Yummy Flavors, Recipes & Tips in These Cookbooks for National Barbecue Month

Posted on May 18, 2022 at 6:00 am

By Alison Johnson

May is National Barbecue Month, and I have to say that is fitting since Memorial Day unofficially kicks off barbecue and grilling season across the nation.

Barbecue has always been about more than just meat and veg to my family. It is an excuse to spend a whole day around family and friends outside in the sunshine. The kids run wild around the yard playing games and throwing water balloons, while the adults find a lounge chair as close to the cooler full of drinks as they can.

Barbecues can create great memories. I know I have many!

If you are in charge of food preparation and grilling at the next big barbecue gathering, or if you just want to try some new grilling recipes for dinner, here are a few tips for you from my lounge-chair experience at many barbecues:

  • Clean your grill! You do not want to taste last week’s fish, burgers, or hotdogs.
  • Let foods come to room temperature before putting them on the grill. This will help them cook more evenly.
  • Put your buns on the grill! A short spell on the grill with the cut side down gives the bread extra flavor and a little crunch.
  • Keep it simple—especially when you are feeding a large group. Having to manage different cook times for multiple veggies and proteins can be more stress than it’s worth. 
  • Finally spend time with your guests!! A barbecue is about more than just the food!

If you need help figuring out what to grill, the library has a book (quite a few actually) for that!

The plethora of barbecue cookbooks include vegan grilling! Barbecue and its smokey flavors are not just for the meat eaters out there!

There are so many great vegan recipes to pick from. My favorite vegetable to grill is Portobello mushrooms. They are big enough to put right on the grill and very satisfying and filling to eat! A quick marinade, grilling on both sides for a few minutes, melting some cheese on top, and then putting your mushroom on some crusty bread makes for a delightful meal. If you want to add some more flavors, such as a juicy slice of tomato, some avocado, and a handful of greens, it makes a great veggie burger!

So how should you celebrate National Barbecue Month? I recommend putting on an apron and getting the fire started and then putting on a bib and preparing to get a little messy.

Everyone does barbecue a bit differently, and the flavors of barbecue can be varied and delicious, from region to region, culture to culture. From spicy to sweet, there is something for everyone, so I encourage you to get outside, fire up the grill, and spend time with people you enjoy!

10 Cookbooks for National Barbecue Month

You can find even more cookbooks about barbecuing and grilling in our catalog. So many recipes and tips are available to make your next backyard party a great feast.

Librarian Alison Johnson

Alison Johnson is an Education and Enrichment Librarian who creates programming and events for ages 8–18. This means she gets to play with everything, including paint messes and mini robots. When she has free time, she enjoys watching anything science fiction, hiking trails, and reading with a cup of tea.

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