Memorial Day is kind of the unofficial kick-off for summer and of course, a whole lot of folks are going to be dusting off the grills and smokers and getting them ready for the big weekend.

So, with the first real big cook of the grilling season, what are your options?

Well, for those of us who smoke and grill all year long, the options are certainly plentiful. From rookie to pro, grilling/smoking is a passion for many of us and a terrific way to be social. I mean, who doesn't love being invited to a bar b q, right?

Here's one bit of advice that I will give you, no matter what you are cooking, a meat thermometer is a must-have and are relatively cheap and can be found anywhere they sell grills. Having one can be the difference between a good bar b q and a great bar b q.

Here are 5 delicious things that you can grill/smoke to make your Memorial Day Bar B Q a success.

Bombdiggity Bison Burgers

When you think of Montana, you think of Bison. Of course, Montanans know that a perfectly grilled bison burger is hard to beat. While there are plenty of different options when it comes to "fixins".

Grass Fed Bison Hamburger with Lettuce and Cheese
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For me, perfectly seasoned, quality bison meat cooked to medium with a slice of cheese, some onion, and a little bit of mayo is perfection. If you want to try something a little different, you can always go the "juicy lucy" route and add the cheese inside the patty before you grill it.

Ridiculously Righteous Ribs

There isn't much in life that is more satisfying than a plate of messy ribs. There are a few different ways that ribs can be cooked, however, if you're doing them on the smoker, allow yourself some time. While it's not necessarily a difficult dish, it is a time-consuming one.

BBQ Pork Ribs on the Grill
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Of course, the main question is what kind of ribs do you prepare? That comes down to personal taste, however, pork, beef, bison, and elk are all fantastic choices. Plus, ribs are always a crowd-pleaser.  Tell you're guests that you're making ribs and they're for sure to show up. Personally, one of my favorite rib recipes? Root Beer Ribs!

Bodacious Beer Brats

Who doesn't love a good brat? Beer brats are one of my absolute favorites and they're super simple to cook up on a grill or a smoker. When it comes to buying brats, there are a few options.

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You can go with those that are pre-cooked, or not.  You can also go with some of the name-brand options out there, or you can check out the meat department at your favorite grocery store and see what they offer up.  Also, the meat shops in our area offer up some great choices as well when it comes to brats.

Perfect Pulled Pork

Here's another somewhat easy, but a time-consuming dish that you can put on your smoker. Plus, if your Montana Memorial Day bar b q looks to be crowded, a couple of pork butts will go a long way in feeding the masses. Here are a couple of tips, if you've never done pulled pork before, make sure you find a recipe that you like and then stick to it as far as temps go. Second, get yourself a rub that you love, because a really good rub is key to making mouth-watering pulled pork.

Homemade Vegan Pulled Jackfruit BBQ Sandwich with Coleslaw and Chips
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Personally, when I do pulled pork, I make my southern homemade coleslaw and put it on top of the meat. If you've never tried it that way, you won't be disappointed.

Mmmm Mac N Cheese

I love me some Mac N Cheese and it's a great dish to make on your smoker for Memorial Day Weekend.  The great thing about this dish is that you can modify it however you want.

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My favorite recipe is something my friend and I came up with. It's a Jalapeno Popper Mac N Cheese dish that I love to make and folks seem to love to eat.  Once again, it's a pretty simple dish to make, it just requires a few steps in the kitchen and about an hour or so on the smoker at 225 degrees.

Whatever you decide to cook, grill, or smoke, let's all remember to take a moment and remember those brave men and women that gave their lives to make this weekend and every weekend special.

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