10 Budget Friendly Ideas for a Summer Barbecue

With so many BBQs going on this summer season, make your outdoor grilling habit as budget-friendly as possible with these 10 easy tips:

1.  Don’t blow your budget on expensive meat
You do not need to break the bank to do steak, chicken breast or  fish. Skip the fancy stuff in favor of an inexpensive flank steak, chicken legs and blue fish.

2. Get creative!
If you are sticking to the tried and tested classics like burgers and hotdogs, add a simple, inexpensive element to elevate the flavor. Stuff some blue cheese, chopped bacon, or barbecue sauce inside your burger patties before they hit the grill. Split your hot dogs lengthwise, add some cheddar in the middle and wrap the whole thing in bacon. Or let your meat marinate overnight.

3. Make some extra (Yummy Leftovers)
When you’re planning out your portions, be sure to grill enough for leftovers.  By putting that charcoal or propane to work just one time to cook food for a couple days, you’re actually decreasing your per-meal fuel cost. To reheat, sprinkle the meat with water or barbecue sauce, wrap it in foil, and cook over indirect heat for 5 minutes.

4. DIY Rubs and sauces
Why buy at the store what you can make at home in almost no time at all? Rubs are essentially spices in a bowl that you can mix together with your fingers, and most sauces start with a basic foundation of ketchup or tomato sauce and grow from there. And you can often whip up both with ingredients that you already have, and you really can’t go wrong.

5. Save on the Fuel
No need to waste fuel or gas when grilling –  1.4 kg of charcoal for a meal for 4 to 6 people is enough. For gas BBQ when cooking pork or beef,  you only need to put it on high for the first five minutes after the food hits the grill. After that, turn it on low and let it cook slowly

6. Buy your cuts from a trusted source
It is always best to go to your trusted butcher to buy your meat in order to avoid getting over charged and to make sure the cuts are of high quality.

7.  Invest in a quality grill
You don’t need to a grill with loads of extra bells and whistles, but you do want to make sure you’re getting one that won’t fizzle out in two years. Buy a BBQ with a grill surface adapt for what your family uses—possibly going for a bigger grill surface if you entertain a lot. And you’ll want enough space on your grill surface to multi-task. Also be aware of cheap grills which do not offer a sturdy construction. You can get an idea of what Barbecues Distinct Homes offers here or visit our Victoria showroom to get a feel for what exact type of grill will work best for you.

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8.  Treat your grill well
You want the investment you made in your grill to last as long as possible, so maintenance should be a priority. Clean it off thoroughly before and after each use, get rid of the ashes once they’ve cooled and oil the grate before and after each use.

9. Minimize the accessories
Don’t go crazy stocking up on complicated grilling equipment, however a thermometer and tongs are key!

10. Know what you’re doing
The best way to save money is not to burn things and do it right 🙂

Adapted from realsimple.com