7 Tips For A Great Backyard BBQ

Summer is around the corner and grills will be fired up.  There’s nothing like hot dogs, burgers, steaks, and ribs on an outdoor grill.  I like a little burn on my hot dogs, how about you?   

I don’t consider myself a master grill chef, but I can throw a great backyard cook-out.  I love to entertain and I’ve learned over the years that you don’t have to spend a fortune to have a successful gathering.  I have a few tips to share so you can serve delicious food and keep family and friends coming back for more too.

Here’s the tips:

1.  Make sure your grill is cleaned thoroughly from last year’s use.  Don’t purchase expensive cleaners.  Ball up a piece of aluminum foil and rub it back and forth across your grates.  This should remove most of the build up.   Finish removing the build up with a wire brush and clean with soap and water.  A wire brush can be purchased from Lowes or Home Depot for a few bucks. 

2.  I’m partial to charcoal grills.  That’s probably because I can’t justify spending hundreds of dollars on a gas grill, especially when I can achieve great flavor from my Weber.  I add flavor by adding green twigs from apple trees to my charcoal.  My neighbor has a giant oak tree, where twigs are constantly falling so I gather up a few from her yard.  You can add maple cuttings as well.

3.  I buy supplies in bulk from Sams or Costco and save leftovers for the next outing.  This includes napkins, cups, utensils, charcoal etc.

4.  Look for sales on hot dogs, sausages, potatoes, can vegetables etc. at my local grocery store.  I look for the buy one get one free deals and freeze or store them until needed.  

5.  Purchase store brand buns, your guest won’t give it a second thought.  If you have a bun warmer, this is the perfect time to bring it out.  Your buns will be soft and warm.  

6.  Head to the Dollar Store for colorful table cloths and accessories.  

7.  I purchase cheaper cuts of meats and marinade and season them well.  I add eggs and Lipton’s onion soup mix to my ground beef.  That’s it, no salt pepper or hamburger seasoning.  Use your hands to mix it, pat them out and than set them in the refrigerator overnight.  They are juicy and delicious.  If I fix them any other way, my family knows.  Slowly boil ribs until they are tender before placing them on the grill.  You can easily pull them apart while eating and they’re are finger licking good. Marinade your steaks overnight for great flavor.  

6.  Summer is the perfect times to head to the garden for lettuce, tomatoes, and melons.  

7.  Be cautious when lighting your grill.  I use self starting charcoal.  It’s more expensive, but I don’t have to your starter fluid, which can be dangerous if not used properly.  Grill safety is important as the delicious foods that you will be preparing.  Keep a spray bottle or pitcher of water on hand to control high flames.  

Here’s to a great BBQ season.  May your summer be safe and blessed with family, friends and good food.