Break to ya crib change your clothes once more /
Cause you’re invited to a barbeque that’s starting at 4 /
Sitting with your friends cause y’all remincise /
About the days growing up and the first person you kiss /
And as I think back makes me wonder how /
The smell from a grill could spark up nostalgia /
They lyrics to DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince’s Summertime may seem a bit dated now but somehow they still embody a sentiment as sweet as the honey glaze dripping off a late afternoon brisket. And when it comes to summertime and the celebration thereof there are only two rules:
- A Guayabera and coordinating straw fedora are never a bad idea
- EVERYTHING in visual range should be grilled
Before you can live large as a pit master and the King of Backyard Entertainment you have to have a few things in place. Consider this the Dummy’s Guide to Summertime Swagger.
Get The Grill
A proper grill needs to do one thing and that is bring the heat. It isn’t about the size. It isn’t about propane versus wood. It isn’t about how much you can fit on the grates. It is about how evenly it grills, how easy it is to manipulate, and how good it looks when being used and not when it is sitting idle under a canvas tarp. Consider the Lynx 36-Inch Built-In Natural Gas Grill With ProSear Burner And Rotisserie L36PSR-2-NG. Made in the USA and complete with a ProSear infrared burner, brass burners, and even a smoker box, the Lynx is beautiful in design and function. Set it in a custom outdoor kitchen setting and you are sure to command the attention of all your guests!
Yes, everyone loves a good, juicy burger. However, when you are trying to distinguish your grilling skills the last thing you want to do is pull together a menu reminiscent of the 8th Grade graduation city park field trip. Leave the dogs for Coney Island and the burgers for a kiosk in Central Park. Try instead something with a little more flavor and lot more flash. Try an culturally sensitive chicken dish like Caribbean Jerk Chicken (recipe here) served alongside a cold pasta and black beans or even grilled plantains and a cool, fruit salad.
Stock the Bar
When the mercury has risen and the streets are steaming there is only one thirst quencher: beer. It’s a no-brainer in fact. It does take a little thought as to what kind of beer. You want to consider your menu, who your guests are, and if there is a theme to the barbecue or not. If you’re unsure consult with a local drafthouse or brewery. Extra points of course if you serve a local tap instead of something proudly made in Milwaukee.
Set the Mood
Call me silly. Call me simple. Call me a relic. But remember to call me classy because unless you’re grilling up a chuckwagon meal (which of course would call for legends like Sons of the Pioneers and Tex Ritter) the only music that should be playing at your next barbecue is the soundtrack to Buena Vista Social Club. With musicians like Ry Cooder, Eliades Ochoa, and singer Compay Segundo, the album is a classic and sure to infuse the right spice to your grilling delicacy.