How To Throw The Best Backyard BBQ In Orlando
Gathering your friends to cook copious amounts of meat and drink beer is one of the things, if not the main thing, that many Americans look forward to in the summer. But throwing the best backyard BBQ in Orlando is more about the meat and the beer (but those are very important). To level up your backyard BBQ game, we’ve created this fool proof guide to throwing the best bash in your neighborhood. We’ll even show you how to smoothly show your guests to the door at the end of the night.
The Game Plan
Mis en place, is French for having all the things where they belong before you start, is your best course of action for, well, all the things for your Orlando backyard BBQ. From food and drinks to setup and games, we’ve thought of it all. Let’s start with the most important part of your party. The Food. Whether you’re a seasoned pitmaster or a grilling newb, there are some key food staples that you must have at your party.
Whatever type of meat you’re serving at your BBQ, whether it’s basic burgers and dogs or steaks and ribs, make sure there is a lot of it. Tight budget? Make it a BYOM (Bring Your Own Meat) party and you supply the beverages. Vegans coming to the bash? That’s what sides are for or have them bring their own meatless options. Also, seasoning is everything, people! Any joe schmo’ with a spatula can flip a burger, but you’re better than that. Glaze it, Rub it (wet or dry) if your short on time or marinade that slab of meat to infuse it with the flavor of your choice. Hint, choose an acidic liquid like a wine or vinegar to marinade with as your base.
If your using a premium grill, you should be using it to cook premo meat. We scoured the interwebs looking to find you some of the most well loved meat recipes for your Orlando backyard BBQ.
Ribs – For both dry or wet rub fans, we found the perfect Memphis style beef and pork spare rib recipe for you. Created by the King and Queen of Barbeque on the Food Network channel, these ribs will be gone before you know it.
The Perfect Burger– When it comes to making the perfect burger in your Orlando outdoor kitchen, it all starts with the quality of meat. We found the recipe for the Best Damn Burger, here.
If you’re feeling adventurous and want to try grilling up some other dishes like Salmon, Brisket, and even pulled pork, check these recipes out. Even if you pair just one of these dishes with your regular menu, your guests will think they’ve just walked into Bobby Flay’s backyard.
Beyond Meat: The Sides
The sides we’ve picked out for your backyard BBQ, are made to pair perfectly with your meats and drinks. If you’re having your guests bring sides “potluck style” gently assign them with a dish so you don’t end up with an all yellow dish (carb coma, anyone?) or all desserts. Some of the simplest and best sides you should include for your BBQ in your Orlando outdoor kitchen, include:
- Potato Salad – Everyone’s grandma has the BEST potato salad recipe ever, but here is an easy recipe if you can’t find grandma’s for the best potato salad.
- Chips & Dip – Don’t underestimate a good bag of corn tortillas, salsa, guacamole and queso at your BBQ. In fact, you should probably get more than you think you’ll need.
- Coleslaw and/or Green Salad – Make sure to offer a lighter option to keep the food from putting your friends and family to sleep. There are games to be had!
- Dessert – There is bound to be someone with a sweet tooth at your barbecue, so don’t leave them out. Whether it’s fresh fruit, a retro- butter cookie salad, or popsicles, don’t forget about dessert.
Drinks For Your Orlando Barbecue
Keeping your guests cool and refreshed at your outdoor barbecue should be one of your main priorities. Make sure to have plenty of cold water on hand and other options if you would like, if you don’t have a fridge in your outdoor kitchen, buy a cheap inflatable pool, load it up with ice, and put your drinks in the pool! If you plan on serving alcohol, make sure to keep it an appropriate amount (about two drinks per person) so that your Orlando outdoor BBQ, stays safe and fun all night long. One way to offer a fun, refreshing drink is by setting up a Watermelon Keg. This “keg” is a lot cheaper and doesn’t have quite as much alcohol as a regular Keg, plus it’s pretty cool to be able to get booze poured straight out of a watermelon. Find out how to create your own Watermelon Keg, here. And instead of pouring straight Vodka into the watermelon try this Boozy Watermelon Punch.
Pro Tip* Use the Watermelon you take out of your Watermelon Keg for dessert, now you have the drinks and dessert taken care of.
Once you combine good food, drinks, and entertainment you will have thrown the best backyard BBQ. No matter your age, a good game of horseshoes or cornhole is always a cheap and fun idea and will keep people entertained forever. However, here are a couple more games you can add to your repertoire if you’re tired of having Uncle Jerry beat everyone at Horseshoes:
- Oversized Games – Oversized games are quickly gaining more popularity, Giant Jenga being one of the most popular. Buy or DIY Giant Jenga or Yard Yahtzee to give your guests a larger than life blast from the past.
- The Viking Game – KOOB or the Viking game, is super easy to set up and all ages can play. It’s also a great excuse to make a themed “Viking” barbecue if that’s your sort of thing.
- Outdoor Movies – If you plan on throwing a party well into the night, invest in an outdoor movie screen for your guests to sit back and relax while they watch a romantic comedy, old black and white film, or action movie. Just like with the Viking Game, you can choose to theme your’re entire BBQ around the movie of your choice, which adds a fun element to any Orlando outdoor kitchen.
You Don’t Have To Go Home, But You Can’t Stay Here
Now that you’ve thrown the best barbecue this side of the Mississippi, you may have some “lingerers” that want to stay and party till the break of dawn. If sleepovers aren’t your thing anymore, take party planner David Stark’s failproof advice and simply ask “ Now what food can I send you home with?” Works every time.