One of my favorite things about summer is how easy it is to get your friends and family together for an outdoor evening of grilling. Next weekend we’ll be having our friends over from out of town and we’re hoping to enjoy some steaks and veggies.
To help you have the best Fourth of July barbeque ever, I’ve tackled some of the most pressing questions people have on grilling, decorating and invitations. Take what you need and please feel free to share your best tips in the comments below.
Grilling Meat: Dry Rub or Marinade?
Everyone who grills up meat for their party wants to make sure what they make is flavorful and juicy. The question becomes which is best for your meats – marinading them or using a dry rub? It comes down to the cut of meat you’re using.
Marinades tenderize in addition to adding flavor so flank and skirt steaks work well with them. You can also use them for chicken and fish. The easiest marinade you can get from the store is Italian dressing. You can put it in a Ziploc bag with your meat. Keep an eye on the time because different meats have different times for marinades. If you plan on having seafood, try to keep the marinade on for no more than 30 minutes. Larger cuts of meats can go for a couple of hours.
Dry rubs can be fantastic for briskets when its fat melts as it’s being grilled. You can prepare your meat and leave rubs on overnight. To save you a little bit of time, I’ve included a basic rub recipe you can use next time you grill.
Easy Dry Rub
- 1/2 cup Paprika
- 1/2 cup Brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon of Black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Chili powder
All you need to do is mix the ingredients and cover your meat. Easy!
Mastering the Sides
For those who want to go homemade all the way, there are some incredibly easy sides you can make ahead of time or quickly once the party starts.
You can also enlist guests and have them bring their favorite sides to the party. We’ve had friends make some delicious goodies that we hadn’t thought of – a win in my book. If you’re looking for a good deal on food, your local warehouse club usually has some great deals on the meats and snack trays.
Try to get there early in the week to avoid last minute rushes to the store. You’ll save time which you can use to prepare for your party.
Decorating in Style (and On The Cheap)
Looking at sprucing up your backyard for the additional company? It doesn’t take much to set the mood for your next get together. One of my favorite spots to get ideas is Pinterest. You can find inspirations and some wonderful inexpensive set ups for your party.
Not sure where to get the supplies? The dollar store can be your friend and save you money when it comes to the decorating essentials. They have some of the lowest prices and they switch out their inventory each season, so you can get the all American decor you’re looking for.
If you have some extra time on your hands, they can also be great sources for party favors and gift bags.
I’d love to hear from you – what are you planning for your next backyard bash?