Step outside on just about any weekend day during the summer and chances are you will smell the nice smell of someone cooking on the barbecue grill. This holds true for holidays such as the 4th of July, Memorial Day, and Labor Day. The main reasons that barbecues are so great are that the food tastes so great when it comes off of a grill, and it is time for family and friends to gather. Barbecues provide some of the most memorable moments of a lifetime.
There needs to be adequate planning to pull off a great BBQ. Put out a “feeler” to potential guests to see if there are any conflicts in people’s schedule. I have found that as long as you plan in advance scheduling is not an issue. Weather also plays a major role in planning a successful outdoor cooking party. Most of us are not meteorologists, but some common sense applies. Do not schedule a cookout during the rainy season or times when it is excessively hot. In case of an unwanted thunderstorm or rain shower, have a backup plan. Indoor parties can be just as fun as long as you are prepared.
Barbecuing has been around since man discovered fire. Once the Neanderthals figured out that food tasted better on an open fire, BBQ’s have been popular. Now, even though a barbecue is a gathering, there would be no event at all without meat. All meats are good on a grill, and thankfully there is a great variety of meats to choose from when it comes to setting a menu for your next BBQ gathering.
Preparation should take place 12 – 24 hours in advance. Set the menu first then visit the grocery store. There are many things to take into consideration such as spices needed, condiments, and sides. Are you going to make or buy certain items such as potato salad, beans, etc? Lastly, no party would be complete without an alcoholic beverage for those who choose to imbibe. Once the grocery list is complete, it is time to prep everything. Do you need to marinate the meat?
During certain holidays or events, you may want to have a themed event. If it is themed then get decorations, tablecloths, napkins, and plates to add to the décor. A luau theme is fairly cheap because you could buy some leis and tiki torches and there you have a Hawaiian theme.
You should be prepared for the party and the area should be set up before guests arrive. Depending on the situation and what you are cooking, you may want to have the food already cooking on the grill. Depending on the time frame you may have some appetizers to cook first. I personally like to grill some stuffed jalapeños prior to cooking the main course.