8 Tips for the Ultimate Beach BBQ

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There is absolutely, positively, nothing more summery than a barbecue party under the sun. Except, maybe, for a perfect day at the beach.

If the math is correct, this means that a beach barbecue would, in fact, be the ultimate summer activity—the one that blows any other summer celebration out of the water.

As we pass the halfway point of summer (gulp), it is now more imperative than ever before to enjoy these precious few days before the temperature starts to drop. So grab your swimsuit, call your buddies, and head to the beach—don’t forget your grill!

Ask Nicely
Nothing spoils a barbecue beach party like being chased out by the beach officials. Be sure to confirm ahead of time that, indeed, your beach of choice welcomes barbecues.

Find the Right Barbecue
The perfect grill for a beach party is large enough to accommodate, say, more than one burger, but is portable enough that it won’t require five people to lug from the parking lot to the beach. It’s worth spending a little more for a grill that will cook evenly—just think of how many beach barbecue parties that you will be enjoying over the years. It’s worth the investment. Finally, be sure to test it out at home to ensure that all the fluids are topped up and everything is in working order to avoid a beach barbecue buzzkill.

Bring on the Meat
The best beach barbecues feature an assortment of meat. Burgers are great and steak is always a good bet, but why not try grilling up some fresh fish—after all, everyone knows that fish tastes best right by the sea. Bring some bacon along to toss on the grill to take your hamburger to the next level.

A word of caution: you won’t have access to a fridge at the beach, so be sure to bring a good cooler, keep uncooked foods out of the sun and heat, and get cooking sooner rather than later.

Go Low Fuss
If you don’t have the luxury of picnic tables, go low fuss with things like cutlery and plates. Often times, napkins and fingers are all you’ll need to dig in.

Don’t Forget the Sides
If you’ve got a larger group, it will be impossible to feed everyone all at once, so bring enough sides to keep all parties satisfied while they wait. You can’t go wrong with chips and veggies, though you may want to stay clear of mayo-based salads, which can spoil quickly in the sun.

Cheat on Condiments
Lugging around bulky condiment bottles can be a pain for a portable beach barbecue. If you can, grab extra condiment packets from fast food joints. Otherwise, you can fill a few small containers with the condiments you’ll need— it’s less cumbersome than bringing the entire bottle.

Pack It Out
Bringing an extra garbage bag or two is an absolute must for a beach barbecue. Be sure to do a thorough check at the end of the day to make sure that you leave your party spot in tiptop shape.

The Fun Stuff
No beach barbecue is complete without some entertainment on the side. Bocce sets, a volleyball, floaties, stand up paddleboards—the options for fun beach activities are virtually limitless!

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