Summer is officially here, and for me, that means lots of BBQ’s and quality time with friends and family. My very favorite way to spend a warm Summer evening is sitting around the fire pit in the backyard, enjoying delicious grilled food and kicking back some cool, refreshing drinks with the ones I love. Is there really anything better in life?
I have thoroughly enjoyed eating grilled foods ever since I was a little kid. Now that I am an adult, I love preparing them just as much as I love eating them! I was thrilled to recently become a Grill Mates Grill Ambassador through Crowdtap. Have you signed up for Crowdtap yet? It’s free to join, and you can connect with your favorite brands through survey questions and missions. From time to time, you’ll also have the opportunity to apply to host brand parties just like this one!
I received a box full of McCormick sauces and seasonings to host a Grill Mates BBQ party for my friends and family. My box included Brown Sugar Bourbon Rub & Sauce in one, Molasses Bacon Seasoning, Montreal Steak Seasoning, Spiced Brandy & Herb Marinade, and Slow & Low Memphis Pit BBQ Rub.
For my BBQ party, I wanted to have a wide variety of meats available for everyone to taste, since I had so many different sauces and seasonings to work with. I purchased a rack of pork ribs, ground hamburg, cubed steak, a family pack of chicken legs (very inexpensive and always great on the grill!) and a pre-cooked ham.
I planned to make Brown Sugar Bourbon Ham and Chicken Legs, Molasses Bacon Cheeseburgers, Montreal Seasoned Steak Kabobs, Spiced Brandy & Herb Chicken Legs and Slow & Low Memphis Pit BBQ Pork Ribs.
The morning before my party was about to start, I prepared my meats by placing them in individual sealed plastic bags with the sauce or seasoning I had selected. I wanted them to marinate for a while before I grilled them up, so they would be really flavorful. The smells in my kitchen were so wonderful already, that I could not wait for my party later in the day.
It seems as though every BBQ I have ever been to has served hot dogs. Well, I like a hot dog every once in a while, but to be honest, I’ve grown quite tired of seeing them at every BBQ. So, I vowed that I would not serve hot dogs at my BBQ. Instead, I opted to serve ham.
Ham is not really something that people usually associate with a BBQ, but trust me, it works! I cut my pre-cooked ham into cubes and marinated it in the Brown Sugar Bourbon Rub & Sauce. I then placed it on a piece of aluminum foil and onto the grill and cooked it until it was heated through and golden brown on top.
Here is the final product. Doesn’t it look delicious?? It definitely was! The Brown Sugar Bourbon sauce was a perfect compliment to the ham. It had a hint of sweetness to it, and it was certainly much tastier than a hot dog!
I had some of the Brown Sugar Bourbon Sauce left over, so I marinated half of my chicken legs with it. I marinated the other half with the Spiced Brandy & Herb Marinade.
With all the meats I was going to cook, I actually decided to broil these chicken legs in the oven instead of grilling them. They would have taken up quite a lot of room on the grill, and it would have made it difficult for me to have all of the meats ready at the same time. When in a pinch, improvise where you need to.
As you can see below, the chicken legs came out beautifully, even though they were broiled in the oven, instead of cooked on the grill. They were very flavorful and juicy. I love cooking bone-in chicken because it always comes out really moist.
The flavors of the sauce and marinade were both truly wonderful, but my guests and I did find that the Spiced Brandy & Herb marinade did not really fit in well with the rest of the foods that were more BBQ flavored. I think this marinade would work better on its own, perhaps with a side of roasted red potatoes and a green vegetable. Wine would also compliment this marinade very well.
Out of all of the sauces and seasonings I received, I was most excited to try out the Molasses Bacon seasoning. I immediately knew I would use this in my cheeseburgers. How can you go wrong with bacon in a cheeseburger?? So, I sprinkled a generous amount of the seasoning into my hamburg and mixed it all up.
I honestly believe these were the best cheeseburgers I have ever made at home. The flavor was absolutely amazing. There was just a hint of sweetness from the molasses, and the deep flavor of the bacon. This was my favorite part of the entire BBQ, and I will be making these again very soon!
My boyfriend was most excited about the ribs. They are his favorite. The smell of the Slow & Low Memphis Pit BBQ Rub was absolutely incredible, and we couldn’t wait to try these. I spread the rub all over the rack of ribs and let it marinate for a while, allowing the flavor to really soak into the meat.
When it was done, it looked like this:
It was so juicy and delicious! The Slow & Low Memphis Pit BBQ Rub definitely made these ribs taste like they were grilled over low heat all day long, even though I only cooked them for about a half hour.
Next up, I made Montreal Steak Kabobs. I have been using Montreal seasoning for years. I absolutely love it on my steak. It really gives it a great peppery flavor. I also love the combination of bell peppers and steak, so I paired green, orange and yellow bell peppers with my cubed steak to make some pretty fantastic kabobs.
After they were grilled up, they looked like this:
These kabobs were absolutely fantastic. Each bite packed a lot of flavor.
For sides, I served fresh corn on the cob,
fluffy mashed potatoes,
and a salad, made with lettuce fresh from my own garden. We just had about 18 lettuce plants (not even joking) shoot up, so we’ve been trying to eat as much of it as we can! There is really nothing better than vegetables fresh from your very own garden.
Everyone grabbed a plate, and rounded it over with these wonderful foods.
Thanks for such a great party, Crowdtap & McCormick! The food was truly amazing, and it was time well spent catching up with friends and family.
Choose McCormick Grill Mates sauces and seasonings to make your next BBQ a success!
Disclosure: I received the above McCormick Grill Mates products for free in exchange for my honest review and opinion.