Summer is a time of fun and games, at least until it comes to grilling out. Family, friends, and neighbors seem to be in a cookout competition, cranking up the heat to make their barbecues the best on the block. It’s serious stakes to be named grill master of your group, so here are a few tips sure to make your summer soirees sizzle.
Spruce Up the Setting
The first step in preparing a can’t-miss cookout is cleaning. Make sure the grass has been mowed and remove clippings from the lawn. Sweep the patio or deck so that it’s free of leaves, dirt, and other debris and then wash off lawn furniture. Sidewalks also should be cleaned and walking areas uncluttered by putting away children’s toys, gardening tools, and other obstacles.
No cleaning is complete, however, without power washing your home. After all, you don’t want guests getting an upset stomach after looking at mildew spots and black streaks on your siding. One quick call to Peak Power Wash and our technicians will thoroughly clean your outdoor surfaces and have them looking like new in no time.
Get the Grill Ready
Cooking on a dirty grill could send your party up in smoke. Of course, grill fires are a serious problem when using a grill that’s full of grease, but those leftover drippings also can make an individual sick. As fat or meat burns in the bottom of the grill, it creates smoke that contains potentially cancer-causing chemicals, which then get deposited on food. Cleaning also reduces the risk of bacteria contaminating the food, so break out the brush and get to work. Dump old briquettes out of charcoal grills and scrub with hot soapy water. For gas grills, cook for 30 minutes on high heat with the lid closed. Once cool, clean with a grill brush and empty the drip pans.
Mix Up the Menu
Hamburgers and hot dogs are great American cuisine for a Fourth of July party, but most cookout connoisseurs expect a menu that’s a bit more impressive. Chicken, steak, and shrimp kebabs are a fun way to mix and match meats and veggies while also letting guests not bite off more than they can chew. Balance the savory flavors by grilling sweet fruits like pineapple and watermelon, or try glazing meats with orange, peach, or pear. Theme parties are always popular, so kick around the idea of an island-inspired event. Offer a mix of seafood such as fish, oysters, crabs, and lobsters along with starches like taro and yam and serve with a kid-friendly coconut cocktail.
Beware of Bugs
Insects are a pesky problem at cookouts, but fortunately there are several ways to get them to buzz off. Lining the property with citronella-burning tiki torches will keep mosquitoes away, and it sets an amazing ambience for that islands party. Fill several spray bottles with water and essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, lemongrass, and peppermint. The scent repels many bugs and guests will enjoy cooling off with the soothing mist. Insects are attracted to fruit and sweet-smelling drinks, so keep them covered, and position trashcans away from the dining area and downwind of the food.
Calling on Peak Power Wash to pressure wash siding, decks, and other structures is another way to eliminate bugs from your next barbecue. Our cleaning process destroys nests, and insects are less likely to build new ones on clean surfaces free of dirt and debris. Just call us today for a free estimate!