Backyard Barbecue Tips for Summer

May 21, 2009, 16:36 ET from Lifetime Products, Inc.

CLEARFIELD, Utah, May 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Fire up the grill -- it's barbecue season! Nothing signals the start to summer quite like a neighborhood cookout. This May, celebrate National Barbecue Month by trying out some tips that are sure to make your next cookout a sizzling success. Before you know it, your neighbors will be asking what time they can come over on the Fourth of July!

Keep Your Options Open -- Even at a barbecue, it's important to remember that not everyone on the guest list may eat meat. Keep a variety of dinner choices, such as grilled swordfish and vegetable kebobs, on hand for those who'd rather skip the ribs.

Have a Backup Plan -- Don't let a surprise summer shower dampen the party spirit. Keep food and supplies on trays so you can easily relocate everything indoors if necessary. But leave the charcoal outside -- instead, flip burgers on a grill pan over the kitchen stove.

Keep Supplies Handy -- Set up a station with bug spray, sunscreen, moist towelettes and other outdoor essentials to keep guests comfortable. You can also set up a kid-friendly supply station with bubbles, jumbo chalk and hula hoops to keep little ones entertained while adults chat.

Plan a Pint-Sized Picnic -- Give kids a place of their own to enjoy the festivities. Children's Picnic Tables from Lifetime Products seat four children comfortably and have stain-resistant tabletops, which makes cleaning up barbecue spills a snap. The tabletops and benches are also UV-protected, so they can withstand the summer heat.

Decorate Dessert -- This sweet activity takes the cake! Prepare a batch of cupcakes, but skip the frosting for now. When it's time for dessert, set up a table with different icing flavors and cake decorations, such as sprinkles, chocolate chips and shredded coconut, so guests can create cupcakes to their liking.

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