With Memorial Day right around the corner, the season of outdoor cooking is nearly upon us! And if you’re new to the southeastern part of the country, then you may also be at a loss as to how to go about hosting a proper North Carolina backyard cookout. Vacationers need not worry, though; throughout all the years we’ve spent serving coastal North Carolina’s rental needs, we’ve managed to learn a few tips that will help you host a successful barbecue.
Don’t skimp on the sauce
As the locals will tell you, it isn’t good barbecue sauce unless you can taste a distinct hint of vinegar. Eastern North Carolina is notorious for vinegar-based sauces, while the western end of the state touts tomato-based concoctions. If you want to capture the flavor of the region, you can’t do so without a healthy dose of vinegar.
Venture into untested waters
One of our favorite things about southern-style cooking is the “anything goes” attitude. Locals aren’t afraid to be inventive and try new things, and that usually spills into the offerings at a backyard cookout. Amongst the staples like pulled pork, potatoes, and green beans, you might also find some new favorite dishes like a salad consisting of grilled watermelon, feta and basil. Don’t be afraid to do a little experimenting of your own!
A backyard cookout in eastern North Carolina isn’t just about food. It’s very much a social occasion, meaning that when you host your own get-together, you’ll want to account for plenty of outdoor seating. This can be in the form of lawn chairs, blankets, and if you happen to be gathering at a vacation rental during your stay, then beach towels work just as well.
The purpose of cooking outdoors may be to enjoy the summer sea breezes and the company of others, but another key component to an enjoyable cookout is any music or entertainment you have in mind. Be sure to choose a genre that isn’t too intrusive so as not to discourage conversation and mingling, and something that everyone can enjoy at least as background sound.
As you plan your stay in coastal North Carolina this summer, we would of course encourage you to take advantage of the many fantastic local restaurants we have in the area. But, if you find yourself wanting to break out the pots and pans to prepare a feast in your temporary home, use these tips to pull of your own southern-style backyard shindig and stay tuned to our blog for even more vacation tips to come!