Heading to a friend’s house for a BBQ this summer? It’s important to not show up empty-handed, but it could be considered rude to bring a dish that might overshadow your host’s hard work… our food etiquette experts are here to help! So, first things first, what should you bring to a BBQ as a guest?

If you’ve been invited to a BBQ, you could bring along a side salad, a dessert, dips, condiments, or drinks to share. Whatever you do, don’t bring along meat unless specifically asked by the host to do so – you don’t want to outshine the host’s 10-hour-smoked brisket!

Read on for the do’s and don’ts of being a BBQ guest, recipe ideas, and etiquette tips. 


Should You Bring Something When Invited To a BBQ?

Yes, absolutely! As you would for a dinner party, birthday bash, or gathering with friends, bringing the host a small token of appreciation is the polite thing to do when invited to an event. At a BBQ, you have two options; bring something that can be eaten or drunk at the event, or a gift for the host or hostess that can be enjoyed in their own time. 

Whatever you bring, ensure it is thoughtful. If you’re bringing a dish to share, homemade is always best. If you’re bringing wine or flowers, buying from an organic/local/small business is a little bit nicer than your local Tescos!

Looking for the perfect gift to bring to the host of the party? Check out one of our recent blogs for inspiration: 12 Fabulous Hostess Gift Ideas (That Aren’t a Bottle Of Wine!)

What if the Host Specifically Asked You Not To Bring Something?

Even if the host insists on you not bringing anything to the get-together, it is always polite to bring a small gesture of thanks. This could be a beautiful bunch of flowers for their home, a candle, a bottle of wine, or freshly-squeezed fruit juice, or even a handwritten thank-you note.



What is the Best Thing To Bring To a BBQ?

Food is always our go-to whenever we’re invited to a friend’s BBQ, as not everyone drinks alcohol, and it takes some pressure off of the host. Whatever level of effort you want to put in, we’ve outlined some of our favourite BBQ contribution ideas below:


Chutneys, pickles, and sauces are an essential part of any BBQ spread. But, stay away from ketchup and BBQ sauce – your host will definitely have plenty of these to hand! Instead, opt for something a little fancier (it’s also more thoughtful!). We love the Burger Relish from M&S or any of the mayonnaises from The Foraging Fox.

If you want to make your own condiments, why not try a few of the recipes below?:

Posh Dips & Crudites

As with ketchup and BBQ sauce, plain hummus and salsa are likely to have already been bought by the host, so opt for something a little more unusual. The Beetroot & Mint Hummus from Waitrose is one of our favourites, but we also love making our own dips.

To take it one step further, serve your posh dips with a selection of crudites (here’s how you make them!) so you don’t put pressure on the host to chop some on the day. 

Find our favourite dip recipes below:

Salads & Sides

Salads are a BBQ staple. No matter how simple, or jazzed up, a salad offers a refreshing side to what is usually quite a meat-heavy event. Try and keep the side salads for a BBQ meat-free and vegan, so they are inclusive for all guests (plus, you don’t want to overdo it on the meat part when at a BBQ!). 

Whatever you bring, try and use high-quality, seasonal, and organic produce wherever possible – it makes all the difference! Bring along a simple green salad with a creamy dressing, or opt for something with a bit more of a ‘wow’ factor like our grilled courgette and feta salad. 

Find our favourite BBQ salad recipes below:

Something Sweet

Whether it’s a backyard gathering or a larger outdoor event, a sweet treat can be the perfect complement to the savoury dishes sizzling on the grill. Whether it’s homemade desserts like cookies or cake, refreshing fruit salads, ice cream for warmer days, or individual-sized treats like cupcakes or mini cheesecakes, ensure it is an option that everyone can enjoy. 

Looking for inspiration? Here are some of our favourite ‘sweet treat’ recipes:

Refreshing Drinks

And lastly, if you’re still stuck on what to bring to a BBQ, drinks are always appreciated! If you’re short on time, pick up a pack of beers, some wine, or lemonade. If it’s a particularly hot day, we love to bring a prepared pitcher of Pimms, sangria, or a mojito with all the garnishes!

Know someone at the party who doesn’t drink? Consider bringing a non-alcoholic cocktail too. 


Is there Anything That You Should Avoid Bringing To a BBQ?

Yes! Whilst meat for the grill can get expensive for the host, it is best not to bring any meat to a BBQ unless specifically asked. This is usually the part of the BBQ that has been all planned out, and you don’t want to put pressure on the host to cook and serve your contribution. And if you do want to bring a meat item for the grill, keep it simple with plain sausages or burgers – you don’t want to outshine the host’s 10-hour-smoked brisket!

There is one exception to this rule, however, and that is if you have any specific dietary requirements. If you are veggie or vegan, it is polite to bring your own burgers and sausages, or if you’re gluten-free, maybe offer to bring your own burger buns. 

Remember, it is super important to tell the host about any allergies ahead of time so they can prepare the meat marinades and side dishes accordingly!


Brilliant BBQ Recipes From Savery Grazing

When invited to a BBQ, it’s essential to show appreciation by bringing along a thoughtful contribution. While it might be tempting to bring something extravagant, it’s courteous to avoid overshadowing the host’s efforts.

For those seeking inspiration, we offer a range of BBQ-friendly recipes on our website which are easy to make – even for beginners! To keep up to date with Savery Grazing, follow us on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest

Jasmine Savery
Founder & Director

Hi! I'm Jasmine, and I launched Savery Grazing in 2022. I’ve always had a passion for food, with a particular love for how social it can be. Follow along as I share my favourite tips, tricks, and delicious recipes with you.

Hi! I'm Jasmine, and I launched Savery Grazing in 2022. I’ve always had a passion for food, with a particular love for how social it can be. Follow along as I share my favourite tips, tricks, and delicious recipes with you.