This year, perhaps more than most, Americans are feeling incredibly fortunate to be able to celebrate the 4th of July. As we plan to celebrate, the grill and backyard pool become centerpieces of the American life. Ah, summertime, in all it’s breathtaking glory! Here are some tips for managing the planning and hosting of your incredible backyard BBQ and pool party.
Wait, you don’t have a pool? We can fix that! Now, on to planning that party…
Determine the Scope of Your 4th of July Party Before You Choose a Menu
All-day slow smoking of a large cut of beef or pork, like a brisket or side of ribs, can be a grill master’s fancy. But there’s a lot to be said for the short-and-sweet grilling of hot dogs and hamburgers. Easy on the pocketbook, strong on flavor, and a favorite with kids and adults alike, when you’re feeding a crowd, these staples cook quickly. Plus, it’s easy to get them right, even if you aren’t a hardcore grill master.
Don’t dismiss other simple and inexpensive fare, like barbecue chicken, shrimp, pork chops, or even something offbeat, like barbecued quail! Make it a true American festivity by offering a variety of different barbecue sauces from around the country: perhaps a vinegar-based sauce from North Carolina, a tomato ketchup style from the Western Carolinas, a mustard sauce from South Carolina, a salty and savory Texan sauce, or a thick and tangy sauce like those in Kansas City. There’s even a mayonnaise-based white sauce that came from a tiny BBQ joint in rural Alabama, known as Alabama White Sauce.
But, first, you need to know the scope so that you know whether you need to do some prep work the day before or if it’s okay to plop out some burgers an hour before setting them on the grill. If you plan to join your fellow revelers in the pool, pick something quick that you can grill up and still have time for a game or two of Marco Polo.
It’s a good idea to have your 4th of July menu settled one week before the big day, especially due to the hiccups in the supply chain recently. You’ll need time to hunt for things you’re missing or modify the menu if items are sold out in your usual supermarket.
Figure Out Your Guest List Before Planning Your Food and Activities
Today is an era of allergies and special food observances. On your invite, ask your guests if you need to avoid any ingredients during food purchase and prep that might contain gluten, egg, dairy, peanuts, or other allergens or avoidants that could cause your guests issues.
You’ll also want to consider your guest list when planning pool fun and other activities. Do you need floaties for the little ones? Loungers for adults? Pick games that all ages will enjoy. Be sure to offer drinks for both children and adults, and to stock up on pool chemicals. Your usual pool chemistry will be disrupted due to a heavier bather load than normal. Make sure you test the water the day before, adjust the chemistry accordingly, and revisit your water chemistry the day after your party. And don’t forget to check, clean, and change filters as needed!
There’s No Need to Bite Off More Than You Can Chew
The key to a great 4th of July barbecue and pool party is really simple: Less is more. Don’t make things overly complicated, so that you can also enjoy the party. Don’t stress too much, spend too much, or end the day exhausted. Instead, let your party be a refreshing holiday full of fun, friends, and feel-good memories to last a lifetime. To get your pool party-ready, contact Mastercraft Pool or shop our online store today for all of your pool and spa needs.
Relax — we’ve got you covered. Happy 4th of July!