As summer approaches, so does the time for epic backyard barbecues. Getting to sit outside with friends and family while cooking on the grill can be the highlight of the summer, especially if it’s over Memorial Day weekend or the Fourth of July. If you are looking to improve your craft and have the best summer barbecue, look no further! Here are 5 tips to have the best backyard barbecue:
Let’s be honest, not everyone really likes the classic all-American barbecue. Although it might sound crazy, hotdogs and hamburgers can sometimes be boring and over-used. If you’re looking to set your barbecue apart from just a normal party, consider cooking something else like a pulled pork, ribs, or even smoked meats. Having lots of different options is also a great idea and allows for you to learn and cook more. In addition to this, make sure that you keep any dietary restrictions or preferences in mind. Does some of your family not eat meat? Do they have any allergies or intolerances? Make sure that you have something that everyone can eat. No one likes going to a barbecue and starving!
Load Up on Sides
Sides are the dealbreaker between a good and bad backyard barbecue. Although classics like pasta salad and mac and cheese are always great to start out with, maybe consider branching out. Cook greens, casseroles, and have fresh fruit and vegetables available for all. Create a spread of different sides by cooking different ethnic dishes to really make your barbecue unique. If you are looking to be even more special, you can even cook with your own homegrown herbs and spices! Use different dressings, sauces, and sides to set your barbecue apart from others and there is no doubt that you will have the most popular party on the block!
Get Some Shade
Shade is one of the most important aspects of a barbecue. Although it is nice to be out in the sun while socializing and doing other activities, no one really wants to be sweaty while they are eating. In addition to this, being out in the heat for too long can be exhausting, and having shade as a reprieve can help a lot. When setting up for your backyard barbecue, make sure that you are able to provide lots of shade. Do you have lots of trees and umbrellas for picnic tables? Are your plates of food able to sit somewhere that is cool and won’t spoil? If you don’t have much shade already and are looking into adding some, consider investing in a 10×10 popup canopy. Having just one of these canopies over your tables of food and dining can make a significant impact!
Get into the Water
Having some sort of body of water to swim in can make your backyard barbecue ten times better. If you’re near a beach, lake, or river, go swimming! If you have a boat or jet ski, get someone to take your friends and family out for a drive on the lake or out for some sort of watersports like tubing or wakeboarding. Have them spend a while out on the water and have the barbecue ready for when the group gets back. That way, no one gets bored of the party and you can have your time to yourself to cook and get everything prepared! Plus, they are sure to be starving!
If you don’t have access to any bodies of water, consider getting a pool or waterslide. Large pop-up pools are very affordable and as silly as it sounds, waterslides are cheap and a ton of fun for adults (especially after they’ve had a few drinks!). It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just something for your guests to relax and rejuvenate in after being in the sun all day! This is also a great option for kids or younger adults who might not be the best swimmers but still want to have fun.
Backyard game tournaments are no doubt some of the best parts of backyard barbecues. Games like cornhole or spikeball can get extremely competitive and some of the best rivalries can be formed. Make sure that you have a variety of games like cornhole, spikeball, yard darts, volleyball, or even host a backyard olympics. Be sure that everyone gets involved and no one is sitting out unless they want to or absolutely have to. Backyard games can easily become the collective favorite of the group and can help your party be the best!