Back when I lived in Florida and had a yard, throwing summer BBQs was my complete and total jam. The key is to not try to do everything, but to provide one or two super-memorable elements that will make your party the stuff of legends.
A good BBQ needs good food, but I'm not going to hit you with a whole bunch of my recipes, because y'all have already done the legwork on that one, by way of Recipe of the Week. In fact, you guys did such a great job, I've gone ahead and compiled those ROTW installments that I think will be particularly helpful:
- RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Best Burger Edition
- RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Sausage Party
- RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Delicious (And Maybe Alcoholic) Ice Pops Edition
- RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Food on Sticks Edition
- RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Your Show-Stopping Potluck Dish
- RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Let's Dish About Pie!
- RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Patriotic Food For Your 4th of July Party
- RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Let's Make Our Own Condiments!
- RECIPE OF THE WEEK: How Do You Dress Your Deviled Eggs?
- RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Your Favorite Homemade Dips and Spreads
So that takes care of your menu, but your party still needs a few flourishes.
Out of all the crazy crap I've made for backyard shindigs, there are three things people still talk about: the "DIY deep frying station" (which was, in retrospect, a very dangerous idea for a beer-fueled party), the tequila-filled watermelon(s), and the time I made everyone drink out of coconuts.
Speaking of deep frying, someone has figured out how to deep fry water, if you are into that kind of thing.
The deep frying bar was honestly a disaster, because I didn't realize that the key to deep frying candy bars is to batter and freeze them ahead of time. The fried pickles turned out well, but the mini chocolate bars just melted, leaving a really cool mixture of oil and chocolate for me to contend with later.
Anyway. Giving a bunch of drunk people access to a deep fryer isn't actually that good of a plan, but the boozy watermelon is something you should definitely pursue. The below video features vodka as the spirit of choice, but any booze will do.
Another fun watermelon idea is the watermelon keg, because people love a biodegradable container made of plant matter.
Speaking of biodegradable drinking receptacles, if you wish to make everyone drink from the tropical drupe known as the coconut, you will need a coconut drill.
Since coconuts come with a built in mixer (coconut water) all you have to do is add alcohol, and maybe a little lime. But be careful, good people, I have never been more inebriated than the evening I decided I would "only drink things in a coconut," as the opaque nature of the coconut makes it hard to see just how much gin your pouring.
If you want some non-alcoholic, but still exciting fruit, consider making fizzy fruit. What is fizzy fruit, you ask? It's carbonated fruit, which is just as magical as it sounds.
If you feel like your BBQ bar needs even more whimsy, I suggest buying this solution that turns any beverage into edible bubbles.
For dessert, you simply cannot go wrong with a "build your own sweet thing" bar. Sundae bars are popular for good reason, but I'm a big fan of the s'mores bar. Read this article to get the full tutorial experience, but a good s'mores bar should include:
- Marshmallows (obviously), you can buy a bag or make your own.
- Cookies beyond the graham cracker: Oreos, Pop Tarts, stroopwafels, those delicious Maple Leaf cookies from Trader Joes, Thin Mints, chocolate chip cookies, pretty much any cookie, I think you get the idea.
- All sorts of chocolate bars. My personal favorite are caramel and pecan turtles, but get some good chocolate bark and Nutella up in there too.
And those are my ideas for making your next outdoor party one to remember. Anything you would like to add to the list? What was your most memorable BBQ?