Party-Perfect Tips to Boost Your Backyard Barbecue

Grilling and entertaining go hand-in-hand, but summer barbecues often mean guests come and go, making it difficult to time your meal so everyone can enjoy savory flavors fresh off the fire.

These tips from the grilling gurus at Johnsonville Sausage will help ensure your next backyard bash is a hit from the first bite to the last.

Make grilled meat great

Bratwursts are a backyard barbecue staple, and a brat hot tub is the perfect solution to feeding a large group. The tub keeps the brats hot and full of flavor until your guests are ready to snag one. To add some variety to your party menu, you can even create multiple tubs, each designated for a different brat flavor. This recipe shows how easy and delicious this trick can be, especially when you start with a burst of flavor from a seasonal favorite like Johnsonville’s Firecracker Bratwurst, Hatch Green Chile or Jalapeno Cheddar.

Round out the menu

Replenishing the spread all day won’t leave you much time for your own celebrating, but with brat hot tubs lining the table and low maintenance side dishes, you can jump in and enjoy the party. Round out your menu with items such as chips, grilled veggies, a simple antipasto platter, corn on the cob, baked beans and grab-and-go desserts such as brownies and cookies. A fan set on low near the food station is a nice trick to help deter uninvited insect guests.

Clean Up Quickly

Unfortunately, an exciting backyard barbecue won’t clean itself. When it’s time to take care of the dinner mess, try these simple, quick solutions so you can get back to entertaining your guests:

  • While the grill is still warm, brush the grates to make sure your tools are ready for next time. If there isn’t a grill brush handy, try crumpling up a sheet of aluminum foil and scraping it along the grates with a pair of tongs.

  • Instead of dirtying glassware, set out disposable plates, cups and utensils to cut down time at the sink or loading the dishwasher.

  • To keep from roaming the entire yard on trash duty, set wastebaskets or trash bags in plain sight so guests can help clean up as the party goes on.

Find more recipes and tips to help step up your grill game at

Brat Hot Tub

Prep time: 30 minutes

Servings: 6

  • 1     large (11–by-9-inch-by-2 3/8-inch) aluminum foil baking pan

  • 2-3 cans (12 ounces) beer

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 medium yellow or white onion, sliced

  • 6 Johnsonville Brats, plus additional (optional)

  1. Heat grill to 150°F.

  2. Place baking pan directly on grill. Pour in beer and add butter and onion slices.

  3. Grill brats until juicy and golden-brown, approximately 20-25 minutes, turning occasionally over low flame.

  4. Serve immediately, placing any remaining brats into steaming hot tub to keep warm.


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