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16676-ChefGavinMainHosting a backyard barbecue is a great way to hang out with friends, get some fresh air, and most importantly, show off your grill skills. 

Womensforum had a chance to speak with grill master Chef G. Garvin, host of the Cooking Channel's Road Trip With G Garvin, to learn a little more about what makes the perfect barbecue. Here are some of the tips he shared with us:

Plan it out. Don't go overboard.

Backyard barbecues are all about having a good time, so Chef Garvin emphasized the importance of taking it easy and not overreaching. Everyone is expecting a laid back atmosphere when they arrive and have expectations about what food will be made available. 

"You want to get the ribs, get the chicken, the short ribs, you want to get the shrimp, vegetables. Those are things that we know are going to be safe and we can have some fun with."

"A backyard barbecue isn't the time to experiment with people because it’s tradition."

Distribute heat on the grill.

A big mistake amateur grillers make is evenly distributing heat across the entire grill. Chef Garvin told us how important it is to distribute heat on the grill in different ways. 

"One of the biggest misconceptions when you work with a grill is it’s all hot, everyone has a really hot grill. You don't want to do that. You want to have a hot side and a warm side. What that means is, you want to get a really great seer or grill marks on the grill and then let the cooking process continue on the warm side."

Have good - no great - sauce. 

No barbecue is complete without sauce. Chef Garvin shared this delicious tea-infused BBQ sauce recipe that you can make for your next cookout and leave your guests feeling like they’ve had something truly special.

Gold Peak Tea Infused BBQ Sauce:

  • 1 18.5 oz. bottle Gold Peak Sweet Tea
  • 1 ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 3 tbsp. diced jalapeno
  • 2 tbsp. diced garlic
  • 3 cups ketchup
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 1 tsp. garlic salt 


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan
  2. Add garlic, shallots and jalapenos
  3. Saute for 2 minutes, then add Sweet Tea and brown sugar over medium heat
  4. Bring to boil then reduce to simmer
  5. Let liquid simmer for 15 minutes or until syrupy
  6. Add remaining ingredients, mix well and simmer on low until sauce is combined

If you do experiment, try it with sides and desserts!


Ok, I have a question. Who likes Cornbread? Who likes Mashed Potatoes? Well, you can have the best of both worlds with Corn Bread Mashed Potatoes! Click the link for my recipe #chefgarvin RT

Posted by Chef G. Garvin on Thursday, November 29, 2012

Everyone is expecting the barbecue classics when they show up to your party. Hotdogs, hamburgers, brats, and chicken are time-honored traditions that just shouldn't be messed with.

When it comes to the sides, however, Chef Garvin starts singing a different tune. 

"Nowadays people don't really want to eat a lot of meat alone. So, a no-bake mac n’ cheese with some lobster is always fun. A little doughnut bread pudding is always fun."

Barbecues should be fun, so relax!

The most important thing to remember is that people came to your barbecue to have a good time. Overdoing it on unique recipes or worrying too much about specific ingredients can kill the potential for fun. 

At the end of the day, it’s all about having some fun with the grill. It’s not about working, it’s about having some fun.

Photo Credit: Facebook

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