By Ashley Martens
The Fourth of July holiday not only celebrates America’s independence, but it is also National BBQ Day. Let’s be honest though, isn’t the entire summer season pretty much National BBQ Day? Hey, we aren’t complaining! If you plan on hosting the ultimate all American backyard BBQ this Fourth of July, here are 10 tips on how to make your backyard BBQ the best yet.
#1 Clean the Grill
When hosting a backyard BBQ, first make sure the grill is clean and ready for use. Clear any cobwebs, debris and weeds that may have grown over the winter season. Hose the deck or patio, set up the outdoor furniture and scrub any surfaces like chairs and tables. Not sure where to start? Check out these outdoor cleaning tips and these grill cleaning tips.
#2 Choose Your Meat
When it comes to planning the menu, choose your meat wisely. If hosting a larger backyard BBQ, choose options that can easily feed the masses. Think of items like beef burgers and sliders, franks, chicken, or pork. Hosting a smaller more intimate gathering? Consider steaks and seafood for a Fourth and July surf and turf.
#3 Create a Signature Drink
Celebrate Independence Day with a themed signature drink. In honor of the Fourth of July holiday, serve something red, white and blue or stick to summer staples like sangria made with fresh fruit and seasonal herbs and keep fun mocktails on hand for designated drivers.
#4 Elevate Traditional Condiments
Instead of serving plain old ketchup and mustard (though delicious), elevate your condiment choices by taking a new twist on traditional flavors. Stir in sriracha or grab gochujang chili paste and add it to mayonnaise for a spicy bite. You can even utilize fresh flavors, herbs and spices like chili, lemon and rosemary fresh from the farmers market or your very own backyard garden.
#5 Flag it
When serving up gourmet grilled items, take a tip from restaurants and use small colorful flagged toothpicks to differentiate levels of doneness. (You can also use different colored plates too). This simple trick is also helpful for keeping allergy conscious or gluten-free dishes separate from the rest of the meal.
#6 Provide Essentials
Avoid guests tromping through your house for summertime essentials and assemble everything they could need in one easy-to-find area. Grab a beach bag or basket and fill it up with summertime staples like bandaids, bug repellants, extra pairs of flip flops and sunglasses, handheld fans and sunscreen.
#7 Stock Up on Snacks
While waiting for the backyard BBQ to heat up, keep the munchies at bay with some great go-to-snacks like fresh fruits, farmers market vegetables with dips, homemade hummus, guacamole, salsa, popcorn, pork rinds, pretzels and a selection of nuts.
#8 Think Beyond the Grill
Don’t overload the BBQ or the cook for that matter. Although it’s tempting to take advantage of grilling season and serve everything on the grill, mix it up with plenty of prepared side dishes like corn on the cob, fresh fruit, salad, pasta salad, potato salad.
#9 Sweet Treats
Don’t forget dessert! Serving something sweet after the main meal is a nice sweet treat for guests to enjoy. As it is summer, think of cooling, refreshing desserts that are light like chilled pies, homemade popsicles, ice cream treats or sorbets.
#10 To-Go Containers
Don’t let guests leave the party empty handed. Have to-go containers on hand so you can send guests home with any leftovers they loved so they can enjoy the meal all over again at a later time.
Celebrate National BBQ Day this Fourth of July (and all month long) with these ten tips for hosting the best backyard BBQ. Happy Fourth of July everyone and enjoy grilling season!
Meet The Author
Ashley Martens is a Health and Wellness Writer based in Chicago, IL. With a background in digital marketing coupled with her knowledge of general nutrition and a lifelong passion for all things health, wellness, fitness and nutrition, Ashley offers a healthy alternative to traditional writing. You can learn more about Ashley and her writing over at her blog, Three to Five a Day.