Backyard BBQ Tips

It’s officially summer for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, and summertime means beaching, boating, and barbecuing. If you’re looking to take your seasonal cookouts and backyard BBQ to a whole ‘nother level of awesomeness this year, we’ve got some great backyard BBQ Tips—and some great products to help you raise the BAR-becue.

The theme of summer should be “easy livin’” so in that spirit, here are some fun and easy ways to make your backyard BBQ simple and amazing.

Create a “Bar.” This is a great way to offer your guests a lot of variety without making 47 side dishes to tempt every palate.

One idea for simple goodness is a hot dog bar. To the buns and grilled wieners add a variety of toppings so that each guest can personalize their dog to their liking. Some topping ideas include: sliced tomato, diced white, red and green onions, pickle spears, relish, chili—vegetarian and non-—sliced jalapeno, ketchup, mustard, sauerkraut, mayo, and cheese. Lots and lots of cheese. We’ll take care of cooking the dogs for you.

If you feel like being a little fancier than hot dogs, you could grill Italian sausages (hot and mild) and let guests choose from such toppings as: marinated peppers and onions, coleslaw, grilled broccolini, white bean salad, peppadews, broccoli slaw, sauerkraut, and mustard (spicy, Dijon, sriracha, brown).

Kids and adults alike will go loco for a taco bar. Start with hard shells and soft tortillas, and let guests choose from seasoned ground beef, spicy chicken, grilled veggies or a combination. You can keep toppings simple with shredded cheese, lettuce, salsa, and sour cream or kick it up a notch and add pickled jalapenos, guacamole, lime wedges, chopped cilantro, salsa verde, and crumbled cotija.

And for dessert, why not stick with the same bar theme? Skip the Jell-o molds and ambrosia this year and opt instead for a s’mores bar. You could even make individual s’mores cookers with a small terra cotta pot lined with foil and a charcoal briquette. You can start with the original favorites: graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate bars, but you can also offer variety such as Reese’s peanut butter cups, strawberries, bananas, pretzels, bacon, sprinkles, shredded coconut, and caramel sauce.

No matter what you plan to serve for food, an inflatable water slide will always be a great addition to your backyard BBQ, and we’ve got quite the options for you to choose from.