(NC) – The Canadian summer is the best time to relax with family and friends, and barbecues are the easiest way to bring everyone together. Ryan Jennings, entertaining expert and co-author of Cooking with Booze, shares his best kept secrets for successful barbecue entertaining.
Get Organized: Hosting a barbecue, is just like any other party – plan ahead and know the number of expected guests. Also, don’t forget to check if anyone has any food allergies or dietary restrictions to prepare an appropriate menu.
Preparation is Key: Don’t be missing in action at your own party. Use barbecue side shelves or set up a side table to hold all your ingredients, utensils and serving platters to avoid running in and out the house.
Meat Needs a Warm-Up Too: To avoid dry, tasteless or charred dishes, take meat and poultry out from the refrigerator an hour before cooking and leave it covered on the kitchen counter.
Piece de Resistance: Nothing tops off a good piece of barbecue like a good sauce. Look for marinades or barbecue sauces that contain a small amount of alcohol, adding depth to ordinary flavours. Jenning’s top pick is Canadian Club Barbecue Sauces and Steak Sauce. ‘Made with just the right amount of real whisky, The Canadian Club BBQ sauces add a sophisticated taste to any barbecue,’ says Jennings.
Keep hydrated: Fill a large metal bin or cooler with ice to keep drinks cold outside – this frees up space in the refrigerator and keeps the guests outside. Also, provide your guests with plenty of non-alcoholic drink options to avoid dehydration.
Setting the Mood: Citronella torches or candles are a great way to decorate and add ambience to your party (especially as the sun goes down), and helps keep the bugs at bay.
A Little Respect: The most important tip of all: respect the neighbours and be mindful of noises and scents emanating from the party. The easiest solution is just invite them over too – the more the merrier.