If you haven’t had a barbecue yet this year, you’re way behind. May is national BBQ month so fire up the grill and sauce the ribs—the long holiday weekend is the perfect time to cook outside.
Here are five things you need to do before you season the steaks.
#1 Fill Propane Tanks
There’s nothing worse than going out to start up the grill and you’re out of gas. Refiling should be your first move. Even if you think you have plenty left over from last season, don’t run the risk.
Keep a spare tank as backup so the party doesn’t have to pause for a run to the store.
#2 Clean the Grill
You’ve skewered the kebobs and are all ready to turn the heat up when you open the lid and realize that the grill needs to be cleaned. Even if you cleaned it in the fall, a winter’s worth of buildup can be enough to warrant a good cleaning.
You want plenty of char and smokiness on your bbq, but too much buildup brings flavors to the party that you didn’t intend to invite.
#3 Get the Right Tools
The right tools make a big difference when you’re grilling. Make sure you’re are ready to go beforehand so you can avoid mishaps.
Specialty grilling tools have longer handles so you don’t burn your hands flipping burgers. Get a spatula, tongs and heavy-duty heat-resistant gloves or make sure your tools from last year are in good condition.
#4 Turn Up the Heat
Don’t wait until your guests arrive to fire up the grill. If you underestimate how long it will take to get the grill up to temperature, you’ll have a bunch of hungry people hanging around.
Finding the right cooking temperatures on your grill is a bit of a trial and error endeavor. As you get more acquainted with your grill, you’ll get better at knowing when it’s the right time to get started.
#5 Jump on the Outdoor Living Trend
You might have noticed the growing trend to take the comforts of the indoors outside. This includes patios and decks with living room-like amenities such as stylish tile floors and furniture situated around a fireplace.
A little luxury for your outdoor entertaining makes your party the party to attend. Start thinking about how you can transform your outdoor space into a retreat that you love to be in.