Summer is coming and many will be looking to fire up the grill. Most people dream of having a perfect barbecue that their friends, neighbors and family talk about for ages, but few know how to create such an event. In order for you to make thing memorable, you need to have a plan so that by the end of the day people are applauding your perfect barbecue. Here is that plan.
Get Your Grill in Top Shape
The key preparation item for the perfect barbecue is to properly prepare your grill. To ensure the best taste for the meats you cook, be sure your grill is clean of any food particles and rust. So scrub it until it shines and has no residual smells. This is really important because delicate meats like grass fed lamb, can easily pick up the tastes from a dirty grill. So you want it clean to enjoy the lamb’s amazing flavours. Then apply a coat of cooking oil to get it ready for grilling. If you’re cooking on a charcoal grill, using wood chips is a simple trick to add extra flavor to your meat and veggies.
Set a Killer Menu
Set out your guest list and when you know how many will attend and what types of foods they prefer, you can make your food list. Remember, the menu is the main attraction at a barbecue so make sure your food rocks. This starts by contacting your organic butcher and ordering a range of meats that will satisfy all of your guests. Keep things simple for the most part with the staples of hamburgers, beef ribs, and chicken thighs and drumsticks. Think out your marinades because some will require giving the meat an overnight soak. Match your meat up local or exotic vegetables from a farmer’s market. Look for vegetables with interesting colors and tastes in addition to staples like corn and potatoes.
Now that you have the staples covered throw in some gourmet selections that will appeal to the more discerning guests. How about some a beef brisket or steaks made with aged beef. Don’t be afraid to push the envelope and serve them things they might not expect from your backyard barbecue. In the end it will have everyone talking.
The Side Salads Complete the Menu
What completes every barbecue meal is a range of side salads to accompany what you grill. There are variations on the traditional green, potato and macaroni salads and cole slaw recipes to make them special. How about adding grilled chicken to your potato or macaroni salads, or instead of the standard lettuce options in your green salad, choose arugula, endive, micro-greens, or shredded purple cabbage. A little bit of minced basil, sage, thyme, or your favorite fresh herb can add a new dimension to your salads. Also look at tofu, tempe and dried fruits as options. The goal is to bring more complex tastes to the traditional fare, so again be creative.
Keep the Drinks Coming
The second most important thing to have at your perfect barbecue is a variety of drinks for all of your guests. Yes, you need to have plenty of beer and wine and soda, but also you need to create some special cocktails for the occasion. Since there will be a crowd, look to make drinks that you can provide in large quantities rather than individual servings. Break out the pitchers and make a few summer punches with different alcohols as the base. Make one each for rum, vodka and gin and add fresh fruit and lots of ice. Expect they will be very popular so keep extra amounts prepared and ready to serve quickly.
Pick the Right Music
The summer has its own vibe and it needs to be reflected in your music selection. Set up a continuous playlist of all the great summer songs from the generation of your guests. If all ages are attending, mix things up but be careful about music that has profanity or off-colour topics. You should intermingle styles and genres as long as the music makes people smile and dance.
Plan Some Activities
Everyone loves to have fun in the summertime so your guests will be delighted that you’ve set up games for them. Think croquet, horseshoes, corn hole, bocce ball, or badminton in the backyard. You can also have friendly card games for those who like a little competition (but no poker or gambling).
There you have it. The recipe for the perfect barbecue. Enjoy!