Summer is winding down, but that doesn’t mean the beach BBQs have to end. If you can grill at home, you can grill at the beach, with a few modifications. So turn off your oven, call a few friends, pack your beach bags, and let’s get grilling.
- Grill something easy. Marinated flank steak, for example, takes just minutes on the grill. plump juice chicken breasts, on the other hand, mean you’ll spend more time at the grill than at the bocce ball game. Unless you’ve got your own o-grill, you’ll be cooking over charcoal most likely without a cover to maintain heat. Fast is good, slow is bad.
- Pack store-bought sides. Now is not the time to showcase your salad that wilts the second you remove it from the fridge. Even with a great cooler, you’ll want easy side dishes and starters like store-bought potato salad, potato chips (for that all-American feel) or chips and salsa. (P.S. I love potatoes.)
- Have every family bring a dish to share. In our group, this is usually a salad. Quinoa, greens dressed with balsamic and strawberries, or even this, my favorite corn salad, all make great dishes to share with your friends. Slices of watermelon are always a hit, but watermelon is heavy, so only bring along if you know you can park close to your beach party.
- Bring kid-friendly food. My kid is picky and I’m not going to lie about it. She’ll eat a few bites of steak or chicken, but in general, she’s so active that I need to get carbs into her. Fast. So I bring a thermos of hot pasta or mac and cheese and she’s fine. The beach isn’t the place to dictate smart food choices (leave that for the privacy of your kitchen table).
- Select a signature cocktail. If your beach allows alcohol, bring premixed margaritas, wine or beer – just don’t forget your corkscrew or bottle opener. Crate & Barrel makes great plastic cups and wine glasses.
- The extras. Bring plastic bags for trash, as beach trash cans tend to get full way before dusk. Cart along your own reusable silverware and plates. I like these old-school camp plates and last summer I found some great plastic and metal silverware at Crate & Barrel. (Crate & Barrel, I love you!) Don’t forget at least one sharp knife (wrap it in a dish towel to protect yourself), a cutting board and serving spoons. Cloth napkins are a fun way to add color to your table, and they don’t blow away like paper napkins. Finally, bring another plastic bag to store all your used plates and utensils until you can wash them at home.
- Bring along the fun! Obviously, being at the beach is fun, but kids get bored easily (at least mine does), so be sure to pack body boards, paddle boards, towels and a sand game or two, like bocce ball. That way when the kids start whining, you can keep them occupied while you do your own wine-ing.
I love summer. Who doesn’t? And a BBQ on the beach with good food and great friends make summer all the more fun. What’s your favorite tip for moving the BBQ from the backyard to the beach?
Do you need a good beach read? My friend and fellow blogger, Stephanie of the Recipe Renovator wrote Golden Angels, a e-book memoir about the loss of her sweet golden retriever, Buddy Girl. Now she has a goal of raising $12,000 via Kickstarter to get her book in print and start a book tour. Check out her video here and consider donating. This is a blog hop, so be sure to check out the other greats bloggers working to help Stephanie toward her goal!