Summertime is best known as the 'grilling season'. It’s the time of year when you can either breathe the fresh outdoors or smell someone’s dinner on the grill. Once you get a whiff of that barbeque goodness, no sooner than later will you find yourself firing up yours.
Many enjoy cooking up a few juicy burgers for their family, but there are others who love to host a spectacular backyard barbeque. Here are a few tips on putting together an epic barbeque that will crown you the grill master.
Have a Grill
This is an obvious one. You need to have a grill to host a backyard barbecue! Now the real question is, are you team charcoal or team gas? Everyone has their opinion on which one is best when it comes to cooking food and keeping it tasty.
Charcoal grills add a savoury smoky flavour and can reach higher temperatures; however, they take longer to heat up and cleaning the grill takes a little more work. Gas grills heat up quicker and have a temperature control, but they can take some time to assemble. Whichever you prefer, you can’t go wrong either way with so many scrumptious meals to cook.
Stock Up on Fuel
Nothing worse than running out of gas or charcoal with half-cooked steaks and patties on the grill. You either finish them in the microwave, oven, or run out to buy another tank or more charcoal. By the time you run to the store and get the grill going again – your meal has lost its flavour and texture. Before your next party, triple-check to make sure you have enough gas in the propane tank or enough charcoal and grab a second tank or bag just in case!
It doesn’t need to be formal seating with placemats and neatly placed utensils, but you also don’t want your guests balancing food while trying to enjoy their meal. Provide enough seating to allow each person to sit, even if it means pulling out camping chairs and beach chairs or even asking them to BYOC – Bring your own chair.
Plan the Menu
Some people like to keep it simple and stick to the basics; hots dogs, hamburgers, potato salad and corn. There’s nothing wrong with having this as your menu, but if you’re one who likes to throw more than one grilling party, there are many options you can add in to change things up.
Steaks can be pricey which is why you don’t see them often at cookouts, but if you’re hosting a smaller gathering, it would be a welcomed upgrade. Adding menu items such as kebabs, sausages, ribs, fish, and even shellfish will add some variety, ensuring your guests don’t get bored of the same menu. Don’t forget to consider if you’ve invited vegetarians and check out your local grocery store for some veggie alternatives.
You can’t forget the condiments and fixings to add some extra flavour to the dishes. And of course, the best part; dessert. Summer is a great time to roast some gooey marshmallows and smash them between some graham crackers and chocolate. Or even have a sundae bar where guests can cool off and build their dream sundae.
Fill the Bar
Water should always be on hand as your guests will need to stay hydrated throughout the summer heat. Stock up on cocktails and non-alcoholic options such as iced tea and lemonade. You can also premix a signature cocktail in a large batch so you’re not measuring and mixing each time. When your guests arrive, offer them their first drink, and then let them help themselves as they run dry. Keep your cooler or fridge well stacked and replenish as the day goes on.
Queue The Music
Have you ever gone to a party with no music? Of course not! Set the right atmosphere with a great playlist. Choose an upbeat tune that most guests will enjoy and keep the music at a volume where guests can hear the music but mingle without yelling over each other.
Most importantly, relax. When your guests see the host relaxing and enjoying their cookout, everything will fall into place.
Are you a grill master? What other tips do you have to throw the ultimate backyard barbeque.