Top 10 Tips for a Great BBQ


For those of you who haven’t heard yet or you’re visiting our site for the very first time we’re going to launch a whole new BBQ food menu in the next few months!  We couldn’t be more excited about the direction that we’re heading and the new value we believe we will bring to our guests.  With that said, let me stop short of turning this into a press release and get to our topic at hand our top 10 things every great barbecue needs to make it a great BBQ.

10. Grill

For the purpose of this blog we’re going to assume you already own or have access to a grill.  If not, you can purchase one at any local hardware store or you can go all out and get one from a dealer like the BBQ-PROS in Los Banos.  Our first tip is having a clean grill so that each time you BBQ it’s like the first time.  For helpful tips on how to clean your grill visit wikiHOW.

9. Condiments

Ah condiments, if you do BBQ correctly you probably won’t need them.  The hope is that there’s already enough BBQ sauce or dry rub on your meat to make it taste just right.  Also, depending on what region your BBQ is from you may find that condiments just clash with that style of BBQ.  For example in South Carolina where they use mustard sauce.  To learn more about barbeque styles, check out The Serious Eats.

8. Décor

This is where it gets serious, regardless if you’re doing it as a pro for a restaurant or in your backyard you don’t want to get this one wrong!  Actually it really doesn’t matter a whole lot.  We’ve been to some very cheesy BBQ restaurants that look like a scene out of a Smokey and the Bandit movie and others that look a little more formal.  Regardless of which spot you visit what’s most important is the food and how much you enjoy the flavors of the barbeque.  If you’re hosting a few folks over for a backyard BBQ then check out Pinterest they’re always good for an idea or two around decorating for your next get together.

7. Correct Cut

Having the correct cut of meat is just as important as having the right rub or sauce for your meal.  So what should you do about this?  We recommend searching online for a few tips and tricks prior to going out to the grocery store to get your meat.  If you know BBQ then you’ll know that Aaron Franklin is one of the if not the most expert person on all things BBQ.  Check out his video on how to trim brisket as a good intro.

6. Activities

You need activities to keep people away from your grill.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking people can wait for your world famous pulled pork.  They can’t, so figure out something like Cards Against Humanity or Corn Hole to keep the grill vultures at bay.  That way you can ensure that uncle Eddie doesn’t eat half of your meal before it gets to your plate. 

5. Beer

Sure you can go with just about any cocktail for your BBQ.  However, we’re bias so our beverage of choice to help us wash down that brisket is BEER!  Our 415 Fog, South City Brown, or even Moes Gose are all really great beers to help you get the very best out of your barbeque.   Check out our full beer menu on our beer page.

4. Biscuit or Cornbread

Both! Either way you cut it having something to soak up your sauce is important.  Don’t be that guy who gets everyone excited about their BBQ only to not provide a staple of the meal. Jerk!  Can’t decide which to go with?  Don’t worry because the Pillsbury Doughboy has it figured out so that you can have the best of both worlds.  That guy, check out his Barbecue Pork-Cornbread Bombs recipe on the Pillsbury site.

3. Side Dishes

Side dishes can make or break your barbecue, so pick wisely.  Mac and Cheese or some type of pasta in our book is always a must have.  Another must side dish is Cole Slaw, though it isn’t always easy to pull off and a lot a places think that their slaw is the best…it’s not!  We say keep it simple with any of the sides you pick like potato salad, collard greens, beans, or anything else you can think of preparing.  The list of sides you can make is endless, if you can’t think of any on your own see 16 Great Barbecue Side Dishes to spark some ideas.

2. Fire & Smoke

At the end of the day one of the most important if not the most important thing you need to think about when doing BBQ is fire and smoke control.  Too much and you burn or smoke out your meat to a point it’s no longer enjoyable.  Too little and you run the risk of your meat being under cooked and bland.  Controlling your heat source isn’t easy, but if you can do it correctly it will make all the difference in the world.  View The Mad Scientist BBQ video help you out with tips and tricks on how to start the prefect fire.


1. Wet Wipes

You laugh, but when you’re in the middle of scarfing down your meal you’re not going to want to get up to go wash your hands.  We all know that paper towels aren’t always enough.  Invented by Arthur Julius in 1957 and released at the National Restaurant Show in Chicago this small packaged product is a must have.  P.S. Shot out to Colonel Sanders for having the foresight to purchase them for use at KFC.  Without that purchase we would all still be whipping our hands on our white shirts, not a good look.

Armstrong Brewing

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