The 4th of July is quickly approaching, so quick that we can already smell those juicy burgers sizzling. What better way to celebrate America’s birthday than a backyard BBQ? You get to enjoy smoked meat from your MAK Grill, cold drinks, and good company all while soaking in the heat of the summer. It’s also the perfect time to show off your grilling skills!
This July, there will be countless backyard BBQ’s being hosted all across the country. We want to make sure that yours stands out from them all. Learning how to host a MAK-tacular backyard BBQ is fairly simple and is just one more step to becoming the ultimate pellethead.
Preparation begins way before the guests arrive. Naturally, the first step to hosting a backyard BBQ is making sure that your backyard is in good condition. Now, this doesn’t mean hiring a landscaper and going out of your way to buy pricey outdoor furniture. This step can be as simple as weeding and mowing the yard, sweeping and rinsing off the pavement, clearing unneeded clutter and making sure you have proper lighting installed.
You’ll also want to make sure that the area is safe, especially if there will be kids around. This means making sure there are no broken glass or sharp materials for people to step on or dangerous yard tools laying around that kids could get ahold of. You’ll also want to take some extra precautions when it comes to your pellet grill. You can start by giving it a deep clean. You’ll also want to make sure to situate your grill on the pavement and away from where the kids will be playing. Safety always comes first!
Once your backyard is prepped, it’s now time to start stocking up on the necessities. This includes sunscreen, bug spray, a first aid kit, plastic cups and utensils, paper plates, napkins, tablecloth(s), clearly marked trash cans, etc. Comfortable guests are happy guests.
If you plan on having a large guest list, you’ll want to make sure you have enough seating. You may also want to consider buying/renting a tent or canopy in case of rain or for a little sun relief. We also recommend supplying some bonus goodies such as cheap sunglasses, koozies, bibs (if you’re smokin’ ribs), and 4th of July decorations. The real key to knowing how to host the best backyard BBQ is thinking about all the small details that make the overall experience better.
This one should be a no brainer. Music is a great way to set the vibe of your backyard BBQ. You can tune into your local radio station or if you’d like more control over what’s playing without the annoyance of ads, we suggest you use music streaming platforms. Some of these programs allow you to create custom playlists that you can just put on a loop and forget about it, kind of like your MAK Grill!
If there’s a sports game on, you can always opt for that instead of music. Whichever option you choose, it’s important to pay attention to how high the volume is. You don’t want your neighbors crashing your party with a stream of complaints. Drink responsibly and jam respectfully.
Speaking of drinking responsibly, cold drinks are a must. You’ll want to supply both kid-friendly and adult-friendly drinks. This means juice boxes, lemonade, soda or other sweet drinks for the kiddos. For the adults, you’ll want an assortment of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine coolers, ice tea, etc.
If you plan on taking your drink game up a notch by getting a keg or whipping together frozen drinks and fancy cocktails, you’ll want to have the logistics worked out ahead of time. Above all, make sure to drink responsibly and have a designated driver just in case your sister Linda indulges a little too freely on your homemade margaritas.
Now for the best part of the whole ordeal. It’s time to fire up your MAK Grill and do what you do best! Make sure to plan the main course ahead of time just in case you need to conduct a low’n’slow smoke overnight. Also make sure you research your meat well in advance of your cookout in order to get the right recipe, know the appropriate IT, what kind of rub to use, whether or not to wrap, or how much sauce to use. All the planning, setup and hours dedicated to smoking will be well worth it the moment you see the look on your guests’ faces when they try your BBQ masterpieces.
General Tip: Wrap your meat in foil, wrap a towel around it, and place it in a cooler to keep it warm while you’re waiting for guests to arrive.
Right before guests start arriving, you’ll want to prepare a few finger foods to hold them over. Our favorites include burnt ends, mooink balls, wings, candied bacon, and smoked guacamole and salsa. Nothing puts a damper on a party like hungry guests.
Last but not least, have a backup plan! Barbecue is an art and a science, so make sure you have the local pizza parlor’s number just in case…
If there will be a slew of young ones attending your backyard BBQ, you’ll want to make sure you have ways of keeping them entertained. If the weather cooperates, you can get creative with water such as a homemade slip’n’ slide, blow-up pool, a water fight with water balloons and super soakers (the adults may want in on this one too!) or simply setting up the garden sprinkler. Remember that water activities require lots of towels!
If the weather doesn’t cooperate, you can set up yard games under a canopy or toys and board games in a waterproof tent. The main goal is to simply keep the kids occupied so the adults can drink and socialize without little Suzy complaining that she’s bored every 5 minutes. A successful BBQ relies on delicious food and guests of all ages having a good time and eating good food all evening long!
Anyone who says they don’t have a sweet tooth is probably lying to you. Sweets help make the world go round or will at least be a huge hit at your backyard BBQ! We’ve done a lot of experimenting with preparing desserts on our grills. A few of our all-time favorites are maple bacon pecan sundaes, smoked Oreo cheesecake, maple bacon cupcakes and of course good ol’ American apple pie.
What’s a 4th of July celebration without fireworks? Most communities offer a free firework show at a local venue. You should be able to find this information on your city’s official website or by simply doing a quick search for “firework shows near me”.
If you’re a Dallas, Oregon resident like us, you have plenty of options when it comes to finding a firework show. There’s the Dallas – Oregon, Independence – Oregon, Volcanoes Stadium and the Salem, Oregon fireworks display.