Backyard BBQ Tips & Tricks

  A lot of prep work goes into hosting the ultimate summer get-together, and with the proper planning, you can make sure your backyard BBQ goes off without a hitch. Here is a timeline to consider when planning for a summer bash:

Setting the scene – Getting your backyard prepped and staged ahead of time can take the stress away and allow you to enjoy the day. Prep for the heat with plenty of cool options, like shady umbrellas or sunshades, inexpensive misters, water guns with cold water, or even just a hose sprinkler. Provide sunscreen for guests and consider options to keep bugs away from you and the food, such as oil lanterns.

Planning things out – It's always nice to chat with friends, but when the conversation starts to wane having outdoor games ready can help keep any group entertained. Some great lawn games to consider are giant Jenga, cornhole, croquet, bocce ball, and beer pong. Plan out or find the perfect playlist ahead of time to keep the party pumpin'. The other crucial thing to plan out – your menu! Take it a step further and prewrite your grocery list and place it on the fridge where you can add things to it easily. This will cut down on day-of runs to the store.

The day before a party, you have two jobs – Cleaning the grill and prepare your sides. This way you can give the grilling your full attention. The day before light a fire to burn excess food off, then let the cooled grates soak for at least 15 minutes in warm water and dish soap. Scrub everything with a long-handled wire grill brush, then with fresh soapy water, wipe everything down. The last step is very important to keep stray wire bristles from flavoring your food!

The big day – With a bit of planning, this day should be nothing but fun. Any final kitchen prep should be done as early as possible – including drink preparation. Making drinks in large batches cuts down on your time in the kitchen, so options like sangria, margaritas, or mojitos may be the way to go. Don't forget to pick-up plenty of ice to keep both your beverages and guests cool. Five minutes before your first guest arrives, put out some light snacks like chips and dip or a veggie tray, press play on your playlist, and pour yourself a drink – when playing host/hostess you may forget to grab something later.

It's always nice to gather family and friends for a summer get-together and throwing a summer party is a perfect excuse to invite them over, enjoy!

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