The Blueprint for a Better Barbecue

Time to raise your barbecuing game.

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QVC Grilling Article

Within every group of friends and extended family, there’s that one house that’s summer central. The place where everyone seems to gravitate when the weather heats up and the days get longer. If you want your home to be the focal point of summer socializing, you don’t need to start browsing real estate listings to find a new house with a spacious yard and impeccable pool. You just need to raise your barbecuing game.

That’s the truth about summer hangouts. For most guests, the menu is far more important than the setting. Encouraging your friends and family to come over is as simple as serving irresistible dishes and drinks. Of course, you’ll need the right tools and ingredients to make crowd-pleasing meals. That’s where we can help. This summer, follow this advice and pick up these items to host the perfect backyard barbecue.

Get Your Grill On

At the beginning of summer, a quick text saying that you’re firing up the grill is usually enough to have friends rushing over. But if you want to continue to play host well into August—and beyond, weather permitting—you’re going to have to get more creative with your barbecue. And nothing flexes your grilling skills quite like preparing a full rack of ribs for your guests. That might seem like an intimidating project to take on, but all you need to do is slather the ribs with some Corky’s BBQ sauce and place the Traeger Rib Rack on the grill. Soon enough you’ll be enjoying deliciously tangy Memphis-style ribs.

Don’t have enough room on your barbecue for a full rack of ribs? You can give the Memphis-style treatment to some drumsticks using the Traeger Stainless Steel Chicken Leg Hanger. By using a hanger instead of throwing the chicken directly onto the grill, you’ll ensure that the chicken cooks evenly and doesn’t stick to the grate. It’s proof that you don’t need a deep fryer to make delicious chicken that’s perfectly suited for summer.

However, for the hottest days of summer, you might want something a little lighter and more refreshing. In addition to fresh fruit and ice-cold drinks, you should stock up on Anderson Seafoods 3-lbs of Wild Patagonian Large Shrimp. There are multiple ways you can prepare them for your next summer shindig. Our two favorites are using them as the centerpiece of a ceviche recipe or skewering them and tossing them onto the grill. After all, it doesn’t feel like summer has officially started until you’ve sat in the sun enjoying freshly made seafood. 

Elevate Old Favorites

While it’s good to spice things up to avoid falling into a grilling rut, there are times when you and your guests are going to be craving the classics. On some summer days, nothing can compete with a burger or hotdog straight off the grill. Still, even when working with tried-and-true foods, you can still do something special by investing in the highest quality ingredients.

Instead of settling for the same old burger, try grilling up these Rastelli's Wagyu Kobe Style Beef Burgers. For hot dogs, you can delight your guests by serving them Kansas City Beef Hot Dogs. You can swap out the grocery store kebabs and make your own with these Kansas City Medallions & Tenderloin Tips. With a simple upgrade, you can make these old favorites feel new again.

But you don’t have to end there. For burgers and hot dogs, you can elevate the traditional toppings and condiments. There’s nothing wrong with ketchup and mustard, but you can complement those usual suspects with chimichurri, teriyaki or a homemade spicy aioli. In the area where you keep the lettuce, tomato and onions, you can add avocado and grilled peppers. These additions are an easy way to add personality to your party.

Beyond the Traditional Barbecue

There’s no need to take the concept of a ‘barbecue’ so literally. In fact, you don’t even need to have an actual barbecue to host an amazing one. As long as you have delicious food and amazing drinks, your guests aren’t going to complain.

Come to think of it, no one is ever disappointed to arrive at a party and find piping hot pizza. That’s what makes this Bertello Gas, Charcoal & Wood-Fired Outdoor Pizza Oven such a gamechanger for summer hosting. This way you can make multiple pizzas throughout the day, surprising guests with delicious and unexpected combinations of toppings.

A smoker also makes an excellent centerpiece for a summer get together. From ribs to corn on the cob, there’s no limit to the foods that taste delicious after a few hours in a smoker. For those who want one but also don’t want to dedicate all that space to a niche appliance, you can always go for the Traeger Prairie 572 sq. in. Wood Fired Grill & Smoker. This allows you to grill, smoke, bake, roast, braise and barbecue with just one tool. That should keep the party going well past Labor Day.