How to Throw an Outdoor Summer Party Without Lighting the Grill

Standing over the grill for hours isn’t essential to every summer dinner party
Charred Mexican Salad


Charred corn doesn't need to be made on the grill.

If you don’t have a grill, your grill is broken, or you’re just really sick of spending every cookout standing over the boiling grates, flipping burgers for hours on end, there’s no need to write off hosting summer parties. Summer dishes don’t all have to be grilled, even though they do tend to be, and summer parties don’t have to be centered on the barbecue. Instead, they could be focused on a table of non-grilled, but still wonderfully delicious food instead.

How to Throw an Outdoor Summer Party Without Lighting the Grill (Slideshow)

Lobster rolls, pulled pork, falafel burgers, and fried chicken are all amazing summer party dishes that don’t require a grill. And of course summer sides can be grill-free too: Lightly marinade summer squash instead of grilling it, make a corn salad instead of charred corn on the cob, and fill your tacos with fried fish rather than grilled steak. If you cover your table with all our favorite grill-free dishes, no one will even notice that charcoal and wood chips didn’t feature at all at your outdoor summer party.


If you really are craving those classic grilled summer dishes, then don’t worry: We have many tips and tricks which can help you recreate them, without heating up those grill grates. Barbecued ribs can be simulated in the oven and quickly cooked under the broiler to get that delicious caramelized finish. S’mores can be swapped for s’mores dip, which satisfies all those cravings for molten marshmallows, melted chocolate, and crisp graham crackers, without the need for a campfire. Read on to find out how to host the tastiest, grill-free summer party.