One thing I love about California is its year-round grilling weather. Any excuse to get people together and cook delicious food is a win in my book, and I try to do it as often as possible. However, one thing I’ve noticed over the years is that most guys tend to jump straight for the spatula when there’s so much more to a great party than babysitting the grill. While it’s fun to flip burgers, an awesome BBQ should be an experience where guests feel nourished, and everyone has a fun time – including the cook.
If you want to know what I do to entertain backyard guests, while retaining my ‘King of the Grill’ status, keep reading to learn my top three tips on how to host the perfect get-together. If you’ve never hosted a BBQ, or feel intimidated preparing food for a lot of people, these tips can help ease your mind. So kick back and enjoy, and remember, grilling is all about your attitude. Embrace your place manning the grill, but don’t neglect your guests, and you won’t go wrong!
BBQ Tip 1: Prep Work Cuts the Leg Work
The key to an amazing BBQ is the prep work. By the time the meat hits the grill, the outcome has already been decided. From marinating the steaks to selecting quality sausage links, what you do before the big day sets the tone. I like to do my prep the night before. This includes going shopping for ingredients at my local farmer’s market, making side dishes and storing them in the fridge overnight, and firing up the grill to make sure everything is working in tip top condition.
I use the Rogue 425 with Infrared Side Burner by Napoleon. It’s loaded with tons of smart features like the dual level sear plates that instantly vaporize any fat drippings, turning them into flavor, instead of causing flare ups. And at 45,000 BTU, this grill is hot stuff. I cook for up to 10 friends without breaking a sweat and love that it has removable side shelves when I want extra space. Plus, it goes together right out of the box so you can get the party started.
Tip 2: Turn Up the Heat
While my Napoleon grill has a gas flame, and can cook immediately, it doesn’t mean I do, or that you should. One of the biggest mistakes I see guys make is rushing to start cooking food when the party vibe hasn’t kicked in yet. A gracious host should spend time talking to his guests. This is also the perfect time to enjoy a glass of wine and enjoy the atmosphere. I use this time to catch up with my dad or watch the game. After 45 minutes, when you kick up the smoke, the anticipation will be that much higher.
The Rogue also features Napoleon’s highly efficient Infrared Sizzle Zone side burner that makes quick work of foods, like creating a perfectly caramelized crust on a juicy steak. Or, you can use it to make sauces and marinades right on the grill top with a stainless steel pan. Your friends will swear they’re eating at a top restaurant, and you won’t have to rush back inside to be in two places at once. So now that your guests are ready to eat, you can deliver on your word in quick time.
Tip 3: Look After Your Tools
Don’t abandon your grill after the last burger has been flipped. This crime occurs at almost all BBQ’s I go to, and it could be reducing the lifespan of your grill by as much as 10 or 20 years. Instead, I wait for the grill to cool and then gently brush off the Stainless Steel Sear Plates and WAVE™ Cooking Grids using a wire brush and wipe everything down. The Rogue is super easy to clean, and, as everything is stainless steel, all it needs is an occasional gentle cleanse to polish it back to perfection.
Also, don’t be scared to ask friends or family to help you bring any additional utensils inside after use, and fight the urge to leave your grilling area until the next day. I promise the cleanup is much easier when you act right away, and sharing the teamwork makes the dream work. Most guests offer to help and giving them something to do is a great way to build bonds and lifelong memories. If you don’t want to ask, have someone bring dessert instead. This is what I call a win-win situation!
Hopefully, these three super simple tips will give you the confidence to throw your next party. To find out more about the Rogue 425 and other awesome grills, check out Napoleon Grills.
Disclaimer: While products or payment were offered in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts are 100% my own.