National Barbecue Day is celebrated on May 16th!

There are many great barbecue recipes to choose from depending on your taste and dietary preferences. We’ll share recipes for a classic barbecue favorite – Pulled Pork Sandwiches and a vegan option too – Vegan Jackfruit Pulled Pork Sandwiches!

Keep reading for great burger recipes, snacks, frozen treats, and tips for hosting a successful national bbq day celebration!

What is barbecue? Although some people use the terms “grilling” and “barbecuing” interchangeably, they actually refer to two distinct cooking methods. Grilling involves direct heat and is a fast cooking technique, whereas barbecuing is slower and uses medium to low heat with the heat source located to one side.

When should you grill or barbecue? Grilling is ideal for cooking smaller foods like kabobs, burgers, chicken, hot dogs, and shrimp, while barbecuing is better suited for larger cuts of meat like whole chicken, ribs, and roasts.

Grill versus smoker: While smokers are commonly associated with barbecuing, you can achieve the same smoky flavor with a grill by using a woodchip box.

Now, for the tantalizing recipes and juicy tips that will inspire you to celebrate National BBQ Day!


BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich Recipe


4 to 5 lbs pork shoulder
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup barbecue sauce
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup chicken broth
Hamburger buns
Preheat your grill or smoker to 225°F.
In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper to make a dry rub.
Rub the dry rub mixture all over the pork shoulder.
Place the pork shoulder on the grill or smoker and cook for 6 to 8 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 195°F.
Remove the pork shoulder from the grill or smoker and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
In a saucepan, mix together the barbecue sauce, apple cider vinegar, and chicken broth. Heat over medium heat until warm.
Using two forks, shred the pork shoulder into small pieces.
Add the warm barbecue sauce mixture to the shredded pork and mix well.
Serve the pulled pork on hamburger buns and enjoy!
Note: You can adjust the seasoning and barbecue sauce to your liking. Also, you can add coleslaw or pickles as a topping to your pulled pork sandwich.

Vegan jackfruit pulled pork sandwich


2 cans of jackfruit (in water or brine, not syrup)
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 cup barbecue sauce
1/2 cup vegetable broth
Hamburger buns or bread of your choice
Drain and rinse the jackfruit in a colander. Use your fingers to shred the jackfruit into small pieces.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic, and sauté until the onion is translucent and the garlic is fragrant.
Add the shredded jackfruit to the skillet and stir well.
In a small bowl, mix together the smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper to make a dry rub.
Sprinkle the dry rub over the jackfruit and stir well to coat.
Add the barbecue sauce and vegetable broth to the skillet and stir well to combine.
Reduce the heat to low and let the jackfruit simmer in the sauce for 20-30 minutes, or until the jackfruit is tender and the sauce has thickened.
Using two forks, shred the jackfruit into smaller pieces.
Serve the pulled jackfruit on hamburger buns or bread of your choice and enjoy!
Note: You can adjust the seasoning and barbecue sauce to your liking. You can also add coleslaw or pickles as a topping to your pulled jackfruit sandwich.

Maybe you would like to celebrate the day by grilling burgers, and we have a variety of great burger recipes to try!


Grilling Recipes to Create a Better Burger

Spicy:Cuban: Asian: Veggie:
Ground beef; salt, paprika, lemon pepper and barbecue seasoning; sourdough or gluten-free bun; 1 slice cheddar or Swiss cheese; caramelized onion and crisp lettuce; mayonnaise mixed with srirachaPork, ham and chorizo, ground together; adobo seasoning (salt, pepper, cumin, garlic, oregano); toasted Cuban roll or burger bun; crispy shoestring potatoes; onions; mustard and spicy ketchupGround turkey with dark meat; minced ginger, garlic, scallions, sea salt and toasted sesame oil; no bun; sesame-ginger coleslaw; mayonnaise mixed with Asian chile-garlic sauceBlend of black beans, mushrooms, brown rice and veggies; Italian herb seasoning blend; whole-grain bun; grilled onions and red bell peppers; garlic, fresh basil, fresh kale and avocado slices; salsa
While a classic cheeseburger can satisfy cravings, experimenting with unique flavors can be exciting. Five chefs share their top picks on burger recipes, seasonings, and toppings. The contributors are Anita Lo, a Tour de Forks host, Michelin-starred chef, and author; Zorah Booley, author of The Everyday Low-FODMAP Cookbook; Douglas Rodriguez, a James Beard Award-winning author; Ashleigh VanHouten, coauthor of Carnivore-ish; and Tracye McQuirter, founder of 10 Million Black Vegan Women and author.

Try different dishes

Find new recipes that traditional food typically is not associated with meat. Remember that grilling isn’t just about the meat. Try an assortment of vegetables like kabobs.


Set Up a Snack Station

Set up an area with sun-friendly snacks for your guests to enjoy. Things that hold well include potato chips, tortilla chips, tomato-based salsas, corn salsa, guacamole, fresh vegetables, fruit and hummus. Stay away from things like cheese or cream-based dips that have limited life in the heat.


Bring On the Frozen Treats

Create an area to help your guests beat the heat. Set up a cooler with popsicles, ice cream sandwiches and other cool treats to enjoy throughout the day.

Let’s get planning!

Here are a few more tips to ensure your celebration is a success!

  • Host a backyard barbecue
  • Find the best brands for grills (propane vs. charcoal)
  • Use cutting boards in different colors to prevent cross-contamination
  • Create a fun theme (Hawaiian luau)
  • Put up decorative outside lights
  • Play some good tunes
  • Invite friends and family
  • Use disposable eco-friendly tableware and cutlery
  • Set up a cooler full of drinks
  • The main attraction is the grilling!

With techniques including smoking, roasting, baking, braising, and grilling, barbecuing offers endless possibilities to fire up your favorite dish and satisfy all as you kick off summer.

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