Ideas for A Themed Barbecue

Fancy hosting a barbecue with a twist? Why not add a theme to make your next gathering unique and memorable.

Whether the theme applies to food, activities, decoration or what guests wear – let’s explore some ideas for a themed barbecue party…


Cultural Theme

Picking a cultural theme could help with many parts of your barbecue. It could help you craft a consistent menu for the day, letting guests know what to expect, and it can also help with decoration and music choices if you’re going the extra mile with your party.

A theme like this means sticking to one type of food, whether that’s Mexican, Indian, Japanese or wherever in the world. But don’t worry, every country has lots of different options. For example, with a Mexican, or the popular Americanized version “Tex-Mex”, you could include tacos, burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas and more.

You could even have activities inspired by the culture, such as a piñata – great fun for both kids and adults.

You might already have a particular culture or regional food in mind, you may even have personal links or be related to this culture. Your barbecue could be a reason to celebrate a specific day, such as Cinco de Mayo, an annual Mexican celebration that takes place on May 5th.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to limit yourself to just one region, why not attempt a world buffet style barbecue and cook a dish from a range of countries?

If you feel too limited by keeping things authentic, you could just take inspiration from a certain type of regional food, like tacos for example, and add your own twist with fillings not traditionally used.

We have lots of meals inspired by different cultural foods on our recipes page, including a variety of taco ideas.


Decade or Time Period Theme

For something even more different, you could base your barbecue around a specific time in history.

If your chosen decade doesn’t really have any memorable food, this could simply mean picking a decade like the 80s, dressing up and playing music from that decade whilst cooking the usual barbecue classics.

However, doing a time theme could be similar to doing a cultural theme, as you could host an old Wild West themed barbecue featuring lots of typical American barbecue food like steak, bacon, and maybe even some beans for authenticity. Plus, a cowboy hat is a great way to protect yourself from getting a sunburnt face!

Going even further back… how about a caveman theme? The paleo diet, aka “The caveman diet” allows for a varied range of food anyway (such as meat, seafood, eggs, certain vegetables, fruits, nuts, herbs and spices). It’s also quite healthy, so besides the Flintstones’ inspired costumes, you won’t notice much of a difference.


Beach Theme

A theme based on an area like the beach could be a winner. Again, this theme can cross over with the cultural theme, as you could go full on beach party with a Hawaiian barbecue.

Serve seafood and cocktails, and decorate your garden with tropical flowers, beach towels and tiki torches. Get everyone to dress up in colourful shirts, shorts, and give them all a Lei (necklace of flowers). Don’t forget the beach tunes!

There are probably other areas to base a theme on other than a beach, but let’s face it, the beach probably works the best. Do you have any other ideas?


Day of the Year

As mentioned previously with Cinco de Mayo, you could also base your theme on the time of year, a specific day, or event.

For example, if you don’t fancy waiting till October for a Halloween party, how about hosting one this summer? Base your foods on creepy and gothic ideas, bring out some food dye and create black burger buns.


Colour Theme

Speaking of food dye, why not go for a simple colour theme, where food served is all the same colour, whether that means naturally or after being dyed. Just like how everything is green themed on Saint Patrick’s Day.

Again, you could just stick to traditional food and have the theme elsewhere, such as having your guests all wear green, red or whatever your chosen colour is. You could also try a “colourful theme” in general, or a party where each guest is given a different colour and they wear and bring items, food and drink related to that colour.


Type of Food Theme

For another themed idea, revolve it around a type of food, such as vegan food, if all of your guests are up for it. Perhaps try an all day breakfast theme, and only serve breakfast style food like sausages, eggs, bacon.

Your theme could also be based around a national food day, such as National Burger Day, which falls on August Bank Holiday weekend.


What’s Your Theme?

So, have you got any ideas for your barbecue? Hopefully some of the above has helped to inspire you. Whether you try out a theme or not, you can’t go wrong with a barbecue, especially an Outback barbecue. Don’t forget to check out our recipes for more inspiration.

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