Messy Barbecue Solutions

A pair of hands dipping beef ribs into barbecue sauce

Created by: Cathy Pollak, Noble Pig

Barbecues are deliciously messy – here are some easy solutions from @NoblePig to keep it all clean, no fork or knife required.

Biting into a juicy burger, a mouthwatering piece of barbecued chicken or enjoying a sloppy taco is one of the best parts about backyard barbecues. These foods are best eaten by hand, regardless of how messy they are. The funny thing is, I see so many people indulging in these foods with a knife and fork. I don’t get it. Are they on a first date? I admit it can be difficult to eat ribs and stay graceful. But really, isn’t the messiness part of the allure of these types of foods? In my opinion, messy food often means something delicious is about to happen.

If you’re serving some food that may get a little sloppy, make sure you give your guests ways to keep as clean as possible. They’ll be happy you did, and will dig in without fear!

Here are some messy barbecue solutions for you to try the next time you are serving some finger-lickin’ good food:

Set out baby wipes on the table. This helps guests feel comfortable getting their hands dirty. Everyone is more likely to pick up those ribs and enjoy their sauciness knowing they will able to easily wipe the mess away. I set out a nice, rectangular-shaped dish that is a little bit larger than the stack of baby wipes. Just before everyone sits down, I remove the wrapping so they are fresh and ready to go.

Distribute disposable bibs. Nothing says “bring on the messy barbecue” like a bib! If everyone puts one on, you’ll all look funny together, and have the perfect guard against any fabric stains. Find a cheap pack of disposable bibs you can keep on hand for the whole season.

Make finger-friendly appetizers. Bite-size apps ensure there’s less mess and more easy eating.

Use crafty tablecloths. Roll out craft paper as a tablecloth so you can just wrap up the mess and throw everything away in one easy step! Plus, you can keep kids entertained by setting out crayons, markers and stamps and letting them decorate their side of the table.

Serve no-drip popsicles. This hack will make sure runny drips don’t get in the way of a delicious popsicle. Just poke a hole through the bottom of a cupcake liner, slide the end of your popsicle stick in, and your popsicles will be drip-free. Perfect for kids!