Posted by BBQ Island on 7/3/2017
Summertime is barbecue time. There’s just something visceral
about preparing meat on a hot grill and bringing the plate inside to the cheers
of friends and relatives. Even in Phoenix – where the scorching summer sun
drives locals indoors June through September – many hosts opt to let their
outdoor BBQ grills do the heavy lifting when it comes to the main dish. Here at
BBQ Island, the grilling never stops. We host barbecues year-round and always
have some new recipe steaming up our smoker.
Hosting a backyard BBQ can be more
expensive than you’d think, especially if you have a large family or social
circle. Aunt Jane from California expects organic salads and only eats fish,
while Uncle Bob is all about burgers and beer. Your best friends’ kids expect
hot dogs and macaroni. Meanwhile, you’re drooling over tri-tip and wondering
how much all this personalized grub is going to cost.
Luckily, there are ways to make any barbecue more affordable,
no matter how big the crowd. Here are five of our favorite ways to cut costs
without sacrificing quality.
1. Sub Your Meat – We know you’re drooling
over the idea of well-marbled filets and juicy tri-tip, but 30 pounds of prime
meat will drain your wallet faster than you can say “tenderloin.” Most families
are good with classic American burgers and dogs, or large trays of pulled pork
that can be piled on store-bought buns. Other alternatives include:
Use more expensive meats for the adults and
burgers for kids
Save dough (literally!) by making meat and
veggie skewers, no buns required
Make one tray of cheaper chicken
drumsticks/thighs and one tray of beef.
2. BBQ in (Potluck) Style – The cost of
side dishes and salads plus buns, condiments and disposable plates/silverware
can really add up. Ask each guest to provide one needed item such as potato
salad, bread, greens, or tableware. Set up a potluck list on Facebook, if your
guests use it, or create a signup sheet through free sites like Potluck
Buddies or ThingtoBring.
3. Recruit Fellow Grillers – Is your
brother a big BBQ guy? Does your buddy brag about his Traeger pellet smoker all the time? If you have
friends who love to grill, tap them to help at larger gatherings. Have your
buddy smoke up some brisket beforehand, or ask your bro to bring his easy-to-use electric grill and some burgers.
The more, the meatier.
4. Turn Down the Heat – Cook everything in
one batch, on multiple grills if possible. When you’re done with each grill,
turn off the heat. This saves money and time when you’re cooking with gas or electric.
Whether you’re cooking for a handful of close relatives or
hosting a mega dinner party for the neighborhood, there are always ways to save
money by barbecuing. Provide just the meat for a potluck meal, and don’t be
afraid to ask your grill buddies for help. For info on summer barbecue grills
and upcoming classes, CLICK HERE or contact BBQ Island at