It seems like there’s a national holiday for every day of the calendar year — and there kind of is. And we can’t wait until July 4 to celebrate National Barbecue Day! In fact, we’re celebrating early and extending the day to an entire month to celebrate the delicious summertime delicacy that is barbecue during National Barbecue Month in May.
If you’d like to join us in the festivities, here are a few ways you can celebrate National Barbecue Month! We’ve included a few ideas for sprucing up your outdoor space, some barbecue recipes to try, and other fun ideas for maximizing your time outside. Plus, it’s the perfect way to properly kick off barbecue season and the many warm summer nights ahead!
Clean Off Your Grill
Before you fire up the grill, make sure it’s in good shape. Take some time to properly clean your grill so it looks and works better — plus, it will ensure a safer grilling experience, as grease and grime left behind from last season can harbor harmful bacteria. Use these helpful tips for cleaning your grill from top to bottom!
Spruce Up + Clean Up Your Outdoor Dining Area
If you haven’t done so already, spend a day cleaning up your outdoor spaces, specifically your outdoor dining area. Power wash your furniture, deck, rugs and other surfaces to remove dirt and grime. Wipe down or wash outdoor pillows or other accessories that can’t be power washed. It’s important to create a clean environment so you can feel relaxed and comfortable spending time in your backyard.
Get Some New Outdoor Furniture
If you need a few new seating options, now is the perfect time to add some new outdoor furniture, like a lounge set, chairs, side tables or even a hammock. Create inviting, comfortable seating areas throughout your yard and patio, creating an extension of your indoor living areas. To get some inspiration before you go shopping, check out these outdoor furniture trends in the Pacific Northwest!
And peruse JR Furniture & Mattress’ selection of outdoor furniture. They have eight locations throughout the region, including three in the Portland area and one in Chehalis, Washington.
Bring the indoors out by adding a few thoughtful accessories to your patio or deck. Add some colorful pillows, a rug or two, potted plants, statues and other artful touches. Plus, if you have a covered area, you can even add artwork, mirrors and other less water-resistant pieces. Treat your outdoor spaces like you would any indoor living area in your home, where you add personal touches of beauty and interest.
Lighting has the power to completely transform our spaces, both inside and out. If you don’t have your outdoor lighting mastered yet, spend some time improving the lighting in your outdoor dining and lounging areas. Consider installing twinkling string lights overhead, lighting some tiki torches, adding a lantern or two, or installing other warm, dim lights on your patio to create a moody, calming oasis. That way, you can spend time in your backyard well after the sun goes down!
Build a Fire Pit
Some of the best memories are made around the bonfire in the summer, whether it’s over a couple of beers or roasting marshmallows. If you don’t yet have a fire pit, you can easily add one, no matter the size of your outdoor space. You could simply add a small, portable fire pit that can rest on your deck or patio — or even on your dining table. This adds warmth and ambiance to your dining and lounging areas. Or you could tackle a DIY and create a larger and more permanent fire pit area in your yard. Check out these fire pit DIYs for ideas!
Plant Some New Flowers + Plants
Cheerful flowers and greenery have the ability to transform an outdoor space into a peaceful garden oasis. Plant a few colorful flowers in pots to display around your patio or deck, or plant some in a nearby garden bed. Fill in the gaps with greenery and other leafy plants to add some life to your outdoor space.
Try a New Barbecue Recipe
One of the best ways to celebrate National Barbecue Month is by trying your hand at a new barbecue recipe. Step out of your comfort zone by trying one of these delicious barbecue recipes, from peachy baby back ribs to apple-butter barbecued roasted chicken. Whether it’s just for you and your significant other or for a larger group of family and friends, there’s nothing like digging into a tangy, sweet barbecue dish.
If you’re grilling your own burgers and steaks, you’ll want to spice them up with provisions from Felton & Mary’s, an artisan food producer based in Portland. Try their Classic Spice Rub and their delicious sauces, including the Smokey Brown Sugar BBQ Sauce, the Medium BBQ Sauce or the Hot BBQ Sauce — or if you can’t choose, get all three as a bundle. If you don’t live in the Portland area, you can get Felton & Mary’s products shipped straight to your door by ordering them online!
…And Grilling Supplies
Take your grilling status to Grill Master level by adding a few new grilling supplies to your arsenal. There are dozens of gadgets that will improve your barbecue game, including thermometers, rotisserie kits, spatulas, and other innovative cookware. BBQ Guys has a wide selection of BBQ accessories to choose from!
Host a Backyard Barbecue
After all this hard work, it’s time to host a backyard barbecue to take advantage of all the upgrades you’ve made! Whether it’s Memorial Day weekend or a random weekend in May, invite a few friends or family members over for an evening of barbecue goodness — and a chance to show off the outdoor space you’ve worked so hard on. To make it easier on you as a host, you can ask your guests to BYOB or contribute a side. That way, all you have to do is man the grill!
Make Your Own Yard Games
No backyard is complete without some yard game fun! If you don’t have a game yet, consider making your own. This list has a variety of ideas for DIY yard games, from cornhole to a giant Connect Four game. If you have kids, they’ll love joining in on the project — and playing the game after it’s all done!
No matter how you celebrate, we wish you a Happy National Barbecue Month!