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Something Different on the Barbecue

Next time you're planning to have some friends over for a barbecue, make sure you serve a menu to remember. Don't bore your guests, but don't stress yourself either. Liven up your party with a few little tips.

Invite your guests and tell them that you'll supply the grill and cold drinks, but ask each guest to bring one item for a barbecue. It's sometimes fun (and definitely more cost effective for you as the host) to have a "Bring Your Own Beef" party. Specifically ask people to bring things like ketchup, pickles, chips, etc. so nothing important gets left out, and have your guests bring the meat or main dish they want you to cook for them on the barbecue. It's fun to see what different things people come up with.

Don't limit your BBQ to meats—throw some veggies on the grill, too. Just brush them with a little olive oil and sprinkle on some salt and pepper. You can cook them before everyone arrives so they don't take barbecue space you need for other things, and then serve them warm or cool. Almost anything works as long as you cut it large enough and pay attention as you cook.

If you are getting tired of the same old food on your barbecue with the same old flavor, you can easily spice it up with a touch of the exotic: Just place fresh herbs on your hot coals—try using rosemary, dried basil seedpods, or some of your other favorites. As the coals heat the herbs, the aroma will cling to your food and send a pleasing fragrance through your yard.

You can also use flavorful wood chips (hickory, oak, or any other wood that smells great) on your coals to achieve a similar effect, but these are typically more expensive than the herbs that you probably have on hand already.

If you have a gas grill, you can heat up your wood chips or herbs in a smoker or in a makeshift foil pocket (just fold wood chips or herbs in to some foil and leave an opening for the smoke to escape into the rest of your barbecue). This will have basically the same effect as putting your flavorings directly onto hot coals.

Also read up on barbecue recipes and grilling meat outdoors before your next party starts.

 

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