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The Basics for Creating a Classic BBQ Spread

by Traeger Grills on

From smoked brisket and pulled pork, to potato salad and grilled sausage, we’ve got your favorite BBQ recipes covered.

Everyone loves gathering together for a barbecue, and Labor Day is the perfect time to make lasting memories over delicious BBQ fixins. We’ll show you how to make a Classic BBQ Spread and you can cook every last morsel of this menu on your wood fired grill. This BBQ platter is loaded with protein, packed with savory BBQ sides, and every dish is riddled with flavorful hardwood smoke. So try creating this authentic BBQ spread, satisfaction is guaranteed.

A Classic BBQ Spread entails 4 to 6 types of meat and 3 to 6 side dishes including grilled onions. The ideal BBQ platter will include a couple pork and beef dishes and one poultry. This way, every type of meat and flavor will be represented.

Classic BBQ Spread

THE MEATS:

Our BBQ spread includes 5 types of meat. Here are some tips for cooking each one and our favorite BBQ recipes to get your juices flowing.

1. Smoked Turkey Breast: For the best BBQ turkey breast you’ve ever laid your taste buds on, give that bird an opportunity to brine before smoking. Your turkey will stay tender and flavorful through a long smoke. 

2. Smoked Sausage: Die-hard BBQ enthusiasts make their own sausage. Any sausage brats can be infused with your favorite beer and wood-fired smoke for added flavor. Sausage cooks up so juicy that you’ll make your guests yodel for seconds. 

3. Pile of Pulled Pork: Smoked pork butt cooks low and slow to tender pull-apart perfection. Whether you smoke or braise it, the aromas of wood-fired hog wafting through the neighborhood will bring all your neighbors knocking. 

4. Sliced Beef Brisket: Smoking brisket is key to sinfully delicious BBQ. Brisket may be rubbed with herbs, coffee, chilies, mustard, or Traeger spices to tenderize and flavor the meat. Get your smoke on, BBQ brisket tastes heavenly. 

5. Pork Ribs: Saucy spare ribs are finger-licking delicious. They Traeger low and slow so you have plenty of time to have a few brews while they smoke. Perfect ribs will pull freely from the bone rather than fall off the bone.

THE SIDES:

To prevent a meat coma and break up the acidity of all the meat, you need to intermix some flavorful BBQ side dishes. Most BBQ spreads have 3-6 side dishes to choose from. Here are our best BBQ sides that will compliment your authentic BBQ and feed a crowd:

1. Baked Beans: Smoky baked beans are a BBQ staple, this saucy side dish is perfectly paired with any authentic barbecued meat. 

2. Coleslaw: Give coleslaw a quick smoke on the grill and good soak in a vinegar-based dressing. We like our slaw crisp and spicy with a Traeger twist. 

3. Potato Salad: Potato salad is a must, take this famous comfort food up a notch by smoking it. You can roast or smoke the potatoes, but always load BBQ potato salad with tangy herbs and spices. 

4. Mac & Cheese: Cheesy noodle salad is an American BBQ tradition. We smoke our Mac & Cheese and give it a plethora of different sharp cheeses and a lick of hardwood smoke for tantalizing flavor. Bake the mac right on the grill in a Cast Iron Skillet

5. Corn: From creamed corn to boiled corn, every American BBQ has a corn side dish. Give your corn a culinary spin by grilling it, smothering it in buffalo sauce and sprinkling tangy blue cheese over the top. 

6. Cornbread: Traditional BBQ needs a little south-of-the-border flair, use jalapenos or poblano peppers in your cornbread for a spicy comfort food that’s best served hot and smothered in butter.

7. Grilled Texas Toast: Sop up BBQ sauce with a hearty slice of grilled toast or plain white bread. There’s no reason to leave those tasty BBQ drippings lying on the plate. 

8. Pickled Vegetables: Try pickling your onions and jalapenos then roast them on your wood-fired grill. Pickled veggies are a good way to refresh your palette between meats. 

9. Fried Pickles: Wood-fired pickles are crispy and tart. Dunk them in some tangy dip for an appetizer that’s fun and will keep those pesky pickers at bay till the smoking is complete.

10. Grilled Watermelon: No Southern-style BBQ would be complete without watermelon. Add refreshing fruit to your cookout menu but grill it to give it a smoky flavor. 

When you’ve got everything ready to serve, place a piece of peach paper on a baking sheet and start lining up your meats.

THE PROPS:

Gather your BBQ props and make sure they’re within arms reach of your BBQ spread and easily accessible for your guests to grab including: Forks and Knives, Napkins, Corn Holders, Hot Sauce, BBQ Sauce, Chipotle Honey, and Lemonade.

For your epic BBQ spread, here are a few Traeger tools to help make creating this plentiful BBQ spread even easier:

1. A Folding Front Shelf will give you a prep area for your sauces, utensils, and beer.

2. A Rib Rack will elevate your ribs to allow the flavorful hardwood smoke to encircle every inch of the meat.

3. A Smoke Shelf adds more real estate so that you can fit more meat in your smoker grill.

There are many different types of BBQ spreads you can create and when wild or big game meat is tossed in, it’s always a game changer. Here are some alternative BBQ platter options and ideas.

The Ultimate Fowl Feast includes: Sliced Turkey Breast, Chicken Quarters, Spatchcocked Cornish Game Hen, BBQ Chicken Wings and Turkey Leg.

A Beginner Spread includes: Beer Brats, Hamburgers, Chicken Breast, Pork Chops and Chicken Wings.

An Advanced or Hardcore BBQ Spread includes: Sliced Brisket, Burnt Ends, Tri Tip, Pork Tenderloin and Lollipop Chicken Legs.

A Bacon Spread includes: Bacon Wrapped Shrimp, Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf, Bacon Wrapped Corn, Bacon Weave Stuffed Turkey Breast, Bacon Weave Mac & Cheese and Pig Candy.

An Outdoors Spread includes: Bison Tomahawk Steak, Venison Tenderloin, Grilled Frog Legs, Cornish Game Hen and Elk Kabobs.

The Beef Lovers Spread includes: Sliced Beef Brisket, Cubed Brisket Burnt Ends, BBQ Beef Ribs and Sliced Tenderloin.

If you decide to only devour a plate of Traeger smoked meats, go ahead and enjoy the meat sweats. Happy Traegering!