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How to Throw a Barbecue

By Charles Hopkins Published 07/6/2006 | Entertainment

Learning how to throw a barbecue will allow you to provide cheap yet fun entertainment to your friends and family during the summer months. When you throw a barbecue, you are providing food and fun without breaking the bank. If you dont know how to throw a barbecue, then read on and learn the ins and outs of this fun and inexpensive form of summer entertainment.

Get a Barbecue

Believe it or not, you will need a barbecue before you throw your barbecue. They range in price from about 20 to a couple of thousand for a custom gas grill that may take up half your back yard. When you choose your barbecue, you should consider three factors: the number of people you are going to feed and entertain, the size of the food itself, and the work area as a whole.

First, consider how many people will be attending, since size affects pricing a great deal. If it is just you and your small family, then you can get away with spending a little less. On the other hand, if you want to do neighborhood cookouts every weekend, then you may want to consider something a little more substantial.

The portions of food will also affect size. Consider that 5 burgers take up a lot less space than 5 sides of pork. In other words, think about what you are going to be cooking when choosing your barbecue.

Finally, consider the work area. If you think you want to have a place that will hold your cooking tools, spices, and meat, then you will spend a little more. If you are willing to put those on a tray and carry them out, more power to you, as you spend a little less. It is really up to you.

What Will You Serve

When you have your barbecue ready to go, you should start thinking about what you want to serve at your party. Obviously, burgers, dogs, and brats are the traditional and economical way to go. However, if you would like to spend a little more and impress, you can go with anything from steak fillets to salmon to lamb.

The barbecue is not just for meat, either. You can also consider roasting vegetables like corn, squash, and potatoes on your grill as well.

As for side dishes, you can go a couple of ways. You can serve traditional barbecue sides like baked potatoes, potato salad, or even fresh green salads. The other option is to throw a pitch-in or pot luck barbecue, where you supply the meat and your guests each bring a side dish. With that method, you should make sure you have your guests sign up or assign them their sides so as to avoid repeats.

Invite and Party

Finally, you are ready for your barbecue. Send out invitations, or if you want it more informal, you can send out emails or make phone calls. No matter what, just make sure you match up your guest list to the amount of food you have available.

As a way to class up your barbecue and save money, consider buying some cheap plastic plates rather than disposable paper plates. You can use them over and over, they are more durable, and they look nicer for your guests. Couple those with real silverware and you are saving money while making clean up as easy as a trip through the dish washer.

With these simple tips, your barbecue will certainly be a hit. Relax, make is fun and social, and remember to plan ahead. Now that you know how to throw a barbecue, you are ready to be the summer social coordinator for your family and friends.