Backyard Bar and Grill Ideas for the Ultimate At-Home BBQ
Nothing says summer like the smell of perfectly seasoned meat sizzling on the BBQ while you sit back and enjoy your favorite cold beverage. As the weather warms up, friends and family start to gather in outdoor spaces, leaving hot, stuffy kitchens behind for their fresh air and sweet sunshine.
So when it comes to hosting and entertaining your crew, why would you settle for an ice chest full of soft drinks and a few charred hotdogs off the grill? You are a BBQ grill connoisseur and outdoor grill master. Make your house the go-to hub for family gatherings and your backyard the envy of the neighborhood with some creative backyard bar and grill combinations for the ultimate at-home BBQ.
3 Steps to Setting Up the Ultimate At-Home BBQ
Update your grill setup.
Build a grill bar with chill-worthy vibes.
Master your menu.
Updating Your Bar and Grill Setup
A grill master is only as good as his BBQ equipment allows. If it has been a few years since you’ve analyzed your setup, it might be time to update your grill with new accessories, an entirely new grill, or even a dream renovation for your outdoor BBQ kitchen.
Types of Barbecues
A charcoal grill delivers that classic, smoky BBQ flavor that foodies crave. Charcoal grilling gives you the most flexibility over how you cook, whether that means direct grilling, indirect grilling, reverse searing, or any other grilling style.
Charcoal Kettle Grills
Kettle grills are handy if you are looking for a portable grill. They come in several sizes and generally require less charcoal to use. Unfortunately, the shelf life of these more portable models don’t always stack up against permanent setups for your backyard oasis.
Unlike grills that burn manufactured, charcoal briquettes, the Kamado or Big Green Egg grills use all-natural, hardwood, lump charcoal. Most BBQ enthusiasts agree that natural charcoal gives the best flavor to your meat.
Get two for the price of one with a pellet grill. Thanks to the unique design, pellet grills act both as a grill and a smoker. Once your grill smoker is at the correct temperature, the thermostat automatically maintains its heat for you. Pellet grills are also a great option if you connect them to an electrical outlet, although this option doesn’t have the best reputation for searing or browning meat.
Grills powered by natural gas or propane make up the most popular option among grill users in the US. It’s no wonder, too, since they come in many styles, typically come with three or more burners, and require the shortest amount of pre-heating time. While convenient, though, gas grills won’t add the complex flavors that charcoal or pellet grills offer.
Necessary Grill Accessories for the Ultimate Grilling Experience
Whatever grill style you choose, having the right accessories for your grill will make all the difference when it comes time to plate your BBQ meals or clean up after yourself.
An adjustable divider will allow you to cook on direct and indirect heat simultaneously
A Kick Ash Can helps you efficiently collect and remove ashes
A stainless steel basket keeps your food from coming in direct contact with your smoker
A grill torch quickly and easily lights your charcoal
A BBQ scraper provides you a grill-safe way for a quick and effective grate cleanup
A drip pan protects your grill from falling fat and juices and your meal from contaminants
Build Your Backyard Bar
Now that you have your grill all decked out, it’s time to focus on making your backyard bar the ultimate place to chill out this summer. There are essential factors you will need to focus on:
The physical design of the bar
Creating the right atmosphere
Stocking the bar crowd favorites
Designing your Bar and Grill Layout
The options are endless when it comes to your bar and grill layout. Ideally though, you will want to make sure there is a table near your grill to use as a workstation.
Of course, you will also need a bar-style counter where guests can hang out, eat, and drink. While the bar height should be convenient for standing, you don’t want to forget bar stools so everyone will be comfortable hanging around until the food is ready.
When there is extra room in the budget, a real game changer could be covering the bar and grill setup with a canopy or more permanent roof. That way, you can enjoy the backyard any time of the year, even when the weather is less than pleasant.
Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
Create the Perfect Atmosphere
If you have the space for it, you can’t go wrong with spreading out patio furniture so your friends and family can relax or play yard games.
You can also improve the atmosphere with mood lighting. String up twinkle lights or Edison bulbs year-round to promote a fun and cozy atmosphere.
Little touches like a customized bar set or glasses and dinnerware will take your bar and grill up another notch.
And, of course, don’t forget the music! What bar and grill have you ever been to that didn’t have background music playing? You can even clear a space for dancing or have a spot for live performances by musically inclined friends and family.
Master Your Menu
If you know you’ll be hosting, take time to experiment with new recipes, both for your grill and your bar. Take note of crowd-pleasing favorites to keep in rotation, and mix it with other recipes that combine fresh techniques and flavors to keep your list or menu items ever-growing. These little tricks will keep your guests eager to see what else you have in your grilling arsenal.
You can even create menus that feature signature drinks for a top-notch bar and grill experience. While you want to keep a variety of beverages on hand in your bar, you can also serve BBQ entrees with specific beers and wine pairings in a way that will impress your friends and family.
Getting Started on Your Backyard Bar and Grill
There’s no need to get overwhelmed by all the options you could include for your bar and grill. Once you have created and maintained your initial at-home BBQ, you can only continue improving and evolving your space and flavors to give you the ultimate backyard bar and grill space. Start with the right grill, the best food, and your favorite people, and all the details will fall together naturally.