Whether you’re hosting a big family event or a small couples’ evening, we’ve got a variety of BBQ ideas to suit every occasion.

Summer is the perfect time for BBQ gatherings and parties. It’s also a great excuse to give your oven and hob a break and dine al fresco! From the aroma of the sizzling meat on the grill, to the laughter and joy of those you have chosen to spend the moment with, BBQs can provide a great atmosphere.

The appeal of barbecuing goes beyond the delicious food and good company, however, it presents an opportunity for culinary experimentation. You get the chance to experience the process of preparing meals over an open flame, experimenting with marinades and rubs, and savour the unique flavours that grilling imparts.

With all the options open to you it might be a wonder where to start, and that’s where our list of BBQ ideas comes in. From the classic appeal of smoky ribs and juicy burgers to innovative vegetarian skewers and elegant dinner party fare, we’ve covered all bases. So, dust off your grill, stock up on your favourite ingredients, and get ready to discover BBQ ideas that will elevate your summer gatherings to the next level.

close up of a juicy burger and a bowl of chips

Classic BBQ Ideas

The classic BBQ is what most people think of when they picture the grill being lit. It’s perfect for meat lovers and will meet most people’s expectations. Here are some great class BBQ ideas that you can explore to spice things up:

Grilled Barbecue Ribs

Grilled barbecue ribs are a staple at any party. These slow-cooked, tender bites of meaty perfection are usually coated in a smoky barbecue sauce that caramelises on the grill. The secret to great ribs lies in a good rub and a long, slow cook. An interesting idea to try is replace your beef ribs with pork ribs but keep most of the rest the same.

Mouth-Watering Burgers

Nothing quite says BBQ like a juicy burger straight from a charcoal-fired grill. To achieve the perfect burger, start with high-quality ground beef. Season the patties simply with salt and pepper before grilling. Once fully cooked, top with your favourite cheese and serve on a toasted bun with your favourite dressings and sauce. For an extra special touch, add some crispy bacon or even a fried egg! If you’re seeking more ideas why not take your burgers up a notch by using olive oil and Worcestershire sauce.

cooked chicken wings on a bbq grill

Barbecue Chicken Wings

An easy crowd favourite, good barbecue chicken wings are crispy on the outside, but juicy on the inside, often with a deliciously smoky BBQ sauce. For the best results, make sure to marinate the wings in a mix of spices and sauce before grilling them to perfection. If you’re looking for the perfect game-day set of chicken wings, try giving your wings a sweet and tangy mix with a sticky glaze.

Vegetarian BBQ Ideas

Barbecues aren’t just for the meat lovers; with our delicious vegetarian options all can enjoy the open grill cooking experience. Here are some of our favourite ideas to bring some fun flavours to vegetarian dishes:

vegetarian skewers and watermelon on a bbq

Grilled Veggie Skewers

Using a colourful mix of bell peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and your favourite grilled vegetables you can create some veggie skewers that are both healthy and delicious. Marinate your skewers in olive oil, garlic, and herbs before grilling them until tender to get the perfect side dish or main course. Whether you’re looking to add halloumi or flavour your skewers with Tandoori, here are a range of vegetarian skewer ideas for your BBQ.

Portobello Mushroom Burgers

Portobello mushrooms are a fantastic meat substitute with their rich meaty texture. Simply marinate mushrooms in balsamic vinegar, garlic, and olive oil before grilling. Then serve these delicious burgers in your favourite burger bun alongside a selection of dressings and sauces. These burgers are so good, even non-vegetarians will love them. Here’s a recipe for 6 ingredient portobello mushroom burgers that you can prepare in just 20 minutes.

close up of grilled corn on the cob

Grilled Corn on the Cob

Grilled corn on the cob is a summer classic to be enjoyed by all. Slathered in a flavourful herb butter and grilled until slightly charred, this dish is simple yet mouther-wateringly delicious. You can also experiment with different toppings and serving ideas. For some inspiration look to the Mediterranean style corn on the cob.

BBQ Sides Ideas

No barbecue is complete without a selection of sides. Whether these are simple salads or grilled vegetables, we have curated a variety of recipes to add variation to your BBQ.


A crunchy and tangy side that adds a refreshing touch to any barbecue meal. A classic coleslaw combines shredded cabbage and carrots with a creamy dressing made from mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, and a hint of mustard. This side is the perfect companion to ribs, burgers, and more, however if you’re looking for variations, here’s 24 coleslaw recipes to experiment with.

close up of a potato salad with seasoning

Potato Salad

A creamy potato salad loaded with flavour is a BBQ standard. For a bit of a twist mix tender potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, celery, and a tangy dressing made from mayonnaise, mustard and pickles. Potato salads are easy to prepare, highly customisable, and are always a hit with guests. Should you be looking for more ideas, why not try a Sweet Potato Tex-Mex salad.

Grilled Vegetables

Sometimes simple and healthy sides, like asparagus, eggplants, and bell peppers, are the winners at a BBQ. Toss your chosen vegetables in olive oil, salt, and pepper before grilling them until tender. These lightweight vegetables add a beautiful contrast to the heavier BBQ dishes and are a great way to incorporate some healthy greens into your meal.

smash burgers and corn on the cob on a table

Family BBQ Ideas

Sometimes it’s nice to not have your friends over and make a barbecue an intimate family moment where you get to catch up and create memories. Family BBQs can be made more interactive and fun for all involved, here are some ideas for how to accomplish this:

Mini Sliders

Mini sliders are perfectly portioned for kids and are highly customisable. Use small buns and create min burgers with a variety of toppings so everyone can build their own. Mini sliders are a great and safe way to get the kids involved with the cooking process, however, should there be no little people present you can scale these up to adult portions.

close up of a variety of different hot dogs on a red blanket

Grilled Hot Dogs

Grilled hot dogs are a classic and beloved BBQ staple, especially perfect for family gatherings. They’re quick to prepare, easy to customize, and a hit with both kids and adults alike. Start with high-quality hot dogs and grill them over medium heat until they’re nicely charred and heated through.

To make your hot dogs even more special, offer a variety of toppings so everyone can create their own gourmet hot dog. If you’re looking for more unique ideas why not try Mexican style hot dogs?

Fruit Kebabs

Kebabs are more than just sides; they can make a fun and healthy desert too! Fruit kebabs are easy to make, use a mix of seasonal fruits like strawberries, pineapple, and melon. You can grill them very briefly to bring out their natural sweetness and serve with a yoghurt dipping sauce.

people enjoying a buffet of food al fresco

BBQ Dinner Party Idea

If you’re looking to impress your guests with a sophisticated BBQ dinner party, then look no further than our inspiration below. These elegant recipes will spark creativity and all you’ll have to worry about is how you present the food!

Grilled Salmon

Grilled salmon is a gourmet option with a lemon herb marinade, this dish is sure to impress your guests. Marinate the salmon in a mixture of lemon juice, garlic, and herbs before grilling. You should serve this alongside some greens, such as asparagus and a fresh salad for a complete meal. If you’re looking for a more sophisticated marinade, try this recipe which includes soy and honey.

steaming stuffed pepper on a plate

Stuffed Peppers

Filled with a savoury mixture of rice, beans, and cheese, stuffed peppers can be both elegant and delicious. Grill the peppers until tender and the filling is hot and bubbly. These can be served as a main course or a side dish. Experiment with different fillings and serving styles, or try a proven recipe like these mediterranean stuffed-turkey peppers.

Grilled Shrimp Skewers

Light and flavourful, grilled shrimp skewers are perfect for a sophisticated BBQ. Marinate the shrimp in garlic, lemon, and olive oil before grilling. Serve with a garlic butter sauce for dipping. Mix things up with a Spanish take on this classic and wow your guests.

skewers being seasoned on a bbq

Cheap BBQ Ideas

Summertime can be expensive, especially when you start going out sightseeing, on holidays, or redesigning your garden. If you’re hosting on a budget, these ideas will be easy on the wallet but big on flavour.

Chicken Drumsticks

Marinated and grilled, chicken drumsticks are a cheaper yet tasty option. Marinate them in a blend of yogurt, garlic, and spices for a few hours before grilling. The result is tender, juicy chicken with a flavourful crust. Serve with a side of grilled vegetables or a fresh salad. Here’s a simple recipe for five-ingredient chicken drumsticks.

burger being salted on a wooden platter

Homemade Burgers

Using ground beef or turkey, homemade burgers are both economical and delicious. Season the meat with your favourite spices, form into patties, and grill to your desired doneness. Top with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and your favourite condiments for a classic homemade BBQ burger.

Foil Wrapped Baby Potatoes

Foil-wrapped baby potatoes are an easy and affordable side that pairs well with any BBQ dish. Simply toss the potatoes in olive oil, garlic, and your favourite herbs, then wrap them in foil and place them on the grill. Cook until tender and slightly crispy. These potatoes are delicious on their own or served with a dollop of sour cream. For a more detailed method, you can check out this foil-wrapped baby potatoes recipe.

Dessert BBQ Ideas

No BBQ is complete without a sweet ending. These dessert ideas are perfect for grilling and will leave your guests wanting more.

Grilled Pineapple with Cinnamon Sugar

Grilled pineapple is a simple yet delicious dessert that brings out the fruit’s natural sweetness. Slice a fresh pineapple into rings or wedges, sprinkle with a mix of cinnamon and sugar, and grill until caramelised. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an irresistible Brazilian treat.

smore plated up next to cinnamon sticks


A campfire classic that can easily be adapted for the grill. Simply sandwich a piece of chocolate and a marshmallow between two digestive biscuits, wrap in foil, and place on the grill until the marshmallow and chocolate are melty and gooey. This nostalgic dessert is sure to be a hit with both kids and adults.

To Conclude on BBQ Ideas

Whether you’re grilling up classic BBQ favourites, experimenting with vegetarian options, hosting a sophisticated dinner party, or keeping it budget-friendly, these BBQ ideas are sure to make your summer gatherings memorable. The joy of BBQ lies in its versatility and the ability to bring people together over delicious food. So, fire up your grill, get creative with your ingredients, and enjoy the flavours of summer with these delightful BBQ ideas.

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