Organizing a Backyard Barbecue
Memorial Day is a solemn holiday in which we commemorate all men and women who have died while serving in the U.S. military. We honor and salute the soldiers who gave their lives for our freedom.
Memorial Day weekend is also the kickoff of the summer season, and organizing a backyard barbecue might be on the agenda for the first time in over a year. There’s no better time to make sure your back yard grilling space is ready for a party.
A Clean Grill Is a Safe Grill
It’s a great time to make sure your grill is clean and ready for a new season. It isn’t just a matter of scrubbing the grate. It’s the drippings and caked on grime from the firebox. You can pull the grates to soak in hot soapy water if they are in bad shape, and detergent or white vinegar can help with the inside of the grill.
Fill the Tank
There is nothing worse than running out of propane in the middle of a big barbecue party. Get the tank filled ahead of the big weekend. It’s a good idea to have a backup propane tank so that you never run out.
Test the Grill
Before you’re responsible for feeding a bunch of hungry guests, test out the grill and make sure it’s still working. Does the ignition switch still light the grill? Are the flames even across the grill? Does the thermometer still work? As you inspect your grill, watch for loose hinges on the lid that may need tightened. Make sure you have all the tools – a wire brush, a long-handled spatula, and tongs – you’ll need.
Create a Welcoming Space
Clean off your picnic table or patio set. Break out the umbrella. Check underneath the table and chairs to make sure nothing decided to make a nest there. Grab a couple of disposable table cloths to add color and contain the mess. Break out the outdoor games – badminton and croquet are popular backyard games. Make sure to provide plenty of drink options, including water.
Plan Ahead for Food Safety
If you’re organizing a backyard barbecue, one of the most important considerations is food safety. If you’re serving anything mayo-based, like potato or macaroni salad, or if you’re providing condiments for burgers and hotdogs, be sure to keep everything as cold as possible. You may need to sit the condiments in a bucket or cooler with ice or place serving bowls with your favorite memorial day salads in a tray of ice. Be sure to have covers available (foil or lidded dishes) for meats and other foods to keep flies and other pests away. Put food away promptly after the meal is over. Be sure to inquire if any of your guests have special dietary needs and offer to prepare something for them or invite them to bring something suitable.
Beautify the Space
From hanging flower baskets to a freshly mowed lawn, a small effort in your backyard can yield wonderfully welcoming results. Take a walk around the yard as well to make sure there are no surprises. From a missed pile of dog droppings to a sharp yard tool accidentally left within the reach of children, a quick survey of the yard can make a better experience for everyone.
What’s going on your grill this weekend?