Daddy Journal: Pointers for the Perfect Barbecue Picnic

patties on the grill

Many countries have experienced on and off lockdowns for almost two years now. And though its negative effects on mental health have always been a part of discussions, the good things that the lockdowns brought out in people aren’t being discussed nearly enough. Take barbecuing, for example.

With the UK’s weather, barbecuing really didn’t seem like a great idea over the past few decades. But with the restrictions imposed over the last two years, finding variety in dining experiences became a must. A shocking rise in grill purchases in Britain took 2020 by surprise. And based on multiple polls, the average Brit family is starting to barbecue more frequently over the last nine months.

Whether it’s out of boredom or a newfound love that will stick for generations, the Return of the Grill is an exciting change. And although letting everyone grill to their heart’s content sounds grand, we’ve still prepared nine easy-to-follow tips for you to have the perfect outdoor grilling experience with the family.

SAFETY FIRST

Check for leaks

The goal is to blow their minds, not their brains. The worst thing that could happen at a barbecue picnic is you toasting everyone. Always make sure that there are no gas leaks. An easy way of checking is by turning the gas on after rubbing the hoses with a mixture of water and soap. Preferably detergent so that it will be foamier. If you see suspicious bubbles, then that means you have to seal those tiny holes or replace the whole thing.

Make sure the grill is placed far from anything flammable

Again, your goal is to have a nice meal and bond with a few people, NOT set the house on fire. Accidents can happen anytime, and they can be caused by the most random things. Prevention will always be better than cure. The golden rule is to never grill inside your house. Avoid grilling near garages and porches since small flames might eventually climb their way into the house. Avoid wooden parts of the house as well. Whether it’s charcoal or gas grill, fire is fire.

Bring a first aid kit just in case

Hopefully, you won’t have to use it. But in the situation that you do, prepping alcohol, cotton, gauze pads, and even something as simple as a band-aid might help. Kids will be running around, and some of you will be drinking. Accidents might happen, so better get there prepared. And since you’re going out, insect repellents and allergy medications can also help keep you and your family safe.

PREP TIME

Clean and oil your grill

Grease and fat buildups can strengthen fire and cause dangerous flare-ups. Plus, the bacteria buildup from the last time you used it might also cause problems within your body. Best be safe and wash it the night before. Now before you start, remember to oil the grill first. Oil coating helps keep the food from sticking.

Work on the shopping list

The star of the night can be a burger or a steak, but chicken, fish, sausages, and lamb skewers are also essentials. Check on the appetite of the people you’ll feed and find out how much you have to cook. Never forget the condiments as well. Having a BBQ picnic without mustard is nothing short of blasphemy.

Season the meat

The most important task is to ensure that the meat has flavor. Marinate the meat overnight. There’s also nothing wrong with experimenting and making several kinds of marinade. From spice rubbing to injecting meat with lemon zest, anything is possible. Sometimes even just salting the slab overnight can do the trick. The secret to marinating is cutting some parts a little open to absorb the flavor more easily.

SIDENOTE

Set the mood with good music

Everyone will smell what you’re cooking, and the wait might get intense. Music revs up the mood. By playing great and relatable songs, you can hype the crowd up and entertain them for a while. And at the same time, music is also good for distressing in grill. The better your mood is, the tastier the food will get.

Don’t forget the sides

Almost 70% of what you will all be eating is the side dishes. Ironically, no matter how delicious the meat is, with poorly planned and subpar cooking of sides, your barbecue won’t be as successful. Going traditional with potato salad, mashed potatoes, and corn on the cobs is a simple but sure-fire way to make it work. But if you’re planning on grilling up amazing steaks, then salads are more suitable for that sophistication.

Lastly and most importantly, let the guests experience it. In the end, what you’re planning is all about bonding and connecting to the people you love. Don’t be too obsessed with the food and remember that you’re there to spend time with them. Getting them to help you with the process can be a good way for you to get closer and get dinner ready quickly at the same time.

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