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With summer just around the corner, it's time to clean up that backyard, wash off that outdoor furniture and check out that grill so you are prepared for those summer BBQs with family and friends. With a grilling season approaching why not prepare yourself to throw the perfect BBQ. Here are some simple tips that you can follow to make your next cookout a huge success.
Having a great theme for your BBQ will help tie everything together and set a great mood for the entire afternoon and evening. Choose a theme like an afternoon in Hawaii, Louisiana throw down or some other fun theme.
Plan the décor, food, drinks, and entertainment around your theme and don't forget a funny grill apron that will go with your theme.
Choosing a theme for your BBQ makes the entire event seem much like a party than the usual weekend fare.
Have a few yard games to match the theme of your BBQ. It can be easy to convert standard yard games to match your theme. For example, if you are going with a Hawaiian theme and want to set up a game of corn hole, you can place plastic pineapples around the platform or make beanbags that look like beanbags.
You can use plastic leaves and some streamers to turn the posts on that volleyball net into palm trees and make other small changes that match the theme and adds to your BBQs décor.
Here are a few backyard game suggestions to make your BBQ more fun.
When setting up for your BBQ make sure that you have plenty of seating and tables for the guest who will be attending. It can be difficult and uncomfortable to eat while standing and trying to use utensils and hold a drink bottle or glass all at the same time. If all else fails you can spread picnic blankets on the ground for a more casual type BBQ.
If you are doing the grilling and want time to spend with guests, set up an appetizer and drink self-serve station so that guests can help themselves and you don't have to serve them allowing you more time to do the main grilling and mingle with your guest.
If you are having a family BBQ with younger children present to make sure that you have some child-friendly appetizers as well as appetizers for adults.
While hotdogs and hamburgers are fine on the grill, why not expand your menu to include high-quality foods and something unique. While we are not suggesting you go whole hog and spit roast an entire pig, you can grill some ham kabobs, chops, or ribs and add some grilled pineapple and other fruits and vegetables.
Grilled seafood works great for any type of beach theme and some good steaks work well for a Day on the farm theme.
You can make your cold side dishes up a day ahead and keep them in the refrigerator until time to serve.
You can even set a small kiddie pool that matches your BBQ theme and fill it with ice to set your cold food dishes in to keep the food cold throughout the entire meal.
Make sure that you take your guests' tastes and special dietary needs in consideration. If you have a vegan in your midst, include a nice toss salad and some grilled mushrooms and vegetables and other meat-free dishes.
Have a diabetic on your guest list, make a zucchini pasta salad in addition to that pasta salad, and look for meat marinades without sugar.
Even if you are the type of person who insists on doing all of the grilling yourself, you still should consider having a grilling assistant. A grilling assistant can fetch sauces, set out the side dishes and carried food to the tables for guests to enjoy. Make sure that you designate your grilling assistant by furnishing them with a funny grilling apron that compliments yours.
Speaking of meat, vegetables and marinades make sure that you marinate those foods the day before so that they absorb all of the flavors of the marinade to give your food the best flavor possible.
Instead of just grilling with gas or electric why not consider grilling with natural charcoal or wood to give your grilled dishes a different flavor. Sometimes just using a different grilling material can change standard BBQ fare to something that tastes really special.
The biggest mistake that most people make when tending those outdoor BBQs is they get impatience and keep flipping those burgers and chops and don't give the juices time to caramelize. Constantly flipping that food on the grill tends to dry it out and makes it far less enjoyable.
You also want to use a meat thermometer to make sure that your meat is cook and safe for your guests to eat. Nothing can ruin a BBQ faster than to have a guest get sick on undercooked meat.
Make sure you have a couple of waste receptacles set out where guest can throw away their paper plates and cups so that cleaning up after the BBQ is not such a chore. For the most part, guests are more than happy to take care of their waste as long as there is somewhere to put it.
Once the meal is over and clean up is done, you will be free to relax and enjoy your guests and take part in the games so having a well lit yard and a fire pit with chairs will allow the party to continue even after the sun goes down.
Following these tips will help you to throw the perfect backyard BBQ that is fun for both you and your guests.