With April now halfway over, summer is just around the corner. And once summer gets cracking, you are just days away from what will be a great Memorial Day weekend.
There are few spring and summer traditions that can rival the Memorial Day BBQ. In fact, the concept of a barbecue feels like it may have been invented just for Memorial Day.
Throwing the ultimate Memorial Day BBQ is something that anyone can do. With a little bit of prep work, you can have a celebration with something for everyone. Join us as we cover the list of five must-have items for the perfect Memorial Day BBQ.
1. Snackable Food Options
The first must-have for your Memorial Day BBQ is some snackable food options to keep your guests fed and full during your BBQ. While the main event is still coming up later on our list, a backyard BBQ can be an hours-long endeavor. Serving a killer meal isn’t enough.
You’ll also have to offer a plethora of snackable food options that your guests will love at all hours of the day. These are kind of like the appetizers of your meal—the crucial thing is to go for variety.
Have something salty and crunchy, like potato chips or pretzels. For something sweet, try ice cream, cupcakes, or skewers of watermelon and feta for a more elevated dish. Plus, offer something healthy and savory like veggies and hummus or delectable guacamole.
You know your guests better than anyone; just make sure there is a little bit of something for everybody.
2. Ice-Cold Beverages
The next absolute must-have for your Memorial Day BBQ is a selection of ice-cold drinks for your guests. While snacks are crucial, you're also going to need something to wash it all down, which means getting your BBQ beverage game on point.
There are two keys to nailing the beverage offerings at your BBQ:
- Selection and variety
- Keeping it all ice-cold all day long.
First, you need to make sure you have a variety of both alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages to serve your guests. You should make sure to include at least two or three beer options, a red and white wine, as well as cocktails to boot, although that is up to you and your guests.
Then supplement with water, lemonade, soda, and other non-alcoholic drinks for children and guests looking to stay sober.
What Is the Best Way To Keep Drinks Cold?
During a spring and summer cookout, keeping your beverages cold is a difficult job that not every cooler is capable of handling. You need to make sure you have a cooler that is up to the challenge of chilling your Memorial Day beverages.
That is where Patriot Coolers come in. Our state-of-the-art, industry-leading cooler technology helps us deliver a cooler that can stand up to the wear and tear of everyday use while keeping your beverages cooler than anything else out there.
3. Delicious Memorial Day Recipes
The third item on our list of absolute must-haves for the perfect Memorial Day BBQ is a couple of iconic BBQ recipes. The main event of your barbecue will be the food, so it should take a seat of top priority on your preparation list.
What Should You Cook on Memorial Day?
Pull out your cookbook and choose one of these sure-fire winners:
- New York hot dogs
- BBQ chicken
- Baby back ribs
- Zesty chicken wings
If you are whipping food for a large group with varied tastes, kebabs can be a smart way to go for proteins. This way, you can stack different meats, fish, and veggies that have been kebabed.
Ultimately, any food can be a Memorial Day BBQ classic. For example, tacos are a great and easy group food to make, and if your family is famous for its Mexican cuisine, this is the perfect meal to kick off a night of fun.
What Are the Best Memorial Day Side Dishes?
Then you have to think about the proper side dishes. No Memorial Day BBQ is complete without a delicious bowl of macaroni and cheese or a pasta salad.
We also love:
- Crispy corn on the cob
- Fruit salad
A few words of advice? Toast the buns. Stock up on a variety of BBQ sauces. Ask beforehand if anyone hates cilantro.
4. Fun Activities
Every Memorial Day BBQ needs some fun activities to keep everyone engaged and laughing all day long. There are plenty of options for activities, from cornhole or bags to any number of lawn games and even just having a dedicated dance floor.
If you want to get really festive, you could rent a bouncy castle for a super exciting activity for the kids. If you have a pool, that is also a great way to keep kids engaged and interested in the day's activities and can be a blast for the adults as well.
5. A Moment of Reflection
While Memorial Day is a time to rejoice and spend some time with our loved ones, it’s also important to reflect on the sacrifices of the brave men and women who protect our freedoms.
The Grand Army of the Republic proposed an annual holiday celebrating Veterans three years after the Civil War. The date, May 30th, was chosen so that the Veterans and their families could take solace and joy in how nature bloomed around them.
At Patriot Coolers, our first priority has always been to give a nod of thanks to the armed forces and their families. We support our United States military and thank them for their sacrifices for our country.
That’s why we donate part of our profits to Homes For Our Troops, a non-profit that builds and donates accessible housing to severely injured Veterans. We can never truly express how much we appreciate our service members (no matter how many blogs we write), but this is just one of our humble ways of saying thank you.
Memorial Day BBQ Must-Haves Takeaways
Throwing the ultimate Memorial Day BBQ takes a bit of effort and preparation but is something that anyone with a can-do attitude is more than capable of achieving. As long as you have these five Memorial Day BBQ must-haves, you can rest assured that your day will be a success.
Start with a wide variety of snacks for everyone. Think about sweet, savory, salty, and healthy options so that there is something for everyone.
Then make sure you have a variety of drinks as well — beer, wine, and non-alcoholic options are all necessities. And you can serve your beverages ice-cold by keeping them in your Patriot Coolers cooler. Our coolers are designed to keep your drinks cool for hours and hold up to the bumps and drops of day-to-day use.
And then, of course, you have to nail your barbecue recipes to really knock Memorial Day out of the park. Whether you want to go with backyard barbecue staples like grilled meats and potato salad or mix things up and cook a specialty cuisine, as long as it tastes good, it will be a hit.