Since the beginning of our marriage, my husband and I have loved to hang out in the backyard to grill and BBQ. Every Friday evening, no matter the weather, you would find us chillin’ and grillin’ (me the first, the second my husband) (I don’t even know how to light the grill!). Bundled up, trying to keep warm by the pit in freezing temps, setting up in the shadiest, breeziest spot to beat the heat, or finding cover for rainy days, we did not let anything stop us. I called us “Hard Core BBQers.”
Though grilling with snow on the ground can be fun, summer is definitely my favorite time to host a backyard BBQ. I thought I would share a few tips, recipes, and ideas that my family loves.
The first thing we do to plan a party is to choose the date and time, decide our guest list, and method of inviting those guests. Depending on our time frame and occasion we may mail invitations, send an email or call/text our guests.
The second thing I like to do when planning a get-together is to decide on the menu. As I mentioned, my husband loves to BBQ, so I most often find out what meat he wants to prepare and go from there. He usually chooses ribs, brisket, sausage or chicken for smaller to midsize gatherings. If it’s a larger group, burgers or hotdogs seem to be a little easier and cost effective. One of my favorites are his Baby Back Ribs.
Since my husband is in charge of the meat, I am in charge of the side dishes. Though there are many side dishes that can be cooked on the grill, for get-togethers, I most often opt for those that can be prepared ahead of time in the kitchen. This keeps things simple, so when guests start to arrive I am available to greet them, grab them a drink, and chit chat. This is also a great area to include your guests when they ask what they can bring. Beans in a crock pot, potato salad, homemade pickles and bread are a few of my go-to favorites.
Note: One batch of brine makes approximately 3-4 jars. I’ve kept leftover brine in a closed container for my next batch. I’ve also added a tad more water if I am short on that day’s batch. This recipe is so easy and versatile. The pickles always come out crispy and tasty.
My little one loves to decorate, so for backyard parties, we usually gather wild flowers and clippings from the garden to display in jars for a festive touch. She also loves to stock the silverware, napkins, plates, etc. Caddies are handy for transporting this outdoors.
Having a game or two for the kids and adults is also a must-have for a backyard BBQ. I like to have one or two planned activities for the kids. A few of our favorites are a scavenger hunt, badminton, washers, corn hole, and horse shoes.
To end the evening, it’s nice to have something for those sweet tooth cravings. If we have a fire going in the fire pit, we will bring out ingredients for s’mores. A cool, juicy watermelon is another great option.
So what are you waiting for? Summer will be over and school routines will be back in motion before we know it. Sure it’s a little bit of work but I guarantee you won’t regret the memories made.