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Planning the perfect barbecue

Summer is in full swing and there being nothing better than inviting friends over for a barbecue. Seaside Meats has 10 top tips to help you throw the perfect summer barbecue

 1. Be a barbecue master

Ensure your barbecue is clean and ready for use. Remember to check the gas bottle is full before everyone arrives.

Preheat the barbecue, give it a scrub with a brush and then brush it with vegetable oil to help prevent meat from sticking.

Avoid turning meat frequently on the barbecue.  One flip is all the meat needs.

Once your meat is grilled to your taste, let it rest for a few minutes on a warm plate and cover the plate to keep the meat warm and the flies away.

This gives the meat time to rest and lets the juices regroup for the best flavour


 2. Choose a theme

Make your barbecue stand out by choosing a theme.

Maybe a Hawaiian luau would be fun or a surf and turf or even just deciding on a colour scheme are other options.


3. Decide on the guest list

Use your theme to design invitations for the barbecue.

Emails or Facebook invites are the go and make it easy for guests to respond.

Include the basic details like time and place, and if guests should bring a plate (food – for non-Kiwis) or beverages


4. Dress up your décor

Choose colourful tablecloths to brighten up eating spaces.

You’ll want to add lighting and citronella candles will keep unwelcome mozzies away. While twinkling white lights or lanterns will help your outdoor space feel welcome.


5. Plan the perfect menu

Consider how many guests are coming and how you’ll feed them all.

Offer breads like ciabatta or baguettes instead of the usual buns, or a nice selection of cheeses to make the meal more upscale.

Add a few extra twists: avocado slices or garlic mayonnaise as toppings, cucumber or lemon slices in pitchers of water.

Take into account non-meat eaters, too. They are not likely to enjoy their vegetarian dish cooked in meat juices so you’ll need to plan for this.


6. Don’t skip the side dishes

While the star of barbecues is often the grilled meat, side dishes are important too - especially if you have vegetarians in the group.

Take advantage of summer fruit and vegetables like sweet corn, tomatoes and watermelon. These easy side herbed sweet corn and tomato salad or summer vegetable kebabs, all use in-season favourites.


7. Pick a signature drink

Sure, you can throw some beers in a chilly bin and call it a day.

But to make your barbecue memorable, why not select a special drink to serve guests?

A classic lemonade or a refreshing cocktail for adults, sangria is a tasty, easy option.


 8. Prep the night before

To ensure you enjoy the afternoon as much as your guests, prepare as much as you can the night before.

Marinate meats overnight, assemble side dishes and chop up any fruit or vegetables you’ll need.

Make everything is stored correctly to avoid making your barbecue memorable for food poisoning.

Ideally, the only foods left to make on barbecue day are the ones being cooked on the barbecue.


9. Have some entertainment options

It’s always a good idea to have entertainment options once guests have eaten.

Create a playlist so you and your guests can listen to good music.

Classic backyard games like horseshoes or badminton, cards or even trivia can liven up your party and keep guests entertained.


10. Keep children busy

Have a few activities for the children to keep them busy with while the adults spend time together.

Water balloons or inexpensive water guns are all fun games on a hot humid summer day.


Above all remember to enjoy spending a fun and warm day with your family and friends.

Planning the perfect barbecue