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Holiday Hosting Guide: 5 Ways to Make your Holiday Meal the Best One Yet! guide guides

Holiday Hosting Guide: 5 Ways to Make your Holiday Meal the Best One Yet!

Author: Pitmaster Rosalie Pareja
IG: @castironskillz

The holidays bring forth joyful gatherings with incredible food for all to enjoy. We over here at Grill Masters Club know that these gathering also bring forth immense preparation. We’re here for you. Check out my top tips for a successful holiday gathering.

The Holiday Hosting Guide

1. Decide Your Commitment

Have you committed to hosting this year? Let's walk through what that entails, and make a plan.

Hosting can be as simple as providing the space and a few things for guests to enjoy, while everyone chips in and brings a dish. Or it can be as complicated as running the entire show.

As a host, I like to search for that happy medium. I prefer to commit to creating the space for everyone to enjoy along with the staples, then delegating what my guest can contribute so that everyone feels as if they have a part to play.

2. Communicate Your Commitment Effectively and Efficiently

Once you’ve decided your level of commitment, it’s important to let guests know what is expected of them. For this article, we are going to act as if we are committing to hosting with providing the staples.

How should I communicate? My go to is making a Facebook event, then sending out an email or text to follow up after I publish the event. If you don’t use Facebook, Eventbrite or Sign Up Genius are also good tools that can be published to other socials.

I like to invite 1 month out, then communicate/follow up once a week leading up to the event. The week of the event I remind everyone of expectations/commitments with a list of what everyone is bringing.

When I do a Facebook event I love to make a post where people can publicly say what they are bringing, then update it as items are added. It gets your guests excited!

3. Providing the Staples

The staples can be as simple as a drink station, set tables, cutlery, and serving utensils. However, it can also provide the main course as well as a couple apps, sides or dessert.

For holiday meals I prefer to provide the drink station, main protein with sauce or gravy, and a side that compliments the protein. Then I like to suggest that complement the proteins if they are unsure what to bring.

For a drink station I include some spirits, mixers, garnishes, an ice cooler and some n/a drinks. Then I let the guests cover wine, beer or any specific spirits they would like to bring. If someone doesn’t cook, and they want to bring something, I always suggest to bring cocktail supplies or a dessert from their favorite local spot.

4. Organizing the Feast

One of the most painful parts of holiday hosting is keeping everything warm. I highly suggest investing in electric warming platters. They are relatively inexpensive and come in handy for years to come! I’ve had the same set from a garage sale for 10 years now.

Another idea is to ask everybody to bring their dish in an aluminum half pan, and set up a warming station using chafing dishes. Or if you have pellet smokers, most of them come with a keep warm setting, or you can keep all of the prepared dishes warm, or even serve right off.

5. Food Prep and Keeping Things Clean

When preparing multiple sides, the kitchen can get overwhelming with all of the supplies and groceries! Using the French Mise en place method, prepare individual workstations and gather ingredients for each item that needs to be prepared. I even like to group the required supplies in boxes or plastic bags in the refrigerator/pantry leading up to the prep.

For the actual prep, I like to prep sauces, chop vegetables/herbs and make most of my sides one or two days before the holiday feast. Always make sure to clean as you go!

Happy hosting, and if you have any questions or need more help, feel free to message us on our socials @grillmastersclubvip & @castironskillz

- Rosalie, your Lead Pitmaster

Rosalie, Lead Pitmaster