Grill Like Myron Mixon and Style Like Christopher Lowell at Your Labor Day BBQ
Sep 2, 2015
There’s no need to travel for Labor Day to have a good time. With the right approach you can have a great Labor Day barbecue from the comfort of your home. A festive Labor Day party in your backyard is the perfect way to say goodbye to summer and prepare yourself for autumn’s impending arrival (that would be Sept. 23, the first official day of fall).
We asked experts Myron Mixon, a featured judge on Destination America’s “BBQ Pitmasters,” and Christopher Lowell, the former host of “The Christopher Lowell Show,” to share their tips on how to throw a Labor Day party to remember for you and your friends.
Christopher Lowell is an Emmy-winning lifestyle expert and best-selling author. For more ideas from Christopher Lowell, visit www.rightsizeup.com.
Barbecuing your food is one thing; presenting it to your party guests is a whole other matter. Here are a few tips from Christopher Lowell to make your house party visually appealing.
Design Tip No. 1: “Contain”
Lowell recommends using cheap galvanized containers from your local hardware store as a tablescape idea.
“They are great to contain and present your foods, but they can be used for a variety of other household chores once the party is over.”
To do this, Lowell recommends taking these two steps:
- Step 1: Arrange these containers in various heights, either on a buffet, picnic table, or area with easy access. This can be done a day ahead to reduce stress.
- Step 2. Line these containers with checkered napkins. (The bottoms of larger containers can be built up with newspaper, then covered with your decorative napkins.)
Design Tip No. 2: Tablescape
A festive tablescape is ideal for a barbecue party, says Lowell, because the party is self-serve and guests can pick the foods they want at their leisure, says Lowell.
“With your tablescape as the custom focus (which shows you put in a good effort) you can top it off with pre-bought foods from the local deli—like potato or pasta salads, which are easy, colorful, and filling,” says Lowell.
Design Tip No. 3: Designate a Play Area
“While you don’t need to have a kids table, it’s a good idea to designate a play area for them so they’re not running through the adults as the adults are trying to hold conversations,” says Lowell, who adds that the ideal party time for those with kids is from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Myron Mixon is a three-time Grand Champion at the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest in Memphis, Tennessee, and on Destination America he’s a judge on “BBQ Pitmasters,” the defending champion of “BBQ Pit Wars,” and host of “BBQ Rules.” He is the author of the upcoming cookbook “Myron Mixon’s BBQ Rules.”
Grill Tip No. 1: The Perfect BBQ Setup
Mixon has both a grill and a smoker for quick and long cooks. He uses charcoal to grill and wood to smoke his food with, and he recommends keeping smokers in a covered area.
“You should have a prep area with access to electricity so fans could be plugged up to fan the meat while it’s prepped,” says Mixon. “It will also keep flies off of the meat.”
It’s also smart to keep cool as you grill.
“The most important part of your setup is a nice shady lounge area to relax in while the meat is cooking,” he adds.
Grill Tip No. 2: Cook Dishes That Have a Hint of Autumn
“A smoked turkey of course is the mascot of autumn,” says Mixon. “You also got to have grilled corn on the cob with a Parmesan twist, and a smoked pumpkin pie for dessert.”
Grill Tip No. 3: Keep Things Simple and Make It a Family Affair
“Pick recipes for the backyard that aren’t too time-consuming so the cook can enjoy the party too,” says Mixon. “Also be sure to do all your prep work the day before the barbecue.”
Most importantly, include the whole family in the cookout to make the barbecue memorable for all, he adds: “Remember, the family that barbecues together, has fun together.”
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