The Crucial Ingredients For A Perfect Barbecue

As June begins to flower in earnest we’re well on our way for a summer to remember. While many of us will already be planning family vacations and buying tents in anticipation of a family camping trip somewhere picturesque like White Mountain or Assateague Island, a lot of us have our sights squarely set on the home this summer. Since most of us have already engaged in the time honored institution that is spring cleaning, now’s the time to open up the house to guests. All through spring we’ve put in the hard work, deep cleaned each and every room, rid the home of distracting clutter, brightened up paint work that was starting to look a little forlorn and added a few pieces of statement wall art that are sure to be great talking points so now that summer is upon us it’s time to reap the social benefits.

While house parties, dinner parties and cocktail parties are all great ways to celebrate the newly clement weather and give our social calendars a much needed bump, nothing says All American summer like a good old fashioned barbecue. Over the coming months, many will be inviting friends, family and neighbors alike to enjoy our homes and gardens as we cook a cornucopia of flame grilled delights for their delectation. But there’s a universe of difference between a few beers and burgers with friends and a social gathering that the neighborhood will use as a yardstick by which all future engagements are measured. Here are some tips that will add your garden n grill soiree that little extra magic that will ensure that the event goes with a pop and leaves guests thinking and talking about it for weeks to come.

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail

Impromptu parties can be a lot of fun, but if this is to be a party for the ages, you must plan in advance. Issue invitations and try to get as many RSVPs back as you can prior to the event so that you don’t end up buying too much. Make sure that you buy a little more than you need so that nobody has to go without, and be sure that you have plenty of soft and alcoholic drinks as well as the ingredients to make the summer cocktails that will go down perfectly in the sunny garden setting. Many like to impose a theme which will determine the decor, the food and drink and (if you’re feeling extra adventurous) the fancy dress code.

Prep the night before

If you’re putting this much effort into throwing the perfect social event it’s only fair that you’re actually able to experience it rather than slaving away in the kitchen or over the grill. Thus, it’s essential that you prepare everything the night before so that cooking your prepared food is quick and easy, allowing you more time to mingle with your guests.

Transform your garden

Sure, your home will be a talking point, but if your guests will be spending most of their time in the garden, this is the perfect opportunity to transform your soothing and serene garden into an adventurous wonderland. Often a sense of theatricality and adventure can be the difference between a good barbecue and a great one. You’d be amazed at the difference some LED fairy lights, rope lights, curtain lights, lawn ornaments and candles can make to your garden. If you’ve chosen a theme for your event, the way in which you decorate your garden will really make it pop!

Create opportunities to cool off

Your guests will likely really appreciate the opportunity to sun themselves in your garden, but they might reach a point where the sun has gotten a little too much for them (especially if they didn’t remember to pack sunscreen). Since you may not relish the idea of your guests roaming around your home as you slave over a hot grill, it’s a good idea to dedicate a space as a “cooling off area” in which guests can enjoy a cool drink in the shade or beneath some large outdoor ceiling fans if you have a porch or sunroom that will accommodate them. Ensure that your cool room is well stocked with both alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks. If people are going to have access to alcohol all day they will need to stay well hydrated.

Don’t forget the veggies!

In today’s increasingly environmentally conscious world, at least some of your guests are likely to abstain from meat, dairy and other animal products for health or ethical reasons. Thus, it’s vital that you have plenty of vegetarian and vegan options (plus, let’s face it, they’ll probably go down a treat with omnivores, too). Fortunately, it doesn’t take a whole lot of imagination or preparation to bring mouth watering vegan food to your grill (just be sure to cook far enough away from your burgers, sausages and ribs that they won’t get splashed with meat juices). From cauliflower steaks and barbecued eggplant to veggie kabobs and barbecued tofu, who says that meat eaters should have all the fun at your barbecue?

Side note

While the delicious meats and veggies being prepared on the grill will undoubtedly be the stars of the show, don’t forget to spare a thought for the side dishes. You could be forgiven for underestimating the importance of sides but these can really help you to keep the costs of your barbecue manageable. If your guests load their plates with plenty of sides they’ll be less likely to return to the grill time after time, meaning that you’re less likely to run out of the good (and expensive) stuff. Plus, they’re great for guests to snack on long after the flames have died down on the barbecue itself.

With a little imagination and a whole lot of forward planning, your barbecue will be the stuff of legend and a gauntlet that you throw down to the rest of the neighborhood. You’ll enjoy months of pleasurable dining in their gardens as they try (and fail) to emulate your superlative soiree.

Speak Your Mind