Here is a comprehensive guide to getting your hands messy in marinade and quenching your guests’ thirst with chilled summer cocktails. Sway to this ultimate BBQ playlist and take your pick from these sweltering outdoor looks. From burger patties to delicious beers and perfect backyard décor, this bible has everything you need to throw the world’s best barbecue party.
We may not be decking our wardrobes up with winter gear or cozying up around the fireplace with a mug of hot chocolate, but we do have the benevolence of the sun who is always shining on us all year along. We should make hay while the sun shines and that only means one thing – throwing cracking barbecue parties! You don’t need a swanky backyard or the most expensive grill to host a good barbeque party. From whipping up the creamiest potato salad to grilling the juiciest of meats and dressing up for the outdoors, we have got you covered. With this end to end BBQ manifest, your party will go on until the sun fades away and the moon sets in and in all probability, you will be waking up to the prickly heat of sunshine on your face again.
- Barbecue is not a tradition native to India. We’ve seen it in Hollywood films and that’s the extent of it. So, if you are new to grilling, there is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s probably the easiest culinary task you’ll ever indulge in.
- You can either go for a charcoal grill or a gas grill. The later may be a little expensive than the former. The advantage of having a charcoal grill is that delicious, smokey flavour to your meat that you would otherwise get only by adding wood chips. With a charcoal grill, you should manually preheat it for at least 20 minutes before the actual grilling. And the best part? You get to actually play with fire! A gas grill is a lot easier to clean and is convenient to use. If you want to get into grilling seriously, charcoal is a good, low cost option.
- After preheating your grill, use a brass-wire brush to clean the grate off charcoal remains from your previous grilling. Always remember to remember the grease on the grate after your last cook to prevent rusting in the colder months. If you don’t have a brass brush, you could always use aluminum foil. After cleaning, smear the grate with oil using an oiled napkin/paper towel. Hold the napkin with a pair of tongs and rub it over the bars. Pick am oil that can withstand high temperature, like canola. You are now ready to throw those juicy babies on to the grill.
- Don’t get carried away with the range of meats and sauces in your gourmet store. Remember, this is not the last barbecue party you are going to host (well, hopefully). Stick to two meats and two vegetables (for the vegetarians in the group), two refreshing salads and one dessert. If you want be ambitious, you can throw in another dessert for some variety.
- What’s a BBQ party without meat? From umpteen meats to choose from, narrowing in on those few can be a task. Here is a list of meats you can choose from for the most succulent outcome.
- Whole Tenderloin or filet mignon is an expensive option but it is your best option for a mid-sized group of 10 to 12 people. The tenderloin is known for its buttery texture and has a lesser beefy flavour when compared to other cuts like rib eye. Its log like shape makes it easy for your guests to carve the meat and serve themselves.
- Lamb Ribs are a great option if beef is out of the question for you. They are tender are best for slow cooking as they render out their own fat, making it even more delicious.
- Chicken Thighs are the most flavourful and is the richest part of the bad owing to its fat content. The thighs also have a decent skin to surface ratio, resulting in very crispy skin.
- Chicken Drumsticks are neatly cut and are probably the most convenient part of the bird to grill. The lower point of the chicken leg is succulent to eat too!
- Whole Fish is excellent on the grill. While the meat cooks slowly, the skin crisps up beautifully. While choosing a fish for grilling, pick a fatty fish which can withstand the heat, like an Indian salmon, Pomfret or trout.
- Your vegetarian friends are as important as their non-vegetarian counterparts. Show them some love with a colourful array of fresh vegetables. From artichokes, feta, bell peppers, mushrooms and potatoes there are any number of vegetarian options that can go on the grill.
- Make these sauces and marinate your meat in them well in advance so that you can have a stress-free time during the D-day. These marinades are almost good with any meat.
1. Italian marinade: Combine ¼ cup olive oil, ¼ cup balsamic vinegar, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 tbsp dried oregano, 1 tbsp dried basil and ½ tsp red chilli flakes.
2. Provencal marinade: Combine ¼ cup olive oil, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon chopped dill and ½ tsp dried thyme.
3. Teriyaki marinade: Combine ¼ cup pineapple juice, 1 ½ tsp soya sauce, 1 tbsp honey and 1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger.
4. Masala marinade: Combine ¼ cup coconut oil, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 tbsp fresh coriander, 1 tbsp garam masala and ½ tsp chilli powder
- To wash down all that hot food, you need to serve cold drinks. Beers are the easiest and the most preferred option at BBQ parties but amidst your guests there will be those strange anti-beer folks. You could make them happy with refreshing, summer cocktails. Half the joy in hosting a BBQ party is to hold a drink on one hand and working a sizzling piece of meat with the other.
- Not all of us have the luxury of a sprawling backyard. But many of us do have a sizeable balcony, which will do the trick.
- What to wear? The minimal, the better; literally! Barbecue party wear could be a chapter all by itself but we are going to quickly run you through the looks that work.