This is a featured article
Do you know how to throw an unforgettable end-of-the-summer barbecue party? It’s a wonderful idea to enjoy your meals al fresco while the weather is beautiful, but you can take things up a notch by designing a spectacular seasonal cookout. Imagine throwing a party so remarkable, your family and friends wish it were barbecue season all year long. It’s not that hard to do. Just follow these five tips to give your outdoor party a chance to rise above the level of ordinary:
Tip #1 Create an Outdoor Cooking Area You’ll Love
One immediate drawback of having an outdoor barbecue party is that you abandon the multifaceted functionality of the kitchen. If you’ve spent a considerable amount of money designing the perfect kitchen, it might be hard to limit yourself to just working with an outdoor grill and a portable grill table.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Research outdoor kitchen designs and build an outdoor cooking area with all the bells and whistles. You can even add a mini fridge to the mix so you don’t have to run back and forth to the kitchen for drinks.
When you have an outdoor kitchen to rely on, instead of only on a grill, you aren’t limited to the type of meals you want to cook. You can even do most of the food prep work in the kitchen before firing up your grill to save time.
Tip #2: Be Creative With Place Settings
Even if you only have a long picnic table to spread out all your delicious meals, you can still set the table creatively. For instance, you can create a theme for your gathering, and use napkins, paper plates, name cards, and flowers to reflect that theme. Brainstorm some party themes that you could adapt to suit your outdoor barbecue party. You’ll find plenty of options, and the right theme can really improve the party atmosphere.
Tip#3: Create an Outside Food Station
Instead of setting out a variety of dishes on the picnic table, use a separate table to hold all of the food, drinks, and condiments. Be sure to set the table up in a way that people can walk around as a food station. Allow your guests to dress up the sausages, chicken, burgers, and ribs according to their own tastes.
Here are some ideas on toppings you can offer:
- A selection of cheese: Bleu cheese, Swiss cheese, brie, parmesan, and herbed goat cheese.
- A selection of condiments: BBQ sauces, salsa, honey mustard, guacamole, horseradish.
- A selection of toppings: bacon, jalapenos, fried onions, roasted red peppers, and marinated red onions.
- A selection of tasty add-ons: pesto, Granny Smith apples, Boursin, lemon broccoli, white bean salad, and coleslaw.
Tip #4: Offer Interesting Beverages
Besides the usual choice of beverages that everyone loves — beer, wine, soda, and juice — consider adding curiously interesting sparkly beverages with flavours like smashed raspberries. You can also add a playful ambience to the gathering by serving your drinks in festive glasses — either those that you buy from the store or that you decorate yourself with oil-based paint markers.
Tip #5: Add a Some Lighter Food Options to the Mix
To balance out your choice of grilled meats and other usual barbecue fares, you should add a variety of green salads and a few homemade dressing with delicious fresh herbs. You could also make a vegetable tray, and serve other light food options as side dishes such as potato salad, macaroni salad, and coleslaw.
Hopefully, these tips sparked your imagination and you helped you come up with even more ways to make your barbeque unusual and interesting — an outdoor party that people will nostalgically reflect on for years to come.