Make Your Barbecue Better With These 8 Tips
As the summer sun starts blazing, people all over the nation are starting to get out in their backyards to do some grilling.
Because outdoor pastimes are coming back into the cultural milieu this year, it’s likely that you’re going to be interested in putting on a barbecue with some of your friends and neighbors. How can you make it the talk of the town for weeks?
Use these tips to create a knockout barbecue that’s sure to make your weekend well worth the wait.
1. Put out Some Simple Entertainment Options
Despite the name, a barbecue really isn’t about the barbecuing itself. Rather, the barbecuing part underscores the fact that it’s all about socializing and having a good time. Here are a few options for entertainment that you can put out before people start to arrive:
- Simple Games Like Horseshoes And Cornhole. Make sure these are games that people can play either by themselves or with one or two additional people at their leisure.
- Entertainment Options For Children. Kids need a way to stay entertained after all! Try some sidewalk chalk and coloring pages.
- Music Attached To A Speaker. Even relatively inexpensive Bluetooth speakers can be powerful enough for a backyard barbecue. Put on a party playlist and get groovy!
2. Make Simple Appetizers for the Crowd
Appetizers should be simple, easy, and cheap, making it easy for you to create them and simple for everyone to enjoy before the main course comes out. Here are a few appetizer options, courtesy of chefs from all across the internet:
- BLT Appetizer Bites (Salty Canary)
- Mini Spinach Quiches (Garnish with Lemon)
- S’more Bars (Tara’s Multicultural Table)
- Melon Prosciutto Skewers (Delish)
3. Ensure Enough Drinks for Everyone
There are plenty of drink calculators you can find out there to ensure you have enough beverages for everyone. However, you also need to think about the different types of drinks to offer. Here are a few staples that barbecue hosts offer:
- Beer, which is cheap and tends to evoke the summer experience.
- Boxed wine or wine coolers, which aren’t as expensive as bottled wine, but are still a great drinking option for people who prefer wine.
- Soda, which everyone and anyone can enjoy, including children and people who don’t drink.
- Lemonade or fruit punch, which gives a non-alcoholic option for people who don’t like sparkling drinks.
- Good old water, which you can have in a pitcher or in bottles.
Remember to tailor your drink options for your crowd. Some barbecues may lean a little heavier on alcohol, whereas others are completely dry.
4. Look for Some Standout Recipes on Items Like Barbecue Sauce
For the most part, barbecuing is pretty easy. You take the meat, season it a little bit, then throw it on the grill. However, there are a few things that you can actually put effort into, which can take your barbecue to the next level.
Custom barbecue sauce, for example, is something that can take a cookout from “Meh” to “Standout” in a snap! Consider a few of these top-rated barbecue sauce options:
- Spicy Peach BBQ Sauce from Add a Pinch
- Kansas City-Style BBQ Sauce from Gimme Some Oven
- Simple BBQ Sauce from NYT Cooking
- Coca Cola Barbecue Sauce from Rock Recipes
5. Pay Attention to Insect Control
If there’s one thing to hate about summer, it’s the insects. Unfortunately, insect control is something that you’ll have to think about when it comes to a barbecue. The good news is that there are a variety of serviceable options for keeping the mosquitoes away:
- Use candles and tiki torches with insect repellent oils like citronella for a great visual that also combats insects.
- Keep natural insect repellent available to your guests during the barbecue.
- Run a box fan near the dining area, as it will keep mosquitoes and other insects away.
- Keep the food waste far away from the guests, and keep it covered at all times.
6. Make Sure Your Grill Is Up to the Task
You need a great grill if you intend on providing the best experience during your barbecue. It should be up to the task, no matter what that task is. Think about these elements when choosing a grill, especially if you’re buying a new one this summer:
- How much meat can the barbecue fit at one time?
- Does the barbecue run on gas, charcoal, or electric heat?
- How well does the barbecue maintain a specific temperature?
- Is the grill split into multiple sections that can be at different temperatures?
- What special features does the grill offer?
7. Think About Options for Everyone
As the person hosting the barbecue, it’s up to you to make sure that there are food options for everyone. Think about different needs and try to accommodate the dietary preferences if at all possible. Here are a few different ways to spice up and diversify the offerings:
- Provide at least one no-fuss option, like a simple grilled hot dog or hamburger.
- Make side dishes prolific and veggie-based for vegetarians.
- Offer condiments and toppings in a separate area.
- Let people make specific requests to the person working the grill.
8. Keep It Casual and Fun!
Above all, remember that you’re here to have fun. You’re not here to run a summer barbecue that’s worthy of being featured in Southern Living; you’re holding a summer cookout where everyone has a good time. If you’re enjoying yourself, congratulations! You’ve succeeded at throwing a barbecue.
Overall, there are many ways to make your barbecue even better. Some of them center around the general environment, while others center around the actual grill you’re using. If you’re thinking about buying a new grill for your summer experiences, don’t let the price of your dream choice weigh you down. My Exchange Store offers Buy Now, Pay Later financing programs that can help you afford a grill, even if you can’t front the entire payment at once.