No matter the occasion, whether it is for celebrating a graduation, someone’s birthday, or simply because you want to have fun with your friends, an outdoor party is a great opportunity for bringing everyone you love together, and enjoying amazing food. Planning your outdoor party in advance requires some preparations, and having the best kitchen appliances ready for cooking is a must. Here are some ideas on 3 of the most useful kitchen appliances to use for outdoor parties, along with tips and tricks on how to use them for getting the best results. Make sure your guests will enjoy your food, and they will certainly be coming back for more.
Raclette is a term that comes from Switzerland, where a special type of meal carries this name. And, if it sounds French to you, that happens because, indeed, raclette is a French word. “Racler” is a verb that means “to scrape”, and the term raclette is derived from it. Legend has it that some herdsmen from Valais, a place in Switzerland where a variety of soft cheese is made, discovered the amazing taste of melted cheese while putting together an ad-hoc dinner next to a camp fire. Scraping the remaining cheese from the cooling stones used for the fire helped them made this great discovery.
But what is a raclette grill, anyway? Basically, it is a cooking device that uses two layers. On the top layer, you can grill and cook meat and veggies, and on the bottom layer, you can melt small pieces of cheese to obtain the most delicious fondue. The great part about raclette grills is that they allow several people to cook their own dishes at the same time, using the two layers. It is not difficult to figure out why raclette grill parties are so popular.
If you plan this kind of party, don’t forget the next few tips:
1) Don’t overload the top layer with too many ingredients; they will not have enough time to cook and the guests may get a little restless while waiting for the food to be ready.
2) Oil and salt the grill before using it; this way, the meat will not stick to it.
3) While the raclette grill is heating up, serve a light salad to keep your guests going; you can also serve salads as side dishes for heartier meals made with the raclette.
Outdoor pizza ovens
Who doesn’t like pizza? When throwing an outdoor party, there is no easier solution to keep everyone fed and happy than by offering all your guests tasty, crusty pizzas. Instead of cooking the pizza inside and then serving it outside, you can make the process of baking pizza part of the appeal. The best way to do that is by getting an outdoor pizza oven and getting your guests involved with the actual cooking.
Here is an idea about how to prepare well in advance for an outdoor pizza party. Make the dough a day before the party, and store it in a refrigerator, already separated in small balls that are each enough for making the flatbread used for pizzas. Stock on all the needed ingredients for toppings, and do not be afraid to be creative. After all, pizza is one of the most versatile types of food available, and the combinations are endless.
Don’t hesitate to let your guests in charge of their own pizzas. Offer them choose-your-own-topping menus and let them assembly the pizzas on their plates before putting them inside the oven.
While there are various types of outdoor pizza ovens, an appealing option is to go for a wood fired pizza oven. It takes very little for a pizza to bake this way, so, if you are hosting a large party and you want everyone to be fed well and within a short time, you cannot go wrong with this idea.
You can use the pizza oven for more than just pizzas. Other Italian recipes can be included in your party menu, such as garlic bread as appetizer. If you have avid foodies among your guests, you can delight their taste buds with more complex recipes, such as spiced duck breast or a rustic apple and pear pie.
An outdoor party is not complete for many without the smell of charcoal in the air. While gas is a most embraced option when it comes to fueling a grill in this day and age, there are many who still enjoy the amazing flavor only a charcoal grill can lend to outdoor party specific foods.
When you purchase a charcoal grill, make sure to pick one that is sturdily made, without being extremely heavy. After all, you will need to move it around a bit, and you do not want this to be a cumbersome task.
The second commandment for using charcoal grills for outdoor parties is to always go for good quality charcoal. Natural charcoal is the best choice, because you do not have to dip the charcoal in any chemicals and these do not end up ruining the flavor of the foods you will be cooking. Don’t forget about using a chimney starter to light up your charcoal. It is a very efficient method and you will not be wasting any more time that you could use for cooking.
But what about the smoke? It is true that gas grills produce less smoke than charcoal grills, but this doesn’t mean that you should forget about the impressive flavor only charcoal can lend to your steaks. Make sure that you light up the grill properly, and you will see it producing less smoke than what you are used to. At the same time, the smoke can be enhanced by adding chips of wood to the charcoal. The result will be the amazing taste of a southern barbecue.
Choose gas, and you will get a more bacon like kind of taste. In the end, it is all a matter of preferences, but you need to know about them in advance, so you can make an informed choice.