What better way to spend an evening with family or friends than enjoying a home-cooked, barbecue meal at sunset? Relaxing with food outside is a pastime that has bonded human beings for millennia, and scientists even link the grilling of meat to an important milestone in human evolution. Most importantly, for the modern family on a budget, it’s an inexpensive way to share fantastic food and great company.
Whether you’re lucky enough to have a backyard or balcony area of your own or not, gathering people together for a BBQ can be done in most places. If you don’t have your own deck or garden, it’s easy to find a dedicated barbecue area in many public parks or at your local beach.
You don’t need to hire an expensive venue to enjoy a barbecue, and you can make it as simple or fancy as you like by adding decorations or a theme that suits your budget.
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Traditionally, people invited to barbecues bring a dish, a drink or some meat of their own, so you won’t need to worry about spending too much to feed all your guests. Seating is another issue for many people hosting a get-together at home, after all, who has enough chairs to accommodate everyone they’d like to invite? At a barbecue, your guests may be happy to sit on rugs, picnic mats, folding chairs or beer benches.
Please – wherever you decide to set up your BBQ, consider these health and safety essentials:
All barbecues you can buy commercially come with usage instructions, and it’s important to read and understand them before you commence to play with fire. Ensure everyone who takes a turn at the grill has read the same information, and please keep firefighting and safety equipment(such as grill gloves, tongs, and pokers) to hand. Alcohol and fire don’t mix, so the person turning the steaks should hold off on the beer until everyone has been served. The grill master should also be wary of wearing flowing or flammable materials while BBQ cooking, and keep a safe distance at all times.
Making the area where the barbecue is located safe from small children and pets is another important consideration. If you don’t have a dedicated BBQ area, think about setting up your grill behind the pool fence, within a playpen (this works equally well for Christmas trees!), or behind a line of plastic chairs or some other physical or visual barrier, you have to hand at home.
Failing that, you can nominate a person to keep an eye on the grill at all times to prevent a toddler or pet straying too close to the flames.
Finally, you want to ensure that all food is cooked through so it can be eaten safely. Sticking to those simple rules will make your summer barbecue an enjoyable occasion for the whole family.