Host a low-stress barbecue

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Barbecuing is a much-loved tradition--friends and neighbors on the patio enjoying the weather, kids playing in the yard and no messy kitchen to clean.

But what if you could make your barbecue even better? You've got the grill, the meat and the skills to make an amazing meal. Now you just need to focus on your craft and let smart home technology handle the rest.

Crafting the perfect burger takes time. The meat must be taken out early, given time to sit at room temperature and then placed on a smoking-hot grill. Cooking the burger well also requires constantly monitoring the barbecue: too long and it's dry and overdone, too short and your guests will politely decline the health risk.

With a connected security system, you can simply pick up your smartphone or tablet to see the live feed of your security cameras. You get total visibility, and everyone gets to enjoy your stellar cooking.

Open your doors

Barbecues are a lot of work for the hosts. Everything from snacks to appetizers to drinks and table settings requires coordination, often as guests are arriving. This puts you in the position of running from grill to door and back again, leaving tasks half-finished and food unattended.

With home automation, however, you could use digital door locks to remotely unlock the door whenever guests arrive or create a "guest code" for the event that's valid for only a specific period of time. No one gets locked out, and you don't get distracted.

Stay cool

If you're spending the day behind a hot grill, the last thing you want to do is return to a sweltering house once the party ends. On hot days, your air conditioner may start lagging behind, especially if your barbecue after-party ends up indoors. With a thermostat that can sync to your home automation system, you can set the AC to kick on at a lower temperature when the party starts -- so that if you need to go inside, a cool oasis is waiting.

Cook safely

You may find yourself in and out of your home a lot during your barbecue, whether it's to bring out more hot dog rolls or grab condiments. You can't be everywhere at once, but you don't want to leave your grill unattended either. Instead of putting your guests on grill duty, you could set up security cameras to keep tabs on kids around the pool or running through the house without having to leave the grill all alone.   

Be a memorable host

How do you want your barbecue to be remembered? In a perfect world, it's the gold standard, the one other families talk about and kids hope they get invited to every year. Part of being a legendary barbecue host comes from how and what you cook -- great steaks and outstanding burgers always get tongues wagging. But standing apart in the crowd also means being a present host and not worrying about what the kids are doing or if the burgers are getting overdone. Smart home technology allows you to have eyes on your burgers and your guests, while automating tasks that would have taken time.

Want to throw a low stress barbecue? Firing up a home automation system can help.