So you want to have a cookout Memorial weekend. We’re here to help you plan the best Memorial Day BBQ ever! Use these five tips to serve up the best food and fun.
Memorial Weekend Celebrations
We tend to get excited about the long weekend that ensues with the Memorial Day holiday because it is filled with barbecues, parties, events, and an extra day off work, what we sometimes overlook is the reason for Memorial Day. The last Monday of May is set aside each year to honor American soldiers who have passed while serving their country.
While many celebrate on this day [and weekend], it’s important for us all to take a moment in spite of the the fun filled weekend to remember those serve members who bravely fought for our freedoms. Maybe you’d like to honor them this year by taking a moment of silence or praying for the blessing of freedom and for comfort of their families. However you choose to honor this day, honor it with gratitude and thanks.
How to Prep for the Best Backyard BBQ
1. A Quality Grill or Smoker
Starting your BBQ with quality essentials is key to having the best possible outcome. Using a good grill or smoker [depending on your preference of cooking method] will more easily allow you to control the level and disbursement of heat when cooking.
Top Grill & Smoker Picks:
Best Smoker – Traeger Lil Tex Elite
The Traeger family of grills features a wide variety of smokers that really do it all. Not only do they smoke foods, they grill, braise, roast, and bake. The Lil Tex Traeger grill is not the largest and not the smallest grill; it’s just the perfect size for any backyard BBQ enthusiast. This smoker only requires pellets to create that wood smoked flavor.
Best Grill – Weber Black Spirit
If you favor a more traditional grill, you’ll fall in love with the Weber Spirit. This grill comes in four colors, one of which is ivory [so sleek] and allows you the option of natural gas or LP. The cook surface features both thin and wider grates made of porcelain enameled cast-iron, aka flavor enhancer. The side tables even fold down on this grill more compact storing.
2. Grass Fed Meat & Organic Produce
Top Meat & Produce Picks:
Best Grass Fed Meat – ButcherBox
We think your protein should meet the following criteria: be given the freedom to graze as they desire, the hormones & antibiotics should be left out, and the quality of the meat should be great. ButcherBox’s meats embody these principles. What makes this meat delivery service so great for your Memorial Day BBQ is the fact you are able to pick from a custom or curated box. Right now, they are even offering a free BBQ bundle that would could supplement your box if you are having a lot of guests, or you could always save it for your next summer cookout.
Best Organic Produce – Farm Fresh to You
Organic produce delivered, yet so much more is what Farm Fresh to You offers. This delivery service compiles the best of its organic fruits and veggies into a shipping box for your enjoyment! When you are setting up your produce box for your Memorial Day barbacue, you’ll have the opportunity to customize the produce you’ll be receiving. This will definitely help you get a start on planning out which recipes you’ll be making. Another benefit of using Farm Fresh is that you always have the option to add on other farm goods such as eggs, milk, nuts, flowers, and artisan jams.
3. Flavorful Seasoning
Okay, now that you have the grill, meat, and produce covered, your next step to hosting the best Memorial Day BBQ is choosing seasoning flavors that will compliment your meat and veggies. The three we’ve chosen as our top picks for sauces act as all-purpose power houses. Each one easily finishes red meat, pork, poultry, and vegetables with a nice pop of flavor without overwhelming the dish.
Each one of these finishing sauces offers a distinct flavor profile – sweet, spicy, & tangy. Choose one or all of them to make your BBQ more memorable.
Top Seasoning Picks:
Best Sweet Glaze – Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup
Meet the best all-purpose sweet glaze for meats, vegetables, and fruits. Any item that touches your grill [or smoker] can benefit from a finishing coat of bourbon maple syrup. Aged for over a year in mature bourbon barrels, the maple picks up all the lovely notes of the bourbon without any yucky after taste. Suggestions for Memorial Day: Chicken, Pork Chops, Bacon Wrapped Anything & Asparagus
Best Hot Sauce – Whiskey Barrel Aged Sriracha
Not everyone in the group loves hot sauce, but those that do will go crazy over this one! Aged in American oak barrels that once held rye whiskey, this sriracha packs a bolder punch with notes of oak & smoke. If you like flavor without too much spice, mix the whiskey sriracha with the above bourbon maple for a sweet & spicy glaze. Suggestions for Memorial Day: Ribs, Chicken Wings, Pork Butt & Cauliflower
Best Balsamic Glaze – Bourbon Barrel Aged Balsamic Vinegar
Bourbon balsamic glaze might be the real secret cooking weapon for your BBQ this Memorial Day. With a dynamic flavor that changes from tangy to sweet with a more than subtle overtone of bourbon flavor, this balsamic vinegar pairs nicely with meats, vegetables, and fruits, too. The vinegar comes from the Modena part of Italy, known for their balsamic, before it is aged for 18 months in barrels once used for distilling bourbon spirits. Suggestions for Memorial Day: Steak, Pork Tenderloin, Peaches, & Salads
When preparing to host the best Memorial Day BBQ, a major factor in making this an extraordinary day is creating ambience. Ambience is an atmosphere or feeling. We’re giving you two ways to create an understated yet appropriate atmosphere that is inviting and honors this very American holiday.
Top Ambience Picks:
Best Outdoor Lighting – Vintage Style String Lights
Adding soft, warm lighting to any space [indoor or out] instantly makes it more inviting. If you are looking to host your BBQ guests during the evening hours, string lighting will give off a cool vibe to party goers. Outline the patio or use several strands to crisscross the space creating a ceiling of luminaries.
Best Table Decor – Patriotic Table Runner
American, check. Washable, check. Different sizes, check . This table runner sure does check all of our boxes for being the best table decor piece for your Memorial Day BBQ. The universal patriotic print makes this runner perfect for the 4th of July, Labor Day, and any other summer get togethers you are hosting. For more formal parties, opt for the matching cotton napkins. It’s the greener choice, right?
5. A Way to Cool Off
Memorial Day is often seen as the segue into summer. This holiday weekend is when the weather heats up and school is coming to an end. Because of those rising temperatures, it’s more important than ever to offer a way or two for your guests to cool off.
Top Ways to Cool Off Picks:
Best Water Feature – In-ground Pool
Whether you are hosting families or adults only, everyone will appreciate having a sparkling pool to retreat to when they just can’t take the heat any longer. If kids are present, make sure at least one adult is always keeping a watchful eye on those little ones enjoying the water.
Best Sun Shade – Sun Sail
If your barbecue area isn’t covered, it’s worth investing in an shade canopy specifically designed to face the elements. Even on the warmest days, a shady spot can offer several degrees of temperature decline as opposed to sun exposed areas. This recommendation is beneficial for you and your guests! Hosting can be work so there’s no reason you need to sweat while doing it.
Best Cold Drink – Sherbet Punch
Although you guests at your Memorial Day BBQ will enjoy plenty of water and other ice cold beverages, sherbet punch is the perfect [sweet] addition. A mixture of juice, soda, and sherbet, it couldn’t be any easier to assemble. To make a more adult version, simply allow your guests to customize their drink by adding their favorite light spirit or wine to the pre-made punch. You can find five simple yet different takes on sherbet punch here.