‘Tis the season for barbecues, backyard fun and fresh-from-the-grill flavor! As we cruise into May, a.k.a. National Barbecue Month, it’s time to fire up the grill and get friends and family together—and today, we’ve got ten easy tips for doing just that. Take a look.
Make it a themed barbecue
One fun way to help your barbecue stand out? Make it a themed event! Just as we love hosting ugly sweater parties during the holidays, this kind of get-together is perfect for dress-up themes like floral Hawaiian button-downs, or “bring-your-own-float” where every guest sports a silly tube or novelty inflatable, great for jumping in your backyard pool on a hot day!
Work some marinade magic
For juicy, flavorful steak, chicken and more, work some magic with a delicious marinade! Everyone has their favorite recipe—but when it comes to how long to marinate your meat, experts say the sweet spot is less than you might think. For boneless chicken breast, think two hours—for most of the tougher steaks, you can shoot for three to four hours, while especially tender steaks can get away with a mere 15 minutes right before you grill!
When it comes to grilling, get creative. In addition to beloved classics like hamburgers and hot dogs, for example, you can serve up colorful skewers, featuring meat alongside fresh veggies or even roasted potatoes. While you’ve got the grill on, throw on some quesadillas or taco shells, too, and don’t forget to sweeten things up with a fresh take on fruit—grilled watermelon, served up in wedges with feta and mint, is a delicious dish that’s easy to make and enjoy.
Brush-clean your grill after cooking
Don’t forget to have some fun at your own barbecue! When your grill is still warm, simply brush away crumbs and stray pieces with a wire brush. This will make regular cleanings much easier, so you can relax with friends without worrying about a big mess later.
Simplify your spread with delicious desserts, sides and additions
Speaking of enjoying the party—splitting up some of the dishes can make your barbecue that much simpler! Ask friends to bring their own favorite homemade drinks or desserts. And of course, we here at Peach Valley can help, too. You can order individual sides, entrees and snacks online (think go-tos like our Housemade Dill Potato Salad, Cole Slaw or Onion Rings) or call in for catering on larger orders. You can complement your hand-marinated meats with a vibrant Summer Salad, for example. Just don’t forget about dessert! A Fresh Fruit or Fresh Gourmet Cookie Platter is a sweet, delicious way to make your barbecue even better—no prep time required!
Add comfy, decorative flourishes
Simple touches go a long way—like a classic tablecloth or beach blanket for added backyard seating. Another great touch? Warm string lights or lanterns! You can switch these on when the afternoon turns to evening, inviting your guests to stick around and stay a while longer.
Take turns playing DJ
Picking the perfect playlist can be a lot of pressure! Take a stress-free approach and have everyone take turns playing DJ—they can simply connect their phone via Bluetooth to an outdoor speaker, and voila, you’re good to for everything from breezy beach tunes to spirited calypso to classic rock.
Opt for a functional (and fun) punch dispenser
In lieu of a punch bowl or open pitcher, a fun and functional beverage dispenser (with a spigot for easy fill-ups) is perfect for keeping your drinks cool and keeping out pests.
Cover your guests with cooling options
The afternoon heat, plus a fired-up grill, can create a warm atmosphere in your backyard. To help your guests stay cool, you can supply cool mist fans or turn on your outdoor ceiling fan. An umbrella or even more elaborate covers, such as a shaded pergola, are also worth considering if you do lots of outdoor entertaining. Of course, if you have a backyard pool, you’re already covered when it comes to staying cool! Just add some floats and be sure to practice pool safety, especially if there are younger barbecuers present, and designate someone to supervise the splashing fun (a pretty cool job on a hot day, of course!).
Provide fun activities
In addition to pool time, supplying some easy backyard activities such as frisbee, ping-pong, volleyball and more can make your barbecue that much more fun!
Nothing beats barbecue fun with friends, family and delicious food. We here at Peach Valley are happy to help make it a special one—just call or order sides, desserts and other treats online today!