It’s fun to host a BBQ. As long as you buy the right supplies, you can feed a whole party for less than one plate of food at a mid-range restaurant. Instead of going out to eat with your friends, invite them over for BBQ!
I plan for about 1 lb of meat per adult. That will leave leftovers and no one will get hungry. If your party stretches all day, they can eat all day.
Think poultry and pork instead of beef. You can consistently get a 10 lb bag of chicken leg quarters at Aldi for ~$3.50-4.00. Throw on some sausages for variety ($2-3 at Aldi). If you’re grilling chicken, pat it dry and season it first. Don’t sauce your chicken until it is nearly finished cooking.
Think Bulk – Want pork chops? Buy a pork loin and slice it into pork chops. This works for steak as well. Get a chuck roast or sirloin roast for cheap and slice it up into steaks. There are videos all over YouTube for this. If you have a smoker, smoke some pulled pork!
I encourage friends to bring a side and/or beer. But I always have a few sides prepared. Think beans, potatoes, and corn. They are always cheap.
I use the $0.99 baked beans at Aldi and mix in some of their $0.99 BBQ sauce and throw them on the grill. Let them cook on the grill and soak in that wonderful smoke flavor.
If you don’t have a smoker, that’s fine. You can still get good smoke flavor even on a gas grill. Pick up a smoke tube like this or this or this, etc. Load that with wood pellets, light it, blow it out, and put it somewhere in your grill where it won’t catch fire. It will smolder and fill your grill with wonderful smoke. Use this in the winter to cold smoke cheese.
Everyone loves this sauce and asks me for the recipe. They are surprised when they learn how easy it is.
I just take the $0.99 Aldi BBQ sauce, pour in some beer to loosen it up and water it down, then put it on the grill along with the chicken for the whole cook. Stir it occasionally. It will absorb your smoke and be up to temp. Brush it on when your meat is almost done. Try to keep some extra sauce for dipping.
If you don’t have beer on hand, a soda like Coke or Dr. Pepper also works – what matters mainly is the moisture so the sauce can reduce back to normal consistency on the grill.
If you want to spice it up, add a little crushed red pepper and cayenne. A little goes a long way. Remember, it will be cooking on the grill which will intensify the heat of the spice.
The Bottom Line
We recently had such a party and it came to:
$0.99 for beans
$0.99 for BBQ sauce
$2.99 for a jalapeno/pork sausage
$3.79 for 10 lbs of chicken
$4.38 for two beef sausages
$10 for 3 lbs of Black Angus sirloin that was on sale
I sliced up the steak after cooked so it would be shareable. Not counting the steak (outlier), it would be $13.14. The guests brought some sides. We had a feast and a ton of leftovers.
Beans, giant steak, sausage…
10 lbs of chicken
(Excuse the amateur pictures – this is a finance blog, not a chef blog)