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PROS TO KNOW: How to Prepare a Great Barbecue Barbecuing and grilling can rightfully be called a national pastime. Home barbecue “masters” across the country no longer require warm weather to fire up the grill or smoker. In fact, for many Americans, grilling and smoking meat is far more than a means to an end for a meal. Preparing food on the barbeque is an art and a science. If you want to produce the perfect barbeque, here are a few pointers to get you started. The Meat First and foremost, the meat you serve has to be amazing — not just good, but so mouthwatering and delicious that your guests will want to tell all their friends about it. A big barbecue meal is no time to experiment. The meats you serve should all be something you’re comfortable and confident preparing for a group, so pick your best recipe and grill or smoke it to perfection. If you’ve got the skills — and the need to feed a big enough crowd — it’s a good idea to offer a wide variety of meats, from chicken and pork to sausage and ribs. Variety is always nice, as long as you serve the best. Just remember that the bigger selection of meats you serve, the more hardware you’ll need to cook it and the more planning you’ll need to do to ensure everything is ready and waiting for your guests at the perfect time. Juggling lots of cooking times can be a challenge for all but the most experienced backyard cooks. The Sides Look for side dishes that won’t overpower the main focus of your barbecue, the meat. That means you should generally stick with the tried-and-true classics like beans, potato salad, cole slaw, corn and hushpuppies. Light summer salads are a good option for your health-conscious guests, offering some balance to the heavier dishes that typically dominate barbecues. And throwing some veggies onto the grill, such as asparagus or squash, can be a delicious way to eat healthier. The Drinks The drinks you pick with a barbecue meal will really set the stage for your guests, so pick them based on the atmosphere you’re looking for. beers to offer a real variety and more distinct flavor. Dress It Up Look for ways to dress up the appearance of your barbecue, too. Nice tablecloths can be a good place to start, but it’s also fun to look for interesting serving dishes. Creative shapes and colors for bowls can really elevate the style of your barbecue, taking it from bland to memorable. In the end, creating a great barbecue is all about showing you care. From your passion about cooking the perfect meats to making each and every guest feel warm and invited, you’ll be creating lasting memories that are about much more than a meal. If you’re throwing a family-friendly party, lemonade and soda are always a hit with kids. Adults may want cold beers for a laid-back get-together or margaritas and cocktails if you want to up the ante. Another popular trend is looking for a local flavor. Think about going to a unique local brewery or shopping for small-batch craft SAVE BIG ON SELECT GRILLS & SMOKERS Check out our selection of Seasonings, Spices & Rubs! Bet etterr Qua alityy forr Bett B er Tassting g Food! Huge Selection of Grills and Accessories Accessories, Sauces, Seasonings, Rubs, Utensils, Racks, Injectors, Brushes, Lights,Thermometers, Lump Charcoal, Wood Pellets, Wood Chips and more!! 1604 Hwy 18 W. Clear Lake • 1-641-357-3325 • www.lakefireplace.com Mon.-Fri. 9:30 AM-5:00 PM; Sat. 9:00 AM-noon

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