Around 79% of Americans enjoy outdoor BBQs more than going to a restaurant, which shows we’re passionate about our cookouts.
Hosting a BBQ is a fantastic way to unwind with loved ones and feast on your favorite summertime recipes. But hosting one can feel overwhelming, especially if this is your first time hosting. Maybe that’s why you’re here; you want to throw the best summer BBQ ever, and you’re after advice.
Hit the nail on the head? Luckily, we’ve got you covered! Here are five tips for the best summer barbecue.
1. Choose the Right Grill
To host the ultimate summer BBQ, you’ll need to learn about the different types of grills available. Decide whether you want propane or charcoal as that will determine how the food will taste. Also, if you have the budget, consider investing in a smoker as it will instantly elevate your BBQ game.
Note, if you’re choosing charcoal, then it’s important to know what’s available. Know that lump charcoal burns for an hour, which is great if you’re cooking a range of meats. Or, grab a bag of briquettes as these can burn for three hours at a consistent temperature.
If you’re not sure where to start, research the best combo grills on the market.
2. Create a Diverse Menu
Once you’ve chosen from the array of grills available, start brainstorming menu ideas. It’s wise to create a diverse one, so that everyone in your party is catered to. For instance, make sure vegetarians have plenty of veggie sausages to dig into.
You should also decide whether you want to grill the classics, like hot dogs and burgers, or go with steaks. And, to accompany the main event, whip up a variety of salads and veggies. Also, instead of whizzing around serving guests, create a buffet set-up where guests can graze whenever they please.
When you’re ready, organize a drinks menu, so there are plenty of options. If you’re throwing a casual barbecue, fill the coolers with beers, wines, and fruit punch. You should also offer classics like soda and juice, especially if your friends are bringing their little ones.
Also, it’s wise to organize entertainment during the day. You can host an array of games, such as bocce ball, horseshoes, and cornhole. And if you’ve got a swimming pool, make sure there are plenty of inflatables and sunscreen to keep your party safe.
3. Plan Ahead and Prepare
Once you’ve organized the menu, prepare as much as possible in advance.
Not only will this minimize your stress, but it lets you enjoy your guests more. Start by marinating the meat the night before to imbue it with a deep flavor. But make sure you shake off the marinade before chucking the steak onto the grill as it’s likely to burn, making it taste bitter.
You should also have an idea of how many people are attending, so you know how much to buy. To be safe, load up on food that will last for the week, such as chicken, steaks, and chops, so your family can eat anything leftover.
Further, prepare your side dishes as they stay fresh in the refrigerator. This is great for salads, cheese, and veggie skewers. And you mustn’t forget dessert, whether you’re preparing s’mores or treating your guests to a strawberry cheesecake.
Also, if you’re stumped for dessert ideas, consider grilling bananas as it’s a tasty delicacy. When you’ve finished with the mains, throw the bananas onto the grill with their skins on. Cook them for several minutes and only remove them when the skins have turned black.
Next, remove the bananas and cut them once they’re slightly cooked. You’ll notice that the bananas are sweet and squishy, making them the perfect foundation for your toppings, such as sugar, cream, and even ice cream.
Or, if that doesn’t interest you, wow your guests with a sundae bar. Offer an array of toppings and let your loved ones customize their ice cream and enjoy an unforgettable dessert.
4. Avoid Refrigerator Chill
A major mistake BBQers make is cooking meat or fish straight from the refrigerator.
The problem is that if it’s too cold, it could burn on the outside before thoroughly cooking it through the middle. Instead, take out your meat at least 20 minutes before barbecuing and you’re good to go. Also, make sure you never keep raw and cooked meats together; otherwise, there’s a risk of cross-contamination that could make your guests sick.
Further, familiarize yourself with food safety BBQ tips. You should pre-cook meat, especially chicken, before the get-together as it gives you more control over cooking. And when you’re cooking on the BBQ, rotate the meat regularly as it ensures your food is cooked evenly.
5. Minimize Clean Up
Although it’s the less exciting part of hosting a BBQ, no one wants to spend hours clearing up. Instead of giving yourself extra work, hand out disposable plates, cups, and cutlery, so there’s zero washing up. But only buy compostable ones, as it’s far less wasteful.
A bonus is the chef only needs a tong for manning the grill. Plus, invest in foil to protect the food from bugs and to cover the leftovers when it’s in the refrigerator.
Throw the Best Summer Barbecue Today
Hopefully, you’ll use these tips for your next summer barbecue.
There are many great ways to improve your BBQ, such as choosing the right grill and creating a diverse menu that everyone will love. You should also offer guests fun entertainment and minimize clean-up by using biodegradable cutlery and crockery. Have fun!
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