One of the really great things about warmer weather is that it is very conducive to Barbequing or “grilling out”. Pretty much everyone loves a good BBQ too; it’s a great activity for people of all ages and can be extremely effective at bringing a neighborhood or community together, for instance. Even vegetarians can join in the fun with grilled vegetables and tofu, although a true BBQ experience must be accompanied by one or more choice cuts of delicious meat(s). The following tips will help make your event more successful as well as teach you some cooking / grilling tips.
Anyone that’s tried to host a BBQ gathering probably already knows that there are essentially 2 factors which play into your overall success with such a venture, they are:
- General Preparation
- Focus on cooking methodology
Before you do anything, you need to start off by coming up with a basic menu. Just a simple list will do at first. Pick a main course or series of different items you’d like to serve, concentrating on the meats first and then adding complementary sides as needed. While doing this you should be sure to take other people’s tastes and health requirements into considerations. For example, some people are lactose intolerant and others might be allergic to nuts, etc…
Once you’ve nailed down a basic menu, you can start compiling a list of people who you’d like to see attend and begin either sending out lettered invitations, emails, or perhaps both. Be sure to make it clear that this is an RSVP event (they need to tell you that they’re coming) so that you can purchase the correct quantities of food. Additionally, consider making your BBQ a “pot luck” where each attendee is asked to bring one side dish with them. Furthermore, it’s a good idea to have some extra items on hand just in case more people show up. Also, be sure to purchase some disposable plates and cutlery along with an assortment of different beverages (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic). Seating is also vitally important and will ultimately determine the overall success of your event. Lastly, give yourself enough lead time to ensure that everything goes off without a hitch; a week or two is fairly standard.
Now, onto the really important stuff, namely, preparing and cooking the meats. Simply put, if you really want to throw the perfect BBQ you’re going to need to present guests with some really dynamite selections. In most cases, all of your meats will need to be marinated overnight (or the day before the event is to take place). This will ensure that everything is nice and flavorful. If you don’t know what marinades to use, a simple Google search for “best — marinade”, where — is the meat you’re cooking, should yield some answers. As far as other cooking / grilling tips are concerned, be mindful of the following:
- Consider thinner cuts of meat, as they cook faster and more evenly than thicker cuts (particularly important when it comes to steaks)
- Avoid throwing cold pieces of meat onto the grill; instead, bring them to room temperature before lighting them up. This will ensure a more evenly cooked item which is not only tastier and more professional, but also safer.
- Avoid constantly turning food over and over, twice throughout the course of cooking is fine.
- Cleanliness is vital. Don’t expose cooked food to uncooked ingredients or raw meat and always use clean plates whether presenting or transferring food.
- Always give your grill enough time to properly preheat. The proper temperature will also be essential.