Happy July! We hope you had a wonderful Independence Day cookout this past weekend. Keep the party going all summer long by hosting a potluck-style DIY barbecue bar where guests can mix and match various barbecued meats, toppings, sides, and sauces to create unique combinations!
Intrigued? We’ll show you how to create this build-your-own BBQ bar below, but first, here are some other helpful resources to get you started:
This resource guide will take you through the who, what, where, and when of planning an outdoor barbecue. It also includes handy printable resources for the bunting flag banner, table cards, and toothpick flags pictured here!
Cookout Party Companion Blogs
You may also enjoy our Hot Dog Toppings Bar and Build-Your-Own Burger Bar blogs in our Cookout Party Series. If you’re feeling especially ambitious, consider combining all three concepts into one by offering guests the choice between hot dogs, burgers, and barbecue options, along with your choice of toppings and accompaniments. A great option for large parties of 20 or more!
Refresh your memory on all things barbecue with this informational blog post and associated resource page prior to planning your BBQ Toppings Bar.
Without any further ado…let’s find out how to set up your barbecue station!
How to Make a DIY Barbecue Bar:
First, you’ll need a large picnic table to arrange your food items on, along with any decorations, signage, serving stands, platters, and utensils you’ll need for serving the food. Once you have your table set up, you’re ready to add the food!
For your BBQ Toppings Bar, we suggest at least 3 different BBQ meats for guests to choose between, along with plenty of toppings, sides, sauces, and rolls. Depending on your guests’ dietary needs, you may also want to add a vegetarian or meat-alternative option as well.
Here are some recipe ideas from each category to get you started:
For ease and simplicity, we chose three options that could be prepared ahead of time using a slow cooker or multi-cooker, then transferred to our picnic table and kept warm until meal time! (Note: If you have a smoker at home or consider yourself a BBQ expert, you can feel free to use your favorite cooking technique instead.)
Toppings & Condiments:
Be sure to include plenty of aromatics, sauces, heat options, and “crunch” elements to account for all taste preferences and allow for versatility.
- Hot Sauce
- Shredded Cheese
- Fried Onion Straws
- Nacho Cheese Sauce
- Raw or Pickled Onions
- Honey Mustard
Prepared sides and salads can serve a two-fold purpose: either as a traditional accompaniment alongside your sandwich, or as an additional topping element. Get creative!
- Macaroni Salad
- Corn Salad
- Potato Salad
- Baked Beans
- Mac and Cheese
- Potato Chips
- Corn Chips
One of the best parts of creating your own barbecue is trying out the different BBQ sauce options and choosing your favorites! Try to incorporate 4-6 sauce options for guests to sample and experiment with!
- Memphis-Style BBQ Sauce
- Kansas City-Style BBQ Sauce
- South Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce
- Alabama White BBQ Sauce
- Lexington-Style BBQ Sauce
- Eastern North Carolina-Style BBQ Sauce
Martin’s Rolls & Bread:
Now for the most important part (if we do say so ourselves)…the bread! To transform your BBQ creation into a sandwich, you first need to select a roll that will complement your selections. Another option is to build a deconstructed sandwich, using sliced bread for serving. (Check out our Backyard BBQ Platters blog post for more about this style of barbecue!)
- Sandwich Potato Rolls
- Big Marty’s Rolls
- 12 Sliced Potato Rolls
- Long Potato Rolls
- Butter Bread
Once your food elements are all nicely arranged on your buffet bar, get in line to build your BBQ masterpiece! Make it your own.
Looking for recipe inspiration? Check out some of the creative combinations our team came up with!
Pulled chicken sandwich with shredded cheddar cheese, jalapeno, red onion, South Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce, and hot sauce on a Martin’s 12-Sliced Slider Potato Roll.
Kielbasa with corn salad, baked beans, coleslaw, Alabama White BBQ Sauce, corn chips, and hot sauce on a Martin’s Long Potato Roll.
Pulled chicken with red onions, shredded cheddar cheese, and Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce on a Martin’s Sandwich Potato Roll.
BBQ plate with brisket, kielbasa, baked beans, coleslaw, mac and cheese, jalapenos, pickles, South Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce, Eastern North Carolina BBQ Sauce, and a slice of Martin’s Old-Fashioned Real Butter Bread.
BBQ brisket sandwich with coleslaw, baked beans, mac and cheese, red onions, pickles, and Kansas City-Style BBQ Sauce on a Martin’s Big Marty’s Roll.
BBQ brisket and kielbasa sandwich with mac and cheese, jalapeno, red onion, Memphis-Style BBQ Sauce on a Martin’s Big Marty’s Roll.
Pulled chicken sandwich with Lexington-Style BBQ Sauce, bacon, pickles, and coleslaw on a Martin’s Sandwich Potato Roll.
Pulled chicken sandwich with pickles, corn-and-bean salad, shredded cheddar cheese, white onion, jalapeno, Alabama White BBQ Sauce, fried onion straws, and hot sauce on a Martin’s Sandwich Potato Roll.
What will you create?
Additional BBQ Recipe Ideas:
- Carolina Barbecue Pulled Pork
- Pulled Barbecue Chicken Sandwich
- Barbecue Beef Brisket
- Burnt Ends Sandwich Pickled Red Onions
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