By Christie Vanover | Published July 7, 2018 | Last Updated February 16, 2023
These make-ahead barbecue recipes will give you more free time, so you can enjoy your next backyard party.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of FoodSaver®; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
It’s so fun to host a backyard barbecue with friends and family, but if you’re the main cook, you can miss out on some of the fun, which is why I’ve created a make-ahead menu that limits your time at the grill. Now, you can spend more time showing off your corn hole skills or your newest dance moves. (Side note: I just learned how to “Floss” at my last backyard party; thanks to my niece Lillie)
The Make-Ahead Menu
Sous Vide Potato Salad with Creamy Rosemary Garlic Butter Dressing
Sous Vide Cream Corn with Crispy Parmesan
Sous Vide Grilled Chicken with Molasses Barbecue Sauce
If you’re not familiar with sous vide, it’s the art of cooking food in vacuum-sealed bags. Not exactly barbecue, I know, but hang with me. This technique will totally up your barbecue game.
Why restaurant chefs cook with sous vide
Sous vide is a simple way of controlling your food temps, so you don’t overcook it or dry it out. using a sous vide wand, you heat a pot of water to a controlled temp that varies based on your recipe. Then, you place your food in a FoodSaver® Sous-vide Vacuum Seal Bags and allow it to cook to perfection.
For this picnic party menu, you’re going to sous vide the potatoes, corn and chicken in advance – like up to a few days in advance, if you want. Then, when the music is cranking, the drinks are flowing and the grill is lit, open up your sous vide bags and finish the food on the grill. See I told you there was some barbecuing about to happen.
For the potatoes, you simply toss them in homemade creamy garlic butter dressing and refrigerate. The cream corn gets poured into a skillet, topped with a crispy Parmesan topping and heated on the grill. The chicken gets glazed with barbecue sauce and charred and is never under or overcooked. Instead, it may be the juiciest chicken you’ve ever grilled.
Tips for sous vide cooking
Obviously, the first step is to pick up a sous-vide wand. Target has a few to choose from. Then, it’s important that you use proper sous-vide bags. I’ve tried zip-top baggies, and they’re just not great for this method of cooking, because you can’t squeeze all the air out. They tend to float, leaving your food cooked unevenly. FoodSaver® Sous-vide Vacuum Seal Bags on the other hand work awesome.
You can find the FoodSaver® FM2000 Vacuum Sealing System on Amazon.
Because the food is vacuum-sealed, you can infuse herbs, spices and other aromatics, enhancing the flavor of your meal. You just slide the food and aromatics into the bag, and then you use the FM2000 System to suck out all the air and seal it tightly.
Look how air-tight that is. You can throw this bag in the freezer and forget about ice crystals. The freshness and flavor are locked in there. It can even go straight from the freezer to the sous vide pot. These BPA-free bags can handle it.
The art of sous vide works great with steaks and pork chops, too. Whatever sous vide wand you buy will give you some basic recipes to get you started. Then, you can transform them into your own barbecue recipes.
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