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How to Throw a Father's Day Barbecue Including Menu Ideas and Recipes

Updated on June 11, 2014

Father's Day BBQ

Planning a Father's Day barbecue cookout? Here are some ideas for you including decorations, menu ideas, recipes and activities. Start with appetizers, then your main course and finish up with dessert.

A barbecue is a fun family gathering and a great way to celebrate dads. I know my family looks forward to doing this each year. Ready to get started?

Image by Desiree Tonus at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.

Father's Day Decorations

Red and White Tablecloth
Red and White Tablecloth

Being that it's a barbecue and it's being held outdoors, I would keep the decorations simple. Most dads aren't into fancy decorations. A plastic tablecloth for the table would do nicely. To keep clean up easy, I would recommend some matching paper plates, along with plastic utensils and paper or plastic cups for beverages.

Now, if your Dad has a personal favorite such as a sports team, musical group, hobby, etc., you could base your decorations around that. You can still keep things simple, but add something from this theme to act as your centerpiece.

Image by kurafire at Flickr through creative Commons licensing.

Father's Day Menu

Deviled Eggs
Deviled Eggs

Let's start with appetizers. You may or may not want to serve some. Being that it's a barbecue, appetizers might be nice, but are not a necessity. Should you want to serve them, some suggestions are:

Chips and dip.

Chips and salsa.


Barbecue shrimp skewers.

Deviled eggs.

Pineapple skewers.

Melon skewers.

Garlic pizza bread. (See recipe below.)

Image by Marshall Aster-Food Fetishist at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.

Garlic Bread Pizza
Garlic Bread Pizza

Here's a simple recipe for garlic bread pizza. You can pick your own toppings. My family's favorite is pepperoni and onions. Some stores carry meat especially for pizza. Look near where you find the lunch meat.

Cook Time

Prep Time: 5-10 minutes


  • One loaf of frozen garlic bread.
  • One jar of pizza sauce.
  • Pre-cooked meat such as a packet of pepperoni.
  • 8 ounces of shredded mild cheddar cheese.


  1. Preheat oven per baking instructions on the garlic bread.
  2. Open bread up and place both pieces on a baking pan.
  3. Spread on pizza sauce.
  4. Sprinkle cheese evenly.
  5. Add your toppings.
  6. Bake according to directions on garlic bread bag.
  7. Slice into small pieces.
Cast your vote for Garlic Bread Pizza

Father's Day Food

Good Potato Salad
Good Potato Salad

There should be some kind of salad for the barbecue. A simple green salad would work nicely. Other barbecue favorites include potato salad and cold slaw.

Don't forget the vegetables. You can barbecue corn on the cob or asparagus. You might even consider some vegetable skewers with some of dad's favorite vegetables.

Grilled potatoes would go perfectly, not to mention some barbecued beans. Check out some recipe suggestions below.

Salad image by erixl at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.

Grilled Asparagus Recipe

Grilled Asparagus Recipe
Grilled Asparagus Recipe

One of my favorite vegetables is asparagus and one of my favorite seasonings is Mrs. Dash Original Flavor. Here is a very simple recipe for grilled asparagus using both of these items.


  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • Oil, (preferably olive oil.)
  • Mrs. Dash Original Blend seasoning


  1. Cut off ends of asparagus.
  2. Lightly coat with oil.
  3. Sprinkle with Mrs. Dash to taste.
  4. Mix together.
  5. I use a gas grill, so when I make this recipe, I put the asparagus on some foil paper on the grill.
  6. Cooked until desired softness.
  7. When done, eat as is or dip in Best Foods mayonnaise.

Grilled Baked Potato Recipes

Here are some mouthwatering recipes for barbecued potatoes. I've provided a description for each one to help you choose your favorite recipe.

Father's Day BBQ

Barbecue Ideas
Barbecue Ideas

It's time to talk about the main course, the meat! You can keep it basic with hot dogs or hamburgers. Now, when I make hamburgers I like to add some extra flavoring. You might try adding some Italian seasoning or perhaps some onion and garlic power. Just put the meat into a bowl, shake on the seasoning and mix it up before forming the patties.

Planning on steak? How about marinating it first. I happen to really like the variety of flavors that Grill Mates makes. One of my favorites is Montreal Steak Marinade.

Other meats to consider include:




Pork, (to make pulled pork sandwiches.)


Grilling image by Leigh Harries at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.

Easy Barbecue Chicken Recipe

Barbecue Chicken
Barbecue Chicken


  • Chicken legs
  • Jar of your favorite barbecue sauce


  1. Prepare grill
  2. Place chicken legs on it.
  3. Grill for 25 minutes with the cover down, turning occasionally so the chicken cooks evenly.
  4. Pour on barbecue sauce using a basting brush to spread it evenly.
  5. Grill for another 15 minutes. Chicken will be done when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
  6. (Don't put the barbecue sauce on any earlier as it can burn due to the sugar content.)
  7. Image by colmmcsky at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.

Barbecue Recipes

Here is a selection of additional recipes for chicken you can grill.

Barbecue Poll

How often do you barbecue during the summer?

See results

Father's Day BBQ Ideas

Throwing a Frisbee
Throwing a Frisbee

If Dad has some favorite music and if possible, play that music during the barbecue. Now, depending on which meat you've chosen, you should have some condiments, If making hot dogs or hamburgers, have some ketchup, mustard, relish and chopped onions on hand. You might also have some cheese to turn those hamburgers into cheeseburgers and some chili to turn those hot dogs into chili dogs.

Grilling steak? Don't forget some steak sauce. A1 Bold is a family favorite in my house. Planning to grill fish? Tarter sauce would go nicely with this.

After the meal, most people wait for awhile to have dessert. This would be a great time for some fun activities. How about throwing a ball around or playing with a Frisbee? If you have a pool, take a dip. Is anyone up for a friendly game of Ring Toss or Horseshoes? Ping pong is also fun.

Image by gschmd at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.

Be sure that Dad doesn't have to do any clean up. Let the family do it for him. After all, this is his special day.

Horseshoe Set

Battat Horseshoe Set
Battat Horseshoe Set

This is great family fun for up to 4 players. You can play it outside for father's Day, then later on indoors as well.


Ring Toss Game

Midway Monsters Ring Toss Game
Midway Monsters Ring Toss Game

This is a perfect barbecue game. The pegs are made of wood and the rings of sturdy plastic.


Ping Pong Table

JOOLA Inside 15mm Table Tennis Table with Net Set - Features Quick 10-Min Assembly, Playback Mode, Foldable Halves
JOOLA Inside 15mm Table Tennis Table with Net Set - Features Quick 10-Min Assembly, Playback Mode, Foldable Halves

Ping Pong is a great family game. Play outside during the summer, then move inside for fun during the winter. This set only takes 20 minutes to set up. Don't forget some paddles and balls.


Barbecue Desserts


I would suggest keeping dessert light. Some sliced watermelon would do the trick as well as a scoop of ice cream or ice cream cones. A jello parfait would work nicely as would sliced fresh strawberries mixed with Cool Whip.

If you have a lot of kids in attendance, get them some plain sugar cookies and toppings they can decorate with. Should you fancy the idea of a Jello parfait, I have some recipes for you.

Watermelon image by timscalton at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.

Barbecue Cookbook

What do you plan to prepare for Father's Day?

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    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 3 years ago

      @paulahite: Thank you for sharing this!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 3 years ago

      @lesliesinclair: Oh and they are so tasty.

    • paulahite profile image

      Paula Hite 3 years ago from Virginia

      Great lens! Thanks for the ideas! I shared your lens out on Twitter, Facebook, and G+.

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 3 years ago

      The barbeque french bread sandwiches look like fun to make right at the picnic site.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 3 years ago

      @georgepmoola2: Happy you like them.

    • georgepmoola2 profile image

      georgepmoola2 3 years ago

      Very comprehensive set of ideas. Great lens!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 3 years ago

      @Arachnea: I hope you are able to figure out the recipe. That would be a nice remembrance of them.

    • Arachnea profile image

      Tanya Jones 3 years ago from Texas USA

      Probably nothing actually. I think my bbq'g will be done in winter when I can fire up the fire place. They have fire safety rules here which prohibit pits on patios. In the meantime, I can try to replicate my parent's bbq sauce. They have both passed and the recipe went with them. Love your ideas for a bbq.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 3 years ago

      @takkhisa: You're welcome little brother!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 3 years ago

      @Rhonda Lytle: Grilled burgers are so good.

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 3 years ago

      Daddy is going to be happy! I love the BBQ Ideas and thanks for sharing all the recipes my Big sister. :)

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image

      Rhonda Lytle 3 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      I haven't thought that far ahead but burgers are always a fall back for BBQ around here. That chicken looks really good though!