When it comes to summer, one of the most popular and enjoyable activities is hosting or attending a barbecue. Ever since I’ve lived independently, I’ve always hosted my own barbecues as well as attended many hosted by friends and families. Not only is it a great time bonding with your loved ones, I’ve also found it to be a budget friendly way of bringing people together. Furthermore, the grill makes it easy for others to participate. It doesn’t require a whole lot of knowledge and expertise and can be a fun way to experiment with sauces and seasonings. While the traditional backyard cookout is always a hit, there are several types of summer barbecues that add a unique twist to the experience. Here are a few types of summer barbecues you can consider:
Lake or Mountain Barbecue: For those who live near a beach or a lake, a beach or lake barbecue can be a fantastic choice. Pack up the grill, food, and picnic essentials, and head to a scenic waterfront location. In the summer, Alberta features many scenic lakes that offer a great venue for barbecues. Grilling seafood, such as shrimp skewers, fish fillets, or lobster tails, adds a coastal flair to the menu. For myself, having moved to Calgary during the pandemic, I also enjoy bringing the barbecue to the mountains in Canmore. It allows me the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors while searing my favorite skewers. If you’re away in the mountains or beach, don’t forget to bring sunscreen and bite-sized snacks!
Classic Backyard Barbecue: The classic backyard barbecue is a timeless favorite. It usually involves grilling burgers, hot dogs, steaks, chicken, and a variety of vegetables. Some of the classic barbecue sides like coleslaw, potato salad, corn on the cob, and watermelon are also common in these types of barbecues. This type of barbecue is ideal for family gatherings or a relaxed get-together with friends.
The atmosphere is casual and laid-back, with picnic tables, lawn games, and plenty of cold beverages. My favorite activity during a backyard barbecue is Spikeball. The entire ball and mesh kit can be purchased online and is a 2 to 4 player game where each guest scores points by shooting the ball into the mesh basket.
Theme-Based Barbecue: Adding a theme to your barbecue can make it even more exciting for your guests. You can choose a theme based on a particular cuisine, such as Mexican, Hawaiian, or Mediterranean. For a Mexican-themed barbecue, serve tacos, grilled fajitas, and salsa. A Hawaiian-themed barbecue could include grilled pineapple skewers, teriyaki chicken, and tropical fruit salads. Encourage guests to dress up accordingly to enhance the theme and create a festive atmosphere.
International Barbecue: Take your taste buds on a global culinary journey by hosting an international barbecue. Select dishes from different countries and regions to create a diverse menu. For example, you can serve Brazilian-style grilled meats, Korean barbecue ribs, Middle Eastern kebabs, or Indian tandoori chicken. Personally, I like to host Asian flavor barbecues such as teriyaki beef skewers or Tibetan lamb skewers for a twist on the traditional barbecue. This type of barbecue allows guests to experience a variety of flavors and expand their culinary horizons. Many grocery stores also have an international section where you can find diverse seasoning and sauces to add to your grilling repertoire.