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The summer solstice has come and gone and the long, bright days are getting increasingly shorter. But don’t let the endless advertisements for back-to-school sales keep you from maintaining your normal summertime entertaining schedule. There is still plenty of time to plan an end-of-summer barbecue and enjoy the company of friends and family. Check out these ideas to make your last bash of the year a great one.
Upgrade Your Outdoor Entertainment Space
The end of the summer is the perfect time to look for ways to upgrade your outdoor entertainment area because many stores discount things like grills and patio furniture at the end of the season. Outdoor kitchen ideas can be as simple or intricate as your imagination and/or budget allows. You need to decide how extensively you plan to use your newfound, outdoor oasis to ascertain which luxuries you should invest in.
An ideal gathering place showcases some of the modern conveniences of technology. Your need for tech upgrades can be as simple as waterproof speakers to provide the right atmosphere for your social endeavours; inversely, the more seasoned entertainer might see the draw of a weatherproof television. How you design your outdoor venue depends on what would suit your needs and personal tastes.
Choosing the Right Grill
When talking about summer barbecues, be sure you have the right tool for the job. You don’t need to have the most expensive grill with all the added whistles and bells that will just go to waste if you don’t use them anyway. The most important factor, when considering which grill would be right for you, is the cooking space. Make sure you find one with adequate space to meet your entertaining needs.
Also, do your homework and shop around for deals. Just because you don’t want a top-of-the-line grill doesn’t mean you should go for the bare-bones, basic model either. You want something that will be sturdy enough to last for several years so you don’t need to replace it annually.
Once you have your ideal grill, don’t forget to take care of it! You want your investment to last. In order to do that, maintenance is a must. Make sure you clean it before and after every use, dispose of ashes once they’ve cooled, and oil the grate. Keeping your grill in tip-top shape will ensure countless summers of barbecue and bliss.
Make Budget-Friendly Food Choices
Now that you have your ideal setting, it’s time to enjoy it! If you’re worried about the unexpected cost of entertaining, late in the summer, before such a busy shopping season, fear not, there are ways to entertain without breaking the bank.
Meat is always the priciest part of your menu. You don’t have to sacrifice taste to accommodate an enjoyable meal from the grill. Instead of the more pricey cuts of steak, you can substitute a Porterhouse for a flank steak. Do you typically barbecue boneless chicken breasts? Swap your overpriced filets for the juicier, more budget-friendly thighs or drumsticks.
If traditional barbecue favourites are more your menu choice, there are extra ingredients you can add that will make the flavour far tastier than the average summertime feast. With the small addition of some chopped blue cheese or bacon, you can transform your burger into a tantalizing treat. Are boring hot dogs not appealing to you? Slice them lengthwise and add a bit of cheddar cheese to mix things up.
When considering how to turn your normal barbecue foods into a culinary delight, you don’t have to break the bank on expensive rubs and marinades. Get creative and look to your pantry; with a ketchup base and mix of various herbs and spices, you can make your own marinade for a fraction of the cost.
Preparing for summertime entertaining isn’t something you should stress over. Ultimately, as long as you have food, drinks, and a few good friends, you’ll end up having a great time.