Music I love to listen to when I’m hosting barbecue parties


If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, you know that I love to cook. It doesn’t matter what it is, chances are I’ll love making it. So it really shouldn’t surprise my readers that I also love to host big BBQ parties. While I’ve been told that sometimes I go a little overboard with the decorations and amount of food, I’ve also noticed that no one ever turns down my invitation to come over and have a good time.


I believe that the secret to throwing a successful BBQ party requires a fun atmosphere, and this means playing the right music for your guests. In this post, I thought that it would be fun to discuss the music I love to listen to when I am hosting BBQ parties at my house. I also want to mention that just because these songs work for me, they might not be something that your guests enjoy. It is also important to match your playlists with your guests’ tastes and preferences.


Summertime- Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff


This fun and simple song is all about basketball, relaxing and of course BBQs. There’s no cursing, so you don’t have to worry about offending anyone, and the catchy beats will get everyone’s toes tapping.


Fun, Fun, Fun- Beach Boys

Any song by the Beach Boys is perfect for a BBQ party, my neighbor often just goes with their greatest hits album. Not only is this surf rock classic ideal for older guests, young kids even find themselves letting go and singing along when the Beach Boys are playing. The best part is that their songs are only a couple of minutes long which is great for those guests that don’t like the Beach Boys.


Summertime Blues- Eddie Cochran

I believe that it’s not a BBQ party until you’ve tapped along with this song. Its catchy melody will have everyone singing along, and glad that they’re at a BBQ instead of work. This is also another song that seems to be multi-generational, which makes it a great choice for parties with a mixed crowd.


Sittin’ On The Dock of The Bay- Otis Redding

Even though there are several great covers of this song, the original is still the best. It is a great song to play when you want your guests to relax, unwind and enjoy each other’s company, along with the food.

These are only a few of the songs that I almost always play when I’m hosting a BBQ, and I also like to switch them up to keep my guests from getting bored. If you have any suggestions for songs to add to my playlists, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.



2 of my favorite homemade barbecue sauces


It’s no secret that I love to BBQ. I have found that there is very little I can’t make on my grill. So it really shouldn’t surprise you that I have a fondness for BBQ sauce. There are two in particular that I always keep on hand.

After trying out several recipes and making a few tweaks of my own, I finally found 2 homemade barbecue sauces that are my absolute favorites. Not only do these sauces give my food a great flavor, both of them are incredibly easy to make.

If you are looking for a tangy BBQ sauce with a little bit of heat then I recommend you try this simple recipe. It is incredibly easy, and really only takes 20 minutes to make. All you need is a medium size saucepan to hold the following ingredients.

  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (gluten free varieties are fine)
  • 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ⅛ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp of minced garlic

Bring the ingredients to a simmer for 15 minutes. Allow to cool and keep refrigerated in a sealed container for a week. By the weekend you’ll be ready to amaze everyone with your homemade BBQ sauce.



When I’m in the mood for a sweet and smokey BBQ sauce this recipe is my favorite. It is also incredibly easy to make like the last one, and it only takes around 20 minutes. In a large saucepan you are going to combine the following ingredients. I recommend adding the wet ingredients first and then mixing in the spices.

  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 ¼ cups brown sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup unsulphured molasses
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 4 tsp hickory flavored smoke (optional though recommended)
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp celery seed
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground pepper.

I know that this seems like a lot of ingredients compared to the first recipe, but getting them all together is really the hardest part. Now all that’s left to do is mix everything together and let it simmer for 15 minutes. After it has cooled pour it into an airtight container and refrigerate until needed.


These are my two favorite homemade BBQ sauces, and I always have at least one of them refrigerated at all times. You never know when a great BBQ sauce might be needed. If you have a favorite recipe that you are dying to share, I would love to see it posted on my blog.


I recommend reading:

Why owning a good oven matters when you’re making barbecue ribs



Before you scoff at me and say that ribs only taste great when they are cooked in a smoker, let me tell you about the benefits of a good oven. Your kitchen oven often gets overlooked when it comes to cooking ribs, and in many cases this is a shame. Instead of programming and constantly feeding coal and wood chips into your smoker, you can get tender and juicy ribs in the comfort of your kitchen. Before you wrap your ribs in foil and toss them in your oven, you do need to make sure that your appliance is a good one.

Your oven needs to hold heat, and this means that the door must close tightly. If you oven door hangs slightly crooked, it is probably time to replace it anyways. The reason you want the heat to stay inside should be obvious, it is necessary for the ribs to fully cook. It also needs to maintain a constant temperature, and this is impossible if heat is constantly escaping.

Every outdoor chef knows that the best tasting ribs need to cook slowly and evenly. This prevents dryness, while giving the tougher tissue time to soften and melt. In order to achieve this in the oven you need to be able to keep an eye on the temperature, and a good one will make this relatively easy. Some newer models will display the internal temperature on a convenient display, while older ovens might make it a little more difficult. You can easily purchase an inexpensive thermometer to resolve this minor issue.

Owning a good oven will also make it easier to adjust the temperature, and this is important unless you don’t mind your ribs cooking for two or three days. If you are lucky enough to own a newer oven, chances are the digital display makes it easy to adjust the temperature as needed. In order to cook tender and delicious ribs in 6 to 8 hours you will be adjusting the temperature every few hours. I usually start off at 200 degrees for the first four hours then progressively turning it down to 180 or 170 degrees. Since I keep the ribs wrapped in foil the moisture doesn’t evaporate, and dryness isn’t a problem.



If you’re worried about a lack of smokey flavor simply add some cloves, cinnamon, vanilla and even chipotle pepper flakes to the meat before cooking. This will help give it that distinctive smoked flavor.

As long as you have a good oven you really can make great tasting ribs in your kitchen. I look forward to reading any of your comments and suggestions, even if you are dedicated to only using a smoker.