Christmas summertime in Australia is also synonymous to firing up the barbie. Nothing is more festive than having plate after plate of grilled meat and seafood. However, without proper planning, things can go out of hand, budget-wise. So, here are some easy barbecue ideas for a spread that’s both merry and pocket-friendly!
Grill Inexpensive Meat
Impressing family and friends is easy when you have ribeye steaks tenderloin on the menu. But premium cuts of meat can quickly make you spend beyond your limit. So, opt for less expensive cuts. Instead of filet mignon, buy flank or T-bone steaks. For BBQ chicken, bone-in thighs and wings are more flavourful than costly breasts.
Here’s another good idea. In place of whole steaks, shop for bite-size portions of stew meat. Marinate them then thread each onto skewers together with mushrooms and vegetables. Voila! Now, you have tasty kebabs ready for grilling that are just as tasty but more filling.
Whip Up Spice Rubs and Sauces
When you have tasty marinades and dipping sauces to go with your cheap meat cuts, no one can tell that you’re scrimping. To save more, skip store-bought condiments and make them from scratch using pantry ingredients. They’re easy to do, less expensive and better-tasting, too. Salsa, chimichurri, sour cream and tzatziki go with most BBQ recipes. So, I recommend starting with these staples.
Set Up a DIY Barbecue Bar
Add some fun to your easy barbecue ideas by setting up a DIY hot dog, brat or burger stand. These meat options are very affordable, but your diners can easily elevate them with their own choice of toppings or side dishes. For instance, have bottles of mustard, tomato sauce and pickles on your hot dog or burger stand. Then serve bowls of sliced vegetables, shredded cheese, fresh herbs, crumbled bacon and French fries for easy customisation. The best part is, no bun will be the same, and every bite is exciting! For non-meat eaters, you can set up a salad or baked potato bar, too.
Serve Meat Alternatives
Easy barbecue ideas don’t have to be all about meat options. You can serve other dishes to go with your more expensive food items, too. For example, why not add pizzas on the menu? You can make homemade pizza dough or buy frozen ones. Either way, pizzas grill up fast, plus everyone loves them. A completely meatless BBQ is another brilliant idea. Just slice some eggplants, peppers, potato wedges or corn, toss them in vegetable oil and seasoning, then grill! Tasty appetisers like chips and guacamole or garlic bread can also help you stay on budget.
Cap with Simple Desserts
When everyone’s happy and full, sweet treats can be an afterthought. But, it’s still ideal to end a good meal with dessert, especially if you’re partying with the little ones. Serving sliced fruits in season is a smart way to save. All you need is some sugar syrup or yoghurt for topping. DIY s’mores or ice cream cones sound mouth-watering for the kids and kids at heart. But if you want to stick to the Aussie tradition, then end your BBQ party in style with pavlova on a beautiful cake stand.
Prepare a Drink Good for Everyone
A good barbecue is not complete without refreshing drinks to wash it all down. To save, you can ask your guests to BYO. But if you don’t have people coming over, serve drinks that everyone will like. For example, flavoured or infused water is easy to whip up and very summery. You can make a simple fruit punch, too. Or better yet, keep your young guests busy by putting them in charge of your mini lemonade stand!
Add Kid-Friendly Activities
This idea may not be food-related, but it’s very likely to have kids at your BBQ get-together. So, you need a few tricks up your sleeve to keep them entertained while you’re busy grilling. If you have kids at home, take their toy box out, and you’re all set. You can also take a quick trip to the toy store and purchase a few water balloons, bubbles and lawn games like Twister and badminton. Place your toys in a bucket and let the kids have fun!
Christmas summer grilling doesn’t have to be costly to be impressive. Most of the time, all you need are smart food choices, creative ideas and your loved ones. Just don’t forget to clean up your grill after all that delicious barbecue! Check out this article for handy cleaning tips to make this task quick and easy.