How to host a BBQ in style without bursting your wallet
Whether you’re planning to have a BBQ party with family, or a big crowd of friends, here is how you can throw a memorable one in style without bursting your wallet!
First, plan your guest list to know how many people to prepare for. This way you buy the right amount of food without leaving any to waste! Next, plan out a timeline. This will help you decide what you can prepare in advance and what you should do on the day of the bash. Timing is key! You would not want to find yourself rushing out food on the day and missing out time with your guests! Ideally, prepare as much as you can the day before. Chop up any vegetables or fruits, marinate meats, shape burger patties, and assemble sauces. The only foods left to make on the day of your party should be the ones to be cooked on the barbeque grill.
Simple Starters: Nacho Cheese
What is a crowd pleaser that is not only quick and easy to prepare, but easy on the wallet too? …Nacho cheese in a simple 5 minutes!
Heat the oven to 180C. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread tortilla chips out on the sheet in an even layer. Sprinkle some of your favourite cheddar cheese (Tradition Shredded Cheddar) evenly over the chips. Then, repeat with another layer of chips and cheese. Season with some pepper and smoked paprika, and bake in the oven until the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven and top with some chopped tomatoes and sliced olives for added colour and flavours. Serve immediately!
On The Grill: Homemade Burgers, Grilled Meat Mix
For the burgers, set up a DIY burger bar! This is an affordable option compared to spending your entire budget on large cuts of meats and adds a fun element for your guests too. All you have to do is prepare the burger patties. Sounds daunting? Not at all! Marinate beef mince (AU Premium Beef Minced) with some dried spices, chopped onion, egg and breadcrumbs, and shape them to equally sized patties. Tip: To prevent doming after grilling, make an indent in the patties before cooking. This way, the precious condiments won’t slip off easily when assembled! If you’re really tight for time, grab some ready-made beef burger patties (Frozen Beef Burger Patties) which work just as well! Prepare some fresh buns, crisp iceberg lettuce, onion slices, and a snazzy condiment station, and you’re ready to go! Wow your guests with a condiment station that goes beyond ketchup and mayonnaise. Get some teriyaki sauce, hot sauce (Cholula hot sauce), guacamole and mustard! Fill them in little glass jars and label with wooden ice cream sticks which double up as labels and spreaders! This saves on the washing up and having to spend on extra utensils.
As for the grilled meats, they don’t have to burst your wallet! Get a mixture of beef and chicken to work around your budget – the latter tends to be more affordable, and just as much an all-time favourite! For beef, look for cuts like Flank Steak (AU Grain Fed Beef Flank Steak) and Chuck Tender (AU Grain Fed Beef Chuck Tender), which are more affordable and just as yummy! Though chuck tenders are not traditional barbeque cuts, they are brilliant as long as you marinate them well and not overcook them. For chicken, grab some chicken thighs (BRZ Frozen Boneless Chicken Leg) and mid-joint wings (BRZ Frozen Chicken Mid-Joint Wings) which will go flying off the barbeque pit!
Super Sides: Corn On The Cob, Rainbow Vegetable Kebabs
Corn on the cob may sound basic, but surprise the crowd by offering a variety of flavoured butters. Simply mix some flavor enhancers into butter, such as smoked paprika, Parmigiano cheese, oregano, furikake…whatever you please, and brush them along the cobs after grilling! Vegetable kebabs are another easy and healthy side dish to prepare. For the freshest and cheapest ingredients, get them from the market. Tip: spear the vegetables on two skewers instead of one. This way they flip easily and you wont have vegetable bits breaking off and dropping into the barbeque pit! Zucchini, eggplant, onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes are great options for this.
Desserts: Caramelised Fruit Kebabs
Yes you can grill your desserts too! Thread chunks of pineapple, banana, and rock melon on kebab sticks, sprinkle some brown sugar and chopped mint over, and toast over the grill until they start to caramelise. This is a great way to end off the meal without spending too much on extravagant desserts.
Drinks: Fruit Infused Water
Save on buying drinks and instead serve water infused with lemon/lime slices, cucumber slices, and mint leaves – the perfect refreshing drink to accompany grilled foods. Don’t forget the ice of course!
Décor: Upcycled Table Centrepiece
To decorate your dining space in style without spending too much, upcycle! Instead of throwing out empty cans (of tomato sauces, beans etc) or old tea tins, give them a new life! Spray paint them and use as flower vases to dress your table with!