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It’s summer, which can mean only one thing: it’s time to get your grill on. From burgers and dogs to steaks and chops and every veggie in between, there’s nothing like a barbecue to enhance the summer, day or night, rain or shine. Before you start food shopping, check out our list of essential things to know about the ‘cue.
1. Grill types.
Generally, there are four different types of grills available: gas, electric, charcoal or portable. Read on to find what’s best for you, and remember whatever grill you go for, purchasing it through one of our affiliate retailers provides your team with some meaty savings!
a. Gas grills run on a dedicated gas line or bottled propane. They heat up quickly and are easy to keep clean. They can be quite costly, and some people complain that they aren’t as flavorful as old-school charcoal.
b. Charcoal grills may be a little high maintenance, but for a smoky grilled flavor, they can’t be beaten. They take longer to heat up, charcoal can be expensive, and there is more clean-up involved. But nothing beats the classic.
c. Electric grills can work inside and out. They will provide the sear marks but they aren’t ideal. However, not everyone has space or the fire regulations allowing them to use charcoal or gas!
d. Portable Grills can move from place to place. They’re easy to use and easy to set up. They can run on either propane or charcoal and are perfect for picnics, tailgating, and road or camping trips.
2. Location, location, location.
Where you place your grill is as important as what you grill. Keep a good distance between your grill and your home (including siding and deck rails. Make sure there are no low-hanging branches or other debris nearby.
3. Patio furniture.
Part of the joy of cooking outdoors is eating al fresco! Outdoor sofas and chair sets, dining room table, and all-weather cushions can transform your backyard space into an extra room. Take advantage of all that summer has to offer by creating an outdoor space that will make you forget you ever ate indoors!
We hate to say it, but sometimes our best outdoor intentions are thwarted when the weather has a mind of its own. While grilling on the rain is no one’s idea of fun, a slicker and heavy-duty large golf umbrella can keep the cook dry. And if the summer sun is accompanied by a cold snap, outdoor heaters can make even the chilliest areas feel downright tropical!
Look for a shady spot. No one wants to cook over an open flame in full sunlight. When the sun goes down, strategically placed outdoor lamps and patio lights can help light your way. A myriad of clip-on spotlights and miner’s hats are also available for hands-free spotlights on the grill.
There may only be 4 styles of grills, but the accessories for those grills are endless. Flip baskets, BBQ brushes, tongs, flippers, spatulas, lighters, grilling trays, pans, skewers and pizza stones are just some of the tools of the trade that grillers love. BBQ gifts make the best presents – there’s always something new and fun to try out!
It’s always a good idea to have eating utensils, flatware and plates specifically for your outside space. Nothing ruins an outdoor party more than broken glass or ceramics. Plastic plates can be washed and reused, while the paper variety can often be recycled. And with a range of adorable patterns and colors, you can’t ever go wrong – or get bored!
What’s a BBQ without all the fixin’s? We’re talking way beyond the ubiquitous BBQ sauce. Gourmet mustards, classic ketchups and artisanal pickles can all enhance your BBQ feasting. Specialty breads and buns, side salads for every palate and, of course, desserts, all help make your BBQ unforgettable.
BBQ’s aren’t just for burgers, dogs and steaks anymore. Breakout the fish, seafood, chicken, chops, veggies, and even pizza…If it can be roasted, baked or broiled, it can be grilled. Grilled fruit makes an excellent accompaniment or a dessert. Whether it’s plated, skewered, or served on the bone, everything tastes better fresh off the grill!
10. Tips and tricks.
Prepare yourself as well as your food. Watch videos, learn recipes and scour the web for cool tips and tricks. Invest in a meat thermometer and timer to ensure the perfect degree of doneness every time. Most crucially, make sure you’ve got good company. BBQ’s are the best way to entertain and feed family and friends.