So what is a bbq caterer? Well, to start, not all caterers are created equal. BBQ caterers are chefs (we call them pitmasters in the bbq community) that focus their culinary efforts towards the grilling and smoking of meat and the creation of classic sides.
When it comes to catering, timing and planning is everything, but when it comes to bbq catering, it takes an exceptional mind for timing as well as great experience to deliver a bbq catered event on-time and delicious. The reason is the meat. Not only do they need to ensure there is enough meat for your event, most of the meat takes many hours to slow smoke (that’s if they smoke their meat and not just grill their meat).
What is the typical menu that a bbq caterer provides?
One thing I love about bbq and bbq catering is the simplistic menu. BBQ is simple. No fluff, no frills, just great food. The menu for bbq catering comes down to two components. Meats… and sides.
The typical meats that are included in most bbq catering events are pulled pork, chicken and beef brisket. These are the two most popular choices because they travel well and can be served buffet style. Baby Back ribs, hot links and tri-tip are the next level up and are more expensive than pulled pork, chicken and beef brisket.
Side dishes are also something a great bbq caterer spends much time on. Even though cornbread, potato salad, collard greens and coleslaw are not super difficult dishes to prepare, being able to cook these sides at scale as well as making sure they are fresh and served correctly is a special skill.
Typical bbq catering sides include cornbread, baked beans, coleslaw and potato salad. Collard greens, broccoli slaw and mac-and-cheese are often more expensive and more difficult to either keep fresh or warm.
How to tell if the bbq caterer you selected is right for your event?
That’s a great question. Here’s how we do it. First, ask about the caterers experience. Your event is important enough to cater, it should be important enough to hire an experienced bbq caterer. Also, ask if they have ever catered an event like yours. For instance, catering a tailgate party at Century Link field is much different then catering a 50th wedding anniversary… unless your anniversary is at Century Link Field.
How can you tell if the bbq caterer’s food will be good enough for your event?
The best way is to sample their food. Some caterers will offer a private tasting. If the caterer has a retail location, which you can find out in our bbq caterer directory., do a secret shopper trip to their shop and try their food. Even though often times caterers spend more time and effort on their catering gigs, the food will be much like you find in their shop.