Summer BBQ Ideas

In May I had the amazing opportunity, through my partnership with Bush’s Beans, to head out to Charlotte, NC for some fun with NASCAR. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that I even got to ride in one of the race cars at the track! That was a once in a lifetime opportunity!


As part of our fun in Charlotte, we had a delicious BBQ at the Charlotte Motor Speedway infield with our friends at Bush’s and NASCAR, including BUSH’S #47 race car driver, AJ Allmendiger.

Since summer is here and it is time to BBQ, I thought I’d share some of my favorite BBQ tips and recipe with you today. One of our favorite things to do with friends and family in the summer is have a BBQ get together. Holidays are great, like Father’s Day this Sunday! (But do you really need a reason?)

This year to celebrate Father’s Day with my boyfriend and his family,  we will be heading up to Boyd Lake here in Colorado for a BBQ picnic and some boating. Recently, I even learned to waterski. I plan on doing some of that this weekend, and I’ll definitely be ready for a delicious BBQ picnic after some fun on the water!

Here are some of my Summertime BBQ picks:


There is no doubt about it – summer is HOT and something cold and refreshing to drink is essential for your Summer BBQ Party.

Drink Tip: One of the things I recommend is serving a variety of drinks in large jars, like these Half Gallon Sized Mason Jars. Just poke 2 holes in the top of the lid, one small for air and one larger for pouring. Screwdrivers work well to punch through the metal lids to make nice, round holes.

Raspberry Tangerine Iced Tea

If you have rhubarb growing in your yard or see an abundance of it cheap at the farmer’s market, be sure to try this Sparkling Rhubarb Raspberry Lemonade.

Who doesn’t like Watermelon in the summer? Sweet, and juicy watermelon meets refreshing limes in this Sparkling Watermelon Limeade.

Tangerine Raspberry Iced Tea is one of Logan and Madeline’s favorites, plus it is so easy to make in big batches.

BBQ Meats

I love BBQ meath! Both the flavor, and the ease of cooking a lot for a crowd without making a big mess in the kitchen make things like Ribs, Burgers, and Flank or Skirt Steaks ideal for summer BBQs.

Mango Habanero BBQ Sauce Pork Ribs recipe

Meat Tip: Prep your meat ahead of time for maximum flavor and to simplify the day of your BBQ. Marinated meats can be put together in a zip top gallon-sized plastic bag 1 to 2 days in advance. This allows plenty of time for the marinade to soak into the meat, as well as tenderize the meat on tougher cuts.

If you’re using a dry rub, you can rub the meat the day before and place it in a disposable foil pan in the fridge until you’re ready to grill.

Burger patties can be formed the day before, too, and placed on a flat baking sheet covered in foil or plastic wrap and stored in the fridge.

I prefer to bring my meats to room temperature before throwing them on the BBQ, so plan to take them out an hour prior to cooking and let rest on the kitchen counter while you handle other preparations. Wet marinades should be discarded (for food safety purposes), and then the meat patted dry so you can get a nice sear when you put it on the hot grill.

Mango Habanero Pork Ribs are a hit with anyone who likes a little sweet and a little spicy. They’ll be perfect for your next summertime BBQ.

Marinated Grilled Flank Steak“>Marinated Grilled Flank Steak has a lot of flavor and is super simple to prepare.

Burgers are classic for any summertime BBQ. One of my favorite combos happens to be these Blue Cheese Balsamic Burgers.

Side Dishes

You’ll definitely want some sides to go with whatever meat you choose to BBQ. Summertime offers so much delicious produce to choose.

Slow Cooker Baked Bean Trio with Bacon and Peppers

Side Dish Tip: There is no need to go over the top and have dozens of sides to choose from, but I recommend having a variety in your offerings so that those who aren’t meat eaters have plenty of things to make a meal from

If your garden is overflowing with zucchini, basil, or tomatoes, try this Zucchini Tomato Basil Salad with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette. It is refreshing to eat and makes a fantastic presentation.

This Slow Cooker Baked Bean Trio with Bacon and Peppers is loaded with flavor thanks to three types of Bush’s Beans, bell peppers, poblano peppers, and bacon. It is super easy for a summer BBQ because you can prep it ahead of time in your slow cooker and easily keep it warm for your guests.

Coleslaw is a classic BBQ dish. One of our favorite versions is this Creamy Jalapeño BBQ Coleslaw. It goes great as a side or, if you’d like to make a BBQ Pulled Pork or Brisket Sandwich, I like to add a scoop of it on top of the meat.

Smokey Grilled Sweet Potatoes are a simple side to make on the grill. Just toss sweet potatoes, cut into wedges, in oil my Southwestern Pork Rub and throw them on the grill a few minutes before you’re ready to start eating. They cook fast!


Because it is so hot during the summer, I enjoy cold desserts, fresh fruit, or no-bake type recipes as an after dinner sweet along with my BBQ meal.

Dessert Tip: Think about location and transportation. If you’re staying at home, or at a friend or family’s house, for the BBQ, desserts that need to be frozen or refrigerated will work just fine. If you’re transporting the dessert or eating away from home, like at the lake (for us) then you may need to consider how well your recipe will transport and stay fresh tasting in a cooler, or out at room temp.

No Bake Mango Lime Cheesecake

Blueberry Smoothie Pops are sweet, cold, refreshing…and healthy! If you’re staying close to home with easy access to a freezer, these make a great after BBQ sweet treat.

Another great freezer-treat are these 4 Ingredient Key Lime Ice Cream Sandwiches!

You can put lids on individual serving sized mason jars and easily transport these No Bake Mango Lime Cheesecakes in a cooler as long as they stay upright – just be careful of the glass – or use the plastic freezer canning jars rather than glass.

For non-refrigerated desserts away from home with easy storage and serving capability, cookies work great! (Which is what we will be having this weekend at our BBQ). I love White Chocolate Lemon Coconut Cookies for summer!

Thanks to Bush’s Beans for a fun trip and Summertime BBQ inspiration. I’ve been compensated for my time through a partnership with a brand I love that I’ve enjoyed. All opinions are my own.