How to Throw the Best Memorial Day BBQ

*Last updated April 2, 2018.

Memorial Day weekend and the unofficial start to summer will be here before you know it and we bet you can’t wait to fire up that barbecue! As you anxiously await the arrival of your hungry guests on MDW and count down the seconds until the famed annual firework shows begin, here are some must-know plumbing tips to make sure you reduce the chances of things going awry with all that added traffic on your water systems.

5 Memorial Day BBQ Plumbing Tips

  1. Have trash receptacles at the ready. Make sure there are garbage cans in all bathrooms so that guests aren’t tempted to flush anything but toilet paper.
  2. Protect your kitchen drains. Place mesh screens over your kitchen sink’s drain to prevent unwanted food remains from slipping into your pipes.
  3. Get rid of cooking grease correctly. Don’t pour any cooking grease down your drains. We’re serious… don’t do it! And, if guests are helping cook or clean up, politely let them know how they can dispose of cooking grease. This handy cheat sheet of the do’s & don’ts of cooking oil disposal can help!
  4. Give your garbage disposal a break. Ask guests to throw all of their garbage into the garbage can or a recycling bin. That way, you can monitor what goes into your garbage disposal carefully. There are actually more easy ways to ruin your garbage disposal than you think!
  5. Speaking of garbage disposals… Don’t put any leftover bones or fibrous foods from your BBQ into them! Those can damage your disposal and are better off tossed in the trash.

Okay great, so you’ve got the plumbing logistics down. But what about the party details? Planning a big old barbecue can be overwhelming. Don’t worry though, these tips can help make the planning and hosting easier on you so you can knock-it-out of the park for all of your guests with confidence.

5 Tips to Plan the Best BBQ Ever

  1. Make it a potluck. You might be thinking, “but wait, as the host shouldn’t I be providing the food?” Yes! You certainly should, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it all on your own. Invite guests to bring a dish of their choice to spread the love (and the workload).
  2. Clean your grill beforehand. For many, this might be the first time you’re firing up the grill for the season. As much as you’d like to think those leftover tidbits from last season may add to the flavor (yuck!), trust us, they don’t. Start fresh and clean for summer 2017!
  3. The décor is everything. Being that it’s Memorial Day, the obvious theme here is patriotism, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give it a little twist. Consider a superhero theme to commemorate our American heroes or a red, white and blue Hawaiian luau!
  4. Fend off the bugs. Citronella candles and tiki torches are a must! Nothing ruins a great BBQ like a pack of buzzing party crasher. Make sure to have plenty of bug spray on deck as well.
  5. Remember to pre-prep. We want you to enjoy your BBQ as much as your guests do. That means making sure you’re fully prepared beforehand so the day runs nice and smooth for you. Marinate your meats, chop your veggies and stock up on plates, utensils and necessary toiletries at least a day in advance.

But those aren’t all the tips you’ll need to keep in mind — oh no. More importantly than spending fun in the sun, Memorial Day weekend is also time to honor the brave men and women who have served our country. That being said, we thought that now was the perfect time to remind everyone of some basic BBQ safety tips too, so that paying homage to veterans during your Memorial Day weekend celebration isn’t interrupted by a grilling disaster. With help from the National Fire Protection Association and the U.S. Fire Administration, we’ve put together the following list of safety reminders for you.

10 Memorial Day BBQ Safety Tips

  1. Never use a propane or charcoal BBQ grill inside your home. In case the weather doesn’t agree with your outdoor plans, have an alternative meal in mind that can be cooked indoors.
  2. Always position your grill a decent distance away from your home, deck, and low hanging branches.
  3. Make it a priority to have someone man the grill the entire time it’s in use.
  4. Ask children to stay away from the grilling area and keep pets inside while the grill is lit – at least a three-foot safe zone is ideal.
  5. If your grill is propane, check the gas tank hose for leaks prior to using it. To do so, apply a solution of soap and water to the hose and then turn the propane tank on. If bubbles are visible, you have a leak and require the help of a professional.
  6. Also prior to lighting a gas grill, open it and make sure that it was cleaned well when last used.
  7. If as you cook you start to smell gas, turn off the gas tank immediately and step away from the grill.
  8. If your grill is charcoal, the only starter fluid that should be used is charcoal starter fluid.
  9. Clean your grill once you are done using it to get rid of any grease residue that can potentially start a fire.
  10. Only discard of coals after they have had enough time to cool down, and only place them in a metal garbage can that has a lid.

BBQ planned and perfected? Check! Now, how else are you going to celebrate MDW and honor our nation’s heroes?

  • Write a Letter: Writing a thank-you letter to a veteran or a current military member can warm the heart of someone you’ve never even met. Encourage your children to do it too and make it a family activity!
  • Visit a National Cemetery: One of the more traditional ways you can remember on Memorial Day is to visit a VA National Cemetery for the annual Memorial Day Ceremony. While you’re there why not place flags or plant flowers in memory of our heroes.
  • Volunteer: Did you know about 13% of the homeless are veterans? You can help by taking just a few hours of your day to give back to those who have served our country.   donate clothes to your local homeless shelter. Find opportunities in your area at All for Good.

If you’re having guests over for Memorial Day weekend and something goes wrong with your plumbing in the middle of your festivities, don’t hesitate to give Barker and Sons Plumbing & Rooter a call at 714-630-8766 for help.