Hello friends, did you know the month of May is national barbecue month? It’s time to ask the question, ” why are there 10 hotdogs in a package but only 8 hotdog buns in a package”? Memorial Day is just a few days away and for me and many others it means the unofficial start of summer and hello barbecue!
Can I tell you a secret? We’ve been barbecuing for the past couple of month’s. (smile)
When hubby and I were first married we used to barbecue all year long, that’s right, you could find us all bundled up in snow gear while we barbecued the perfect kebob. What can I say? Some things just taste better cooked on the barbecue.
Over the years I’ve shared barbecuing menu, suggestions and the barbecue sauce even picky eaters will love. So today I thought I’d share some quick tips for prepping for a barbecue with guests in mind. We’ve all be vaccinated, so family gatherings are back!
Whether your planning to cook for four, or forty, this simple barbeque prep list will help you enjoy national barbecue month, and every barbecue day ahead.
If you didn’t clean the barbecue after using it last, give yourself plenty of time to clean it before your guests arrive. Make sure you have plenty of charcoal briquettes or propane. Remember it takes about 30 minutes for charcoal to get to the best cooking temperature so set up your grill and get the charcoals hot before your guests arrive.
Verify you have all of the necessary barbecuing utensils, and remember to include a tall cup of water in case you have “flare-ups” and a meat thermometer. Use separate utensils for raw and cooked meats.
Practice food safety and don’t leave food out of the refrigerator for longer than half an hour, and don’t leave food in the sun. Keep things cold or hot with proper methods (ice, cold packs, warmers to keep food hot, etc.).
Planning ahead means a single trip to the market to get all the items for your BBQ menu. Remember to consider allergies and vegetarian food options when you’re making your menu. Here are some simple food allergy printables you might like to use. Include plenty of drink options. It’s always a good idea to have a selection of non-alcoholic, alcoholic beverages, and plenty of cold water to drink. Put out a cooler or bucket with ice, and let guests serve themselves.
The day before you will want to prepare your marinades, salads, sauces, and cook your desserts. Desserts don’t have to be fancy. Serving ice cream and fresh fruit platters bought from the store are always a nice treat. Of course, you could serve your best loved dessert, or grilled fruit (with whipped topping) too (smile).
Make sure you have enough seating, or areas to sit comfortably and enjoy the meal. Create as many shaded areas as possible to accommodate your guests. Make sure you have trash and recycle receptacles easy to find, but keep them away from your eating areas. Set up a buffet/drinks table to let guests help themselves. My favorite thing is to set up a burger bar stocked with traditional and not so traditional burger condiment options, it’s an easy way to satisfy all of your guests favorites.
Fresh flowers and festive lighting are always helpful for setting the mood if your barbecue will continue into the evening. Citronella plants and/or bug off spray are essential for evening barbecues too.
Music and Entertainment
If you plan to have music playing be considerate of your neighbors with volume and evening in mind. Plan fun games for your guests, charades and drawing games are fun for all ages. Don’t forget to take pictures!
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