Doing Summer Barbecues Right
by Lee Wyatt
(last updated September 12, 2012)
Summers are a wonderful time of year that allow people to go outside and enjoy the beauty that comes with the natural world without too much hardship. As such, many people often hold barbecues to celebrate. The problem with this is that many people just put a bunch of food out, include a few drinks, and then begin to eat. While this may be ok for an informal gathering of you and your family, it's not really the right way to do a barbecue. Doing summer barbecues right often require a bit of planning, and a little forethought. Luckily, it's not all that difficult as long as you keep these guidelines in mind.
- Choose the date. To really do a barbecue right needs a bit of planning. Ideally you will choose a date at least a week in advance, and use that time to plan everything out properly. When thinking about the date that you will be having the barbecue think of a date that will allow most, if not all, of the people that you want to come will be able to join you.
- Check the weather. If you have access to the computer, check out the forecasted weather for the day that you plan on having your barbecue. You don't want the party to be rained out, and this will allow you to change your plans if necessary. If you plan on having your barbecue in the evening, make sure that you also have means to help discourage things like mosquitos from annoying you, a few citronella candles or torches should do the trick.
- Create a menu. Think about the food that you want to have, and how you will be preparing it. While you can always go with the traditional burgers and hotdogs, you may want to think about some other items that you can include on the menu as well. For example, you may want to think about including steaks, chicken, pork, or even fish for your meat. Don't forget to include some vegetables as well, and possibly some fruit, all of which can be barbecued. Finally, make sure that you don't forget to include some drinks. If you are not interested in doing all the cooking yourself, then have your guests bring a side dish, or even some drinks as well.
- Send the invitations. After you have decided on the date and the menu, send out your invitations. You will want to do this as far in advance of the barbecue as possible. This will allow your guests to decide whether or not they can make it, allow them to clear their schedule, and furthermore allow them to gather anything that you have requested them to bring.
- Set everything up. Use the time from when you send out the invitations and the barbecue to actually begin gathering the items that you will be eating and drinking. By using this time you will be able to find the best possible deals, and not be rushed as you do it. In addition, you will want to start preparing the area that you will be using for the barbecue as well. This means picking things up, and straightening your yard if necessary. After all, you don't really want to be embarrassed when you have your guests over do you? One last thing, don't forget to get something that you can use to help keep your perishable items (such as condiments and drinks) cold while you are eating.
- Enjoy! When the time has come for your barbecue, enjoy yourself. Take the time to sit back and enjoy the company of your friends and family, as well as the good food that you will be eating.