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Barbecuing is best done on the open, patio, garden, or camping, it does not matter.

Barbecuing is best done on the open, patio, garden, or camping, it does not matter. It brings to mind sunny days, delicious odors and fine food eaten in good company. You've chosen a day to relax and impress your friends and family with fine cooking skills. You can enjoy an experience that at least in many parts of the country is only available for a few months. Make the most of it.

Barbecue, the great outdoor festival

Start by selecting the right kind of grill for you. There are charcoal models (yes, still!), natural or propane gas, or electric. They come in many sizes, for permanent installation or portable. Many have dozens of add-on helpful features, such as in-built thermometers, removable drip pans, side burners and much more.

Enhance your enjoyment by learning more about rubs, sauces and woods. Each of these, used judiciously, will highlight a good cut whether brisket, rib-eye or tenderloin. Using a smoker for long term, slow cooking rather than a barbecue is a great option in many circumstances.

Pick up the extra tools you need to make preparation, cooking and clean up easy. The right kind of spatula can make the difference between a safe, easy flip and a daredevil stunt. A good thermometer can help aid cooking, by making a measurement of the internal temperature of the grill or meat quick and painless.

Once you have the right grill, good tools and the right spices take some time to prepare your feast the right way. Get educated on readying your barbecue into the perfect cooking instrument. Learn how to prepare your meat to produce a delectable dish, rather than a dried out disaster.

You'll need to make some decisions about whether to cook slow or fast. Purists will insist that only slow cooking is 'really barbecuing'. Maybe so, but words are less important here than results. Slow cooking a brisket in a smoker is the only way to go. Slow cooking a hamburger isn't an option. The style should suit the materials and the desired result.

Practice safe barbecuing, too, if you want to avoid spoiling the enjoyment of this festive occasion. It's obvious that barbecues are hot. They also present an opportunity to lose focus and poke an eye or slice a finger. Staying alert and keeping a firm grip on tools will prevent a celebration from becoming a trip to the emergency room.

But even small annoyances can ruin the happy day. Keep bugs away in a safe way by preparing the area in advance and using some simple methods during preparation. A ready hose with the right nozzle, a hair dryer to blow bugs away, or even a simple fly swatter can keep bugs from ruining your party.

Once the day is done, you'll need to clean up. Sad, but true. Make it easy by finding a grill that's easier to disassemble, or contains disposable drip pans. Use oven sprays and the right kind of tools to make the job easier. Keep the grill regularly cleaned and your food will taste better.

But with all the skills to acquire you can rest assured that you already have the one most needed for a great adventure: your desire to enjoy life. Plunge ahead!