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By Annabelle Carter Short
Hosting barbecues are a must during the warm summer days, but you don’t need to put your grill away when these long days roll into the cozy and cool temperatures of autumn.
Instead, embrace the sweater evenings and changing colors, and prepare some delicious barbecue recipes to enjoy with your friends and family. Below, we’ve compiled our top seven genius tips to make your autumn barbecue easy and successful.
So, let’s get started!
Opt for Fall-Themed Dishes to Spice up Your Menu
Autumn gives you a free pass to experiment, and since it’s the season of spices, you should definitely add some of that exquisite flavor into your BBQ cookouts. Not only is it great for your health, but even your steak and chicken will completely transform with a dry rub of some of your favorite spices onto the moist meat chunks.
In addition to the ginger, garlic and cayenne, you can prepare sweet potatoes or grilled pumpkin to please your friends and family. In fact, don’t forget the extras in your meal – throw in some pumpkin beer, pumpkin pie or a sweet potato dish for that perfect autumn touch.
Take Advantage of Your Ingredients Versatility
Keeping up with the spirit of experimentation, why not take advantage of the incredible versatility of your steak? Trust us, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the culinary possibilities when it comes to barbecues.
You can make a spicy southwest steak by swapping your normal salt, pepper and garlic with chipotle and then pop the meat right onto your grill. You can also add a few tablespoons of ground coffee beans or brown sugar for that “cowboy steak” taste. The latter does an excellent job of adding a subtle glaze and a sweet flavor that works wonderfully with the meat.
Use Plenty of Fish and Turkey
We get it: not having the classic BBQ old standards such as burgers, steaks, chops and ribs can be too extreme – at least for traditionalists.
So don’t take it off the menu completely, but instead of making it a chicken or mutton only cookout affair, add one or two fish, duck or turkey recipes, too. You can use a whole fish like trout and cook it on a low, smoky heat for some excellent flavor, or cook your turkey on a gas grill or a charcoal grill to bring some Thanksgiving vibes to your dining table.
Don’t Forget Your Fall Vegetables
Autumn is essentially harvest season, which gives you a wide selection of meats and vegetables.
While you can enjoy your glazed chicken wings and bourbon marinated chops, you should also add some caramelized pears, squash skewers, tomatillos and so on to create a rich and warm color scheme on your plate and enjoy some seriously delicious flavor.
Experiment With Different BBQ-Themed Cuisine
You might already have several places on your travel bucket list, but the daily hustle-bustle of life and high expenses might have kept you from visiting your dream places. While visiting these countries may take some time, there is no reason you can’t enjoy the unique cuisines of your favorite countries right from your backyard!
For instance, you can prepare a South American “Gaucho” sauce with lime juice, red onions, cilantro and roasted peppers, or maybe a Caribbean jerk-style sauce. If nothing else works, sticking to the juicy and hot Asian teriyaki-themed dishes and sauces are always a winner with the guests.
You’ll also find plenty of specialty cuts of meat (that are available at great prices!) at your local butcher’s shop that you can easily stock up on for frequent barbecue parties. If you do plan on buying extra, make sure you freeze the meat in a zippered plastic bag, along with a great marinade, and then keep it in the freezer. You can then prepare the dinner in a jiffy the next day or whenever you get too busy during weeknights.
Add Fall-Oriented Decorations for an Extra Touch
If there is another benefit of autumn, it’s the fact that you can go absolutely wild with your household decorations. Think Halloween decorations, cinnamon broomsticks, Thanksgiving cornucopias – whether you prefer something crazy or cozy, nothing is off-limits when it comes to making your home beautiful.
If you plan on hosting your barbecue at your patio, decorate the area by placing broomsticks, candles and other decoration pieces in the corner. You can also add little pumpkins to your sitting tables. We would highly recommend sticking to yellows, reds, oranges and browns as much as you can’t keep up with the autumn theme.
Don’t forget that delicious aroma, as well! While your grill will create a delicious fragrance outside, you can also spray a spicy aromatic scent inside your house.
Add Yummy Fall Drinks to Your Menu
Add some tasty fall beverages to complete your barbecue menu. Our top recommendation would be to have a bowl full of refreshing punch or sangria that can help you keep your guests’ bellies full and the chill at bay.
You can also offer a selection of red and white wines if you prefer something more traditional, or simply ask your guests to bring over their favorite beer! Remember, some of your guests might abstain from drinking, which is why you should also have a mocktail-style punch bowl or beverages available. After all, you would want to have something for everyone at your party.