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Cyndi Allison - Grill Girl

How NOT to Get Invited to the Neighbor's Barbecue
HPBA survery overview

farm barbecue
Very Relaxed Barbecue Guests

If you’re sitting out on your porch smelling the barbecue cooking next door and wondering why you were not invited to the cook out, then the fall 2008 survey by the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association may shed some light.

The national organization based out of Virginia polled consumers and found that there are a select group of guests who rain on everyone’s barbecues.

Of course, it may be that you just don’t know your neighbors very well or that they have a specific group over (like fellow employees). Still, it’s good NOT to be the one standing on the other side of the fence especially if it’s your own style that makes you a bad barbecue guest.

HPBA gave the barbecue guests from hell some pretty funny names, and here they are from the worst to the still bad (with Grill Girl comments).

1. Control Freak – Is this a surprise? Who likes someone who shows up and takes over? Even if you do know how to do it better, grab a chair and chill. There’s more than one way to skin a cat, and your barbecue chef will ask if he or she wants to be micromanaged.

2. Slob – Your paper plate does not throw itself into the trash bag. Ditto on your cup. If you slop condiments all over the porch, then someone will be dealing with ants the next day. You weren’t invited to be the clean up crew, but you can certainly do your part. 

3. Picky Eater – Barbecue hosts do understand differences in food preferences and also special dietary needs. Most try to be accommodating. There are some guests you can’t please no matter what. If you are one of those guests, then perhaps you should host the party (and cook what you can eat) or beg off and suggest a non-food activity to enjoy with friends at another time.

4. Moocher – There’s one in every community. He or she shows up at every event and never brings a thing or even helps out. This is usually the same person who never hosts either. It doesn’t hurt to ask if you can bring something. Generally the answer is, “No. Just come and enjoy.” Sometimes the host really could use a bag of chips, a bottle of soda or some extra ice. Easy enough.

5. Boastful Bragger – It is very irritating especially for new and struggling grillers to hear about how you’re such a fabulous griller. Fine then. Host your own barbecue. Even though I grill several times a week and host a grill web site and blog, I don’t toot my horn when I’m visiting other grillers. I relax and enjoy not being on the grill. Often I take photos and post my fellow grillers online. I figure it already makes some of my friends and family members a little nervous that outdoor cooking is my specialty area. That’s the last thing I want to bring up if I’m a guest and not the host. If someone does know that I’m Grill Girl and asks for help, I gladly put on some gloves and help. Otherwise, I butt out and talk about something else – like the weather (-:

6. Backseat Griller – If the grill chef wants advice, he or she will ask. If you really are a  master at the grill, it may be hard to back off, but do. We all learn sooner or later. Sometimes mistakes make the biggest impression. Unless the grill is about to blow up, it’s better to bite your tongue and eat the food – such as it may turn out.

Those are the guests that outdoor cooks but on the B list but not the Barbecue list. Cooking outdoors is supposed to be fun. If you come in and rain on the barbecue party, then you’re not likely to get many invitations. That’s sad too, because it is grand fun to show up and enjoy a meal and not have to do all the work.



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