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How to Throw a Backyard BBQ
By Nina Nocciolino

Sick of winter weather? Welcome back spring by throwing the ultimate backyard barbecue bash. Gathering friends and family to kick off the summer months is a great way to test out new recipes, new equipment and catch up on what you missed hibernating over the winter. This is the ultimate guide for throwing the best backyard barbecue this side of Dixie.

Grilling Machine

Barbecue is as American as baseball, and people who grill take their barbecue equipment very seriously. About 15 million grills are purchased every year by barbecue enthusiasts. Seventy percent own gas grills, while the rest put their sweat and tears into the authenticity of charcoal grills and smokers. America's Best BBQ, an online retailer and distributor of all things barbecue, has a wide selection of brand name and slow cookers to the barbecue accessories you need to flip those burgers and look good doing it.

Most people choose gas grills over charcoal grills for their convenience and even consistency of heat. But charcoal grills deliver a more superior and bolder flavor when searing and smoking different kinds of meat. There are a variety of trusted brands available in both gas and charcoal grills. Before purchasing any kind of grill, be sure to research which type will deliver the best results for the food you like to cook. If you're more of a "no muss, no fuss" back-porch cook, think about a gas grill with evenly heated burners and side space for preparation and cleanup or a basic charcoal grill like the traditional Weber kettle grill. If you take your barbecue as seriously as your grill, then think about getting something a bit more advanced like something in the Weber Summit Platinum series.

Food For Thought

Food brings people together. With the national attention the Food Network and their celebrity chefs bring to all things eatable, barbecue has reached a whole new level. Celebrity Chef, Bobby Flay's bestselling Boy Meets Grill cookbooks have propelled the world of barbecue and the chefs behind it, giving amateur backyard grillers options to heat things up on the grill. There are recipes for alligator ribs and BBQ Pork Chardonnay (the recipe calls for a 10 pound wild pig) for the courageous grilling masters and classic barbecue dishes like BBQ Beef short ribs and Beer Can Chicken BBQ.

But what about those guests at the party that cringe at just the mention of meat? Fortunately there are plenty of veggie friendly grilling recipes that will satisfy even your most omnivorous guest. Although, you might want to get a veggie grill basket so you don't lose your dinner between the grates. Fresh Herbed and Goat Cheese stuffed Portobello Mushrooms and Grilled Zucchini over Baby Spinach are just two of the immeasurable barbecue veggie recipes out there. And those are just the ones that are printed. Take charge in the backyard and come up with a new spin on old grill favorites!

Imbibing on Beverages

Do a little research to find out which types of wines best accompany your dish. The traditional idea that red wines go with red meat and white wines go with white is still true to form, but isn't as rigid as it used to be. Today's cuisine comes from all kinds of cultural backgrounds, so finding the right pairing of food and wine comes with a wine that will enhance the flavor of the food in either similarities or differences within the body and taste.

If you're more of a beer drinker, look for beers that are local to your area and try them with different meals, and keep track of everyone's drink with etch-it-cups, from, which put a modern twist on the traditional wine charm. But above all, don't stress over having the perfect match of dinner and drink. No matter what you serve, how you serve it or what you serve it with, remember that good food and good company are the two essential factors to a successful backyard barbecue.

About the Author

Nina Nocciolino is a copywriter for DMi Partners, a full-service interactive marketing firm specializing in finance, retail, higher education and real estate.

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