Throw the Best Truckee BBQ
Barbecues are one of our favorite things about summer. The smells of delicious food, yummy drinks, hanging out with friends, and making new memories. August is the perfect time to spend with friends and family at the grill. Here are some tips we have on how to throw the best BBQ party in Truckee.
Make a Plan
This simple tip might not even need stating, but we think it warrants repeating. Planning will help you figure out your timeline, which will, in turn, help you figure out what you will have time to make and what should be bought. It also helps to have a list of everything you need before you go shopping—no matter how thorough our shopping trips are, it is easy to miss crucial elements. Before you leave for shopping, make sure to check that you have enough propane, charcoal, wood chips, or whatever type of fuel you use. Nothing says killer party like cold, uncooked food.
Brush up on Grilling Skills
Even the best home chefs can learn something new each time they grill. Key rules: generous seasoning (because some will fall off during the cooking process), warm up and then clean the grill before cooking, and understand the preferences of your party—some might like their burgers pink, some might like them to resemble a hockey puck. Impress your party with perfectly cooked meat and those great crisscross grill marks. Look at the helpful tools (like proper meat temperatures) from Martha Stewart.
It’s All About the Food
A BBQ is a party centered around food, after all. Before creating a menu, figure out your guests’ needs. Are your friends friendly with gluten, dairy, or meat? From here, it’s probably best to stick to one or two things to throw on the grill. Our BBQs always feature sausages from Mountain Valley Meats. They make the best sausages in small batches and rotate over 50 plus flavors. This is a great option for BBQs because you can throw a few different flavors on the grill at the same time and provide your guests with variety without sacrificing the quality of the cooking. Our favorites include the Potsticker, Blue Cheese and Pear, and Bratwurst. Visit their website to see a full list of flavors and to order.
Fresh veggies are always a good idea and lucky for us, Truckee has two weekly Farmers’ Markets. Visit the Regional Park Tuesdays or the Sears Parking Lot Sundays to get your hands on some delicious veggies, cheese, bread, sauces, and flowers. In the summer heat, we love to eat lighter, which is why we are obsessed with these recipes for Roasted Brussel Sprouts Salad, Mexican Grilled Corn with Cilantro, and Roasted Parmesan Garlic Cauliflower.
Don’t forget the Drinks!
We are always a fan of keeping it simple and, sometimes, the best BBQ drinks are cold beers and white wine. If you want to mix it up a bit, try to find a drink that is easy to make in bulk the night before. You won’t want to spend all of your time running between grill and bar. Sangrias are the perfect make-ahead drink and there are endless ways to execute a great sangria. Just start with wine (red or white), add brandy, triple sec, and fresh fruit (citrus works best!). Before you serve, add something sparkling (like champagne or lemon-lime soda) and some fresh mint. If you’re not into Sangria, we really like this recipe for Blueberry Lavender Vodka Spritzer.
Our favorite place to stop for all of our drink needs in Truckee is Zanders Spirits on Donner Pass Road (next to Start Haus). They’ve got a large selection of unique beers and spirits, as well as the classics. They also have a super helpful staff if you need help picking out the perfect drinks.
Make Guests Comfortable
A daytime BBQ means direct sunlight and intense mountain heat and a nighttime BBQ means lots of bugs. Make sure that guests aren’t constantly ducking for cover by putting up umbrellas, providing sunscreen and/or bug spray, and setting out candles. After immediate comfort needs are taken care of, provide some low-commitment entertainment for guests like corn hole and music. It’s simple, but guests will really appreciate it.
Take the Party Out on the Town
Anyone can host a BBQ party in Truckee, even if they don’t want to do it at their house. One of the best options is taking your party to the Truckee River Winery. The winery has BBQs outside, as well as bocce courts and other fun games. They allow you to bring in as much food as you’d like, just no outside alcohol. They offer wine tasting, wine by the glass, and bottles so your whole party has the freedom to pick and choose what they want. They even sell food, so if you need an appetizer on the fly, they’ve got you covered. Convenient for you, convenient for them, and you won’t have to worry about folks in your house.