Barbecue season is here, and homeowners everywhere are getting their grills ready for a great backyard barbecue. If it’s your turn to host the party, the pressure to impress your guests might be already getting to you.
What should you include in your menu? How many people should you invite? Will your budget cover all the costs? These are some of the questions that may be going through your mind.
Don’t worry. We’ve all been there.
The mistake most hosts make is complicating their menu and biting off more than they can chew in terms of planning. Doing so will only make your barbecue party stressful for you and leave no room for fun — and we can’t have that!
So fear not — we have all the information you need to plan a stress-free, fun-filled backyard barbecue.
image source: unsplash.com via Vincent Keiman
If you’ve never hosted a backyard barbecue before, you might feel like a fish out of water. Especially if you’re trying to figure out what you need to make the party a success.
But the trick is not to over-think it.
The first step is determining everything you need for the party. Once this is sorted, you’ll feel more confident and ready to execute.
So without further ado, let’s find out some of the BBQ essentials you need to host the most memorable barbecue party in your neighborhood.
Meat is the star of any backyard barbecue party. Therefore, if you’re aiming for perfection, you need to invest in the right BBQ. You have two choices: gas and charcoal.
Your choice will depend on the number of people you’re planning to host and your preferred flavors.
A gas BBQ grill is more convenient because it’s easy to light, use, and clean and gets to the optimum cooking temperature faster compared to a charcoal grill. However, charcoal BBQ grills are cheaper and add a unique smoky flavor to your meat.
Size-wise, consider the amount of space you have and how many people you’ll be cooking for.
If you can’t seem to make up your mind, a gas/charcoal grill combo would also come in handy for this and future BBQ parties.
Don’t forget the fuel when buying the grill!
To do a good job, you’ll also need the right tools. Go for long-handled utensils, because these will help keep your hands away from the hot parts of the grill. Some examples of kitchen tools you’ll need include tongs, spatula, knife, and carving fork.
You’ll also need an apron, marinade brush, meat thermometer, and chopping boards.
Don’t forget the ice. It’s one of the essential items you shouldn’t miss in a backyard barbecue. And no, don’t postpone it for later. You might forget to get it, and you don’t want to be the host that keeps sending guests on an ice run. So, stock up in advance!
The other thing you should add to your checklist is decor and lighting. Lights set the mood of the party once the sun sets. So, make sure you have enough festive lights.
Your decor will depend on your preferences and the BBQ theme you are going for if you have one. If you don’t have an idea, go for simple decorations that make the area stand out without looking like you’re trying too hard.
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A backyard barbecue is not complete without an assortment of drinks and food. You need to figure out what you’ll serve and then create a shopping list of everything you’ll need.
Some ideas that work for most BBQ parties include chicken, burgers, sausages, sweet corn, kebabs, ribs, salad, peppers, drinks, wine, and beer.
For desserts, you can include ice cream, cake, or fruit salad.
Another must-have item on your checklist is a drink dispenser. Topping up everyone’s drink when they’ve finished can be quite a hassle. It may take a lot of time, depending on the number of guests, and you may not enjoy the party.
Having a few dispensers at your disposal will make things easier. In this way, everyone will get to serve their drinks, and all you’ll have to do is to refill the containers.
Tiki torches will also be a great addition to your backyard BBQ. They’ll not only provide additional lighting but also keep mosquitoes at bay — your guests will truly appreciate a buzz and bite-free night.
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It’s not enough to have your checklist ready. You also need to know how to make the party memorable for all your guests.
If you have a neighbor or friend who has set the backyard barbecue bar extremely high, it can seem like a daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be. You can add your unique touch to the party and make it unforgettable. These tips can help.
It’s easy to go overboard when you’re trying to impress your friends and relatives. But don’t let the pressure get to you. Instead of thinking of all the classy meals you can include in your menu, try working around your main dish and add your top dishes that people rave about.
You should also go for simple decorations that make your space stand out effortlessly. For a backyard barbecue, balloons, bright table cloths, and string lights should do the trick.
Another thing that will go a long way in helping you plan the best BBQ is understanding your guests. What do they like to eat? Will there be children? Anyone with diet restrictions?
The answer to these questions will help you provide exactly what everyone needs. Don’t complicate things by trying to create an impressive menu. An uncomplicated menu is precisely what a group of people of different ages need.
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if you want to cut back on costs and add some elements of surprise to your menu, it may be a good idea to ask your guests to bring desserts or appetizers of their choice.
With this approach, you’ll give your guests a chance to taste each other’s favorite dishes, which will undoubtedly be a great treat for their taste buds.
It’s also essential to stick to your budget when planning a backyard barbecue. One way to do this is to utilize things you already have, like plates and cups.
Doing this will allow you to save lots of money you would have otherwise spent on paper plates and paper cups. And the best part? You get to safeguard the environment too.
Don’t wait until the last minute to start your preparations. Create a to-do list and start checking off tasks as soon as you can. Send out the invites. Determine when you’ll run errands. Also, don’t be shy about seeking assistance from a friend or two in advance to avoid last minute rush.
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As we mentioned earlier, meat is the star at any barbecue. Therefore, you can’t afford to mess it up. Get all the meat you need and keep it refrigerated in advance. Before the barbecue party, make sure the meat is marinated well before the event to avoid any delays.
Also, make sure you prep your grill by cleaning it and placing it in an easily accessible area before the big day.
Don’t wait until the day of the backyard barbecue to set up everything. Do it a day or two before to ensure you have everything you need. Make sure you have enough chairs, tables, lighting, and everything else you need to ensure everyone’s comfortable.
Early set up will give you some time to run to the store in case there’s a shortage of something.
It’s also crucial to prioritize safety, especially if you plan to have kids at the barbecue.
For instance, if you have a pool, make sure you hire a lifeguard for the day to watch out for the kids and set some pool rules to ensure everyone stays safe.
Although meat and food are the first things you should be concerned about when planning a backyard barbecue, you also need to think about entertainment. What will your guests do once they are done eating? How will you keep the kids engaged to prevent them from messing up everything?
Consider including games like Charades, Pictionary, Never Have I Ever, and other games that make everyone participate and get to know each other better.
For the kids, consider hiring a teen to watch them as the adults relax.
Don’t stress too much about how your guests perceive your party that you forget to have fun. Take a break from running up and down and join in on the fun. A good host takes time to mingle with the quests and participate in the activities. If you end up having lots of fun, chances are your guests are having a great time too.
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As you can see, little things can go a long way in making your backyard barbecue memorable. So stop overthinking it and use the tips we’ve shared to plan a BBQ no one will forget any time soon.
What are some of the things you do to make your BBQ memorable that we haven’t included in this list? We’d love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts and views in the comments section below.
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