4 Essential Tips For Making the Most of Delivery Barbecue

Our tips for how much food to order, the sides that travel well, and what to do with sauces.

6 minutos de lectura
1 Intro

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You’ve got a few friends coming over for the holiday. Wait — it’s more than a few. If you don’t feel like standing over a hot smoker, perfecting your low-and-slow-cooked meats (and who can blame you, really?), it’s totally fine to leave it to the pros. And DoorDash has plenty of those. 

But unlocking the secret to straight-to-your-doorstep barbecue delivery requires answering some big questions. How much should you order for a crowd? How can you make it taste as good as it does out in the wild? And what do barbecue professionals recommend to get the most out of your order? I wanted to know the answers to all of this and more, so I hunted down some barbecue experts to achieve a little ‘cue clarity. 

Do your meat math. 

2 Math

I’m no mathematician, which is why ordering for a group is just a parade of fuzzy numbers to me. Thankfully, there are some who pride themselves in this kind of meaty math. I consulted Michele Buckingham, the Director of Marketing for Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in New York City, and Mathew Glazier, the owner of Morgan’s Brooklyn Barbecue in Brooklyn, to help break down how much barbecue to order per person.

“I think a good rule-of-thumb is ⅓ to half-a-pound a person, depending on the appetite of the group,” Glazier says. (He includes ribs in this number.)

This isn’t a hard and fast rule, especially if you’re ordering more than one meat. “If you have two or three meats, you can go a little less,” Buckingham says. As for wings, that math is easy: about three per person, Glazier suggests. 

Choose the right sides. 

3 Sides

Some sides, Buckingham says, are better than others. Macaroni and cheese, for instance, a barbecue joint staple, can easily be reheated and is an excellent large-format option.

Baked beans and greens also translate well to delivery, since they can be easily reheated in the oven (though you can also microwave collards, according to Glazier). He also suggests cold sides, which maintain their integrity in transit and will arrive just as delicious as they were when they left the restaurant. “Coleslaw is great, because you can eat it right out of the refrigerator,” he says. 

Compared to the meat, how many sides to order is less quantifiable. “We always suggest variety,” Glazier says. “At least cornbread, mac and cheese, and a veggie.” But the actual number of sides for a group will depend on the volume of meat the party ordered, plus sides vary from one restaurant to the next. Word to the wise: Consider the size of the side at a given restaurant and how many people it can comfortably feed. 

Reheat it correctly.  

4 Reheat

Ordering from barbecue experts means you can expect a certain level of quality. At Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, catering orders come with instructions that explain how to reheat the food, but delivery and pick-up customers can request this kind of information when ordering, too. Feel free to ask the barbecue spot you’re ordering from about specific reheating instructions, but below are a few pointers on how to reheat barbecue:

  • When reheating food, it’s best to keep it covered and reheat it slowly in a low-temperature grill or oven. 

  • You can baste meat regularly with stock, jus, or fat (also sauce, though more on that below) to prevent it from drying out. 

  • For small portions of meat, Glazier says the microwave can even be a useful reheating tool. “I like to put a damp paper towel on top, to retain moisture,” he says. 

Get the sauce on the side.  

5 Sauce

If your barbecue doesn’t already come with the sauce on the side, make sure to ask for this. It’s one tweak that will make it much easier to reheat your ‘cue. That’s because barbecue sauce usually includes some kind of tomato product, which has a tendency to burn when left in the oven for too long. “One of our suggestions is to reheat brisket slowly and add a bit of beef sauce or au jus,” Glazier says. This ensures juicy and tender meat.

But once the meat is warmed through, feel free to go all out of the sauces… or not.  “We think our sauces — sweet and spicy — are great, but the meat just doesn’t need it,” Glazier says. “I love our smoked wings naked and think they deliver best when the Buffalo sauce is on the side and just used as a dip.” No matter how you use your sauce — to dip, baste, or personalize your meat-loaded plate — it’s just the cherry on top of your barbecue hang.