Have you ever heard of Francis Mallmann? He’s a pretty big deal in the BBQ world. So big, in fact, that he’s cooked for David Beckham and the King of Spain.
He also runs the farthest-flung cookery school in South America where he reveals how to smoke meat (properly) and the art of combining flavours while cooking outdoors.
It’s definitely worth checking out his work on Netflix’s Chef’s Table, but if you don’t have the budget, space, or time to learn from Mallmann, we’ve got some awesome tips for your own BBQ catering.
Make the gas or charcoal decision
This is the first and, arguably, the toughest decision you’ll need to make before hosting a big BBQ.
Do you opt for a gas-powered BBQ or coal?
The choice becomes simpler when you consider that while gas cooks food more evenly and is less hassle to get going, charcoal will provide the authentic flavour and BBQ smell.
Which matters more to you? There are plenty of hire options for coal BBQs, but an equally compelling range of LPG-based BBQs to choose from.
Hire BBQ caterers
There’s of course nothing wrong with undertaking the catering element yourself. You can even rope in the services of friends and family to help (we’ll get to that later), but if the event is particularly large, professional help is often a smart investment.
The benefit of hiring BBQ caterers is that they’re experienced enough to know exactly how to cook the food, how much of it to cook and, most importantly, how to time everything perfectly.
That’ll result in less stress on your part, happier guests, and more time for you to head out there, mingle, and enjoy the event.
Invite as many friends and family as you can
One of the best things about BBQ events is that you can feed a large number of people cost-effectively and easily.
The net result is that you can invite as many friends and family as you wish! So, don’t be afraid to stack up the invite list and finally come good on your promise of getting everyone together.
Everyone loves a BBQ. Just make sure you request dietary requirements beforehand to cater for those with allergies or intolerances, and anyone who is a vegetarian or vegan. You can cook some wonderful vegetarian dishes on BBQs, don’t forget.
Involve the guests in the cooking
If hiring professional BBQ caterers is a step too far for your budget, then why not involve your guests in the cooking?
Let’s be honest - there’s always someone present at a BBQ who fancies themselves as a bit of a chef. In fact, there’ll probably be more than one at your event, so why not invite people to take to the BBQ and help you out with cooking duties?
Even better, you could ask people to bring and grill their own food such as steaks and burgers. This will engage your guests even more in the event, add some personality to it, and enable them to cook their food just the way they want it.
Ensure your venue has enough space
One of the most important things when it comes to BBQ events is having enough space not only for the guests, but for the BBQ smoke to escape.
This is where the design of your venue plays a key role. So, if you think it looks a bit tight given how many people will be turning up, it might be best to look for an alternative.
After all, no one wants to be continually trying to avoid billowing smoke from the BBQ. This is why it’s a good idea to hunt down venues which are purpose built for these kind of events, because they should have plenty of space and a strategically placed BBQ already in place.
Excited about the prospect of your big BBQ? We hope the tips above help, but if you have any questions or need to hire in the best possible equipment for your event, just get in touch with Plato.