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5 Ways to go Big with BBQ

The lazy, hazy days of summer are just around the corner! Since many of us have a staycation in mind for this year, let’s get ready to bask in bright sunny days and revel in hot summer nights. The time is right to unwind with family, to entertain friends and to build lasting memories.

One way to do all that? Go big with barbecue season! With the right preparation, decoration and menu—and a “living large” attitude!—you can whip up memorable meals for the whole famiglia and create a warm, lasting vacation vibe all in your backyard.

Here are five tips (and family dinner ideas) so that you’re always ready for an easy barbecue gathering that is big on flavour and fun.

1. Get ready!

The best way to start the BBQ season right is to have the yard, the barbecue, tools and everything else you’ll need ready and on hand, so you can get grilling and gather the gang for a casual dinner or party at a moment’s notice. Here are some tips to get you there.

Spring cleaning isn’t just for the indoors! Tidy up your yard by raking leaves, pruning bushes, picking up sticks, and cutting the lawn. Make sure any lighting you have is working, too, and that there are no potholes in the lawn or other tripping hazards.

Get your outdoor furniture ready for summer duty. Give your patio chairs and tables a thorough scrubbing and make sure any patio umbrellas are clean and ready to use.

Clean your barbecue and make sure it is grill-ready. If you have a gas grill, make sure you have an ample supply of propane, and if you have a charcoal grill, ensure you have extra charcoal bricks. You don’t want to run out mid-barbecue!

Think about what you will need and how you can store it outside or close to the outdoors for easy access. Keep some citronella candles and bug spray handy, and clear a space to keep patio cushions if you need to bring them in at night. If the evenings get cool, keep some blankets or jackets close by in case guests get chilly.

Keep outdoor dishes and utensils in one easy-to-access spot near the back door. If you have space, add a storage table. A rustic, outdoor-friendly storage table will provide extra space for drinks and plates during the party, but will also offer space for storing blankets for chilly evenings.

2. Get set!

Your backyard, is now tidy, you have the barbecue ready and your supplies on hand, so now it is time to create some atmosphere and add some friendly touches! Display your favourite flowers and succulents in hanging pots or planters on the deck. If you plan to dine al fresco in the evenings, have some string lights on hand to set a romantic mood by hanging them around the table area or from some trees or bushes. You can also get some lanterns on stakes to place around the yard for a romantic vibe.

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