Summer is the perfect time to invite your friends and family round to dine alfresco whilst soaking up the sun. The ultimate alfresco food has to be a BBQ, a mixture of hot and cold foods with that distinctive chargrilled taste. So how do you ensure your BBQ goes without a hitch? Whilst you can’t guarantee the weather or whether you’ll burn too many sausages here’s a few tips to make your BBQ the best yet.
Clean your BBQ
To avoid any cross contamination from previous food make sure you clean your barbeque grill thoroughly before firing it up.
Theme your barbecue
One way to really make your barbecue one of a kind is to think up a theme. Whether it’s just a colour scheme, food theme or country it’s certainly something that will make your event stand out.
Don’t forget the fly spray
I don’t need to tell you that flies and food don’t mix. To avoid anyone getting ill put fly spray around the condiment table so people can spray those pesky bugs when they come near.
Cater for those who don’t drink
Not everyone loves a tipple, so it’s good to have a mixture of soft and alcoholic drinks. If you don’t think all the adults will want to drink 7up or Coca Cola you can buy ‘grown up’ soft drinks like Appletiser or Schweppes.
Keep the raw and cooked foods far apart
There’s nothing more important than being aware of raw and cooked foods and making sure they’re kept separate at all times. Your guests won’t thank you if your parting gift is a major case of food poisoning.
Leave fans out for guests
With the recent hot weather we’ve been having fans at a BBQ are a godsend. You can make your own or buy them cheap in a pound store like Poundland
Label your food
When you’re at a BBQ it can get a little confusing deciphering the rare steak from the well done and the vegetarian burger from the meat burger. Avoid potential catastrophe (especially if gluten is involved!) by setting up label stations. You could have a tray for each type of food and put the relevant labels on each tray
Buy a pool
Cool down after grilling by jumping in a pool. There’s no need to start digging you can get some decent sized blow up pools from Amazon. Alternatively you could opt for a slip and slide, great fun for both adults and children.
Cook your chicken first
BBQs cook food from the outside in so it’s difficult to always cook your chicken thoroughly. You can either invest in a food thermometer or opt to cook your chicken in your oven first to ensure the inside isn’t left raw.
Make fruit juice more fun by adding alcohol into lolly moulds. Perfect for an after dinner treat!
Make the water taste better for those water fans by spicing it up with fruits like lemons, oranges and cucumbers.
Use muffin cases as hot dog holders
Want to avoid the mess you get with paper plates, tomato ketchup and tissues? Muffin cases are very flexible, very light and come in large sizes – perfect for keeping your fingers clean
Keep chilled food on ice
You can make sure your fresh and chilled food stays good to eat by putting it in a paddling pool full of ice. You can see instantly what’s in there and don’t have to dig around like you do with a traditional cooler.
Spice up your menu
Make your bbq extra special by adding a few extra touches. Whether it’s ciabatta rolls instead of soft buns or fancy dressing such as garlic mayonnaise a little really goes a long way.
Have a mix of meat and vegetarian options
Not everyone is going to like the same food and you’ll always going to find a few people who are vegetarians or vegans. Avoid them going hungry by buying food that they can eat such as soya burgers or sausages.
Being organised goes a long way
Avoid the stresses of running around getting everything on the big day by prepping beforehand. Marinate the meats, chop the vegetables and salad and get the decorations ready.
Keep your table cloths on the table!
The annoying thing when the wind picks up is that it blows literally everything in sight. Keep your tablecloths flat on the table by weighing down the sides with a homemade paperweight. You could pop flowers into a pot filled with 1/3 of water. Clip them to the table with a strong clip
Set up garden games
Always have a great pasta salad
It goes with pretty much everything and is so easy to make!