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10 Simple Ways to Up Your Weekend BBQ Game

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If you’re like me, you’re gearing up for a little BBQ this weekend. And if you’re like me, you like to put a little twist on things. Don’t get me wrong: there is nothing shameful about throwing a standard backyard BBQ. Who doesn’t love the classic go-tos, like grilled hot dogs and hamburgers and some homemade potato salad?

But if you’ve had one too many boring bites during the summer, it might be time to innovate a little. The effort can be fun (and you can get the family involved!), and your guests will appreciate the change. You can surprise them with some tricks that even you didn’t know you could do.

There are some very easy ways to dress up an old classic. You don’t need to recreate the entire menu. Just add a few bells and whistles, and you’ll be well on your way to posting pictures of your best backyard party yet.

Check out some of these ideas and let us know what you decide to make!

10. Stuffed Burgers

Instead of slapping on a piece of American cheese while grilling your meat, how about stuffing your burger with it instead? You can change up what cheese you use, and it’ll be like a little surprise when people bite into your creation.

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9. Grilled Corn with Herbed Butter

There is nothing better than sweet corn when it’s in season. If you’re planning on grilling some cobs anyway, why not make a quick herbed butter to slather onto them instead of just the plain kind? It’s very easy, and you can quickly make a few options. How about garlic chive? Or jalapeno cilantro? The possibilities are endless.

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8. Potato Salad

Why not add bacon (it will be gone before it hits the table) or eggs to your regular recipe? Or try something completely different, like a Mediterranean potato salad with kalamata olives?

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7. Coleslaw

While we’re talking sides, why buy whatever your local deli or supermarket has to offer? Why not whip up a batch up of Italian, Asian or Caribbean coleslaw instead?

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6. Homemade Guacamole

This dish is always a crowd-pleaser at my house. And luckily there are a ton of ways to make it fresh and exciting. You can keep it simple and tasty with just cilantro, salt, and lime, or you can go a little crazy and add pineapple. Chef’s choice!

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5. Fun Cocktails

Don’t serve your guests an awesome meal and then just rely on the old 6-pack for a beverage. Instead, why not do Boozy Watermelon Mint Lemonade? Or a twist on a rum-based drink? Bonus points if you serve them in mason jars…

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4. Flavored Water

You can put a twist on Mother Nature’s very own drink with a few simple ingredients. Don’t serve plain old water. Add mint and lemon. Or make ice cubes packed with berries and use them to cool people’s cups!

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3. Don’t Forget the Vegetarians!

Chances are that at least one person coming to your bash doesn’t eat meat. Don’t leave them out! How about grilling up some veggies, or making a portobello mushroom burger? They’ll love you for thinking of them.

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2. Different Desserts

You can really go nuts with this category if you want. How about a beautiful blueberry bread? Or churro donuts? Or ANYTHING chocolate. Luckily pretty much any dessert goes well with BBQ food.

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1. Dress Up Your Decor

As with the food, a few light touches can make your backyard sing. Once again, mason jars are an inexpensive and cute way to change it up. And how about handwritten cards to identify the dishes? Or a pretty flower arrangement?

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What are your ideas for taking a BBQ to the next level? Leave me your ideas in the comments below!