Nothing tops a sunny Sunday afternoon barbecue. There’s something about the smell of grilled steak in the air that lets you know summer has arrived. Add a few family and friends, and the stage is set. Boy oh boy, doesn’t summer feel great?
Here are a few pointers that will take your barbecue experience to the next level.
1. Get the Ideal Pellet Smoker
You have twenty-something guests coming over plus the usual couple of gate crashers. With so many stomachs to cater to, you’re going to need something that’s up to the task. Get the best pellet smoker for all your grilling needs.
They come in a variety of sizes with some boasting impressively large cooking surfaces. Some are multi-functional offering grilling, smoking, braising, and barbecuing options. Also, look for something durable and corrosion-free while also being easy to clean. Your barbecues will never be the same with one of these bad boys.
2. Gas Things Up
Sometimes patience isn’t exactly your virtue. You want things done quick and easy. Well, look no further than a gas grill. Fueled by liquid propane, these grills heat up much faster than their charcoal counterparts and have a shorter cool downtime as well.
Gas grills have excellent grease management meaning a cleaner grilling experience. Get rid of stacking briquettes and that smelly starter fluid. And once your grilling escapades are over, rub a metal brush over the grill and call it a day. A gas grill is every bit your modern grilling companion.
3. Make the Farmers’ Market Your Friend
Before hosting a backyard barbecue, head down to your local farmer’s market and talk up some of the farmers. By creating a rapport with these guys and gals, you’ll most definitely get a good chunk of advice on the best products to buy. Some of the farmers have been growing their stuff for a couple of decades, so they have a wealth of experience to offer.
You may have your way of grilling or barbecuing but being a bit more open-minded could open your eyes to a whole different (and perhaps better) approach. So, the next time you’re buying a few T-bone steaks or some bell peppers for your barbecue, make sure you source for a few extra tips from your local farmer.
4. It is Not Just About the Food
Everyone’s gathered you round the table. The food looks and smells delicious. You all dig in, and it’s every bit as sumptuous as you hoped. But then you quickly realize that you forgot to buy the drinks (sigh).
For every barbecue, drinks are every bit as integral as the food. So don’t get carried away by the edibles and forget the drinkables. Whether it’s beer or wine, have something to wash down your food. And if there’ll be kids, get a good number of juice boxes.
5. Set the Mood with Some Tunes
There’s something about food and music. They seem to complement each other in an almost perfect way. A match made in heaven.
For your next backyard barbecue, come up with a playlist of some happy tunes to keep the mood upbeat. You could go for some classics or keep it modern, just as long as everyone has a good time. If you’re out of ideas, ask around for a few of your guest’s favorite genres and go from there. Music is a sure way of getting everyone into a party mood.
6. Have a Proper Set-Up
A few friends are coming over, and you want to keep things basic. That’s reasonable enough. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t at least put in some effort.
Put on some backdrop event drapes and have a central table where everyone can sit together and get to talk to each other. Also, make use of functional dinnerware over plastics. Get your fine china out and make your guests feel like they’re worth it. There’s this feel-good sense that comes from eating off a ceramic plate, you know?
7. What’s On the Menu?
Usually, the first thing that comes to mind with the mention of “barbecue” is meat. Briskets, rib eyes, sirloins, you name it. It’s vital, however, to consider the dietary preferences of everyone who’s coming. Not everyone loves a lean piece of steak. Spare a thought for the vegetarians and vegans in the group.
Consider some grilled corn on the cob or a potato salad for the vegans. You could also try Halloumi burgers or perhaps some simple grilled veggies would also suffice. The options are plenty.
8. Watch the Weather
Ah yes, the weather, that thing that’s beyond our control and has a knack for messing with us. It’s funny how the sun shines for two weeks straight then the rain decides to fall on the one day you thought it wouldn’t. All it takes is one rain cloud to unravel your entire barbecue.
In the days leading up to your barbecue, make use of weather forecast tools at your disposal. Check the weather channel and do an internet search to make sure you’re in the clear. The biggest shame would be to have everything set up only to feel those first few drops hit your skin.
9. Deal With the Dark
Time flies when you’re having fun. With everyone having a good time, it’s easy to lose track of time and have the darkness creep up on you. Instead of letting the dark ruin your good time, have a couple of portable lanterns or make use of your tree branches and drape some festoon lights. This way you’ll make sure that your barbecue lasts that bit longer into the night.
The night also has a way of bringing out a few tiny critters. Hang a fan to blow away any mosquitoes that want to crash the party or light a fire to smoke them away. Or, for more effective bug control, get a bug zapper.
Backyard barbecues are all about spending quality time with the ones you cherish. With a few of these ideas, you’ll have the ultimate barbecue experience that’s bound to stay in people’s memories for a long while to come.
Salman Zafar is an ecopreneur, consultant, advisor, speaker and journalist with expertise in waste management, waste-to-energy, renewable energy, environment protection, conservation and sustainable development. His geographical areas of focus include Asia, Middle East, Africa and Europe. Salman is the Founder of EcoMENA, a popular voluntary organization based in Qatar. He is also the Founder and CEO of BioEnergy Consult, a reputed consulting firm active in biomass, waste-to-energy and waste management segments.
Salman is a professional environmental writer with more than 350 popular articles to his credit. He is proactively engaged in creating mass environmental awareness in different parts of the world.
Salman Zafar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com