prepare great grilled meals every time.

memorial day bbq

memorial day bbq

  • If your barbecued chicken tends to burn, be sure to add barbecue sauce or other sauces during the last five or ten minutes of cooking.
  • To keep meats moist, avoid piercing them. Punctures allow valuable juices to escape.
  • Flip meats repeatedly during the cooking process. Flipping meats keeps the juices moving, effectively basting the meat from the inside out. That's one of the reasons rotisserie prepared foods are so moist.
  • Add marinades or rubs to meats. Meats to which dry rubs or marinades have been added can have a very different flavor from the same old chicken or steak you're used to. This year try experimenting with a few new ways to season meat. From injecting turkey breast with honey to dredging lamb in cumin and other spices, you'll be surprised at the results you can achieve with a little creative seasoning.
  • Grill dessert - Since you're outdoors anyway, why not prepare dessert on the grill too. Grilling dessert make a lot of sense. You can make use of the residual heat in the grill and keep all the cooking chores outdoors. Try:
    • S'mores on the grill
    • Grilled peaches (with ice cream).
    • Grill heated caramel sauce (with ice cream)
    • Grilled cupcakes
    • Fondue (chocolate or caramel)
    • Grilled marshmallows

Backyard BBQ Beverages

While you're planning something special for your Memorial Day barbecue, make the beverages special too:

  • Fresh squeezed lemonade colored pink with pomegranate juice
  • Fruit filled sangria
  • Sun tea with fresh mint leaves
  • Tropical punch
  • Clear soda dyed red or blue, paired with a light lemonade that looks white
Last Updated: April 16, 2013
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About Sara Elliot Sara Elliott is a freelance copywriter and dedicated blogger. Her popular gardening, cooking and crafting blog, The Herb Gardener, was cited by The Wall Street Journal for its fun and frugal tips. Sara has a degree in English, and you can find her health, crafting, and lifestyle pieces on sites like,, and

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