Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer. For many, Memorial Day weekend also signifies their first chance to invite friends and family over for a backyard barbecue. While some never put their grills away for the winter, braving the cold so they can keep grilling year-round, many may need a refresher to ensure their Memorial Day BBQ starts summer off on the right foot.
• Stock up on supplies. Before hosting your first backyard barbecue, take inventory of your supplies, making sure you have a spatula, tongs, oven mitts, a sturdy grill brush, and other accessories you may need during grilling season. Check each item to make sure it’s not worse for wear and do the same with the grill as well. Replace supplies that have too much wear and tear in advance of Memorial Day weekend so you have one less item on your to-do list come the day of the barbecue.
• Designate some time to do some cleaning. Even if you cleaned the grill and patio furniture before putting the items in storage for the winter, they likely will need to be cleaned again before you host your first soiree of the season. Remove any dust and check for spider webs or signs of other critters that might have made your furniture home over the cold winter. Droppings from rodents can be dangerous, and spiders can bite unsuspecting grillmasters. Clean patio furniture before putting it out as well.
• Find some new recipes. Hot dogs and hamburgers are perfectly acceptable backyard barbecue fare, but hosts who want to treat their guests to something new this summer can find a host of recipes online. Consider recipes for grilled vegetables so vegetarian guests can enjoy freshly grilled foods alongside your other guests. Just be sure to separate veggies from meat on the grill so vegetarian guests are not hesitant to eat. And while grilled meat tends to be popular at backyard barbecues, don’t overlook recipes for grilled fish that can be both nutritious and delicious.
• Get guests home safe. Memorial Day gatherings tend to be festive, but keep an eye on guests to ensure that no one consumes an excessive amount of alcohol. Keep a list of local cab companies on hand or download a car service app to your smartphone so safe means of transportation are always within reach.