Tips for Hosting an Amazing Labor Day Barbecue

    Labor Day is right around the corner, marking the unofficial end of summer and a celebration for the country's workers. It's also many people's last hurrah before gearing up for fall. Here are some tips and tricks on how to host your Labor Day barbecue like a pro!

    Keep It Simple

    There is no need to overcomplicate your Labor Day barbecue. Keep the menu simple and stick to burgers, hot dogs, and easy snacks like chips and dip. Include a few veggie burgers or veggie dogs for your vegetarian guests.

    Ask Guests to Contribute

    If you’re inviting lots of people to your event venue, considering making it a potluck party and ask everyone to bring a dish. That way you can relax during your party without spending the entire day cooking or preparing food. Make sure you don’t end up with ten veggie platters by designating a food category for each person. For your friends that don’t enjoy cooking, sign them up to bring napkins, paper plates, and beverages.

    Kids Entertainment

    The key to hosting an awesome Labor Day barbecue is to make sure kids of all ages are entertained all day. Stock your party with a bunch of games for kids of all ages. For the younger kids, get hula hoops, bubbles and puzzles that they can play with. You could also arrange for some fun group games such as Red Rover and Simon Says. For the kids that are a little bit older, set up a s’mores station for them to create their sweet treats. Also, get an outside game or two (Twister, Ladder Ball, Bean Bag Toss) and set it up in an area that is away from the adults and younger kids...we all know how teenagers like their independence!

    Prepare for the Outdoors

    Make sure you have plenty of ice and coolers in your event space so you don’t have to make any trips halfway through the party. This will also keep your guests away from the food prep area. Also, prepare your outdoor space with plenty of chairs and tables and set up some areas that are in the shade for those who want to stay out of the sun.

    Plan for the Worst

    There is always a chance the weather will not cooperate. Plan for the worst and prepare for the rain by having fun indoor activities for everyone to play. Stock up on board games and movies in case you need to move the party indoors. If you don’t have enough space in your house or venue to hold everyone indoors, find a back up venue to ensure your party still goes off with a bang.

    How to Grill the Perfect Burger

    Grilling is the main focus point of most Labor Day barbecues, so make sure you know how to grill a perfect burger! Here is a little how-to guide to ensure your burgers are a hit:

    1. First, start with a half-and-half mixture of ground chuck and ground sirloin. You don’t want the meat too fatty or too lean, usually a fat content of 10-15 percent is good. Keep the meat cold and don’t handle it too much before grilling.
    2. For the seasoning, just lightly season them with salt and pepper.
    3. Finally, brush the burgers with a little butter or olive oil before grilling. Once the burgers are on the grill, DO NOT press on the burger with a spatula! This will just squeeze the juices out of the burger and dry them out. Also, do not overcrowd the grill. Leave a little extra space to move the burgers around in case of flare-ups.
    4. Once they are done grilling, let them rest for a couple of minutes. Grill the buns until golden brown and serve! Include your favorite fixings, like lettuce, tomato, onion, ketchup, and pickles.

    Keep the Clean Up Simple

    Make sure you have a bunch of big trash bags scattered around the party to minimize cleanup when guests start leaving. If you can recruit a couple of close friends to help you, it will make the process go by much faster. Also, try to conduct small cleanup sessions during the party so that the end of day cleanup process is quicker.

    What other tips do you have for hosting an amazing Labor Day barbeque? Feel free to share with us be leaving a comment below, on Facebook or Twitter!