BBQ, Bar-B-Queing & Barbeque Ideas

BBQ, bar-b-queing & barbeque ideas & tips for grilling and having a backyard barbecue. Easy ideas for menu, cooking and cleanup. Bar-b-queing can be fun - even for the chef.

You've invited everybody you know over for one of your famous outdoor barbecues and everyone's having a great time - except you. You're stuck cooking and preparing, running into the house for this and that, swatting at flies and shooing away kids from the grill. Seems to be a pattern, doesn't it? There's ways to make your bar-b-que more fun for all - even you.

Start preparing several days before your cook-out. Use a shopping list to remind yourself about food; paper goods such as paper plates, napkins and paper towels; plastic utensils; and extra toilet paper.

The day before the bar-b-que, purchase ice for cold drinks. Shop for last minute purchases such as meat, buns, vegetables and salad ingredients, reminding yourself also about condiments: mayonnaise, mustard, pickle relish, catsup, olives, etc. Put together the macaroni and potato salads or by them at your grocer's deli case.

Early on the event's morning, set out the plates, utensils and bar-b-que tools. Wrap oiled potatoes and corn in foil to set on the grill. The corn and potatoes go on the grill about one hour ahead of the meat. Set out several rolls of paper towels in the backyard. It's a general unwritten pessimistic rule that spills occur in opposite ends of the yard.

For a quick delicious dessert, wrap assorted fruit slices in foil packets. Grilling fruit brings out the sweetness. Excellent choices for this are pineapple, mango, and papaya.

During the bar-b-que, have a list ready for all to check, delegating duties. People love the social aspects of cook-outs bringing to mind memories of family times past. Have your friends and family put together veggie trays with ranch dressing dip, fruit and other salads that weren't made the day before. Enlist their help in serving children and older members of the group. An even easier way to have a cook-out is to do it potluck-style, asking each guest to bring a dish that feeds at least eight. Then all you'll have to do is attend the grill and supply the cold drinks.

Ask several of the adults to dream up games to keep the children occupied and have some small prizes for the winners. This not only keeps the kiddies from being in your cooking space but encourages the parents to watch them since they like to see their kids win.

Spray the grill and your cooking tools well with PAM. Later it will be easy getting all the stuck-on food off. Have a hot pan of sudsy water in the kitchen where you can take cooking tools to soak immediately after use. This will cut clean-up time immeasureably.

Have items you need at hand in your cooking space next to the grill. Don't leave the grill unattended to run in the house fetching anything. Believe me, there's always a little kid lurking somewhere nearby ready to burn themselves or grab the spatula and flip a burger or two into the grass.

Have a large trash container ready with a plastic sack inside for disposal of used plates, napkins and cans. Doing this ahead of time, saves you hearing all that, "Where do I put this?" as people stand around bothering you while you're burning somebody's dinner.

Kabobs are a wonderfully easy barbecue meal. On bamboo skewers, rotate chunks of steak, tomato, pineapple, onion, carrot and other firm vegetables and fruit. Brush with a marinating sauce to bring out luscious flavor blends.

Have a large washtub of ice and cold canned drinks placed outside. Keeping guests out of your refrigerator will keep other foods cold.

Now that everything's under control, your only requirement is to enjoy yourself.

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