If you’re like most Kiwis, you never shun a good weekend barbecue with friends and family. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as sharing good food, some cold beers, and excellent conversation with equally excellent company.
However, if you’ve never had to host a barbecue before – or if you just want to sharpen your barbecuing skills - then this guide will give you some worthwhile pointers. Let’s take a look at some of them now.
Choose your weapon
The first and foremost point of consideration when it comes to hosting a barbecue is the star of the show – the barbecue grill itself. The type of barbecue you select will have a subtle effect on your barbecuing.
Charcoal BBQs give the classic, authentic barbecue taste and aroma that you know and love. Due to their relative mechanical simplicity when compared to more elaborate barbecues, charcoal burners are on the lower end of the price spectrum and are perfect for anyone hosting their first small BBQ gathering.
At Outdoor Concepts, we’ve got a robust range of small-to-medium-sized charcoal BBQs in several stylish designs. The Weber Compact Kettle is an excellent middle-ground between size and cost for a first-time barbecue enthusiast.
Gas BBQs are ideal for larger outdoor gatherings where you want to feed a lot of people quickly. Just make sure you have a spare tank of gas so that you don’t have to run to a petrol station to re-fill halfway through your BBQ gathering.
We also carry an extensive range of excellent gas BBQs that come in both wheeled and fixed-install varieties. The Beefeater Big Bugg is a favourite mid-tier portable option that has a generously sized grilling space to fit more food on, while the Weber Summit E-660 is the ultimate built-in gas BBQ option which features a new SlideFrame design feature that enables the barbecue to easily slide in and out of place, providing greater access for cleaning.
Electric barbecues are generally smaller than their gas and charcoal cousins but have the advantage of providing good heating power in a more compact design that’s great for people with limited space. They are also a great alternative for when you want to cook in a place where there are fire restrictions since an electric grill won’t produce any flame (which also makes them safer as an option to introduce children to outdoor barbecuing).
We’ve also got a neat selection of electric BBQs with some sleek and modern looking options. The Weber Pulse Cart is a great accessory that allows you to wheel around your electric grill easily and comes with a handy tool hook and side table for serving trays.
Build your BBQ menu
Now that you’ve got a barbecue grill to work with, it’s time to think about what you’re actually going to throw onto it. Building your BBQ menu needs you to consider the number of guests you are serving, what their dietary preferences/restrictions are, and what you can prepare competently – you also don’t want to overburden yourself with too much prep.
If you’re hosting a purely vegetarian BBQ, then you can obviously forgo thinking about cuts of meat altogether. However, you might consider using a veggie grill rub to give all of your veggies some extra flavour.
Assuming you have some more freedom to cook with meat, you want to think about some easy BBQ recipes you can throw together while you juggle other aspects of being a party host. You could try preparing a batch of speedy BBQ tacos if you’re low on time – just make sure you’ve got enough ingredients to feed everyone (it doesn’t hurt to buy extra to satisfy those coming back for seconds).
On the other hand, you could always go the route of doing a BYOM (bring your own meat) barbecue. As you might have guessed, this means that you ask your guests to bring their own meat to cook on your grill – just make sure you follow the proper safety tips for avoiding cross-contamination between raw meats and don’t jeopardise anyone’s dietary restrictions.
As long as you put at least 10 to 20 minutes of thought into what you’re going to prepare, you should be absolutely fine. In general, barbecues aren’t the most formal social gatherings; nobody is going to expect you to whip up a 5-star menu, so relax and put together a selection that makes the most sense for you and your guests.
Create a comfortable entertaining area
After you select a BBQ grill and work out what you are going to cook with it, you’ll want to think about the rest of the party that you’re putting together. You want to create an outdoor barbecuing area that’s spacious and has plenty of seating for everyone.
If you’re building your own home, then a dedicated barbecue/outdoor entertainment area is a great thing to include in your blueprints, and many building companies are familiar with how to create these spaces. If you are going this route, consider checking out our range of built-in BBQs to pair with your construction.
Alternatively, it’s not too difficult to contrive a suitable outdoor entertaining setup with the backyard you already have. Investing in a decent patio set (glass is a great option), a pergola/gazebo, and perhaps some seating cushions could be all you need to keep everyone happy, depending on the number of guests you have and what the occasion is.Well, there you have it – a brief but hopefully useful guide for hosting the ultimate backyard barbecue. Don’t hesitate to check out our range of BBQ grills and accessories, or get in touch with us if you have any questions about our products.