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BBQ for Every Season
News update: great barbecue is not just for summer anymore. Gas grilling has brought the classic tastes of barbecue to dinner and party fare year round. Charcoal grill masters are also getting into the year-round grilling mix. When planning a party in any season, here's how to enjoy classic BBQ for every type of weather.
As temperatures begin to dip and the air becomes crisper, nothing is better than throwing an outdoor barbecue party for a memorable and fun event. When planning to barbecue in the fall, keep these helpful tips in mind:
• Cooler weather may mean longer cooking times. While the grill is firing your fare, don't close the vents. Closing the grill vents cuts off needed oxygen and will increase cooking times.
• Don’t open the grill to check on progress. The cooler air will drop the temperature inside of the grill rapidly. Instead, invest in a good meat thermometer.
• Grill some freshly harvested vegetables purchased from the local farmer's market to go along with the meat of your choice.
• In the spirit of the season, forgo the beer and choose cider drinks to add a fall pizzazz to your meal.
Don't put away that grill as winter approaches. Grilling in the winter lets you save the stove and oven for side dishes and desserts to go along with the main course. There are a few things you should keep in mind when planning to barbecue in the winter.
• Keep your grill fairly close to the back door but away from exterior walls that the flames could damage. Never grill inside of your garage because of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.
• Wear shoes that are easy to remove so you don't track snow into the house as you go in and out.
• Remember that the cold temperatures will require longer cooking times and plan accordingly. Have an outdoor light available, possibly one that can be clipped to the grill.
• Add a little heat to your meat by adding chili spices to your meat rub prior to grilling.
• Don't forget to grill some winter root vegetables as well. Plentiful in the winter, they grill nicely when wrapped in foil with a little butter.
Springtime brings everyone back out of the house to enjoy the changing season as the cold winter leaves. To match the weather, make barbecue choices that are lighter in contrast to the heavy winter-month foods. Check out these ideas.
• Spring is a great time to grill fish for seafood lovers or chicken for those who don't. A light-tasting fish such as halibut tastes terrific when grilled and paired with a flavorful mango salsa.
• A beautiful arugula salad with nice, crusty bread completes any spring barbecue.
• Choose seasonal vegetables for grilling, such as asparagus and artichokes (side note: when grilling artichokes, remember to steam them before grilling so they cook properly).
• Spring chicken barbecue ideas are endless as chicken is such a versatile meat. According to BonAppetit.com, chicken should be moved around on the grill while it is being cooked, and basting should be done at the end so the skin doesn't burn.
• A nice asparagus quiche or frittata served along with the chicken barbecue main course brings the taste of spring to your patio table.
Barbecuing is an almost mandatory pastime in the summer months. From burgers to roasted pigs, summertime grilling is versatile and is a celebrated American party for everyone. Keep these tips in mind before you get the party started.
• Remember to keep the grill away from guests to bring down the heat.
• Brisket can be barbecued all day for a delectable summer classic sandwich. Paired with a nice pasta or cold potato salad, barbecued brisket sandwiches make a terrific summer barbecue choice.
• Remember to serve plenty of ice water along with the meal to keep yourself and your guests hydrated.
• Summertime barbecues can be held later in the evening as the temperatures go down a bit to beat the heat. Enjoy the company, food and warm breeze while listening to the music of your choice.
No matter what time of year, barbecue can be enjoyed in every season. With a little adaptation of your grill, planning and cooking times, even winter months can be a terrific time to barbecue. Be creative and use the flavors of the season.
While planning, don't forget to check out the Big PigOut at the Isle Casino Hotel Black Hawk which starts in November. You will be able to sample BBQ flair in the Farraddays steakhouse or all-you-can-eat options in Calypsos buffet. You can get many wonderful ideas for your own barbecue party while enjoying the best barbecue in the area. Barbecuing is a culinary art form truly meant to be enjoyed no matter what the temperature outside.