Things are heating up now it’s May with National BBQ Month!
We love any excuse for a good ol’ knees up in the garden with family, friends, and a whole lotta food. And what better reason is there than the sun coming out just as BBQ month begins? Clearly it’s fate.
So are you a Grill Sergeant Major or a beginner about to feel the burn for the first time? Either way, we've got some tips and tricks so your budget BBQ party is red hot without going up in flames.
- Be safe and appoint two grill operators
Let’s get the boring but necessary bit out of the way: be safe. When using a barbecue you are literally playing with fire. If you add small children, pets, and a bunch of relatives who have probably had one or two cocktails, then it’s bound to get hectic. First place your BBQ away from any branches or trees and keep young children and pets at a safe distance. Make sure any bits of fat and residue from your previous BBQ meal has been cleaned so your grill isn’t going to be too flammable and never leave your grill unattended. Two pairs of eyes are better than one so appoint two people as the main grillers so even if one person leaves to grab a Coca-Cola, the barbie is still being looked after.
- Make your guests pitch in
Love your mum’s mulberry gin fizz recipe? Does dad have a top secret seasoning for ribs? Ask them to bring their culinary talents to the table! Cooking has long been a fabulous family activity and something that brings people together with a sense of community. Layer all your dishes buffet style under a gazebo away from the bugs or – in typical British fashion – the rain. With a pot luck style BBQ, everyone can try new dishes and still enjoy their old favourites.
- Consider your audience
Think about whether your guests will be able to let loose and party together. For instance, it’s probably not a good idea to invite your conservative uncle Pete if he’s going to end up arguing with your ultra-liberal hipster BFF Cindy, leading to a duel with chicken drum sticks. After all, nobody likes their pulled pork served with a side eye and some shade. Consider if anyone has any allergies to foods or if they’re vegan and vegetarian. There are still plenty of recipes for veggie BBQ foods like vegetable kebabs, grilled stuff mushroom burger, BBQ Jamaican Jerk corn and more!
- Fashionable themes
Themes can really set the mood for a get together. You can keep it classy and simple with solar lights and mason jar centre pieces or go all out by making your friends and family dress up in costumes. If it’s someone’s birthday BBQ you could all dress as that person (complete with wigs etc) in a strange twist on the popular Where’s Wally parties or wear t-shirts with an embarrassing baby picture of them on. Broader themes like TV, film, and video game BBQ parties bring about a wider variety of costumes for you to be amazed by. My personal favourite? A Mario Kart themed party.
- Delicious desserts
Don’t fancy tucking in to hot dogs and pulled pork? Satisfy your sweet tooth cravings by making smoked marshmallow smores with melted chocolate. Why not put some foil on the barbie, split open a banana and cover with marshmallows, chocolate, and nuts for a grilled banana boat? And if you’re not too sure what to do with that leftover birthday cake, put it on a kebab skewer with some strawberries and grill it to sweet perfection. Roll out those left over powdered doughnuts on the grill and let those babies burn up with a caramelised coating. Who says a BBQ is all about the wings and the burgers?