1. If you are using a charcoal grill, make sure you have ample charcoal, lighter fluid, and matches handy. If you are using a gas grill, make sure you have a full canister of propane, or a full refill canister. We keep one in our grill, another full, in the garage, ready to replace if needed. It’s always frustrating to be grilling food and run out of gas before the food has finished cooking!
2. Plan the full menu ahead of time. Consider if you want to buy and prepare all items yourself, or handle as a potluck with guests contributing.
3. Allow time for marinating and slow indirect grill time. Ribs, specifically, require advance preparation. We season and prepare the meat 24 hours in advance, wrap in heavy duty aluminum foil, and refrigerate until grill time.
4. Have everything, chopped and ready ahead of time.
5. Use coupons to save money on condiments this time of year!
6. Shop the farmers market to get fresh fruits and vegetables at an affordable price, while supporting your local farmers!
7. Keep water and a fire extinguisher handy.
8. Use a meat thermometer. You want to make sure food is cooked to a safe temperature, and to the desired level you prefer.
9. Rest time – some meat needs time to rest after being grilled. It allows juices to flow back into the meat, making it soft and moist, not tough and dry.
10. Keep an eye on the clock. Prevent food poisoning by knowing what items can be left out, and for how long. Make sure there are ample containers for leftovers, and room in the fridge or a cooler to store them!