Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Engagement Party Ideas

Following tradition it is the bride's parents who organise and host the engagement party. And it falls to the brides father (or sometimes the fiance) to give the toast formally announcing the engagement. However, the grooms father may also have an opportunity to toast the couple.

The event can take any form that you choose. A lunch, a buffet, a dinner party or even a special trip, it doesn't matter as long as you're comfortable with the arrangements.

Invitations can be made face to face or written according to the level of formality of the event. As a point of etiquette, only invite people to your engagement if you intend to invite them to your wedding.

Sometimes the party is organised so that the announcement is a surprise to most of the guests, in which case, the invitations would have to be more general in nature.

If you don't want a traditional engagement party, there's an unlimited number of ways to celebrate. You engagement celebrations can be as simple or as elaborate as your imagination and financial position allow. Here are some ideas;


If you would like to mark the occasion with a formal celebration, why not opt for an intimate dinner party. Invite your closest friends and family to enjoy this highly personal way of announcing your big news. This option is tailor made if you want to announce your engagement with a formal toast.

Alternatively, if you want to celebrate at home in more informal surroundings, hold an "open house" party. Decide what day you want to hold your party and then invite your friends and family to "drop in". This might be the best option if you know a lot of people as the invite can be loosely based on an afternoon through into the evening. After all, that's the nature of an open house - Anyone who knows you can drop in and wish you well.

Finally, if your personality is more exuberant, a fancy dress party can be a fun and novel way to celebrate.


If your get engaged during the summer, there are plenty of opportunities to take your celebrations outside. What about a barbeque, or a beach party? Or even a barbeque on the beach. Alternatively, if you have a swimming pool or know someone who does, you could hold a pool party.

Out On The Town

For many people, celebrations = champagne. So a champagne engagement party fits the bill perfectly. And there are so many types of vintage available, there should be one to suit your budget.

On a similar theme, you might choose to organise a cocktail party. And as a centrepiece to this elegant and glamorous party, why not concoct a special cocktail named after you and your partner.

Finally, you might want to consider a themed party. If you're going out on the town, most options revolve around the type of food on offer at your chosen venue. Anyone for chinese, indian, mexican, italian, french etc?

If you need help planning your wedding, Ellie Thomson can provide you with everything you need to know about all the wedding essentials.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Preventing Fire Damage Outdoors

As you inspect your home, trying to fire proof it, you must keep in mind that your outdoors area is also a part of your home. Do not forget to inspect your patio, back yard, roof and garden when trying to minimize fire hazards as these places are as important as the indoors sections of your home.

Wood Stored in the Backyard

Storing wood in your backyard requires that you follow the basic fire prevention rules to minimize the chance that wood will catch fire that may lead to a larger scale disaster. If you make sure to maintain your wood safely, you can reduce the occurrence, size, and intensity of a fire. As a first line of defense, create a 30 feet safety clearance around stored wood. A green lawn is a good safety parameter, as long as clean of fire catching debris.

Plant Safe

As there are some plants that ate more fire resistant than others, it is smart to plant these plants in the safety zone. Even with this kind of plants you must remove dry leaves, dead limbs, twigs and debris to prevent them from fueling a small fire into a more intense fire. Thin out trees and keep a fifteen feet space between crowns. This will help reducing the chance of fire spreading. If you own high trees or cannot perform this job yourself, hire a professional to do that for you. In addition, remove limbs and dead branches from 6 to 10 feet of the ground to prevent fire from spreading from the ground to the trees.


In the past, roofs were built of hazardous, flammable materials and many home losses were a direct result of the roof catching fire. Nowadays, there are new trends that promote fire safety. Consider using non-combustible roofing materials. When building or replacing the roof. Non-combustible materials include class A shingles, metal, or terra cotta. If you don’t have plans to rebuild your roof any time soon, you can still treat it with fire retardant processes and reduce roof flammability.

Barbeque Grills

Barbeque frills require maintenance. Clean your grill and keep it free of dirt and debris build ups. You will find it easier to clean the grill after every use and remove dust and cobwebs before they build up. Check your hose and confirm it is in good condition and cracks free. Never use damaged propane tanks.

For more information visit http://restorationsos.com Free guides are available

Jonathan Meyer is an editorial staff member of RestorationSOS™, a leading restoration services provider for water and mold damages. To learn more about water damage, visit http://www.restorationsos.com or call 1-877-SOS-2407.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Cooking with a Wood Fired Barbecue

Long before the advent of charcoal briquettes and propane people were cooking their meals over wood fueled fires. From the days of cave-men to less than one hundred years ago wood was the fuel of choice when it came to cooking. In this modern age we are constantly looking for a faster, cleaner and easier way to do everything, including preparing our meals. This has led to the development of bigger accessory laden gas fueled grills lining the isles of home improvement stores and showing up in our backyards.

But for the barbeque purists out there nothing tastes quite the same as preparing their favorite barbeque dish over a wood fired grill.

Why is this? What could possibly work better then the latest and greatest in barbecue technology?

Depending on the type of wood used the “Grill-Master” (that guy who hovers over the grill creating barbecue master pieces) can create flavors in the meat, poultry or fish that just cannot be had over a more modern gas fueled grill. This flavor can further be adjusted just by the amount of wood used, how hot the fire is, and how much smoke the meat is allowed to marinate in.

There are several types of wood fired barbeques on the market today. They are sometimes referred to as smoker grills.

The offset firebox is the one most of us are used to seeing. These come in all sizes, from small family sized units to large trailer born monsters capable of feeding several hundred people. The distinguishing characteristic of the offset firebox is, well the offset firebox. Set off to the side and slightly below the main cooking chamber is the firebox. This separates the food from direct heat and allows for a nice slow cooking temperature.

The bullet style smoker is not actually a smoker but more of what is called a cold smoker or water smoker. They use a pan of water between the heat source and the meat, thereby blocking any direct heat that would cause any overcooking. In a sense they are not really considered a barbecue because of the way they work.

The main chamber cooker is the third type of wood fired barbeque. These are barrel shaped and allow the fire to be built off to one side with the meat offset from the wood allowing for an indirect cooking method. You do need to be careful with how large of a fire gets built because there is no physical separation between the heat source and the meat. The fire need to be kept small and tended in a timely manner throughout the cooking process.

Of course all this is a moot point if you do not select the right type of wood. For a wood fired barbecue nothing works better than a fruit bearing hardwood such as oak, hickory, pecan, maple apple and of course from Texas mesquite. Do not use softwoods or the wood from evergreens or conifers. Aside from burning at a lower temperature they are loaded with sap which will leave a bad taste on anything you cook.

Cooking meat over a wood fire has been something humans have been doing for thousands of years. With the newer and more modern wood barbecue smokers on the market today it is possible for just about anyone to enjoy real wood fired barbecue.

Andrew Bicknell is a barbeque aficionado with a website about barbequing. For more tips and trick about wood fired barbecues visit his web site Backyard Barbeque.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Cook Up Some Delicious Articles - Barbeque Style

Many article writers tend to fall into self-made traps. One of these traps is following a logical progression of work from start to finish before starting new work.

After the category choice, authors decide on a title, THEN move on to the KEYWORDS, then to the ABSTRACT, then the BODY and then the AUTHOR BIO.

Very rigid.

Believe it or not, by moving outside of this 'writer restriction', you can enjoy a new-found freedom with your article writing. Because, believe it or not, your mind works on different things at different times, even when you're not aware of it. Which is really cool.

Think of it like a barbeque where you're the chef and everyone is over...and they're hungry. (They're always hungry, aren't they?) Of course you've got people coming and going, so you find yourself putting more burgers on, then flipping them, then moving them to a different part of the grill, then throwing on more. Then putting new ones on and flipping and moving those.

(See where I'm headed...)

But, get this, as you're throwing new ones on, you're still thinking about the first ones you put on. Even though they're not what you're thinking about AT THAT EXACT SECOND, somewhere inside your head you know that you'll have to turn them. So you're mentally prepared to RETURN TO THEM. You're actually orchestrating a meal in several, if not many, stages while you're standing there wearing that "Stand Back, This Could ALL Explode At Any Second!" apron on.

You're working on different levels...and you're probably NOT AWARE OF IT.

The suggestion I have then is to take the restrictions off and start up five or six articles. When you feel in the mood to do more on the ABSTRACT of article #2, do it, if you feel more apt to work on the BODY of #4, because you're in the the mood at that time, by all means do it.

This way you follow your own lead and follow your creative mood when it hits you. Because trust me, it does not happen for all article writers the same way...

Following the barbeque trick is tough at first because we're programmed to do things from start to finish. But if you want the best tasting articles, flip them when they're ready and just keep the party going all the time.

To learn exactly how you can use your writing talents to earn a substantial living through article marketing, and to learn specifically how to break into advertising and become a copywriter, visit Kevin Browne's new site www.become-a-copywriter.com

Monday, October 1, 2007

Use Creative Journaling to Connect with Your Life

Many writers, poets, artists, and scientists use the process of journaling to record thoughts and to work out creative problems on paper; but serious journaling doesn't have to be limited to those in the business of creativity. More than a simple diary of main events, a journal is a great place to record menus for dinner parties, or the construction of a quilt; to commemorate a simple, quiet walk in the woods with private thoughts and perhaps drawings of the plant and animal life encountered on the walk; to record a major renovation or redecorating project, complete with before, during, and after photos.

Consider a journal a place to record the experiences of your life in detail; don't just note that you had a family barbeque in your backyard, for instance, but list the people who attended; include photos; list the menu, and if the barbeque was a pot luck, the contributions and who brought them. Write down any interesting family news revealed during the party. If someone gave you a favorite recipe, copy it into your journal.

If you're planning to decorate your living room, plan the project out in your journal, include before and after photos, and add fabric swatches. Make a list of the stores where you got your new furnishings, materials, and supplies; you may want that information at a later date.

Don't neglect your inner life. Write about your own feelings, about both outer events and private musings. Write about the friends and family members who inhabit your life, and the meaning they hold to you. Don't forget ephemera; did you come across a poem that struck you? Copy it into your journal. Are you attracted to a particular song on the radio? Note the name of the song and the performer, and write a little about how it makes you feel.

All these little details of your days, all your thoughts, plans, creative endeavors, and dreams, add up to a rich, full life. More than just information to be accessed for a practical purpose, these details can serve to remind you, during hectic times or when you are discouraged or worn down by circumstances, just how creative, energetic, and complex you really are.

Aldene Fredenburg is a freelance writer living in southwestern New Hampshire. She has written numerous articles for local and regional newspapers and for a number of Internet websites, including Tips and Topics. She expresses her opinions periodically on her blog, http://beyondagendas.blogspot.com

Cook Up Some Delicious Articles - Barbeque Style

Many article writers tend to fall into self-made traps. One of these traps is following a logical progression of work from start to finish before starting new work.

After the category choice, authors decide on a title, THEN move on to the KEYWORDS, then to the ABSTRACT, then the BODY and then the AUTHOR BIO.

Very rigid.

Believe it or not, by moving outside of this 'writer restriction', you can enjoy a new-found freedom with your article writing. Because, believe it or not, your mind works on different things at different times, even when you're not aware of it. Which is really cool.

Think of it like a barbeque where you're the chef and everyone is over...and they're hungry. (They're always hungry, aren't they?) Of course you've got people coming and going, so you find yourself putting more burgers on, then flipping them, then moving them to a different part of the grill, then throwing on more. Then putting new ones on and flipping and moving those.

(See where I'm headed...)

But, get this, as you're throwing new ones on, you're still thinking about the first ones you put on. Even though they're not what you're thinking about AT THAT EXACT SECOND, somewhere inside your head you know that you'll have to turn them. So you're mentally prepared to RETURN TO THEM. You're actually orchestrating a meal in several, if not many, stages while you're standing there wearing that "Stand Back, This Could ALL Explode At Any Second!" apron on.

You're working on different levels...and you're probably NOT AWARE OF IT.

The suggestion I have then is to take the restrictions off and start up five or six articles. When you feel in the mood to do more on the ABSTRACT of article #2, do it, if you feel more apt to work on the BODY of #4, because you're in the the mood at that time, by all means do it.

This way you follow your own lead and follow your creative mood when it hits you. Because trust me, it does not happen for all article writers the same way...

Following the barbeque trick is tough at first because we're programmed to do things from start to finish. But if you want the best tasting articles, flip them when they're ready and just keep the party going all the time.

To learn exactly how you can use your writing talents to earn a substantial living through article marketing, and to learn specifically how to break into advertising and become a copywriter, visit Kevin Browne's new site www.become-a-copywriter.com

Biodegradable Utensils Make for Great Composting

Summer's just around the corner and you know what that means - barbeques, family gatherings, picnics, beach parties, and even more barbeques! This is the time of year that all your good dishware and silverware stay in their cupboards and drawers and you utilize nothing but disposable plates and cutlery. But did you ever consider how much waste that adds up at all the landfills? So many plastic utensils end up piling up landfills and aren't being recycled, because who would even think to recycle that? A better alternative that does the job and is good for the environment that's now catching on in the market is biodegradable cutlery.

Made from corn starch and other biodegradable "plastic" fillers, eco-friendly utensils are on the rise in popularity. Contrary to belief, they will not fall apart on you if you use them in hot items like soups, and they will not break if you use them in cold foods or desserts like ice cream. Biodegradable utensils work like their normal plastic counterparts; the only difference is that they won't pile up in landfills and can even be used in your compost bins.

For the avid gardener who likes to compost, these eco-friendly utensils can be highly beneficial to your garden. After you're done using these utensils, toss them into your compost bin or heap instead of the trash can. In most cases, the packaging that the utensils come in is also biodegradable, which means you can add that into your compost bin, too.

Since they're made out of corn starch and other eco-friendly materials, these biodegradable utensils will not harm your compost heap, adding to your nutrient-rich compost. Do keep in mind that if you plan to toss these utensils into your compost bin that it can take anywhere from six to 18 months for them to fully decompose.

So the next time you're planning your big summer barbeque or food outing, consider using the eco-friendly alternative versus the regular plastic ware. Not only would you be reducing waste at landfills and giving back to the earth's soil, you'll feel good knowing that you're doing your part to protect the earth while enjoying the barbeque.

For a wide selection in chipper shredders and lawn sweepers, be sure to stop by Composters.com.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

It's So Easy A Caveman Could Do It, Cooking With Charcoal

There's nothing like the smell of food cooking on a barbeque grill. It fills the air, making your mouth water and your neighbors envious. Many people are now opting to use gas grills, because they are not as messy as the charcoal ones, but nothing can replace the taste of charcoal broiled food. Unlike the days of your parents, where there was pretty much just one style of charcoal barbeques to choose from, now there is a wide variety available that allow you to cook in your backyard, or even at the beach.

The charcoal barbeque grill is still popular for several reasons. They are less expensive than their costly gas powered cousins, and there's one to fit every price range. They also now come in many styles, so whether you're just grilling up some burgers and hotdogs, or preparing a gourmet feast, you can find one that will suit whatever your culinary abilities are. Despite the different styles that they come in, they all share the same basic characteristics. Each comes with the grill, the charcoal bin and the stand that it sets on.

You can still purchase the older versions that have a round grill and body, but before you do, consider the other options available. You can buy portable ones that have a bowl shaped container and a tripod type stand with wheels or you can buy ones that are shaped like a bread box, due to its attached closeable hood. The more sophisticated ones have built in smokers to make your food even tastier. There are grills that have knobs to control the temperature and others that have side shelves to hold your spices or pans of food and then fold down when you you're done with them. If you're going on a trip and want to take your barbeque with you, there are also very inexpensive, small charcoal grills available. They're only approximately 15", which means that they can go wherever you do.

A common complaint about charcoal grills is that they are messy to clean. You may need a heavy wire brush to cleanse them effectively. Another complaint is that it takes time to get the charcoals hot enough to cook. They can pose a danger when adding lighter fluid and are subject to flare ups. The good news is that you can now buy charcoal that has the fluid on them already, and that heat up quickly.

If you're not planning to barbecue that much and don't want to invest in a metal grill, you can now get disposable charcoal grills. Many stores carry them and they're small enough to fit on a tabletop. They are made of foil and use a wire mesh for the grilling surface. Once you're finished using it, you just put out the fire, wait for it to cool and then toss it away.

Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Florida. Find more about this as well as Barbeque Grills at http://www.allbarbecuegrills.com.

When to Use High Heat on Your Barbeque

While some people really seem to have a knack for barbequing – always grilling up a perfect meal – for the rest of us, it is something that must be learned, not something that just comes naturally. Believe it or not, there is technique involved. It’s not just a matter of following your cooking instincts.

One of the main secrets of knowing exactly how to make a beautiful, tasty meal every time is knowing how and when to use high heat or very hot coals.

Though you may have heard the term "seal in the juices" when it came to barbequing, you may even have tried some techniques every now and then, but unless you’re doing it properly, you won’t be getting it right. For the best results, many barbeque chefs cook vegetables and medium-rare steaks by first using a high heat in order to sear the outside of the food and seal both the juices and the flavors inside.

Though this technique is good for foods that you don’t want to cook thoroughly, it shouldn’t be overused. If you’re cooking a meat such as hamburgers or pork ribs, they must be cooked all the way through in order to avoid bacterial contamination. Therefore, searing them to seal in the juices doesn’t do anything but give you dry, or charred food.

This can be explained by understanding the way that meat cooks on a barbeque. As it is heated, the cells and the fibers of the meat will tighten, squeezing out much of the juices. Therefore, if you’re only cooking a meat partially, searing it will help to seal in the juices by quickly cooking the outer layers of the food. However, if you should leave the food on this high heat, the inner layers will cook too quickly, vaporizing all of your precious and tasty juices. Try the technique a few times until you get it right. Pay attention to what you’re doing, so that when you do accomplish the right technique, you know how to repeat it.

When you are using high heat, the rule of thumb is to cook on each side for a maximum of five minutes (a total of ten minutes). After ten minutes, anything that you’re cooking should be moved aside to a medium heat so that it can finish cooking at that lower temperature.

There are many ways to recognize how hot your fire really is, to make sure that it’s always perfect for any kind of food that you’re cooking on your barbeque. One of the most common tests is simply to hold your hand a couple of inches away from the grill. If you’re only able to keep it there for about a second, your grill is at a high heat (that is, over 600ºF). If you’re able to hold your hand there fore a few seconds, it’s at a medium heat (around 400ºF). At a lower heat, you’ll be able to hold your hand there for over five seconds.

Remember, when it comes to high heat, practice makes perfect, and the perfect is well worth the practice!

Richard Cussons is a prolific and diverse writer. You can find out more about the origins of barbecues at Barbeque Grills Expert

Barbeque Secret...Don't Use Gas To Start The Fire!

I've rarely been accused of over thinking a situation. My "code of the west" mentality has been good to me through the years, rescuing me many times from the temptation of unnecessary thinking! Unnecessary thinking can ruin a perfectly good plan, but no thinking at all can be hazardous to your health! A good case in point is a situation I witnessed last year.

One brilliantly blue afternoon in late spring my neighbor Joe was preparing for one of his famous cookouts. He was about to put his brand new brick and mortar barbeque grill through its paces for the first time. A beautiful charcoal grill, he had personally, to the chagrin of the brick masons, supervised every detail of the project. It was a gorgeous fireplace style grill with the chimney almost head high built of the same brick that adorned his house.

The barbeque pit featured a curved flat black steel hood for enclosed cooking; with a warming tray built into the side of the pit to keep foods from getting cold while others cooked longer. There was even a compartment built on the opposite side to house charcoal and lighter. He was understandably proud of the best barbeque grill in the neighborhood!

Festivities began early with the neighbors arriving around 2:00 pm. By late afternoon many in the crowd were already feeling the effects of the adult beverages supplied by the host, who was especially enjoying himself. Everyone by now had grown tired of listening to an endless monolog by the host about the virtues of his new grill.

The time had come to fire up the grill! There was only one small problem. With all the preparations he had made for the cookout, Joe had forgotten charcoal lighter! Not to be detoured by such a small detail, he went into the tool shed at the back of his yard and brought back a large can of gasoline. After dumping a huge amount of charcoal into the bottom of the grill, he arranged it into a perfect pyramid. The fire was supposed to burn more consistently this way Joe informed the crowd.

By now the neighbors had begun realized what Joe was about to do and started yelling at him not to use the gasoline to start the fire. Offers were made to run next door to get charcoal lighter to no avail. Joe was determined to inaugurate his grill the proper way; with a large fire! He also assured everyone that he knew what he was doing!

Joy was enjoying himself, being the star of the show as it were. He upended the can of fuel over the charcoal and kept pouring even after the briquettes had been thoroughly soaked. Now came the moment of truth! He lit a match and with a dramatic flare, tossed it onto the charcoal! Whoooomp!

Mortar is very porous and does not always adhere perfectly to a surface without leaving a small crack in the mortar joint between bricks. When a liquid such as water, or in this case gasoline fills that crack, it will flow into the base of the structure, such as a barbeque grill. The vapors from the gasoline that had flowed into the grill did what gasoline vapors do when they come in contact with a flame. The grill exploded!

Bricks and mortar blown into pieces, rained from the sky onto all of us who had witnessed the explosion! No one was hurt because most of the crowd and moved safely away from Joe when they saw what he was about to do. Joe was slightly injured by a fragment of the grill grazing his forehead. Nothing serious!

His grill was a mess! A few seconds before, it was a beautiful example of workmanship; something to be proud of and enjoy for years to come. Now it was just a mile of rocks! Joe had apparently never heard that in some cases, alcohol and gasoline don't mix! Warning! Drinking and starting fires with gasoline can kill you! Whether you're drinking adult beverages or not, do not use gasoline for a charcoal starter!

My neighbor Joe has recovered from the disaster of last year. He is now making plans to build and even bigger charcoal cooker than the last one. From the size of the storage area in the barbeque pit, I doubt that he will ever run out of charcoal lighter again!

Remember, friends don't let friends' barbeque drunk!

Bob Alexander is well experienced in outdoor cooking, holiday eating and leisure living.

Bob is also the author and owner of this article. Visit his sites at: http://www.bluemarlinbob.com http://www.pompanobob.com

Where Can I Buy a Gas Grill Online?

If you are ready to make the next step in your grilling experience and upgrade from that old charcoal grill to a gas grill then one question you may be asking yourself is, “where can I buy a gas grill online?” After all, browsing through all the gas grill choices online from the comfort of your home is much easier then visiting all the home improvement stores in your area trying to find the grill that’s just right for you.

But before you go and put down your hard earned money buying a gas grill online there are some buying tips you need to think about. First of all gas grills come in all shapes, sizes, and prices ranges. You will need to decide what you want to use your grill for and how often. If you regularly have large backyard barbeques then the bigger the better. Of course this will set you back more initially, but getting the right size barbeque grill is important. If, on the other hand, you seldom grill and it’s usually only for you or your immediate family then a smaller lower cost model will probably do the trick.

The next thing to think about is what kind of accessories I want with my gas grill. This can run from things as simple as spatulas, tongs, and other barbeque tools to do I spend some extra cash and get that rotisserie attachment? Nearly all gas grills these days come with the burner off to the side where you can throw a pot of baked beans to simmer.

Now that you’re getting an itchy mouse finger, can’t you just smell that steak cooking, and are ready to buy that gas grill online there is one other thing to consider. What type of fuel do you want your gas grill to burn? “But it’s a gas grill?” you say. There are two types of gas grills you can buy, propane and natural gas. If your house is heated with natural gas then you have the option of hooking into the gas pipe that supplies your house. The nice thing about this is you never have to worry about running out of propane half-way through your barbeque and running to the store to get a new bottle. Having a licensed plumber run a pipe stub out to your grill will cost some extra but you will probably make that back in savings on propane and trips to the store to get new bottles.

So now back to the original question you asked, “Where can I buy a gas grill online?” Well the internet is chock full of websites that offer deals on all brands, sizes and types of gas grills. Doing a search on any of the major search engines will get you all sorts of listings for gas grills, but before you buy keep in mind some of the tips from above.

Andrew Bicknell is a barbeque aficionado with a website about barbequing. For more information about where can I buy a gas grill online visit his web site Backyard Barbeque.

What You Need for a Good, Fun Barbeque

What else can you do during the hot and sweaty summer time besides getting a lot of sunbathing? Don't you think you need something even more sizzling hot?

Yes, I am talking about barbecue! Writing about it, I can already visualize the tasty color of the food. The more I talk about it, the more I feel hungry and drool. However, I know I must finish this article to give you some tips on having an excellent barbecue!

For all of you out there who are throwing a barbeque for the first time, here are some great tips.

First of all, assuming you have a decently sized back yard, you need plan a budget. You need a good grill, supplies for the grill, utensils, paper plates, paper cups, napkins, paper towel, meat, salad, drinks and snacks. The most expensive thing would be the grill, including charcoal and fuel. The next most expensive thing is your meat. Try to shop around for sales, if your budget is tight. The other things are relatively inexpensive, so long as your barbeque isn't going to be a few hundred guests.

It's very important to check the weather. You should always plan some indoor activities in case it gets too hot or begins to rain. Hopefully you will have a nice comfortable temperature on a sunny day. Once you have decided which day to have it, and how much money you will spend, you can plan the invitation list and begin looking for the necessary items. You need to consider how much people will eat and drink, so that you can make sure there is enough for everyone. You can invite friends, family, and neighbors.

You should cook on the grill a few days before to make sure it is working properly. It is a good idea to purchase the meat the night before, but most other items can be purchased earlier and stored. (paper goods, soda, chips, etc.) Start calling your friends and family to make sure they will be coming over. Otherwise, what are you going to do with all of that food?

Some good barbeque recipes can be found online. Try websites like http://www.allrecipes.com or http://www.recipesource.com. Try at least one of these recipes during the trial run of the grill. Not only can you find barbeque recipes, but also some recipes for lettuce, potato or macaroni salad. Dessert is also available. If you don't have time to make all of these things yourself, many supermarkets will have these things prepared already near the deli and bakery sections.

So what will you do besides eat? If you are inviting family that you haven't seen for a while, there will be a lot of talking to catch up going on. It's always nice to have background music, board games, and some home videos to share. If you have a big back yard, the kids can play with a ball, but be sure that they are a safe distance from the grill. Be creative, there is nothing like keeping company with family, friends and good food.

I love barbecue food, and I hope you do too. It is time for you to have a blast!

Jonny Hanson is a barbecue lover! He thoroughly adores barbecue food. Not only in the summer he would throw an excellent barbecue party, but he does it as well in the winter. Jonny learnt his recipe from his granddad who unfortunately had passed away. This is not the same old recipe that you get from everyone else. He promised his granddad that he would pass on this secret recipe to others. Jonny runs a personal website on barbecue food. Visit his website today at http://www.barbecuesite.info/ to find tips on making your barbecue sizzling hot and tasty!

How To Barbeque - Easy Steps For Success

Even if you own the latest and greatest barbecue grill you may need some pointers on how to barbeque food. There are some things you should be aware of when you use your grill or smoker.

One good thing to do before you even begin is to rub a non stick solvent like oil on the grill to prevent the food from sticking. This will make cleanup much quicker and less stressful. Also put the meat out on the counter to bring it to room temperature before cooking it. Don't leave it out for more than an hour though as this may cause it to spoil.

Make sure you bring the grill to the optimum cooking temperature before placing the meat on the grill. This will give you the best chance at getting a nice even cooking throughout the food. For gas grills turn them on 5 minutes before beginning, and for charcoal it is recommended to heat the coals for up to 30 minutes. Also, move the meat around periodically as those pieces closer to the center will likely cook faster. Use tongs or a spatula, and always where a protective glove to keep you from burning your skin.

For even more flavor, baste the meat for an extended period before cooking it to let the flavor completely saturate it. There are many barbeque flavors to try including sweet sauce, traditional bbq sauce, and many more. One thing to consider is that if the marinade contains alot of sugar you should wait until the food is atleast half cooked before basting to avoid a drying effect on the meat.

If you are barbequing kabobs you should leave a small amount of space between meat pieces to ensure ample heat penetrates all sides and cooks it evenly. You can even alternate meat and vegetable pieces to allow flavors to pass between them, giving a better all around taste. And if you are using chicken pieces, cut them with a knife to make sure they are completely cooked all the way through before removing them from the grill.

Right after removing the meat, you can scrape the grills with a scraper to clean them. It's best to do this when they are still very hot as the excess food and other material will easily slide off. Just be careful not to burn yourself.

Experiment with different recipes to find what works and what doesn't. Over time you will find many different things that bring the best taste out in various meats. And then you will feel like a seasoned backyard barbeque expert.

James McDonald writes for homebarbequegrilling.com where you can find discount grills from a variety of manufacturers. Additionally, you can read some informative articles to help you plan your next backyard gathering.

Bourbon BBQ Sauce

If you are seeking a very unique flavored bbq sauce for your next barbeque then you must try bourbon bbq sauce. This is a very unique sauce that only you will know the secret ingredient.

The most popular bourbon bbq sauce needs the following items to prepare, ½ to ¾ cup of your favorite bourbon, ½ cup of chopped onions, 4 minced garlic gloves, 2 cups of ketchup, 1/3 cup of white vinegar, 3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, ½ cup of brown sugar, ¾ cup of molasses, ¼ cup of tomato paste, a small amount of liquid smoke, salt and pepper to taste. You can also add a tad of Tabasco sauce if you prefer a hotter sauce. You place the onion, garlic and bourbon in large saucepan and sauté until the onions are transparent. This will usually take about 10 minutes. Then you just add all the rest of the ingredients and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer until the mixture has thickened about 20 minutes.

The recipe above can be changed by adding or substituting spices that you prefer to use. You can add a small can of tomatoes, green peppers, or other peppers, soy sauce instead of Worcestershire sauce, and you can delete the liquid smoke.

Try some of your other favorite bbq sauce recipes and replace the called for liquid with bourbon. This will give even the dullest recipe a new and tangy flavor. Or just to create your own recipe. You already know the basics and what spices you like to use. Just sauté the onions in bourbon and then add the tomato sauce and the rest of your favorite items and flavorings to create a brand new bourbon bbq sauce.

You can even find a few bourbon barbeque sauce recipes online on a variety of websites that offer recipes from famous chefs and others that are willing to share their secrets.

You are free to publish the above article in your ezine or website, provided credit in the form of an (HTML clickable) hyperlink is given to the author.

Hans is author of http://www.steaks-guide.com/ and the barbeque and grill section of http://www.patio-furniture-ideas.com/

Wrought Iron Furniture To Transform Your Property

Are you unsatisfied with the many ways in which you have tried to decorate your back yard or front yard? Wrought iron furniture could give you the result you are looking for. This investment could last for years as well as giving your home great appeal. Not only does it look fantastic, it can increase your property value in terms of curb appeal.

Why Wrought Iron?

If you want to make your property a head turner that will result in compliments galore, wrought iron outdoor décor is a great way to achieve that result. This is a great investment that has never gone out of style. Metal furniture and accessories have been popular for many centuries for function and beauty and ease of maintaining. Beyond fencing and gates, you can also use wrought iron garden rails, lamp posts, benches, tables and chairs, swings, gazebos and light fixtures, barbeque or fire pits and more. Not only does metal outdoor décor look good, it creates an aura of your property being valuable and classy.

What is there beyond aesthetics for outdoor metal fixtures?

Metal doesn’t just look good outside, due to its strength, it can also help you with safety issues. From a security perspective, wrought iron gates or fences can help you define property lines with class and elegance and they can be difficult to climb. Pointed tops can be a great deterrent to a fence climbing burglar. You can have locked gates and even install security systems or intercoms at your gate with remote entry. An arbor entranceway or iron veranda that wraps around your home can look gorgeous as well. This can add such curb appeal that it could even up the value of your home’s assessment. Wrought iron swings can sit on your veranda or a table with chairs as well to add to the appeal. It can also be finished in a multitude of color options.

An iron pavilion in your back yard can create a wonderful seating area. Iron can separate a play area from a vegetable or herb garden. For safety reasons without compromising your esthetics, your swimming pool could also be gated with iron fences to keep the pool safe.

If you are ready for a change in terms of the look of your property, you’ll be amazed at the transformation that will take place when you integrate wrought iron with your home. Both indoors and out, this is both a unique and classic look.

Andrew Caxton is the editor and journalist of many information websites like http://www.wrought-iron-guide.com , who has written more articles and newsletters on outdoor furniture . You can find more information and resources on wrought iron furniture at his website.

Hosting a Hawaiian Luau

The Hawaiian Luau is not your typical backyard barbeque by any means, but it is certainly a fun occasion. Unlike the barbeque, you won’t find the typical hamburgers, hot dogs, and soft drink fare here, but that of the Islands with the drinks served in pineapples, coconuts, and other foods native to the Islands. If you have a pool, you may choose to decorate the surrounding area to resemble that one might find in Hawaii such as palm trees, leis, and tropical island snacks, fruits, and drinks.

For those who have dreamed of going to the Polynesian Islands but have not yet had the pleasure, the Hawaiian luau can give them a small taste of what they are missing. There is nothing better in the summer than to be transported to the Islands into a land that has only been in your dreams. In this land of make-believe, you can be anywhere you want to be, so just close your eyes and imagine that you are looking at Honolulu, Maui, or any of the other islands that comprise Hawaii.

While you sit around enjoying the tropical fruits, drinks, and entrees, you can visualize the land around you and make believe that you have been transported in time to another place, a place that is rich in tropical fruits, beverages that are freshly made from the fruits, and foods that are rich with the taste of pineapples, coconuts, and other tasty additions. In Hawaii, the word luau means “feast,” and it is not a huge celebration but rather a gathering of family and friends for food, fun, and entertainment that may even include a family member on the guitar or ukulele. Add your own touches to it and make it just what it is in Hawaii, friends and family together to have a great time.

Mrs. Party... Gail Leino is the internet's leading authority on selecting the best possible party supplies (http://partysupplieshut.com), using proper etiquette and manners while also teaching organizational skills and fun facts. The Party Supplies Hut has a huge selection of free party games, coloring pages, word find, word scramble, printable baby and bridal shower activities. Luau Party Supplies (http://luaupartyshop.com), party planning tips, menus, recipes, party planning ideas, and free printable games to help complete your event.

BBQ Sauce - Bring Out the Sweetness Baby!

BBQ sauce is generally a basic mixture of tomatoes, sugar and vinegar. Tomatoes used can be in various forms such as tomato sauce, paste, puree and even ketchup. Sugar adds sweetness to the barbecue sauce and can either be corn syrup, honey or molasses. The addition of vinegar, on the other hand, lends a sour flavor to the bbq sauce and can be in the form of beer, white or flavored vinegar, wine or citrus juices. In general, bbq sauces can be used throughout the barbecue process from preparation to cooking. However, be careful with sugar based bbq sauces when cooking as they can easily burn while cooking and ruin the flavor of the meat.

The combination of these three ingredients makes up the basic recipe of almost all bbq sauces. However, variations based on tastes and personal preferences often lend a hand in the creation of a unique bbq sauce. On the whole, most people will have their own special barbecue sauce although there are still many who search for their ideal barbecue sauce in stores.

The “best” tagline is a cliché. Still, it would not be wrong, to say that Corkys bbq sauce is the better-known Barbecue Gourmet Sauce. Corkys gourmet barbecue sauce is Memphis based and a family owned business. As it is with family businesses, corkys have some fabulous seasonings, up its sleeve, which unquestionably gives it an edge over other barbeque sauces. Farrah Fawcett says: "Corky's, thank you for the best BBQ ever, and I'm from Texas." Anette Benning, far away from her American Beauty narrow-mindedness, pays a fulsome compliment: “ The BBQ is fabulous”.

The Cowtown Night of the Living Barbeque Sauce has kethcup, brown sugar, vinegar, chipotles puree, worcestershire, liquid smoke, ground mustard, black pepper, garlic, cayenne pepper and spices as its ingredient. The Cowtown Night is tomato based with a heat index of 2 and has won the Best Hot Barbeque Sauce award at the 2002 American Royal Barbeque Contest.

Dijon mustard, brown sugar, tomato sauce, jalapeno, green chile peppers, onions, Worcester sauce, vinegar, garlic, salt, spices and soy oil are what goes into the making of Dave's BBQ Sauce. This sauce is made from a chile Dijon base and is slightly sweet, slightly spicy and very, very tangy. It is too good as toppings on chicken, burgers, veggies, pork chops, etc.

Jack Daniel's BBQ Sauce, Pappy's Moonshine Madness, Maguires Irish BBQ Sauce and Smuggler's Run Scurvy Dog BBQ Sauce are some other reputed Barbecue gourmet sauce, worth trying.

Rub it on…

Barbecue rubs give traditional barbecue a whole new dimension. It makes for a tastier and more flavorful barbecue. In fact, most famed barbecue restaurants use rubs to give their ribs, chicken and steaks a rich deep flavor. Barbecue rubs should be rubbed thickly into the meat and left there for at least four hours or more. When grilling, the barbecue rub will give the meat a nice, chunky and crusty coating.

Chris McCarthy is the president of InsaneChicken's Hot Sauce, BBQ Sauce Catalog. Visit thier website http://www.insanechicken.com.

BBQ Sauce - Bring Out the Sweetness Baby!

Natural Gas vs Charcoal Grills - Which One Is Right For You?

Barbequing outdoors is a pleasure that anyone can partake in and with so many types of grills available you can practically cook anywhere. One exception to the list is a natural gas grill which needs a permanent hook up. Listed below are some of the main advantages / disadvantages and suggestions for both natural gas and charcoal grills to help decide which one is best for you.

Charcoal Grilling and Benefits

The backyard chef's favorite challenge is to create the perfect fire for grilling to produce that mouthwatering smoky taste! Most popular and with about 80% of all American households owning one, is the barbeque grill. Approximately 47% of these bbq owners are cooking with good old charcoal. With brands such as Weber, clearly the most popular charcoal grill sold, as well as a household name, one might dismiss other quality charcoal grillers. But brands such as Brinkman and Hibachi are sought-after as are lesser known charcoal grillers Arctic, Meco, Aussie, Texas Pit Masters, Uniflame, Capital and Thermos, Fire Magic and others.

If you are looking to find the right barbeque charcoal grill, you are in luck. Why? Charcoal grills can add an extra smoky flavor to your grilling that gas grills can’t! And, these grills are affordable to suit any budget. That said, if you buy a fancy one with deluxe features, the price tag will be higher. However, compared to an outdoor gas grill featuring mechanical parts and a more complicated design, charcoal grillers are just more economical.

Which charcoal barbeque to buy? Begin with a few simple questions. How many people will you be grilling for? Does the bbq need to be a specific grill type such as: portable, stainless steel or cast iron? Are you looking for a particular brand: Weber charcoal grills, Brinkman charcoal grills, Hibachi, Arctic, Patio Life, Meco, Aussie or something else?

With a charcoal grill, if you are going to be cooking for a lot of people or just a few people, size matters. A small charcoal grill is 300 to 500 sq. in. cooking surface; a medium charcoal grill is 500 to 700 sq. in. cooking surface; and a large grill is 700 sq. in. and up. So make sure you are getting the size you that fits your needs. If you need something portable, take a look at the brands Weber and Arctic. You will find these to be lightweight and easy to carry. A lock-lid is a convenient portable barbeques feature for camping and outdoor picnicking. (see: http://www.outdoor-fireplaces-and-patio-heaters.com/charcoal-grills.htm )

Natural gas grilling and benefits

How many times have you wanted to barbeque on a Saturday night but were out of propane gas? With a natural gas grill you will never have to worry about the grilling disaster because you’ll never run out of propane while grilling steaks for friends. If you're in the market shopping for a barbeque that will offer you great convenience and ease, then natural gas is the way to go. Why? Unlike charcoal grills, there is no waiting for the coals to heat up. With a natural gas grill you just push the button, turn the dial and ignite! And, since these barbeques are connected to the gas supply piping of the home, they are always ready for cooking.

How to choose the natural gas grill that’s right for you?

It's never easy deciding, especially when there are so many outdoor grill manufacturers to choose from: Weber, Broilmaster, Lynx, Fire Magic and many more. And besides the brands, you've got to figure out which brand model will suit your grilling needs. Here are some grill features to consider: What size cooking surface do you need? Does the barbeque need side shelves? Do you want a multi-burner system, meaning 2, 4, or 6 burners? Do you want warming shelves, a side burner, a grease catcher? And what about the grill’s appearance? Does it need need to fit into an outdoor kitchen? Or to match the décor of the exterior of your house?

Two great ways to decide are your particular budget and reviews. Read as many gas grill reviews as possible, talk to friends with natural gas grillers, and shop around locally and online. Whatever your needs and whatever you decide, adding a barbeque to your life, be it natural gas or charcoal, will never be something you regret. (see: http://www.outdoor-fireplaces-and-patio-heaters.com/outdoor-gas-grills.htm )

Nicole Martins is a contributing author and publisher to http://www.outdoor-fireplaces-and-patio-heaters.com, an online resource that provides you with information, articles of interest and reviews of the best outdoor fireplace and heaters online.

Why Barbeque Islands Are So Useful

It wasn't that long ago that grilling and entertaining outdoors was a unrewarding experience for any host. You would have to move the grill out, possibly move a heavy bag of charcoal, and spend time lighting the coals. Then would come all the dishes, utensils, and ofcourse the meat. And just when everything has been served and everyone is satisfied, all the items had to be packed up and put back where they came from. Wow, what a pain. Luckily there are alternatives to the way you can cook outdoors.

In today's times, outdoor entertaining has become alot easier thanks to the invention of barbeque islands. What exactly is a barbeque island? Basically it is a kitchen unit that can be installed outdoors, typically on a deck or patio. You can slide or drop in certain appliances like a gas grill, refridgerator, ice maker, sink, or even a wet bar. Think of it as a kitchen away from your kitchen, bringing everything you need to your backyard. You will now have all the tools and space you need to prepare a large meal, without the hassle of lugging alot of things outside. Companies have picked up on the fact that people consider their backyard areas to be an extension of their other living areas, and have created these islands to make it all possible.

You can really make a barbeque island as basic or elaborate as your imagine will allow you. As always, the limiting factor will be your budget and how much money you are willing to spend. You can turn it into a full blown entertainment center, adding audio and video capabilities to go with the grilling abilities. Pretty much whatever you can have in your house can be easily installed in these outdoor islands. Your guests will feel right at home, as if they were enjoying your company in the comfort of their own home.

Add in a nice awning, screened gazebo, outdoor firepit, and lighting to get you all set to entertain in just about any type of weather. You will have all the things you need right at your disposal. You can serve wine, beer, the main course, and dessert without even venturing inside your house. Take the hassle out of entertaining large parties by installing an outdoor barbecue island. There are many choices for you, but you need to match the qualities of each with your needs.

For more information on various barbeque topics, including today's grills visit homebarbequegrilling.com. We'll help you find the right products for your next backyard cookout.

Barbeque Cooking Suggestions

When you think of barbeque cooking, this normally brings up thoughts about having a party for friends and neighbors. This happens even though most people do not have either the equipment or experience to cook for large groups of people. Here are some tips to help you with your these (primarily) summer activities.

Some Helpful Tips and Advice

1. Make sure you have the right equipment before attempting to cook for a large group. There are many different types of barbequing devices that can be used for your gathering. You can find a unit that is right for you if you visit the local hardware store as they normally have a large selection. This will include units that will use charcoal, gas or electric. They range from portable or disposable to built in brick and mortar units. Just get the one that you feel provides the ability to cook the amount and types of food you plan on serving.

2. If you plan on cooking for a large group, you may consider pre-cooking some of the food. You could then just drop these items on your grill to add the finishing touches. Like the taste of that great sauce you have created or the smoky flavor from the pecan chips. Also, it is a good idea to stay with two or three main course dishes and then compliment them with salads and breads.

3. Explore the many barbeque recipes that are available for the many different types of food that is great fresh off of the grill. These include chicken wings, great burgers (either beef, buffalo or vegetarian), spare ribs, and chicken. With a little creativity, you will be able to deliver a meal that will have them coming back for seconds!

4. Another way to ensure that your meal will be a success is to marinate the meat in advance. Some of the recipes you find will tell you how long this should happen but, in my opinion, the shortest time will be overnight. This will allow the flavor to soak into the meat and provide a fantastic taste to your guests.

5. Contrary to some thought, food from the barbeque does not have to be black on the outside and pink on the inside. You do not need a super hot fire to cook your food quickly. It is better to cook your food over a source that is not flaming up and that will cook evenly. If you are using charcoal, it may take 30 minutes to get the fire right. A good way to tell if it is right is a visual examination. A good charcoal fire will be starting to turn a dusty grey color and give off a reddish glow.

6. Another thing to keep in mind is that you do not need to "play with your food". Buy this I mean you should trim excess fat, do not poke the meat a lot and do not flip it every two minutes. Let the meat cook without being pushed around a lot.

7. Another key that is not mentioned much is that you should be very carful with the type of lighter you use for the charcoal. Make sure that you do not use toxic materials (some lighter fluids are) to start your charcoal. Using this type of material may cause toxins and bad taste to penetrate your food.

By following a few simple tips, you will be able to serve up some great barbeque meals. It just takes some simple preparation and attention to detail and you will be come an expert at barbeque cooking.

For more information about how to cook outdoors visit Outdoor Cooking Guide. To find Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Cooking! visit Cooking Guide.

Barbeque Techniques: Two Methods to Consider

When it comes to barbequing, there are two main schools of thought for the techniques that you can use.

The first of these techniques – and the most popular method for those who grill in their back yards – is the style where the food is cooked directly over the source of heat. This way, the food is rapidly cooked on a hot grill suspended directly over the charcoals, the wood, or the gas burners. Rarely is the lid ever closed. Any foods, including the most tender cuts, hamburgers, steaks, kabobs of all kinds, chicken, and even vegetables are quickly seared and cooked to perfection using this technique. If sauces are desired, they can be added before hand, during the cooking process, or even after the food comes off the grill. These choices will all create different and enjoyable tastes and flavors.

The second barbeque cooking technique uses heat indirectly. This is more appropriate when you’re cooking much larger or whole cuts of meat, such as especially thick steaks, roasts, a whole hog, or a pork shoulder. When you’re cooking using this method, the food is cooked away from the actual source of heat. This usually requires a water pan of some kind in order to maintain the moisture level of the food. The temperatures generally sit in around 250ºF. During this cooking method, the lid of the barbeque remains closed most of the time, and the length of the cooking is much longer than in the first method. When you’re using an indirect barbeque cooker, there is usually an additional fire box that allows you to combine charcoal and wooden logs for burning. This allows the heat and the smoke to rise through the cooking chamber where the meat is, so that it is heated perfectly. The rule of thumb of this technique is a low temperature for a long time.

No matter which method you use, it’s important not to cook your meat too quickly. If the internal temperature of your meat rises too quickly as you cook it, the water and the fat within it will be expelled before the collagen is able to melt. This means that your cut will be dry and tough. However, you cannot cook too slowly or you will risk a bacterial contamination. Though there is a fine line for barbequing properly, it’s important to find that line and stick to it.

If you’re already dealing with a cut of meat that is tough, such as a brisket or a pork roast, consider cooking slowly as the collagen adds flavor to the meat. If you buy a less tough, more expensive cut, you can cook at a higher temperature for a shorter period of time. This is why ribs and steaks take such a short time to cook, while pork shoulders or beef brisket can run up to 20 hours.

As a final note, it’s important to have fun while you barbeque! Your pleasure will come through in your cooking as it will leave you motivated, and willing to try new and interesting things.

About The Author
Richard Cussons is a prolific and diverse writer. You can find out more about the origins of barbeques at http://www.top-bbq.com/.

Cooking - Tips For Better Barbequing

Having a backyard barbeque with friends and family is one of life's great pleasures. Whether you own a gas grill or charcoal grill, barbequed foods taste great. To help make your cooking experience even more enjoyable, I've listed some tips that all backyard chefs should be aware of.

• Before firing up the grill and cooking on it, be sure to spray the grill with a non-stick spray. The last thing you want to have happen is for your chicken to stick to the grill and tear all apart when attempting to turn it over. Another benefit of using a non-stick spray is that it makes clean up so much easier.

• Before you cook your foods on the grill, make sure the grill is properly heated. You want your food cooked throughout. If you are going to be cooking on a gas grill, let it heat up for at least 5 minutes before putting the food on it. For charcoal grills, wait until all of the coals have turned gray before cooking. This usually takes approximately 20-30 minutes.

• Set out your meats on the kitchen counter for 15-20 minutes prior to putting them on the grill. You want the meat to be at room temperature. This allows the meat to cook evenly throughout. One important note though, never leave the meat sitting out for 45 minutes or longer. It can easily spoil.

• When turning your meats over on the grill, never use a fork. Why? If you stick a fork in the meat you're barbequing, you will be letting all the juices run out. Be sure to use a spatula, or a pair of barbeque tongs. You may also want to wear a glove to keep from getting your hand burned.

• If you are going to be basting your foods with a favorite barbeque sauce, wait until the food is nearly cooked before applying. Never apply a sauce when first cooking your meats on the grill. It can make your food dry out completely. You may want to baste your meats an hour or so before cooking them on the grill. This will help seal in the flavors during grilling.

• Are you cooking kabobs on the grill? Make sure you leave some space between each food item on the kabob. This will help everything cook evenly. Another tip is to evenly space out a piece of meat, then a vegetable, etc. This allows the different flavors to spread throughout the kabob. Before removing your kabob from the grill, cut open a piece of meat to be sure it has cooked completely. You sure don't want to be eating any uncooked meat.

• After your cooking is complete on the grill, you're going to want to clean it up. The best way is to use a grill scraper. Clean up the grilling surface and wipe everything down. Be careful that you don't burn yourself while cleaning up.

Backyard barbequing is a lot of fun. After using some of these tips and experimenting on your own, you'll discover how to cook some great tasting foods on your grill. Before you know it you're going to be a barbeque king!

Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Cooking

Charcoal Grills vs. Gas Grills. For what seems like an eternity, there has been a debate over taste!

Charcoal grills vs. gas grills. For what seems like an eternity, there has been a debate over which grill is superior in the all too important matter of taste.

Throughout the life of barbecue grilling, there have been countless taste tests done presenting people to charcoal and gas grill cooked foods to determine the best form of barbequing. In the end, gas grills lost. Unlike gas grills, charcoal grills focus on producing smoke to enhance the flavor of the food. Gas grills use a healthy fuel to heat food, giving it an ¨artificial¨ taste that is easily recognizable.

Steak is commonly used as a control for charcoal grills and gas grills to determine superiority. When exposing other types of food to barbeque smokers, most people can't tell the difference between the two. Grilling bbq food in the smoke that charcoal provides really improves the flavor and presents a very noticeable and pleasing taste. Open flame cooking goes best with the use of charcoal instead of gas. Remember, gas grills do not produce smoke – they use fuel. Barbeques produced in this manner will often yield inferior results in regard to taste overall. Try both grills out and see which one you like best! Gas grills use a healthy fuel to heat food, giving it an ¨artificial¨ taste that is easily recognizable. Charcoal grilling depends on fine quality wood to cook the mouth watering food. Cheap charcoals and popular ones made from sawdust are inferior to charcoal that mixes hardwood and ¨real¨ pieces of wood known in the barbecuing industry as lump charcoal. Remember, to produce lip smacking barbeque recipes, avoid charcoal loaded with sawdust. Better quality charcoal leaves less of a mess, less ash, and less grease. Remember, grilling recipes done with gas grills can become out outstanding, but charcoal grilled foods are that much better – cooking tasteful, beautiful, and capturing that splendid meat flavor that we all strive to achieve in our barbequing endeavors.

For more information on patio furniture and outdoor accessories, go to our http://a1-bbq-grills.com/gas-grills-article-charcoal-grills.htm page or to view any of the additional informational pages on gas grills, barbeque smokers, outdoor living, hot tubs, or grilling recipes, go to http://a1-bbq-grills.com

This is Jack's tenth article from his site, a1 bbq grills and he continues to roll on. His site provides information on gas grills, barbeque smokers, outdoor living, hot tubs and grilling recipes. Jack says "Com'on over and enjoy the site!"

BBQ Menu Ideas for Labor Day

Labor Day is the last day of summer and our last chance to enjoy summertime pleasures so, use these fun and appetizing barbeque menu ideas for your next Labor Day bash. Summer fruits will soon be out of season and replaced by apples and pumpkins.

Use summer fruits like watermelons and peaches for your menu. Try a fruit salad in the shell of a hollowed out watermelon. It's not only good to eat, it adds to the beauty of a stunning buffet table. You can use a few peaches arranged in a decorative bowl as a centerpiece. Add the head of a flower or two and you've not only created a beautiful piece to look, it's delicious too.

Go all out with the traditional barbeque foods like hotdogs and hamburgers. Arrange a table of every kind of topping you can think of for the hamburgers and hotdogs. Bowls of fresh, crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes cut into slices, pickles, sauerkraut, ketchup and mustard and tons of other things will give your guests their choice to create the burger of their dreams. Barbequed spare ribs and chicken wings are a treat most people love but don't care to go through the effort it takes to prepare them on a normal basis.

A Labor Day party is the perfect opportunity to indulge yourself with these tasty treats. It wouldn't be a barbeque without cold salads like potato salad, cole slaw or macaroni salad. Take the time to make them yourself or ask all of your guests to bring something.

Use tablecloths that bring out the summer feeling. The classic red and white checkered tablecloths are fun or pick a theme like pretty bugs or flowers. Make sure to break out the citronella candles and torches before the sun goes down. Mosquito season is still in full bloom and the only thing you want your guests to take home is the satisfaction of a summers end not little, itchy bug bites.

To complete your Labor Day party have on hand party games and activities for the kids. Surf the internet for ideas. Even if you don't get to do all the activities, it is good to have them available just in case there is a lull in the party. Enjoy yourself and so will your guests!

We found free party games and coloring pages for Labor Day at Labor Day Weekend. Labor Day history and fun facts can be used to create trivia games giving the holiday added meaning.

Mrs. Party... Gail Leino takes a common sense approach to planning and organizing events, celebrations and holiday parties with unique ideas for Labor Day party supplies and fun free educational Labor Day party games. She explains proper etiquette and living a healthy life while also teaching organizational skills and fun facts. The Party Supplies Hut has lots of party ideas with hundreds of free holiday printable games and free birthday party activities.

Grilling Recipes Give People Tasteful Tremors Just Thinking of BBQ Grilling!

Grilling recipes give people tremors just thinking of the explosive thought of bbq grills producing tender, smoked ribs that melt right in your mouth.

Slabs of meat we call hamburger patties, spare ribs, steaks, lamb chops, and more line up gas grills like army soldiers lining up in front of their lieutenant. A great complement to barbequing is appetizers. An appetizer is a smaller portion of food like pizzas and wings that can be prepared by grilling, barbeque smokers, or the good ol´oven with its heat source located above, not below like grills. Fajitas and burritos can also be slapped on bbq grills and barbeque.

BBQ recipes are most diverse with the addition of slices of pizza or a cut of bread. A great tip to heat up those appetizers for your barbequing pleasure is blasting the gas grill to its optimum max temperature, having it heat up, turning it off, and slap the appetizer on it immediately. This savvy grilling method will cook your food quickly without burning your barbecue. Anything with cheese will melt to perfection, so add shreds of cheese to your favorite appetizer and grill it!

Along with turkey, chicken, and steak – staples of grilling and barbequing – you can use your natural gas grills to heat appetizers with it. A full plate simply does not consist of a barbecue food like steak. Appetizers like Buffalo wings should be added to the side to quell hunger like a champion. Doner kebabs are also perfect – they add a certain element to your barbecue that is unmatched adding Turkish touch to your cuisine. Chicken, steak – it doesn't matter, help bloat the stomachs of your loved ones by grilling appetizers. Whether you use your barbecue smoker or gas grill, your bbq appetizer will surely turn out perfectly cooked and savory to the taste buds.

To conclude, learning all the ways of grilling recipes will ensure an enjoyable grilling experience and if you want additional information check out http://a1-bbq-grills.com/grilling-recipes.htm or go to http://a1-bbq-grills.com web site for information on gas grills, barbeque smokers, outdoor living, hot tubs and of course grilling recipes.

This is Jack's first web site and he expresses an enthusiasm about gas grills, barbeque smokers, backyard or outdoor living, which includes hot tubbing and grilling recipes!

Barbecue Restaurants in Tuscaloosa, Alabama

There are a great variety of restaurants in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Although they are best known for the great barbecue restaurants.

Most people think of Dreamland Barbecue when they think of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Dreamland is one of the great ones and one of the originals. However, there are others. A good list is:

  • BottomFeeders

  • Archibalds

  • Bama Bar-B-Q & Grill

  • Catfish Heaven

  • Eagles Nest

  • Golden Rule Bar-B-Q

  • Hicks Barbeque

  • Hornes Barbecue

  • Johnny Rays BBQ Northport

  • Mike and Eds Barbeque

  • Pottery Grill

  • The Foxfire

  • Woodrows Pit BBQ

This should be a pretty complete list. There are other restaurants that serve some BBQ but they are not known for their grill in the same way that these 13 are.

If you do ever get a chance to come to T-town for some of our great and envied football or our consistantly spectacular gymnastics, make sure that you eat some of the best barbecue in the South.

When choosing a barbecue restaurant in Tuscaloosa, many of the locals tend to choose the smallest and best hidden place. There may be some good logic to this. Since most of them are family run places and the restaurant is located on the same property that their house is located. That must be some really good barbecue to risk putting a restaurant right there on the same land as your home. People tend to take their pork, chicken and beef pretty seriously around here and if you did a bad job, everyone would then know where you live.

Dan Sullivan is the owner of Tuscaloosa Restaurants along with his wife Jennifer. He received his BS in CS from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Dining at restaurants in Tuscaloosa is a bit of a hobby for him. Click here for a Complete Listing of Restaurants in Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Missing Church and Barbequing!

It was a beautiful morning and the aroma coming from my smoker was almost heavenly. Most Sundays at this time I would be in church, but I was home tending to the barbeque I had started cooking the previous evening. This was mother's day and we were having the kids over for lunch. I was about to remove the pork shoulder when I heard footsteps on the walk way leading to my back yard deck.

"We just followed the smoke," one of the two men said as I noticed pamphlets in their hands. "It smells wonderful!"

They were men from the church just up the street, who were canvassing the neighborhood and handing out flyers, no doubt looking for sinners that weren't in church on Sunday. I opened the lid of the smoker grill so my visitors could marvel at the pork shoulder that was almost ready to take off the grill. They were properly impressed.

For a few minutes they forgot the nature of their mission, as they asked me questions about how I cooked the roast. It isn't difficult to convince someone that you're an authority on barbeque, when the aroma coming from your grill is so appetizing that it makes your knees weak and your mouth water.

I told them the pork shoulder had been cooking for about 13 hours and that I added new charcoal every 2 hours or so, keeping the temperature as constant as I could so the meat would cook slowly and evenly. About 3 hours before I take the meat off, I liberally baste it in a vinegar based marinade; not very hot because there are those whose stomachs are touchy about spicy foods.

They wanted know about the wood chunks they saw in a bucket on the deck. "After I get the charcoal burning and beginning to turn gray, I throw in a couple of hickory chunks mixed with a little oak wood so the hickory won't over power the taste of the meat," I explained as I quickly closed the lid of the smoker. I didn't want to lose any of the heat.

I gave them a short lesson on different woods that can be used for smoking. I use hickory a lot because it's plentiful in my area and I don't have to buy it. Ever once in a while a limb will blow off a hickory tree near me or neighbors will be thinning the trees on their property and I'll cut the wood up into chunks. I let the wood dry before I use it because green wood tends to make the meat slightly bitter.

I also use pecan wood because it's another hard wood that makes the barbeque taste great as long as you don't use too much. If you do, your meat will taste like the ashes of an old campfire after a rain. In this case, a little is a lot!

Fruit woods such as cherry and Apple are good, but I rarely use them because I like the taste of hickory smoked meat. Besides, I don't like to spend money when I can get all the wood I want free. If you want to sample some of these exotic scents, just use search the internet and you'll find more types of wood for smoking than you could ever use.

We talked a little longer about various kinds of grills, from barbeque smokers to stainless steel propane gas monster grills. We all agreed though, that the only way to make great barbeque is with a charcoal grill and chunks of hickory and oak.

It wouldn't have been neighbor-like not to offer them a piece of barbeque before they left for greener pastures. With barbeque sauce dripping from their chins, they left to continue their work at the next house down the street.

Bob Alexander is well experienced in outdoor cooking, fishing and leisure living. Bob is also the author and owner of this article. Visit his sites at: http://www.bluemarlinbob.com


Grilling Steak

Steaks are the most palatable when they are grilled. The best steak for grilling is the sirloin steak, but it tends to be a bit tough. The T-bone steak and the porterhouse steak are both excellent choices and the bone in them give them an added flavor. Rib-eye steaks also grill well, as do the rib steaks. Filet mignon steaks do not generally find their way to the backyard barbeques owing to their steep prices. Thick steaks grill well than thin ones – the thin ones tend to form a hard crust, which interferes with the cooking of the interior of the steak.

There’s nothing comparable to a backyard barbeque on a pleasant summer day – and what better ingredient to barbeque than a steak!

For grilling, a good marbled steak is preferred. The marbling of a steak is the shreds of white fat that are visible in the red meat. More the specks of fat; better will be their flavor. Most of the fat liquefies while cooking and the steak simmers in its own fat giving it an incomparable taste.

The basic trick of a good grilled steak is not in the actual grilling process, but in the marinade. Marinating must be done not earlier than 2-3 hours of the grilling, unless it is a flank steak, in which case it can be marinated overnight. Acidic liquids are the best marinades, such as curds, lemon juice and tomato juice; even whiskey and wine. Marinades make the steaks tender and easier to grill.

Another important factor for the grilling is the barbeque grill. It is wise to buy decent charcoal and lighter fluid. Cheap varieties would burn non-uniformly and this would not grill the steak evenly. The coals should burn with bright steady flames and should turn white when the steaks are ready to be placed on the grill. Ideally, steak grilling requires constant attention and someone must be beside the grill throughout the process to turn the steaks. Steaks are to be turned a couple of times depending on the type of steak that is used. Thrice is usually enough.

Steak aficionados know that basting a steak with butter as soon as it is done gives it an extra flavor. Properly grilled steaks do not require much garnishing. A dash of salt and a sprinkling of peppercorn are usually sufficient. Steaks should be let be for a couple of minutes before serving to allow the juices to settle. Grilled steaks are usually eaten with boiled potatoes, salad and sauces such as Worcestershire and mustard.

Before arranging for a barbeque, it is necessary to check out with the local authorities as some neighborhoods have regulations concerning the use of charcoal grills. These regulations may be about the distance that a grill should be placed from the house and that someone tends the fire constantly.

Steak provides detailed information about steak, flank steak, grilling steak and more. Steak is affiliated with Disposable Chef Hats.

Barbeque and Grilling Tips - Learn to Eliminate Outdoor Cooking Mistakes that Kill Your Cookout

Good barbeque and grilling tips are essential for learning how to barbeque or how to grill. Your average backyard cook is no expert in the barbeque or grilling field. He has no television shows on the Food Network. He has no grilling cookbooks out. Nor has any of those been part of his lifetime goal.

No, your average outdoor cooking enthusiast makes more mistakes with bbq grilling than you could ever imagine. The meat ends up dry and tough time after time, despite marinating for hours. Or the meat is burnt or cooked too long.

These mistakes are made time and time again because your average backyard cook usually does not know any different. He receives few good bbq and grilling tips.

Here are some of the more common mistakes and do's and don'ts made in bbq grill cooking:

1) If you started with frozen meat, make sure the meat is thawed completely. Trying to cook the inside of a still-frozen piece of meat is next to impossible without burning the outside.

2) When using a charcoal grill, try to start the fire without charcoal lighter fluid. Lighter fluid taste will always get into your meat no matter how much you cook the coals down first. A chimney starter makes starting the fire a breeze. It also allows you to add charcoal along the way should the coals burn out along the way.

3) Never poke the bbq meat with a fork after cooking has begun. This is one of the most common mistakes and one of the most deadly for your barbeque. When poking with a fork, the juices will run out of the meat and right into the bottom of the barbeque pit or grill. Your meat will be dry and less tender. Use a long set of tongs to turn the meat.

4) Lower the heat. Except for steaks, which need a quick searing, cook slowly over low to medium heat. Lower heat is much more manageable and it will make the meat tender and juicy.

5) Quit lifting the lid to check the meat! Every time you do that it changes the temperature inside the bbq grill or pit. Air from you opening the lid acts like a sponge and dries the meat up. Opening the lid also increases your chances of flare-ups.

6) This is more of a food safety mistake. Do not put the cooked meat back on the same plate or platter that the raw meat was on without washing it first. Mixing the cooked with the raw just begs for someone to get sick.

7) After removing the meat from the bbq grill or pit, let it rest for at about 5-10 minutes. Cutting into or slicing the meat immediately after pulling it from the cooker will cause all the juices to flow out of the meat and onto the platter.

Of course, these are not all of the mistakes made by the amateur outdoor cook, but are some of the more common. But if you remember these grilling tips and make a habit out of them, you will prevent doing these yourself. You will eliminate many of the things that cause barbeque failures.

Your guests and family will begin to wonder how come your grilled or barbequed food is so much better then it used to be. And, who knows?... Maybe the Food Network will come looking for you.

Billy Bristol is an outdoor barbeque and grill cooking fanatic from Texas. He is the editor of How to Barbeque Texas Style, a website devoted to outdoor cooking and patio design ideas.

There are free recipes and outdoor cooking tips and techniques that everyone can use, as well as free outdoor building plans and designs that will turn your backyard into a second home or another living space.

Billy is not a professional barbeque chef, and is not immune to mistakes in outdoor cooking. But he believes learning and correcting the mistakes for the next backyard experience is key to great outdoor living success.

7 Things to Consider when Buying a BBQ

BBQ as we all know is an abbreviated form of barbecue or barbeque. The BBQ has assumed so much importance today that you could call it the crown. You could ideally locate the BBQ near the main cooking area to derive maximum utility. Here are 7 things which you could consider before purchasing an ideal BBQ.

1. Size and the cooking surface: The size of the BBQ is determined by the amount of burners: two; three; four or six. If the BBQ is on the larger side, then you have greater area and flexibility in cooking surface. Also as far as the cooking surface is concerned, go for premium cast iron surface. They are coated with anti-rust ceramic material, which gives a hygienic impression.

2. Should I go for a built in BBQ or the portable one? Well, the portable BBQ looks good for picnics, as they are light weight and easy to handle without much of a hassle. But a built in or a heavy BBQ machine would look good if you are going to sell barbeque dishes or host BBQ parties.

3. Baking Dishes, Hot plates or Grills: Normally the baking dish is used for cooking marinated foods like fish. The hot plate could be put to the best use if you are making eggs and mushrooms. The grill which is a popular BBQ choice is used for kebabs, steaks and other 'meaty' dishes. You could cook BBQ grill dishes directly on the BBQ flame tamer or BBQ rock, and enjoy the aroma of a distinct barbeque odor. The juices actually drip onto the rock and then blaze up giving your food a special barbeque flavor. BBQ grilled food is low in fat content and is recommended to people who want to eat healthy without forsaking the taste.

4. Rock or flame tamer: As I mentioned in the previous point, you could use the BBQ grill directly on the BBQ rock or the flame tamer. The BBQ rock is generally the ceramic kind of rock. The flame tamer is made of metal or cast iron. Either of them, the rock as well as the flame tamer is good enough for a fantastic BBQ experience. The choice is totally yours.

5. Natural gas or Bottled gas: Natural gas should be preferred because not only is it inexpensive, but also it is an inexhaustible source of gas supply. Natural gas BBQ are sold only by specialist retailers. The bottled gas, on the other hand, is simple to use, but you will have to refill frequently. If you want to go for the bottled gas, you opt for the big cylinder which weighs 9 kg, because it is cost effective and also you do not have to refill it for quite some time. The 4.5 kg sized bottled gas cylinder is also available.

Keith Kingston is a professional web publisher who is an authority on a wide variety of subjects. Find out more about his reviews on weber grills and charcoal grills

Outdoor Grills – Stainless Is Not Always Best

Today’s outdoor grills are better than ever before. The use of stainless steel is commonplace, and this not only improves the look, but adds to the grills overall longevity. There is no arguing that stainless steel will hold up better than almost anything in and outdoor environment. It is used extensively for hardware and fittings on the finest boats due to its resistance to rust and corrosion.

Your barbeque grill is the perfect candidate for stainless steel. It sits outside all year long, and is exposed to high temperatures when cooking. Baked on food residue is also fairly easy to remove from stainless surfaces. Though corrosion resistance and ease of maintenance are important factors, they do not determine how effective a grill is at actually cooking food. For that we must look beyond the obvious advantages of stainless steel, and concentrate on the characteristics that make a grill perform.

For optimal cooking performance the grilling surface (grates) should radiate heat evenly minimizing any hot spots. As a general rule, the thicker the grills are the more evenly they will give off heat, and the longer they will radiate that heat. Although stainless steel is adequate, the best type of grilling surface has proven to be cast iron. Although it takes a little longer for cast iron to heat up, grills made of cast iron will retain the heat for longer periods, and radiate that heat more evenly than stainless steel. The problem with cast iron vs. stainless steel is that cast iron grills will eventually rust and need replacement. This problem is minimized by the use of porcelain and ceramic coatings that have been developed to protect the grills, making them last longer and be easier to clean.

At first glance you may be fooled into believing that the more stainless steel a barbeque grill has the better, but as is so often the case, too much of a good thing does not necessarily make it any better. Although stainless may be the best choice for some of the grill’s components, it may not be the best material for everything. Striking a balance between performance and longevity will assure that you get the most from your barbeque grill. Keep in mind that the grills (cooking grates) are the least expensive and most easily replaced parts of a barbeque. They are also the only components to actually touch the food, and have a profound impact on the overall quality of the cooking experience.

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