Summertime comes with traditions such as visiting the pool, enjoying warm evenings outdoors, and barbecuing in the backyard. During these times of social distancing, backyard barbecuing has taken on an even greater importance this year. It is the perfect combination of getting together with friends and neighbors while taking the necessary precautions for safety and health. As you prepare for your backyard barbecue, here are some tips to consider:
Understand Your Guest List and Plan Accordingly
Hot dogs and hamburgers have long been a staple when cooking outdoors, but that has changed in recent years. More and more people are electing for leaner meats or vegetarian options. It is important to know the dietary preferences of your guests and have a selection of options available. Chicken is a great option for the grill for those counting calories. Also consider vegetable skewers with items like mushrooms, eggplant, squash and onion for the vegetarians in the crowd.
Consider Pre–Packaged Foods and Individual Trays
Due to COVID-19, most people are wary of communal dining. Consider pre-packaged foods like small bags of chips, individually wrapped condiments and small side dish containers. This helps eliminate touch points while still providing everything needed. Also, consider using prepared trays and disposable serving items to reduce risk of contamination.
Know Your Food Temperatures
Grilling is a flavorful way to cook meats and vegetables, but it can also come with hazards. Know your temperatures! Ground beef and pork must be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 160°F. Steaks should be cooked to at least 145°F and allowed to rest for three minutes. Meat thermometers are an inexpensive and a safe way to ensure that everything is prepared safely.
Even amid everything that is going on, it is important to have fun. There are tons of games and activities that can be played while social distancing. The whole point cooking outdoors is to bring people together to share meaningful experiences.
At HHHunt, we believe it’s how you live that matters and hope that you find these tips helpful as you plan your next backyard barbecue.