Having an outdoor kitchen in Tampa is a great way to entertain guests and to cook delicious meals for the family. However, there are a few ways to ensure your outdoor dining experience is a success. First off, you need the right tools for the job. You need a good BBQ, as well as all the cooking utensils to go with it. You will also want to make sure that you have serving dishes, utensils, and of course, a nice set of outdoor furniture to sit back and relax in once the food is ready to enjoy.
Let Your Tampa Outdoor Kitchen Set the Tone of the Party
There are a number of ways to throw a BBQ party. Depending on how your Tampa outdoor kitchen is designed, you could offer an open bar and have a spread of different sides and desserts to choose from so guests can build their own plates. You could also choose a specific theme and coordinate plates and cutlery to match the theme. Don’t forget to send out fun invitations that reflect your chosen theme. You could even encourage guests to really get in the mood with matching attire. For example, if you have chosen a Hawaiian theme, you could tell guests to wear their best Hawaiian shirts to the party.
Once you’ve decided on your theme, you’ll need to decide what you want to cook. If you feel like you have already hosted the same BBQ too many times you may want to try something new. There are plenty of recipes online or in magazines such as Good Housekeeping that will spark your creative side.
Get Creative With Your Main Dish
Summertime gets hot, and you don’t always feel like cooking or eating a lot of hot items so you can always offer chilled sides and a lighter main course such as these Peach and Prosciutto Flatbreads. Or for a fun twist on the traditional hotdog, you could grill up these Chicago-Style Chicken Dogs that replace the traditional beef hot dog with a chicken dog.
Wet Your Whistle
If you want to serve sophisticated drinks but don’t really want to be stuck at the bar all night mixing drinks, you can have the best of both worlds. All you need is a good Big Batch Cocktail recipe. You could also offer a few different cocktail staples and some glasses so that guests could mix their own drinks. You could always serve up a refreshing mocktail version of the classics or fill a punch bowl with a nice (and healthy!) concoction.
Let Your Sides Take Center Stage
Sides are so much fun because you have so many options to choose from. You can offer up salads, jello molds, baked potatoes, vegetable kebabs, cut vegetables, and dip, or anything else you can dream up.
Whatever you pick, however, should be a nice compliment to the main dish that you choose. So, in other words, if your main dish was grilled chicken, you may not want to have a grilled chicken pesto pasta as the side. You want to offer a nice variety to appease the palette. Pair a heavier main course with a lighter side and vice versa.
Last But Not Least-Dessert
You want to finish off a great BBQ meal with an even better dessert. There are countless recipes to pick from ranging from simple to those requiring more expertise. You could string some fresh fruit onto a kebab and serve with a fruit dessert, or you could make these simple yet delicious Cookies & Cream Dessert Jars.
When planning your menu you will want to keep in mind the number of guests you will be serving as well as any dietary restrictions you will need to consider. You should have a nice variety of foods to choose from, but you don’t want to overcomplicate the menu, either. You should have at least:
➱ A beverage
➱ Appetizer or side dish
➱ Main meat or meal
Just remember to have fun and not stress too much over every little detail. If you have a solid menu and you plan ahead, you’re setting yourself up for a successful Tampa outdoor kitchen party that both you and your guests will be able to enjoy.