Memorial Day Grilling

13 Backyard BBQ Tips for Memorial Day

“This patio runs on good drinks, good food, and good times”

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For many readers especially those on the east coast Memorial Day officially kicks off BBQ season. For most of you your BBQ has been in winter hibernation covered and needs to be brought back to life. Here in California we get the pleasure of using our grills year around for the most part. The indoor outdoor living scene in Califonria has become a popular way of life whereas many people extend their living area outdoors and have created extensive luxurious living spaces with full built in kitchens, TV’s fire-pits and just about every amenity one would want to enjoy a fun dining experience outdoors. 

 

With Memorial Day right around the corner we thought now would be a good time for you to celebrate summer and look like an expert grill master with these brilliant BBQ tips

BBQ Tip #1: Start with a Thorough Cleanup

If you don’t set aside time to clean and prep your grill, it won’t be its best for the BBQ, and may even ruin foods with smells, grease smoke and other problems. Before cleaning your grill, take a walk around your yard and pick up toys or any junk you’ve been meaning to get rid of. This helps avoid stress on party day. 

 

Learning how to clean your gas grill is important. Whether it’s before or after grilling out or even preparing for winter, there are a few helpful tips and tricks that can make cleaning a grill easy and efficient. The Home Depot is your source for all of your grill cleaning needs. We have grill brushes, grill cleaners, grill cleaning pads, and so much more.

 

In this Home Depot Video they discuss some of the important tips and tricks for properly cleaning your grill. Everyone loves grilling out, whether it’s with your family or a large gathering of friends. To keep your gas grill in top cooking condition you should thoroughly clean it at the beginning of each grilling season.

Clean BBQ
BBQ Grill Basket

BBQ Tip #2: Get Yourself a Grill Basket

A grill basket is the perfect tool for grilling more delicate foods like veggies, fruit and kebabs. If you’re cooking for a large number of people, it ensures you can cook enough for everyone at the same time.

BBQ Tip #3: Use Nets, Canopies and Umbrellas for Shade

If you don’t have a table umbrella or built-in shade from canopies or a pergola, consider light netting or even white bed sheets for quick DIY shade. You’d be surprised how much everyone will appreciate the shade! For a more ambitious project, consider a grill gazebo instead.

BBQ Grill umbrellas
BBQ Signature Cocktail

BBQ Tip #4: Choose a Signature Drink

To make your party stand out, pick out a special drink (cocktails or mocktails work well) and one unique food item that you are especially proud of. Play up these specialties in your party invitations, and make sure you have enough ingredients for a steady supply. Keep food plans simple so you have time to enjoy the party along with your guests.

BBQ Tip #5: Choose Portable Foods

Holding onto a plate of food at an outdoor party can be awkward. If you set it down, you may forget where it is and bugs can get at it, or someone might think you’re finished and throw it away. As the host, focus on foods that don’t need plates. Consider skewer-based recipes. Kebabs are the perfect Memorial Day food and you can skewer a variety of veggies, meats, appetizers, fruit and sweets. Or let guests make their own! Provide bowls or platters of bite-sized items along with plenty of skewers.

BBQ Skewers
BBQ Everything

BBQ Tip #6: Grill Everything!

With your grill out, why not use it as much as possible? Grilling can improve a wide variety of dishes. Most breads and veggies can be lightly grilled, including lettuce and angel food cake.

BBQ Tip #7: Protect Your Food

While that smorgasbord of food may look great in a photo, it’s not great for it to sit out all afternoon. Flies will get into the fruit, coleslaw will quickly wilt, and kids (with grubby hands) will find it tempting to grab and go. So it’s best to keep food under some kind of cover. Try one of these essential products to keep bugs away if you really hate bugs.

If you are doing a potluck, keep plastic wrap handy to wrap open bowls and platters. For your own food, make sure it’s covered with a lid or in a cooler until you’re ready to serve. You can also set up the food table just inside the house instead of outside. Remember, this food needs to endure hours of summer heat and bugs – it needs all the help it can get.

BBQ Food Storage
BBQ Lights

BBQ Tip #8: Lights and Torches

In addition to traditional outdoor lighting, consider installing string lights around your patio or deck for just the right touch of ambiance and visibility when the sun starts to set. Setting up a few torches is also a good idea — not necessarily for visibility, but to help drive away mosquitoes with smoke and citrus oil blends. Be sure to monitor young children around the torches.

BBQ Tip #9: Plenty of Seating

Eventually, people will want to sit down. Have plenty of chairs and benches around and fill in with picnic blankets. If you are feeling ambitious, build your own patio chairs!

BBQ Seating
BBQ signs

BBQ Tip #10: Signs and Chalk

Make it easy for your guests to know what’s in coolers and where different food items and drinks are. Setting up signs or propping up a chalkboard allows you to give directions (where’s the bathroom?) and identify where everything is. Speaking of identification, you may also want to include a bowl of tags or clips for drink glasses or a marker for disposable glasses and cups.

Use chalk to write a welcoming greeting on the sidewalk and steps in front of your house. No sidewalk? Draw arrows on the path to your backyard to guide your guests. And leave the chalk out so kids (and adults) can doodle during the party.

BBQ Tip #11: Prep a Fire Pit

Ending your party with a cozy fire is fun, but you need to be ready! Prepare your fire pit for the big day by clearing out debris, stacking firewood and keeping more wood on hand. If you don’t have a fire pit, there are lots of patio-friendly fire pit tables and similar designs that you can choose from.

BBQ Fire Pits
BBQ Cornhole

BBQ Tip #12: Don’t Forget Music and Games

Create one last summer playlist and use a Bluetooth-enabled speaker to broadcast the tunes for your party. Of course, music isn’t the only entertainment people will be looking for. Set up games like croquet, bocce, and cornhole on the healthiest parts of your lawn for the kids of all ages.

BBQ Tip #13: Plan for Outside Refrigeration

Not every grill setup can have an outdoor refrigerator (although it makes a great addition), but you do need some way to keep things cold. Whether it’s a mini-fridge you can plug in outside or a couple of coolers, figure this out before grilling day. Always refrigerate meats separately from other foods, and try to reserve a section or cooler for the drinks (check out these drool-worthy beer fridges). Drinks can always be stored inside until you need them. If you’re into camping, check out the best camping supplies you don’t have.

BBQ Coolers