Plan a Perfect BBQ Party

Barbeques are popular for events such as the 4th of July, birthday parties, receptions, and going away parties. No matter why you have decided to plan a barbeque party, the memories that will come from it are sure to stick with your guests for many years to come, provided that you plan ahead. Planning the perfect BBQ party is not difficult, as long as you follow a few simple steps.

1) First, no barbeque would be complete without guests. Plan ahead of time, checking with your potential guest for scheduling conflicts and issues. Finding a date and time that is suitable for everyone should not be to far as long as you everyone enough advanced notice. Remember that not everyone will be able to come, no matter how much notice you give them, so do not get discouraged if you do not get as many RSVPs as your originally hoped for.

2) Be sure to check the weather for that type of year. If you live in a climate that cannot be predicted, then you may want to have a backup plan just incase unusual weather comes. You cannot predict things like rain and thunderstorms ahead of time, but you can make sure that you hold you barbeque during the time of year that will be pleasant to your guests. A barbeque in cold weather may hold more negative memories of trying to keep warm rather then good memories of family and friends.

3) Purchase the type of meat that you will be serving at your party. You will want to have a least a couple of different kinds of meats, as everyone attending may not like a certain kind. It is usually safe to go with pork, sausage, hamburgers, and chicken. If smaller children are going to be in attendance, you should consider child friendly foods such as smaller hamburgers and hot dogs.

4) Once you have the meat purchased, you will then want to consider what type of sides dished you will serve. If you want a completely tradition barbeque, you may want to stick with traditions sides. Traditional barbeque sides include potatoes, potato salad, baked beans, and coleslaw. Your traditional condiment bar should include pickles, relish, and onions. These foods are typically severed at barbeques because they are easy to prepare and store until the event happens. You may want to cook other items, but any barbeque is complete with just the items listed above. Once again, if children will be present, you may want to consider sides for them as well.

The simplest approach to side dishes is chips and dip. Chips and dip do not require any cooking on your part, and will still be loved by the majority of your guests.

5) Depending on the theme of your party, you may or may not want to purchase decorations. Festive decorations can be found at any local party or general store. You may also consider purchasing decorations that can be stored and reused at a different time, such as reusable tablecloths and Tiki torches.

6) The day before you party, you will want to make sure to thaw, prepare, and marinate the meat you will be cooking. Store the meat stored away, soaking up the marinate until it is time for it to go on the grill. Prepare any side dishes that you can ahead of time.

7) The day of the party, get up early and start preparing for it. You do not want your guest arriving while you are still cooking or hanging decorations. It should only take you a few hours at most to prepare the area in which you will be having the party, but the reactions from your guest will probably seem as if you have been planning this for weeks. Try to have the grill already going by time the guests get there as well, because the smell coming from the grill is sure to get everyone in the mood.

Using a Charcoal Grill

So you have decided that you want to start barbequing. What more, you have done your research and decided that a charcoal grill is the right type of grill for you. So now you have to pick out the charcoal grill that suits you best.

One of the first things to consider when purchasing your first charcoal grill is what you will be using it for. If you plan on traveling and using your charcoal grill, you will want something small enough to travel with you. Smaller charcoal grills are ideal for cookouts, camping, and tail gate parties, but would not be useful if you were cooking for a larger amount of people. Smaller grills that are easy to transport usually cost under 20 dollars, so you may want to consider purchasing a separate grill for smaller occasions.

Safety should also be a major concern when you are picking out your first charcoal grill. Since you grill will contain hot coals, the number one concern should be whether or not your grill is sturdy. Look for a charcoal grill with a sturdy structure and sturdy legs. If you grill does now have sturdy legs, it’s chances of falling over is much greater. When a charcoal grill falls over, it send hot coals flying. Many charcoal grills also have built in safety features such as a water reservoir and smothering valves. Undoubtedly, when you are cooking with fire, accidents can happen. In the case that your grill gets out of control or becomes to hot, these safety features will prevent potentially dangerous fires.

One of the most noticeable features when using charcoal is the flavor of the food you cook. To cook with a charcoal grill, you must buy charcoal briquettes and lighter fluid. Charcoal is a one use item, and will need to be discarded after each use. Charcoal can be picked up at your local superstore, gas station, or grocery store, and is typically pretty inexpensive. Charcoal must be light and allowed to burn until the charcoal is no longer on fire, but is red embers. The best way to get the pile to burn is by stacking it in a pyramid.

While no one likes to clean their grill, it is necessary to maintain your grill if you want it to last it’s intended lifetime. One problem you will face is the fact that Charcoal grills stay hot for a long period of time. You can remedy this situation 2 ways. First you can leave your grill open, allowing it to burn out. This method typically burns a lot of the grease off, but can potentially cause problems if you are not near your barbeque grill. You do not want to start a fire. Another way is to completely close off your grill and deny the fire oxygen. As soon as the grill is cold, or cold enough not to burn you, you will want to clean the grill. Leaving the grill dirty for any amount of time will cause the buildup to become hard, and may make it harder to remove. Use a wire brush to clean off the surface areas of your grill, and then spray cooking oil on the surface. Take the racks off and clean them with dishwashing soap. Dawn or other brands that have degreasers work best. Rinse the racks off, and replace them in the grill.

Tips for First Time Grill Owners

Grilling, or Barbequing is a true American tradition. Many Americans are finding themselves with a grill for the first time. Good experiences with your grill will surely lead to using your grill more and more.

Planning Ahead

Barbequing has been around since early cavemen figured out that food tasted great after being cooked on an open fire. Perhaps one of the main memories attached to a family barbeque is what was on the menu that day. Barbequing opens a whole array of types of foods available. The type of foods you serve should largely depend on your crowd and the event in which you are celebrating. With the wide range of possibilities, you are sure to find at least a few items that will please your crowd.

Another potential issue when barbequing is the weather. While you will not be able to guarantee that the weather stays nice your barbeque event, a certain amount of planning will help you avoid the days in which barbequing is just simply out of the picture. Watch the weather channel or check online for your weekly forecast. If rain or cold weather is likely on the day you were thinking about having your barbeque, it may be a good idea to wait for a better forecast.

Make sure that you prepare ahead for your barbeque. 12 to 24 hours before you plan on beginning the party, make sure to thaw, prepare, and marinate the meat you will be cooking. Once you have the meat stored away, soaking up the marinate, then you must start thinking about what types of side dishes you will be having. If you want a completely tradition barbeque, you may want to stick with traditional sizes. Traditional barbeque sides include potatoes, potato salad, baked beans, and coleslaw.
Maintenance

You will need some common household items on hand when it comes time to
clean your barbeque grill.

Brass wire grill brush
Steel wool pads, preferably that contains soap already.
Mild dish soap
Sponge or dishcloth
Spray cooking oil
Dry baking soda
Aluminum foil

The first thing that should always be done to your grill is a routine brushing. Using your brass wire grill brush (or other brush suitable to your type of grill) you should brush off all the surfaces. By routinely brushing your barbeque grill, you will prevent any type of buildup. If buildup from food is left to long, it can become increasingly difficult to remove. Once you have cleaned the surfaces of your grill, then you must focus on its racks. The racks in your grill are especially important as this is where the food touches when it is cooking. You will have to use the wire brush to remove as much buildup as possible. Once you remove as much as possible, start washing the racks with dish soap. If the racks are really dirty, you may also want to use the steel wool pads. Be sure to completely rinse off all soap and residue before cooking on these racks again.

This process should be completed each and every time you cook on your barbeque grill. If these steps are not taken, you may find it increasingly difficult to clean your grill, and may find that damage will occur.

The majority of problems that arise from barbeque grills comes from lack of cleaning and maintenance. That means if you notice something does not seem quite right with your barbeque grill, chances are it can be fixed with just a simple cleaning. Even if you clean it, and still find that it is having problems, at least you saved yourself the potential embarrassment of taking it to a professional only to find out all it needed was to be cleaned.

Finally, one method of preventing problems with your barbeque grill is protecting it from the outdoors. Covers are available for grills in all shapes and sizes, so chances are, you will find one that fits your grill. If you have a cover for your barbeque grill, then all you will ever need to do is do the regular maintenance listed above.

Planning The Perfect Barbeque Party

No barbeque would be complete without guests and proper outdoors weather. Plan ahead of time, checking with your potential guest for scheduling conflicts and issues. Finding a date and time that is suitable for everyone should not be to far as long as you everyone enough advanced notice. Alternatively, be sure to check the weather for that type of year. If you live in a climate that cannot be predicted, then you may want to have a backup plan just incase unusual weather comes. You cannot predict things like rain and thunderstorms ahead of time, but you can make sure that you hold you barbeque during the time of year that will be pleasant to your guests. A barbeque in cold weather may hold more negative memories of trying to keep warm rather then good memories of family and friends.

Barbequing has been around since early cavemen figured out that food tasted great after being cooked on an open fire. Perhaps one of the main memories attached to a family barbeque is what was on the menu that day. Barbequing opens a whole array of types of foods available. The type of foods you serve should largely depend on your crowd and the event in which you are celebrating. With the wide range of possibilities, you are sure to find at least a few items that will please your crowd.

Make sure that you prepare ahead for your barbeque. 12 to 24 hours before you plan on beginning the party, make sure to thaw, prepare, and marinate the meat you will be cooking. Once you have the meat stored away, soaking up the marinate, then you must start thinking about what types of side dishes you will be having. If you want a completely tradition barbeque, you may want to stick with traditions sizes. Traditional barbeque sides include potatoes and potato salad, baked beans, and coleslaw. Your traditional condiment bar should include pickles, relish, and onions. These foods are typically severed at barbeques because they are easy to prepare and store until the event happens. You may want to cook other items, but any barbeque is complete with just the items listed above.

A themed barbeque may present more opportunities to hold a festive event. With a themed event, you can splurge on the atmosphere and decorations. Matching tablecloths, napkins, and plates can be found at any local store. You can also match your décor to the party. For example, a luau could simply be creative colored utensils, leis, and Tiki torches, all of which are extremely cheap. You can even reuse the Tiki torches later!

Your party area should be set up before guest arrive. It only takes a few minutes to get everything ready, but the reaction you get from your arriving guests may make you feel like you were preparing and decorating all day. Depending on the situation, you may or may not want to have the food already cooking on the grill. The smell will surely be inviting if you start cooking ahead!

Summer Grilling

Summer time is the perfect time for barbequing. Not only is the temperatures perfect for outdoor activities, but often the children are out of school, and families are traveling for their summer vacations. Today in America, it is unheard of for a family to go a full summer without having or attending a barbeque cookout. Today, over 90% of families attend a barbeque at least once a year.

Summer is indeed the perfect time to plan a barbeque party. It is important to remember certain things when barbequing to ensure that your party goes flawless.
Grilling Do’s and Don’ts

1. Always start with a completely clean grill. The amazing fish that you cooked last week was indeed tasty, but unless you want a hint of fish with your hot dogs, you need to clean your grill before cooking. It is recommended that you clean you grill each and every time you use it. Wait until it cools down, and then clean the surfaces with baking soda and the racks with grease fighting dish soap and water.

2. Before you begin cooking, spray your cooking area with a nonstick cooking spray. This will prevent your meat from sticking when you are rotating or removing it. If your meat sticks and tears, you will lose a large amount of juice, and your meat may dry out.

3. Never place food on the grill until the temperature is correct. The fluctuation in temperatures will cause your food to dry out or burn. If you are using a charcoal grill, make sure that the coals are completely gray before putting the meat on the grill. This will allow the temperatures to level out, and the majority of the lighter fluid to burn off.

4. While marinating before you cook will add flavor, covering your meat in barbeque sauces before cooking will dry your meat out, and may even cause it to burn. This happens because most barbeques sauces contain high amounts of fat and sugar, which burn really easy. Alternatively, lightly seasoning your meat will work well, and will not have any adverse effects. If you must use barbeque sauce, only add it in the final minutes before taking your meat off the grill. Just remember that meat has a natural flavor that is only brought out by barbequing, so you do not want to ruin that.

5. Searing you meat will lock in the juices and taste, but you do not want to cook your meat at that temperature for the whole amount of time. Once you have seared both sides, reduce the heat to medium. This will ensure that your meat is full of flavor and tender.

6. Once meat is cooked, never put it back in on the same plate you had it on when it was raw. This could cause the spread of many unwanted illnesses. Do not handle cooked meat with the same utensils that you used when it was raw.
7. Never poke you meat while it is cooking. Poking holes in meat will cause the juice inside to leak out into the bottom of the grill. Not only will this make your food dry and unappealing in the end, but it also could potentially ruin your barbeque grill. At the very least, it will cause a buildup of unwanted grease and juices on your grill, which will make cleanup harder.

Your First Charcoal Grill

Perhaps you have just moved into your first place, or you decided that you wanted to broaden your horizons and try new things. Maybe you went to a Fourth of July barbeque party and tasted the beautiful smoked flavor, and decided you wanted to try to replicate it. After doing your research, you decided that a charcoal grill is right for you. Now what?

Now that you have decided you want a charcoal grill, you have to decide what type of charcoal grill will suit your needs. Are you planning on traveling and using your charcoal grill? If so, you will need a charcoal grill that is small enough to travel with you. Smaller charcoal grills are ideal for cookouts, camping, and tail gate parties, but would not be useful if you were cooking for a larger amount of people. If you plan on feeding a larger amount of people, a larger charcoal grill will better suit your needs. If you are having issues deciding on which type you should get, you may consider getting both. Smaller charcoals grills can cost as little as $10 to $15 dollars, and will give you the ability to travel.

Charcoal grills contain hot embers and fire when it is in use. Safety should also be a major concern when you are picking out your first Charcoal grill. Look for a charcoal grill with a sturdy structure and sturdy legs. If you grill does now have sturdy legs, it’s chances of falling over is much greater. When a charcoal grill falls over, it will send the hot coals flying. Many charcoal grills also have built in safety features such as a water reservoir and smothering valves. Undoubtedly, when you are cooking with fire, accidents can happen. In the case that your grill gets out of control or become to hot, these safety features will prevent potentially dangerous fires. The fire department has much better things to do then help you cook.

One of the most noticeable features when using charcoal is the flavor of the food you cook. To cook with a charcoal grill, you must buy charcoal briquettes and lighter fluid. Charcoal is a one use item, and will need to be discarded after each use. Charcoal can be picked up at your local superstore, gas station, or grocery store, and is typically pretty inexpensive. Charcoal must be light and allowed to burn until the charcoal is no longer on fire, but is red embers. The best way to get the pile to burn is by stacking it in a pyramid.

While no one likes to clean their grill, it is necessary to maintain your grill if you want it to last it’s intended lifetime. One problem you will face is the fact that Charcoal grills stay hot for a long period of time. You can remedy this situation 2 ways. First you can leave your grill open, allowing it to burn out. This method typically burns a lot of the grease off, but can potentially cause problems if you are not near your barbeque grill. You do not want to start a fire. Another way is to completely close off your grill and deny the fire oxygen. As soon as the grill is cold, or cold enough not to burn you, you will want to clean the grill. Leaving the grill dirty for any amount of time will cause the buildup to become hard, and may make it harder to remove. Use a wire brush to clean off the surface areas of your grill, and then spray cooking oil on the surface. Take the racks off and clean them with dishwashing soap. Dawn or other brands that have degreasers work best. Rinse the racks off, and replace them in the grill.

Barbeque Maintenance Tips

When purchasing your barbeque grill, think of it as an investment rather then just another item for your outdoor entertainment. You should expect this item to become a large part of your outdoor activities for many years to come. But like any other investments, proper maintenance and care is needed to ensure that your barbeque grill will work for you for many years to come. While some maintenance and cleaning is specific to the type of barbeque grill your own (gas, electric, charcoal or smoke barbecue grill), the majority of maintenance that should be carried on does not change from grill to grill.

Step 1- Gathering The Necessary Items

You will need some common household items on hand when it comes time to clean your barbeque grill.

Brass wire grill brush
Steel wool pads, preferably that contains soap already.
Mild dish soap
Sponge or dishcloth
Spray cooking oil
Dry baking soda
Aluminum foil

Step 2- Brushing Your Grill Off

The first thing that should always be done to your grill is a routine brushing. Using your brass wire grill brush (or other brush suitable to your type of grill) you should brush off all the surfaces. By routinely brushing your barbeque grill, you will prevent any type of buildup. If buildup from food is left to long, it can become increasingly difficult to remove.

Step 3- Spray Cooking Oil

Once you are sure that your grill is free of all buildup and debris, and that your grill is completely cooled off, you will want to spray it down with a light layer of cooking oil. Spraying it down with cooking oil will prevent your barbeque grill from rusting. It is especially important to make sure your barbeque grill is completely cold, as spraying cooking oil on a hot surface may cause the oil to heat up and ignite, which could be potentially dangerous to you and your barbeque grill.

Step 4- Use Baking Soda and Aluminum Foil on Your Grill

Baking soda is a very nice cleaning and polishing agent. Once you have removed any extra debris and buildup, lightly scrubbing your barbeque grill with baking soda will give it that extra shine, similar to the day that you brought it home from the store. This can also be used on handles and knobs to remove any extra buildup that cannot be taken off with a wire brush.

Aluminum foil can also be used to keep your grill looking nice. Gently rub the aluminum foil on your grill, and you will notice that it removes grim and buildup.

Step 5- Clean Your Racks

The racks in your grill are especially important as this is where the food touches when it is cooking. You will have to use the wire brush to remove as much buildup as possible. Once you remove as much as possible, start washing the racks with dish soap. If the racks are really dirty, you may also want to use the steel wool pads. Be sure to completely rinse off all soap and residue before cooking on these racks again.

Step 6- Preventing Problems

The majority of problems that arise from barbeque grills comes from lack of cleaning and maintenance. That means if you notice something does not seem quite right with your barbeque grill, chances are it can be fixed with just a simple cleaning. Even if you clean it, and still find that it is having problems, at least you saved yourself the potential embarrassment of taking it to a professional only to find out all it needed was to be cleaned.

Finally, one method of preventing problems with your barbeque grill is protecting it from the outdoors. Covers are available for grills in all shapes and sizes, so chances are, you will find one that fits your grill. If you have a cover for your barbeque grill, then all you will ever need to do is do the regular maintenance listed above.