For a really impressive backyard barbecue, you’ll need the right tools and great plans for a successful day in your yard. Large outdoor parties like this have their own problems and will spend a lot of time in front of the grill, so it’s important to be prepared ahead of time. That’s why we have collected 10 best tips to make grilling out fun, easy and tasty.
1. Use an online calculator for food
Food is always the first consideration and one of the trickiest issues for a big grill out. Fortunately, we live in an incredible digital age with our online BBQ planner, which allows you to see how much and what kind of food you need. The connected planner allows you to count your meals based on the number of adults, children, vegetarians, and meat preferences. It’s a great way to get some basic numbers to start working on.
2. Plan your menu early and make a list of ingredients.
Plan your entire menu based on information on the online planner. Make an exact list of the ingredients you need to buy for every dish and cocktail and double check before shopping. You don’t want to start the party and realize that you forgot that the ingredients you assumed were in the kitchen.
Many experienced grillers want to show off a little by focusing on their signature dish or drink, but this is up to you. Also consider your guests’ food allergies by offering alternatives where possible if necessary.
3. Make sure you have enough seats
Set up multiple seating areas around your yard to make sure you have enough space for everyone. Some people generally prefer to stand, but patio seats and outdoor chairs are very important to others. Include or stand tables near all seating areas so people can place food and drinks.
4. External refrigeration plan
Not all grill settings can have an outdoor refrigerator (although it’s a big help, of course), but you need a way to refrigerate it. Whether it’s a mini fridge that can be plugged outside or a couple of coolers, you need to figure this out before the grilling out starts.
Always refrigerate meat separately from all other foods and reserve a section or cooler for drinks. However, it is important to keep some food cool, and drinks can always be kept inside until you want to take them out.
5. Trash location setting
For small parties, one garbage bag is suitable. For bigger things, a series of bins around the yard is a better option. Make sure you also include recycling bins. The last thing you want is for your guests to keep walking into the kitchen, throwing things in the trash, or leaving debris scattered around the yard for cleaning.
6. Create a menu for guests
It doesn’t have to be flashy, but for a bigger grill-out, especially if you’re proud of it, it’s very useful if you have some sort of printed or written menu that shows what to offer. Paper prints, blackboard stands, and whiteboards all work. The exception is when you are planning a folk style meeting.
7. Arrange meat according to how you do it
The easiest way to do this is to make three platters: rare, medium and well done. Put the labeled and cooked meat on a suitable plate. Keep an eye on them and adjust them to the general taste of the crowd. This is a great way to please your guests and save time asking or answering which steak is well cooked.
8. Bring food one course at a time
It might look great to have all the courses on a big table at once, but it’s very impractical for most grill parties. First, the food starts to spoil very quickly in the sun. Second, too much food will attract insects and pests very quickly. Third, many courses, like dessert, won’t be eaten much late anyway.
So, if possible, keep everything inside the packaging and in the cooler. When grilling the first meat, reveal the basic course and slowly introduce the other course later. While it takes more and more preparation time, more and more are making individual single serving options for foods like fruits and salads.
9. Remove bugs with repellent
Bugs will come, so be prepared for it. A tiki torch can stop a few bugs and can help stop wasps. For mosquitoes, the only natural solution that has proven to be effective is eucalyptus extract, which can sometimes be found in the form of candles or sprays (you don’t want chemicals like diet around your food). It’s also helpful to keep your backyard barbecues away from stagnant water.
10. Play games
Both adults and children need a variety of games to relax. Set up yard games like darts, croquettes, and cornholes, and don’t forget to bring out a few board games and card decks as well.