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55 Barbecue Recipes That’ll Make You Feel Like a Pitmaster

Fire up the grill and mop on the sauce, it's time to feel like a barbecue pitmaster! These slathered, rubbed, spiced and smoked barbecue recipes are an outdoor cook's dreams.

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Barbecued Picnic Chicken

Make the sweet and tangy homemade barbecue sauce a few days before your cookout so the flavors meld together. If you don’t have a basting brush, slather on the sauce with a few sprigs of rosemary.

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Big John’s Chili-Rubbed Ribs

When it comes to barbecue ribs, sometimes the sauce makes all the difference. The glaze for these grilled racks has a bit of Asian influence with soy sauce and fresh ginger.
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Pork Chops with Glaze

Made with brown sugar, ketchup and rosemary, the glaze is just right for these grilled pork chops. Make sure to let the meat stand for a few minutes after coming off the grill to let the juices redistribute.
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Mushroom Bacon Bites

We love barbecue recipes that use the grill for everything from appetizers to salads and desserts. These bacon-wrapped morsels are easy to assemble and will make your party guests go wild for more.
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Smoked Pork Butt

You always want to cook a pork butt, also known as pork shoulder, low and slow so the meat has time to become fall-apart tender. While it doesn’t take too much time to prepare the pork, plan on a long cooking time. You won’t regret the results!
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Grilled Glazed Drummies

Chicken wings are the perfect barbecue recipe for parties and cookouts. Instead of Buffalo-style sauce, try this sweet honey-ginger glaze. Here’s a really good primer on how to grill chicken wings.
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Sweet & Spicy Barbecue Sauce

This spicy, deep-brown sauce clings to everything, from chicken legs to pork chops. Make extra and store it for later. Better yet: Give some to friends or as party favors when your guests leave the cookout.
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BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

When you don’t have time for a whole grill routine but crave the taste of barbecue, make these easy and quick sandwiches with pre-cooked chicken and a really great homemade sauce. Plus, you can make extra and freeze for another time.
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Kansas City-Style Ribs

Look for well-marbled country-style pork ribs at your grocery store or butcher; they stay beautifully moist during this long cook time. And make a big batch of the dry rub to keep handy for future grilling nights. It’s great on pork, beef and chicken!
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Barbecued Burgers

Burgers are the quintessential cookout food, and these will be the hit of any backyard barbecue. The secret: A small amount of quick-cooking oats and an egg will help bulk up and keep those beef patties from crumbling on the grill. Baste them with barbecue sauce to take them to a whole new level.
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Cherry Barbecue Sauce

Fresh or frozen cherries add depth, fruitiness and color to barbecue sauce. It’s dynamite on pork ribs, loin or chops, and even chicken.
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Grilled Marinated Ribeyes

Marinate ribeye steaks in this tangy marinade before throwing them on the grill. It’s just as good for leaner steaks like strip, flank or flat-iron, too.
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Can-Can Chicken

Beer-can chicken is one of the easiest ways to make a juicy and flavorful bird. Use a savory dry rub to add even more flavor.
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Flank Steak with Cilantro & Blue Cheese Butter

This is one of those types of steak that’s sometimes overlooked. It’s good for marinating—like with the tangy marinade in this recipe—and grills quickly over high heat. Make sure to slice against the grain!
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Grilled Maple Pork Chops

This simple marinade of maple syrup and balsamic vinegar can turn regular midweek pork chops into something special. Serve with your favorite salad for a fantastic summer meal.
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Honey Chipotle Ribs

There is nothing beer can’t do: Guinness stout and a few smoky chipotle peppers give this sauce some pop. Grill the ribs over indirect heat and then put them right over the fire for some caramelization.
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Apple-Butter Barbecued Roasted Chicken

The secret ingredient here: Apple butter! It works well with jarred barbecue sauce to create a gorgeously grilled bird.
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North Carolina-Style BBQ Sauce

North Carolina is known for its vinegar-based barbecue sauce. This recipe uses two different vinegars, and it doesn’t disappoint. Here’s everything you need to know about other regional barbecue sauces.
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Key West Flank Steak

The citrusy marinade adds excellent zinginess to this grilled flank steak. Serve with black rice, beans and plantains for a delicious Key West-inspired meal.
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Barbecued Beef Brisket

You need some extra time to grill a brisket, but with this sweet and tangy sauce, it’s worth the effort. Cut the meat against the grain for best results, and serve with extra sauce and soft rolls.
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Ultimate Grilled Pork Chops

The way to a great pork chop: Brine overnight and use a rub. These thick pork chops are juicy, full of flavor and perfect for the summer grilling season.
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Rhubarb-Apricot Barbecued Chicken

Rhubarb, apricot and chipotle peppers give this sauce a spicy-sweet edge. You’ll love it on chicken, but it’s equally as good on pork ribs, pork chops and pork tenderloin.
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Quick Barbecued Beans

Barbecue recipes aren’t only for meats and other proteins. Throw these simple, classic baked beans on the grill for great smoky flavor.
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Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce

This is one of those sauces you’ll want to slather on everything, from sliced brisket to ribs. Make ahead of time and store in the fridge to make grilling day a little easier.
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Beer-Can Chicken

While you don’t need a beer-can chicken stand, it does add extra security for keeping that whole chicken upright on the grill. The beer adds flavor and helps keep the chicken tender and juicy.
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Teriyaki Shish Kabobs

You’ll love how the fresh vegetables and pineapple chars and caramelizes on the grill. While this recipe is for beef, the homemade teriyaki recipe is just as good on pork and chicken.
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Southwest Steak

This is a really simple recipe for marinated and grilled flank steak. The lime juice helps tenderize the meat, while chili powder and red pepper flakes add just enough heat.
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Grilled Huli Huli Chicken

Let boneless chicken thighs soak up a delicious brown sugar, soy sauce and ginger marinade before throwing on the grill. The glaze is great on pork chops, too!
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Grilled Vegetable Platter

Just when you thought you could only grill meat and seafood. Gather all the pretty summer vegetables, brush with olive oil or use a marinade, and cook until that natural sweetness comes through.
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Sweet Tea Barbecued Chicken

You’ve heard of sauces and marinades that use coffee or espresso, so why not tea? Apple juice and sweet tea make a delicious sauce for grilled chicken (or any protein).
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Lime-Rosemary Shrimp Skewers

Turn fresh rosemary sprigs into skewers for this easy grilled shrimp dish. Pair with couscous and a bright salad to complete the meal.
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Campers Favorite Dip

This dip is the perfect appetizer for cookouts, picnics and camping (even backyard camping). Layer cream cheese, chili and cheese in a disposable aluminum pan and slip on the grill for extra smoky flavor.
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Grilled Beef and Blue Cheese Tacos

To make these tacos, grill flank, skirt or sirloin steak along with red onions, then toss in a delicious marinade after everything is sliced, and top with blue cheese. Wrap the tortillas in foil and steam on the grill while the steak rests.
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Grilled Brats with Sriracha Mayo

If you boil fresh brats in beer before the grill, it will reduce the fat a bit. Or just throw them over the fire and keep them juicy. The spicy sauce is great with traditional condiments like relish.
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Tuna Teriyaki Kabobs

When making skewers, keep the proteins and vegetables on separate sticks so they can cook more evenly. And reserve some of the light teriyaki marinade for drizzling after everything comes off the grill.
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Grilled Sausages with Summer Vegetables

Everything for this meal can be made on the grill, making cleanup a breeze. The sausages have a good snap, and the vegetables have just enough char to match their natural sweetness. You can easily increase or decrease the ingredients according to how many people you’re feeding.
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Balsamic-Glazed Fig & Pork Tenderloin

Skewers of pork tenderloin and dried figs with a tangy glaze easily come together. Sprinkle them with blue cheese crumbles and fresh basil for even more flavor.
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Grilled Loaded Potato Rounds

Because you’re only grilling potatoes, these are super for outdoor potlucks. Put bowls of toppings near the platter of potatoes on the table, and let your guests build their own creations.
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The Best Baby Back Ribs

Dry rub sticks better to marinated ribs, and both add tons of flavor to the meat while it’s on the grill. Use both direct and indirect heat for moist and tender ribs.
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Grilled Steaks with Greek Relish

A relish made with tomatoes, olives and fresh oregano is the perfect accompaniment with grilled ribeyes. The acid from the tomatoes really helps cut through the fat and juices of the steak.
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Grilled Corn in Husks

The trick to grilling corn in the husk is soaking it really well before putting it on the grill. When you tear into it, the kernels are soft, a little smoky and super sweet. Use lots of butter after!
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Rosemary Lamb Chops

Dijon mustard and fresh herbs is a wonderful combination for grilled lamb loin chops. It’s OK to use French-cut lamb rib chops, but adjust the cooking time accordingly.
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Firecracker Grilled Salmon

Save some of this delicious firecracker marinade for drizzling on the salmon after it comes off the grill. For a party or group, get a full side of salmon for the whole ooh-ahh wow effect.
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Smoked Brisket

A true smoked brisket takes a few days to prepare and hours smoked over wood to perfect. But it’s always so worth it! The meat gets meltingly tender, just what you want for sandwiches and a side of coleslaw.
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Sesame Ginger Beef Skewers

Marinate strips of flank steak in a sweet and zippy glaze, then thread on wooden skewers and grill. It’s the perfect barbecue recipe for parties, picnics and summer potlucks.
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Lime and Garlic Grilled Pork Chops

Use frozen limeade concentrate as the marinade base for these zingy grilled pork chops. This fresh pepper mango salsa is the perfect accompaniment.
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Grilled Huli Huli Turkey Drumsticks

Taking cues from Hawaiian huli huli chicken, these giant turkey legs make a statement! Let the drumsticks sit in the quick and easy marinate overnight for the best flavor.
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Easy Grilled Corn with Chipotle-Lime Butter

The chipotle-lime butter is a fantastic addition to grilled corn. Remember to soak the corn, husk and all, before throwing it over the coals.
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Texas-Style BBQ Sauce

Made with pantry staples like ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar, you can have a sweet and spicy Texas-style barbecue sauce in minutes. It’s perfect for all proteins, including beef, pork and chicken.
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Peach-Glazed Ribs

Instead of the usual barbecue sauce, blend peaches, soy sauce, brown sugar and honey for this sweet and spicy glaze. Start basting when the ribs have started caramelizing over the fire, then really add it on right before serving.
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Sweet Horseradish Glazed Ribs

Horseradish adds such a great peppery kick to barbecue sauce, and it’s a surprisingly good pairing with apricot preserves and honey. You can roast them ahead of time and finish on the grill to save time.
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Favorite Barbecued Chicken

The trick to this barbecued chicken is grilling the meat skin-side down first, and then adding sauce once you flip it. Then simply baste as it continues cooking for sticky-sweet barbecued chicken.
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Red-Eye Barbecue Sauce

Coffee adds so much depth to this sauce, and harissa and cayenne bring the heat. It’s perfect for steak especially. If you don’t have adobo seasoning on hand, it’s easy to make with spices you have in your cupboard.
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Lip-Smackin’ BBQ Chicken

Mustard, molasses and spices like cumin make this a lip-smackin’ sauce. Make sure to reserve some for the table—everyone will want to slather on more.
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BBQ Country Ribs

When your cookout gets rained out, make these saucy oven-baked ribs in a pinch. Serve lots of sides—like potato salad, corn and pickles—for a full spread.

Lesley Balla
As an associate editor at Taste of Home, Lesley helps track food and cooking trends, and writes and updates digital content. When not at her desk, you'll find her whipping up something with finds from the farmers market, discovering new restaurants, or hiking and roadtripping with her husband and pup Pucci.