Stuft Pizza Bar & Grill

How to Plan the Perfect Memorial Day BBQ

steak with flames on grill with rosemaryHosting a Memorial Day BBQ?

Memorial Day is quickly approaching, which means that it’s time to start planning your Memorial Day celebration. Officially observed on the last Monday in May, it is a day to remember those who have died in active military service. Memorial Day should not be confused with Veterans Day, which is a day to honor all who have served in the military, including those who are still alive.

Memorial Day Weekend is one of the most popular grilling weekends in the United States every year. Memorial Day also traditionally signifies the start of the summer season. School is out (or close to being out), pools are opening up, and the weather tends to be great no matter where you are! If you’re hosting a BBQ over the weekend, we’ve put together the ideal menu that is sure to be a hit! We’re focusing on three staples of a great American BBQ: steak, sides, and drinks.

Steak

One of the most popular and well-loved foods for grilling is a tender, juicy steak. There are more than 14 different cuts of steak to choose from, ranging in quality, taste, texture, and fat content. With so many to choose from, how do you know which steak to choose for your BBQ? For starters, you’ll want cuts of steak that are at least ¾ of an inch thick to avoid overcooking the meat. You’ll also want to choose steak that has a decent amount of fat streaks (known as marbling). This will help prevent the steak from drying out, which will keep it juicy, tender, and flavorful. We recommend choosing one of the following cuts of steak:

  • New York Strip Steak
  • T-bone Steak
  • Ribeye Steak
  • Porterhouse Steak
  • Flat Iron Steak

Here’s a handy guide on grilling the perfect steak, including how to achieve the perfect medium-rare, medium, or medium-well.

Sides

When you’re planning your Memorial Day menu, you’ll want to choose sides that go well with your main course. For our menu, our main course is steak, so we’ve chosen a few tried-and-true sides that pair very well with a grilled steak.

  1. Grilled Corn on the Cob. Since you’ve already fired up the grill for your steak, why not take advantage of it? Grilled corn on the cob is always a crowd-pleaser! Here are three different methods for grilling corn on the cob.
  2. Potato Salad. A classic potato salad is another crowd favorite at BBQs. This chilled side dish offers a nice, refreshing balance when served with your steak and grilled corn. Try this recipe for a creamy potato salad.
  3. Baked Beans. Baked beans at a BBQ is an American tradition! Whether you prefer to simply open up a can of beans, bust out the Crock Pot, or try another cooking method, this side is sure to be a hit! Try this highly rated recipe for southern-style baked beans.
  4. Coleslaw. This side dish is creamy, tangy, and so refreshing! The great thing about coleslaw is that you can make it the night before, and the flavors will only get better while it sits in the fridge! Here’s an easy recipe for coleslaw.

One more side: While you’re at the store grabbing ingredients, consider picking up a package of rolls or another bread item to serve with your meal. It’s a great addition for soaking up the sauces and drippings from the rest of your dishes.

Drinks

We recommend offering three different categories of drink offerings: something non-alcoholic, a fruity cocktail, and the classic BBQ drink: ice cold beer. Check out our recommendations below:

  • Non-Alcoholic: Watermelon Lemonade—Few things represent the feelings of summer better than a juicy slice of watermelon and a tangy cup of fresh-squeezed lemonade. Why not combine the two? Here is a great recipe for watermelon lemonade that kids and non-drinkers will love!
  • Fruity Cocktail: Red Sangria—We’ve chosen red sangria because it’s easy to make in large batches, it looks pretty when served, and it pairs very well with a grilled steak. Make a pitcher (or a few, as it will go fast!) the day before for the best results. Here’s a simple recipe for red wine sangria. Feel free to experiment with the different fruits as you please!
  • Ice Cold Beer—We recommend offering at least two different choices: a light beer and a full-bodied beer. We’ll leave the choosing up to you!

We hope your Memorial Day BBQ is a huge success with these great recipes! Don’t have a grill at home? Want some help putting together the perfect meal? Contact us about our take-out or catering options! We can provide you with perfectly grilled steak for all your guests, large heapings of coleslaw, and more. Click below to view our appetizers, entrées, and specialties.

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