Tips for a Smokin’ Backyard Barbecue

All Texans know the secret to a fun-filled spring and summer is the perfect backyard bash. Friends and family come over to cool off in the pool (or with a drink) and you can finally dust off the grill. Whether you’re the neighborhood grill master, a party planner extraordinaire or someone who has never put meat to the fire, we have some tips to help you throw the best backyard barbeque of the season!

Tip #1: Prep the Grill Properly

Realizing the importance of this step sets the tone for the entire grilling process. The small details are what can make or break the flavor of your masterpiece.

  • Make sure your gas grill has a full tank of propane underneath, and that it’s connected to the grill’s hose.
  • Before you turn on the gas, make sure all knobs are turned off. A sudden flair up can be dangerous and bad news for your eyebrows (ouch!).
  • Now twist the propane tank’s knob so gas starts flowing. Then turn the grill knob on, and light it. Once it starts heating, turn on remaining grill knobs and give yourself a pat on the back.

If you have a charcoal grill, practice the grill method when laying briquettes. Find more information here.

Tip #2: Clean the Grill Beforehand

This step is often overlooked, but it ensures the best flavor when you start grilling.

  • Once the gas grill is on, turn it to high heat so any leftover food on the grates turns to ash. Brush off remaining debris with a wire brush.
  • If you don’t have a wire brush handy, use a yellow onion to wipe the grill’s surface. This will pick up excess debris and provide a non-stick surface for grilling. If this method isn’t for you, dip a paper towel into a high-smoke point oil (canola, grape seed, etc.) and wipe it along the grate. You can also use grilling spray for the gas grill, but be sure to turn the grill off first!

The same steps apply for charcoal grilling, only when using oil spray, you’ll want to pick up the grate with tongs and spray away from the grill. Safety first!

Tip #3: Pick the Appropriate Main Attraction

Drum roll, please! Picking out what beef cut to grill up is the funnest part of throwing a party. However, it’s important to choose what’s best for the occasion.

  • If you like sticking with a recipe that’s in your comfort zone, good for you! Classic burgers are quick, easy and a crowd favorite. Check out our Classic Ranch Burger.
  • Testing your creativity is great too! Try a zesty marinade for steaks, or whip up some tropical kabobs to keep things interesting.

Tip #4: Don’t Forget Sides!

Some folks get more excited about sides than what’s smoking on the grill. Grilled vegetables complete the plate for an optimal diet, and they’re pretty tasty! We suggest Balsamic Grilled Vegetable Salad, but if you’re a hurry, just grill whole sweet potatoes!

Tip #5: Set the Vibe

No matter how delicious the food, guests won’t have a good time if they aren’t comfortable.

  • Before the bash begins, make sure you set up the appropriate seating.
  • If your yard has a mosquito or bug problem (most do during warm months), set up the food inside so your guests can assemble their plates easily.
  • Music and drinks are essential, so plan a BBQ playlist ahead of time and ice down the cooler!
  • When temperatures reach the triple digits this summer, it might be nice to have fans so the grill smoke doesn’t bother guests.

Tip #6: Sit Back, Relax and Grab Yourself a Plate!

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