Who doesn’t love a good backyard party, especially when there’s delicious food involved? If you’re like most people, when you host a party, you probably grill up foods like steak, hamburgers, hot dogs, vegetables, and potatoes. These are grilling staples, but you can do better.
Here are some tips to make your next backyard party a little more delicious.
1. Cook on a pellet grill
Most people would probably agree that they love a good barbecued meal, but that’s not always the optimal way to cook food. Barbecues add a nice flavor to steak and potatoes, but it doesn’t give you any control over the heat level, which means you can’t really make anything special. The food will be cooked fast and hot, which will limit you to basic dishes.
When you cook on a pellet grill, however, you can control the heat and cook more interesting meals, just like you would make in your kitchen. Pellet stoves are easy to use and fuel, since they run on the same pellets you get for a wood stove. You don’t have to chop any wood, yet you still get to cook with a wood fire.
With a pellet grill, you can bake, smoke, roast, grill, and even sear if you get one that has a high enough temperature. While many models only heat up to 500°F, some go beyond that and others support direct flame grilling.
Pellet grills are also easy to clean. Just be sure to get a model with removable ash or grease baskets to make things easier.
2. Let your meat rest at room temperature
Before you toss meat on the grill, allow it to rest at room temperature for about five minutes. This will ensure it has a pleasant texture and an even internal temperature.
Room temperature means room temperature. Don’t put your meat in the sun or in an exceptionally warm area, and don’t let it sit for too long, or it will spoil. Five minutes is all you need to take the chill off.
3. Choose your wood
If you’re going for a wood-fired grill, the type of wood you use will alter the flavor of your food. The most common are oak, cherry, and hickory. If you’ve never grilled with a particular type of wood, try it out and see what it’s like. Experience is the best way to know what you like best.
Of course, your guests may have a different preference for wood, but it won’t make a big enough difference to be concerned about. People will be just as happy to enjoy a home-cooked meal regardless of the wood you use to grill. However, some woods create a better flavor for certain types of meat and will likely be everyone’s favorite. For example, chicken and pork taste excellent smoked with sweet hickory.
4. Grill up some fruit
Some people avoid warm or hot fruit at all costs. You probably know someone who refuses to eat pineapple on their pizza. However, even though it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, many fruits taste amazing grilled. Consider your party guests who would enjoy some char-grilled peaches, pineapple, or other fleshy fruit.
5. Trim some of the fat
There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that fat equals flavor. However, when you’re grilling up fatty steaks, bacon, or anything you’ve rubbed down with oil, the fat is going to melt and drip into your flames. When fat hits your fire, it will flare up fast and hot, scorching your food.
If you enjoy the taste of charred food, this isn’t necessarily negative. However, if you’re trying to make food people can savor, trim the excess fat before you start grilling.
6. Try new recipes
Your parties will be boring if you always cook the same things every time. Try cooking new recipes for your guests instead of serving boring hamburgers and steaks. There are so many options, like citrus carne asada, basil halibut, veggie burgers, grilled sweet potatoes, sweet and spicy chicken, cilantro prawns, smoked eggplant dip, fig and mustard baby back ribs, various salmon dishes, and more.
7. Avoid poking your meat
Always grill with tongs or a spatula rather than a fork or prongs. It’s tempting to poke your hot dogs and steaks to flip them over, but this will drain the meat of all its flavor by letting the juice run out.
Make your next grilling party delicious
Now that you’ve got several good tips for your next party, start planning ahead. Get the right grill, add some fruits, and choose some interesting recipes that will make mouths water.