If you’re anything like me, the moment the weather even hints at spring, when it’s raining three-quarters of the time and only the bravest and most stalwart crocuses dare show their faces, I’ve already fired up the barbecue. While I love to bake (bacon cupcakes, of course), and there is much to be said for the zen-like serenity that only comes from gently caramelizing onions in a saute pan (for a bacon and goat cheese tart), there is something elemental about barbecuing that gets me in touch with my inner Caveman. There is no denying than any meat (including bacon) that passes through fire on its way to my mouth infinitely more delicious. Not to mention that standing in front of an open flame, wielding tongs and soaking up the warm weather, is possibly one of the most quintessentially summery activities that exists. Just thinking about getting my BBQ on puts me in a good mood.

Now, this might just be a personal think, but I just can’t have a proper barbecue without potato salad. This classic side-dish is just as necessary to the barbecue feast as the sauce, the flames and the bacon-wrapped chicken breasts I am about to grill. This dish brings me right back to my childhood every time. To this day, I still have dreams about my mom’s potato salad, creamy and smooth with just a hint of dill.

Because this is the Republic of Bacon, and bacon is What We Do, as I was ruminating on the topic of barbecue and potato salad, and I couldn’t help but think: there has GOT to be a way to get more bacon in this most summery and BBQ-y of side dishes. I am pleased to inform you that I am not the first person to have this excellent idea, and so I am pleased to present to you some excellent potato salad recipes that feature bacon.

German Style Warm Potato Salad with Bacon

Developed by our very own Chef Rob Bacon, this dish is a meal unto itself. However, it is not a creamy potato salad, and so remains surprisingly refreshing. I love to serve this when I am grilling shrimp or fish.

Potato Salad with Bacon Dressing

Not only does this potato salad feature chunks of crispy bacon right in the mix with the potatoes, but the rich and creamy dressing is made with bacon fat for extra oomph. The celery and green onions keep it crunchy and fresh!

Emeril’s Bacon Potato Salad

I need to toss this recipe some love too, because it was designed by celebrity chef Emeril, whom I love. Also, the dressing is quite heavy on the Dijon mustard, which gives it a great kick and a surprising bit of sweetness that really does it for me. This is an awesome salad to serve when you are grilling pork chops.