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Last Updated on November 26, 2020
With summer quickly approaching, you might be wondering how you can spend more time outdoors. And what better way to get outdoors than with a summer picnic?
Spending time with family and friends is great, but nobody wants to spend their summer days shoved into a hot, stuffy kitchen. An outdoor picnic allows you to get outside to mingle, grill, and eat some tasty food.
However, to make a truly spectacular outdoor summer picnic, you need to be prepared to spend a lot of time in front of your grill. After all, you’re going to want some burgers, BBQ chicken, or roasted veggies at your picnic!
Here are some tips you’ll want to keep in mind when it comes to grilling in your backyard.
Create your outdoor grilling area
If you don’t already have an outdoor grilling area, you’re going to need one before you can start grilling in your backyard! The first step is to decide what type of grill you want. Grills utilize different types of fuel, including charcoal, gas, and propane. The type of grill you purchase will impact how easy it is to grill and what your food tastes like.
Depending on your budget, you might consider adding an outdoor kitchen area, complete with grill and countertops, so that you’ll have enough space while you’re grilling.
Plan menu and ingredients
Take into consideration what you’re planning on serving and what ingredients you’ll need. Many people have a signature item that they enjoy grilling — and you’re going to want your signature item there but you also need some side items that’ll complement the taste. For inspiration and grilling tips, look at various backyard cooking options.
Also, don’t forget to consider any allergies. If you’re having a guest over that has allergies, you’re going to want to have several food options available. Also, you’ll need to be mindful of cross-contamination.
Find a way to keep food cold
If you’re going to spend several hours outside grilling and don’t want to keep going in and out of the house, you’re going to need to find a way to keep your things cool. Most food, including meat, shouldn’t be left out too long in the heat or it could start to spoil.
Some people use mini-fridges, but a portable cooler with ice works just as well. You can also keep drinks in the cooler so that guests don’t have to go in and out of your house more than necessary.
Take taste into consideration
When it comes to grilling, make sure you know whether your guests want their meat rare, medium-rare, or well done. Everyone will have a preference, so finding out what they want in advance can help you figure out how to cook that perfect piece of meat that will be sure to please their taste buds.
Also, be careful to keep grilled meat separate, to help prevent guests from grabbing the wrong cooked meat. You might want to consider labeling platters with how well done the meat is.
Keep pests away
While you’re grilling, you’re also going to want to figure out a way to keep backyard pests away from the food. Nobody wants to share their BBQ with an ant! Keeping food packed away or covered until it is ready to be consumed can help.
In addition, you can use insect repellents. There are a wide variety of products available, from sprays to candles, that can help keep insects away. And if you have a pet, such as a dog, lock them up inside or in another area of the yard.
Entertain guests while you grill
While you’re grilling, find a way to keep your guests entertained! If everyone is just sitting around watching you grill, it will get old, quickly. One idea is to put out various yard games, such as cornhole or horseshoes, to help keep them entertained. Pools are also a great way to entertain guests.
Or, you could also start grilling before they arrive. That way when they show up, there will already be some food ready for them. They can start to eat while you finish grilling. Once you finish grilling, you can join them.
Grilling in your backyard can be a tasty way to spend a summer afternoon. No matter if you want to grill for yourself or a crowd, you’re sure to enjoy a great meal. If you’ve never grilled before, you might want to get some practice in before hosting your first outdoor picnic, though!