Executive Chef Justin Diglia of Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab in Chicago and his Lettuce Entertain You chef friends are showing you the right way summer barbecues are done. From shareable drinks for cocktail hour on the patio to oysters, lobster and steak on the grill, here are our chefs ultimate summer BBQ menu.

Pitcher Cocktails:

picnic basket cocktail from aba

Picnic Basket with bourbon, lemon, passion fruit,
strawberry, watermelon
(Inspired by Aba)
For the full recipe, click here.

Blackberry, Rosemary Sangria (Inspired  by Big Bowl)
For the full recipe, click here.

Appetizers:

Appetizer spread at Summer BBQ

Avocado & Sweet Pea Dip with Crudite (Inspired by Ema)
For the full recipe, click here.

Grilled Peaches & Burrata (inspired by Stella Barra)
For the full recipe, click here.

Grilled Oysters (Inspired by Joe’s)
Grilling tips are included below.

Mains:

grilled steak and lobster on the grill

Grilled Steak and Lobster Tail (Inspired by Joe’s)
Grilling tips are below.

Looking to spice up your sauces at your next BBQ? Nacional 27’s Chef Cory Morris shares his recipes for chimichurri and romesco!

Sides:

Full plate at the BBQ

Spicy Grilled Street Corn (Inspired by Quality Crab & Oyster Bah)
For the full recipe, click here.

Watermelon & Feta Salad (Inspired by Ema)
For the full recipe, click here.

Dessert:

Wildfire blueberry pie for summer grilling

Watermelon Paletas (Inspired by Ozzie’s Pops & Pretzels)
For the full recipe, click here.

Classic Blueberry Pie (Inspired by Wildfire)
For the full recipe, click here.

Now you that you have our chef’s roadmap to BBQ success, here are a few grilling tips and tricks from Chef Justin. Take notes!

You wouldn’t cook with your oven door open, and similarly, don’t grill with the top open. Keeping the grill closed helps control and regulate the heat.

Maintaining a clean grill will result in a higher quality product. Debris left in grill will continue to char and could add off-flavors to your food. Heat will also maintain more consistently if your working with a clean grill. 

Enjoying the BBQ overhead shot of steak and corn salad

Oysters on the Grill:

Run oysters under ice cold water to remove excess debris. A vegetable brush can also assist in this process.

While using an oyster knife, pop open oysters and detach oyster meat from the shell.

Chef Justin shucking oysters

Reserve in refrigeration until ready to be grilled.

Freshly shucked oysters on the half shell

Place ½ tsp of garlic butter on each oyster.

Using the hottest part of the grill, place oyster shell down on grill grate. Once the butter starts to melt, drizzle each oyster with white wine and close the lid to the grill.

oysters on the grill

Once the oysters are cooked (approximately 3-5 minutes) finish with fresh chopped parsley and garnish with lemons.

Grilled oysters from joe's

Grilled Lobster Tails:

Split lobster tails in half.

Chef Justin of JOe's cutting lobster in half

Separate the meat from the shell but keep end tailpiece intact. This helps the lobster meat from sticking to the shell.

Chef Justin with lobsters cut in half

Pre-heat grill to the highest temperature and clean grill grates.

Brush lobster meat with clarified butter and season with salt and pepper.

Chef Justin seasoning lobster tail

Place lobsters meat side down on the grill.

Lobster on the grill

Cook for approximately 5 minutes and then turn lobster shell side down on highest level grill rack.

lobster on the grill

Brush again with whole melted butter and finish cooking with the lid closed. This should take about 3-5 more minutes.

Remove from grill and garnish with lemons.

finished lobster tail dish for bbq

Grilled New York Strip:

Remove steaks from refrigeration 20 minutes before cooking. This makes it easier for the steaks to be cooked at the desired temperature.

Raw steaks

Season steaks liberally with salt and pepper and brush steaks with clarified butter.

seasoned steaks

Using the hottest part of the grill, place steaks on grill racks. Cook steaks to desired temperature.

Steaks on the grill

When steaks are finished, brush with whole butter and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Cooked steaks

Slice and serve. Cheers!!

Looking for more summer grilling tips? Bub City shares the history for the best in American BBQ.