If you’re one of those super-lucky people that live in a barbecue-ready climate all year round, then this article is definitely one for you. For everyone else, it’s going to be good for (the next) five months of the year, especially given summer is on its way. Whatever the case, no summer is complete without having a barbecue. It’s such a great way to enjoy a sunny day, get all your friends and family around for a good old catch up, keep the kids entertained and take your cooking habits to the great outdoors. It’s an absolute winner.
But what if something goes wrong? You know, like really sideways? What then? How do you keep everyone at the barbecue in high spirits, keep the ambiance at the optimum level and stop disaster from wrecking your chance at hosting a good time?
Well, the first thing you should do is educate yourself on the most common – and disastrous – barbecue snafus and then learn what you can do to keep everything on the train tracks of the straight and narrow.
Stop Your Barbecue From Becoming A Disaster
Ants In Your Pants
Nothing is going to have people screaming and squirming and scratching more than a stampede of biting ants. The problem is, these little suckers are like sharks that have smelled blood in the water. This means they’ll be heading your way the second they catch a whiff of smoke in the air. That said, ants aren’t going to ruin anyone’s life should they arrive. They’ll just make life really annoying and uncomfortable. They can even stop the conversation in its tracks because they have an unrivaled ability to get absolutely everywhere.
Our advice: get your cinnamon on. Go to your cupboard and get as much cinnamon as you can because ants hate the stuff. It’s like kryptonite to them. This is because cinnamon interferes with their ability to communicate and navigate. Just get a pinch of the stuff and sprinkle it around the base of your grill, the legs of your tables and chairs and even your patio if you fancy. That should stop them in their tracks.
Sewage Sprouts Up Everywhere
If you’ve ever seen Meet The Parents, then you will remember that scene where they are trying to get the wedding ceremony ready in a garden that is awash with a sewage eruption. It’s the worst. It’s one of those things that no one can excuse, which is why every one of your guests will show up, see it and just turn away without the need to come up with a reason of any kind.
Our advice: for starters, limit the chance of a sewage problem wreaking havoc on your barbecue party. See Devan Plastics for more information on grease tramps and pumps. Preparation really is the best port of call on this one. If, however, it’s too late for that, then you need to have a plan B up your sleeve. The best idea is redirecting your guests to another part of your home or a local park. To do this, you need to have your logistics down, which means a grill you can transport, cool boxes to keep your food fresh, a foldaway table, picnic blanket and anything else you may need.
Rain, Rain Go-Away
Rain has to be the most frustrating grill-wrecker of all. Especially as you trusted that weather reporter who said it was going to be clear skies and seventy-plus degrees. Instead, it decided to pour down rain. This leaves all your guests squashed inside, staring out the window in the hope of seeing the sun poke through. It’s a disaster. There are no two ways about it.
Our advice: your guests are not going to have any problem with playing some classic games, like Cards Against Humanity or Head’s Up or Trivial Pursuit. Make sure you have these in your closet. As for the cooking, we don’t recommend you bring your grill inside simply because that is MEGA DANGEROUS. Instead, pick a trusted guest and head outside with an umbrella, waterproof coat and a drink, and get cooking. Of course, if standing in the torrential rain isn’t your cup of tea (even with the hero points you will be awarded), you can always do the cooking in the oven.
You’ve Got A Filthy Grill
We’ve all been there. We’ve all invited people around for the first barbecue of the season, handed out drinks and prepared the food, only to open the lid of the grill and be staring at a mess of cobwebs, dust and charred chunks of burger from your last barbecue. It’s an uh-oh moment and one that can put people off eating if they catch an eyeful of the situation. You need to act super fast, casual and normal.
Our advice: close the lid, fire up the burners and leave it for about twenty minutes or so. Once you’ve done this, you need to grab yourself a cloth, pop it between a pair of tongs, grip tightly and start scrubbing the grill. Wipe it down. Back and forth, back and forth. This is essentially a steam clean and one that will get all of that filth off your grill without much of a fight. Anything that is left, well, you can blitz that with a wire brush. Voila, your grill will be looking as good as new and ready for your food to start sizzling.
No summer is complete without a barbecue uh-oh moment, which is why you should save these tips and arm yourself with the ability to overcome any disaster. Rain, stuck-on food, sewage eruptions, an army of ants – anything. You need to know just how to keep things on track and spirits high, and without panicking too.
Have you experienced a barbecue uh-oh? Tell me about it in the comments below.