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The Perfect Summer Barbecue: 5 Tips for Hosts

Few things are more enjoyable than a good barbecue on the perfect summer day. The best barbecues are comfortable affairs that don’t reveal all the hard work behind them. Here are five easy ways to make sure that your barbecue is the best day of the summer.

Don’t Make Your Guests Wait to Eat

It’s tempting to wait until most of your guests arrive before you start grilling. However, people show up to barbecues ready to eat, and it starts your party off on an awkward note if there’s nothing to eat. Try to have some barbecued meats ready for the early arrivals, even if you plan to start grilling for real later on in the day.

Start with the Right Grill

There’s a grill for everyone, even if you’re not necessarily the best cook. Electric grills are great for beginners. Just plug it in and get ready to cook. They have some limitations though. They tend to be smaller, and they sometimes don’t get as hot as charcoal and gas grills do. Charcoal grills are the classic option. They give your food a smoky flavor and a crispy texture. Cooks who have mastered the learning curve and have developed an instinct for gauging temperature love this old school method. Gas grills are the premium barbecue option. You can control the temperature and ensure that your meat never gets too dry. Decide what you want to do with your equipment and let that determine what type of grill you purchase.

Get Creative with Sides

We all love potato salad and chilled pasta, but we love creative cooking even more. Try adding apples, strawberries, or oranges to your salad. Macaroni and cheese is delicious when it’s combined with slices of spicy chorizo sausage. Stir pieces of bacon into your green beans. Grill corncobs or bell peppers. You can even grill slices of pineapple.

Make Sure You Have Enough Drinks

Don’t skimp on the beverage, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic depending on the kind of party you’re having. Have enough beer available for those who want it, but don’t make the non-drinkers feel like an afterthought. Make lemonade or a nice fruit punch. Try not to make it a BYOB party; it’s difficult to keep everyone’s six-packs chilled and accessible at an outdoor event.

Provide Adequate Seating

This should go without saying, but you’d be surprised by the number of hosts who fail to provide enough chairs for their guests. Don’t assume that people will prefer to stand just because it’s an outdoor party. They’ll want to sit down to eat, at the very least.

Though barbecues are casual, the details still matter. Don’t make it just another lunchtime get-together. Aim to make it the party that all your friends will talk about for the rest of the year.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.
Tim Esterdahl

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