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Cocktail and Beverage Pairings for BBQ Catering

Texas-style barbeque is a popular choice to serve at many different occasions, from backyard barbeques and corporate events to weddings and tailgates. Although it may seem rather straight-forward and traditional, there are several new trends emerging in the world of BBQ.

For your next barbeque catering event you could follow tradition, but throw in a few trendy menu items and upgrade the experience. Guests will be surprised and delighted at your extra care and thoughtfulness.

Here are a few barbeque catering trends to consider as you plan your next event.

Sausage Options

People are exploring their options when it comes to sausage. No longer is sausage predictable and simple. Increasingly, craft sausages run the gamut of flavors, ingredients and style. Some are double-smoked or come with added ingredients such as cheeses, apples, herbs and spices or  jalapeños. Others utilize game meats such as venison, antelope or elk. In Texas, Czech-style sausages are popular. Particularly in the Hill Country. Hot links are another frequent barbeque item.


Smoked meats include shrimp, chicken, turkey, and even quail as popular choices for smoking and grilling. Quality barbeque caterers take special care with choosing the wood they use to smoke their meats. Mesquite wood, in particular, can provide a rich, unique flavor.


Healthy Options


People are more deliberate and informed about what they eat. Special diets such as paleo, gluten-free, low-carb, low-fat or Atkins are all popular ways of eating and a barbeque meal can be adapted to accommodate to these preferences.


Health-conscious eaters also may enjoy lower-fat options such as smoked turkey or chicken. Consider seafood and vegetables as welcome additions to traditional barbeque. It gives your guests plenty of options and appeal to a wider variety of tastes and preferences.

Farm to Fork

People want to know more about the food they are eating—how animals were raised, what the animal ate and where ingredients are sourced are all aspects of the farm-to-fork movement. Transparency in food is important for many consumers who hold restaurants, grocers and caterers to a higher standard. Caterers can provide more details about their selection process, preparation, and locally-sourced ingredients.

Local, sustainable ingredients are sought-after and caterers providing these ingredients are in high demand. The best caterers pride themselves on offering made-from-scratch, fresh recipes from seasonally-available ingredients .

Passed Appetizers

A big buffet is often the norm when it comes to barbeque catering. Guests go down the line to choose their meats and sides, which are then served directly onto their plates. But before heading down the buffet line, some event planners like to deliver a little something extra.

Fun finger foods passed among the crowd are a great way to welcome guests and offer a snack to tide them over until the main course. A few popular appetizer choices that complement modern Texas barbeque are:

  • Brisket, smoked turkey, or prime rib sliders
  • Chips and salsa, queso or guacamole
  • Shrimp cocktail or seafood cocktail
  • Grilled quail
  • Grilled shrimp
  • Fried oysters
  • Empañadas


Onsite grilling

To add an element of authenticity and ensure freshness as well as optimal serving temperatures, many barbeque catering companies offer onsite grilling over an open flame. Once the meat is cooked to perfection, it is rested, sliced and served to your guests at its peak.

Onsite grilling welcomes your guests with a wonderful smoky aroma—just another way to tantalize the senses at your next event.


Mixing Styles

Texas barbeque has a few traditional items, namely brisket, ribs, and sausage. But it can be fun to offer guests some variety in the form of different complementary cuisines. Consider offering barbeque alongside Tex-Mex favorites such as fajitas with homemade tortillas or Cajun favorites such as jambalaya or grilled seafood and vegetables.



Whether you're planning a casual event or a high-end affair, entertainment should also be included on the menu. Professional caterers can help you book a live band or instrumentalist. Western-themed events can include a mechanical bull, games, dancers, an interactive photo booth or even a petting zoo if children are among the guests.



When planning an outdoor barbeque catering event, it's always important to keep weather and catering demands in mind. Event high season includes spring and early summer as well as fall and early winter. Of course, you can always buck tradition and plan an event during the off-season to secure your ideal venue or caterer on short notice. Consider the weather and plan to have tents and fans or heaters in the event of rain, extreme heat or colder temperatures.


  • January-March and July-August: Cold weather in the winter and early spring, as well as extremely hot temperatures in summer, can pose a challenge. Plan carefully! On the upside, you may be able to get a discount from the venue during the off-season.
  • April-June: This is prime barbeque time in Texas and much of the South. Venues book quickly during this time and you may pay a premium to secure event spaces. The top spots are booked up quickly as weddings/rehearsal dinners and corporate events vie for the best venues, caterers, and entertainment. Plan early and book your venue early to snag a spot during the high season.
  • September-December: This can also be a busy time of year for caterers. The season brings tailgating events for pro and college sports teams. Plus, don't forget about holiday celebrations sure to happen across town.



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