When the A/C kicks in and the beach bodies kick back, it can mean only one thing: it’s summer! Summertime is about finding your passions and embracing your loved ones, and nothing combines the two better than a good old fashioned cookout. Whether you’re a vampire in search of your next fix or a sociopath who just needs a bite to eat, here are some helpful tips for making the best of your next backyard barbecue.
It Puts the Lotion On Its Skin
You wouldn’t commit cannibalism without steak sauce, and you certainly wouldn’t have a cookout without sunscreen. Summer fun is about playing it safe, so don’t skimp on the necessities.
Remember to apply a healthy dose of SPF, wipe the fingerprints from the scene, and grab a hat if you’re particularly sensitive. Party guests will also appreciate your attentiveness if you make a bottle of free-radical preventing Banana Boat available for all. After all, the only red at your party should be the sauce-covered lips of your satisfied guests!
Finally, make sure you include plenty of water. Summer heat can be a real treat, but when dehydration sets in, no one’s having a good time. A little ice cold water will make sure that nothing stands in the way of your guests and their surreptitious main course.
Know Your Cuts
Grilling is an art, and every artist knows that materials matter. Sure, you can settle for fingers or toes if you’re looking to leave your loved ones hungry for more, but a real chef knows that the more tender the cut, the more delicious the meat!
Before you head to the grocery store (or do your own “shopping”), remember to select parts that see the greatest marbleizing. Drumsticks and shoulders are prime cuts, but even flank “steak” can hit the spot if brined properly.
When you have the cut in hand, draw the shades and take a look at the meat. If the meat looks red, devoid of small veins of fat, it’s a lean cut. These are much better for the health conscious, but lack the flavor of fattier pieces. If you see thin veins of fat, rest assured that you’ve got a delicious meal and an FBI inquiry awaiting you!
Keep the “Lambs” From Screaming
Of course, a barbecue isn’t just about grilling and dodging questions. It’s about fun for all! Young and old, everyone’s going to need an activity to keep themselves busy while you’re busy finding the perfect dumpster to stash the evidence.
For the adults, make sure the entertainment is age appropriate. Provide drinks, cards, some lawn sports, and conversational games to get people talking. Additionally, games like bags are a great way to use the green space and kill time while the appendages cook.
For the children, give them some physical activity to promote a healthy lifestyle! Play games like “Pin the Blame on the Neighbor”, “Body? What Body?”, and “Weren’t There Four of You?” This will make sure that the kids are occupied and away from the dangerous fire, and tired when it’s time to go home for the night; a win-win for parents!
Make Sure to Say “Hello, Clarice!”
Grilling is, if nothing else, a social event. Visitors of all ages come together to share in their collective ignorance of the dishes being served. It’s a bonding experience, and your job as a host is to make sure it goes smoothly.
Before the fire is even lit, meet your guests at the entrance with a cold one in a hardy handshake. Strike up a conversation about their life and make them feel included! Whatever you do, don’t let them in the garage.
Furthermore, take the opportunity to catch up with old friends. Trust us, the past is only worth burying if it’s incriminating. Invite your old roommate from college if they’re in town. Catch up with old high school friends and see how their lives are going. Heck, even invite the lawn care guy and find out the size and availability of his wood chipper.
Remember: cooking is about what’s inside.
Last but not least, remember that this event is about heart. Cooking comes from the heart (sometimes cooking even involves the heart). Socializing comes from the heart. Too many hosts ruin their experience focusing on the work behind a cookout, instead of enjoying the opportunity to connect with loved ones and scope out their next meal.
Look, we get it. Cannibalism is hard! You want to make sure that your guests are well taken care of and that your meat is seared to perfection. But be sure to take some “me” time while the festivities unfold. The memories you make will last you well into your jail time, leaving you smiling and satisfied, no matter how many life sentences you’re serving.