Top 15 Labor Day Cookout Recipes

Send off summer right with these grilled or smoked dishes

cajun style cheeseburgers and sweet potato fries
Jeff Wasserman / Stocksy United

As the kids head back to school and the end of summer approaches, it's time to end the season with one last, big cookout. Try these recipes for your smoker or grill to make your Labor Day party spectacular. Try your hand at ribs or go beyond basic for some gourmet burger options.

  • 01 of 15
    Sliced brisket and biscuits on cutting board
    Manny Rodriguez / Getty Images

    If you're feeding a crowd, this traditional Texas-style beef brisket recipe will produce a great piece of smoked meat. You will need eight to 10 hours to produce your masterpiece, but it is time well-spent.

  • 02 of 15
    Chicken Roast
    Svitlana Pavelko / EyeEm / Getty Images

    The beer in the butt chicken recipe was developed by a couple of guys with too many beer cans and not enough pans. Now, it is recognized as one of the best ways to keep chicken moist and flavorful when grilled. But you can also use this technique in a smoker for smoked beer in the butt chicken.

  • 03 of 15
    Carolina Ribs with Red Pepper Sauce
    Carolina Ribs with Red Pepper Sauce. luchezar / Getty Images

    Pork spareribs can be smoked or grilled in the classic Carolina style. You'll coat them with a rub and baste them with a tangy red pepper sauce.

  • 04 of 15
    High Angle View Of Orange Smoked Salmon Over Blue Background
    Nina Van Der Kleij / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Marinated in a rich Asian-style mixture of spicy heat and savory flavors, this salmon picks up a little kick and a lot of flavor. If you want to turn up the heat, double the number of red pepper flakes.

    Continue to 5 of 15 below.
  • 05 of 15
    Grilled Apple and Brie Flatbread
    Grilled Apple and Brie Flatbread. Sabrina S. Baksh / Regarding BBQ, Inc.

    Make a quick appetizer to please your guests with this grilled apple and brie flatbread. You can use prepared naan bread as the base. It can also be the main course for any vegetarians at the cookout.

  • 06 of 15
    tenderloin beef Burger cooking with french style on light and relax table
    skaman306 / Getty Images

    This is sure to be one of the best gourmet burgers you'll ever try. Large, well-seasoned patties are grilled to perfection, placed onto toasted ciabatta bread with melted cheese and topped with a delectable port wine spread.

  • 07 of 15
    Three hot dogs with mustard, mayonnaise and arugula
    istetiana / Getty Images

    Plain old hot dogs might please the kids at the cookout, but you can make them a bit fancier to appeal to the whole crowd. Bacon, homemade cheese sauce, and jalapenos make these pack a punch.

  • 08 of 15
    Marinated Vegetable Kebabs
    Marinated Vegetable Kebabs. Rachel Slepekis / Getty Images

    Your garden (or the farmers market) is bursting with fresh vegetables by the end of summer. Make good use of zucchini, bell peppers, onions, and more with these ​quick and easy veggie kebabs.

    Continue to 9 of 15 below.
  • 09 of 15
    Veggie Burger
    Westend61 / Getty Images

    Refresh your burger game with these grilled herb burgers. Chopped fresh basil, thyme, rosemary, and chives are added to the patties to give them wonderful flavor. Serve on a ciabatta bun or baguette with your favorite condiments.

  • 10 of 15
    High Angle View Of Meat On Cutting Board
    Roman Larin / EyeEm / Getty Images

    If steaks on the grill are your choice for the cookout, this flat iron steak recipe is you'll enjoy. The combination of red wine, mustard, and fresh herbs ​brightens this already flavorful cut of beef.

  • 11 of 15
    Kansas City ribs
    Alan Richardson/Riser / Getty Images

    If you're in the mood for sweet, sticky, and delicious pork barbecue ribs then Kansas City ribs are what you're looking for. Smoke these pork ribs for four to six hours. You'll brush them with a homemade barbecue sauce in the thick and sweet Kansas City style.

  • 12 of 15
    fresh fig pizza
    monika dabrowski / Getty Images

    Sweet figs play off of peppery arugula and sharp cheese for a magical combination on a grilled pizza crust. This makes a quick appetizer to keep the crowd happy, or a great option for the non-carnivores at the cookout. Use a Spanish manchego or an aged Parmesan for the most flavor.

    Continue to 13 of 15 below.
  • 13 of 15
    cajun style cheeseburgers and sweet potato fries
    Jeff Wasserman / Stocksy United

    Take your cookout to the bayou. Adding Cajun seasoning and mustard to the burger patties before grilling gives them a delicious flavor on their own. You can serve it with a mild Cajun-spiced barbecue sauce, or step up the heat any way you want. Try a thick slice of pepper jack cheese or a hot and spicy barbecue sauce. If you make an extra messy burger try an extra-hearty (and crunchy) bread for the bun.

  • 14 of 15
    Baked German Potato Salad
    Baked German Potato Salad. Sabrina S. Baksh/Regarding BBQ, Inc.

    Your guests will love this fresh take on German-style potato salad. You will roast fingerling potatoes and onions to caramelize and crisp them, then toss with bacon in an oil, vinegar, and honey dressing. You may never go back to potato salad made with boiled potatoes and mayo.

  • 15 of 15
    Grilled Honey Basted Nectarines
    Grilled Honey Basted Nectarines. nicolebranan / Getty Images

    You can grill your dessert as well as the main course. Summer nectarines or peaches grill beautifully and then you can transform them into any dessert you wish. Add a scoop of ice cream and crumbled cookies to make a sundae. Or, make a dessert pizza by baking a crust of sugar cookie dough topped with slices of your delicious grilled fruit.