8 in 10 Americans would rather fire up the grill and BBQ with friends and family than go to a restaurant. As summer’s here, there’s no better time to host a backyard BBQ and have a delicious meal in the sunshine.
But what can you do to make sure everyone has a great time at your BBQ? If you don’t plan ahead, you may struggle to keep people entertained and their stomachs and glasses full.
The key is to use these 10 tried and tested tips to ensure your BBQ goes off without a hitch.
Let’s find out more.
1. Give Your Guests Plenty of Notice
There’s nothing wrong with throwing an impromptu BBQ when the weather is unexpectedly sunny. However, it’s almost inevitable that some of your guests will already have plans and won’t be able to join you.
By giving people plenty of notice, they can mark the date in their calendars and make sure they’re free that day. Not only does this mean you’ll be able to host all your favorite people, but your guests will appreciate the courtesy.
2. Make Sure Your Grill Is Clean and Ready
One of the most important BBQ tips is to make sure your grill is ready to go when you open the lid. There’s nothing worse than finding that you forget to clean it after your last cookout and that grease, fat, and bits of food are stuck to the surfaces.
You should also check that you have enough fuel, whether this be charcoal or gas, so you don’t have to run to the store during your barbecue. Lastly, make sure you have all the required cooking utensils, such as BBQ tongs and a food thermometer, and you’ll be all set!
3. Prepare Your Barbecue Food in Advance
Review your guest list and estimate the amount of food you’ll need to cater for your event. There may also be guests who have special dietary requirements and require vegan foods or gluten-free meats.
You can begin to marinate meat when it’s less than 24 hours until your BBQ, and it’s helpful to have all of your vegetables and salads chopped and ready to serve. The more free time you have during your gathering, the more you’ll be able to chat with your guests throughout the day.
4. Provide Snacks
You’ll want to have a relaxed atmosphere so people can chill out and not feel like they are being rushed to eat. Instead of putting the grill on right away, offer some light snacks such as nuts, chips, or a tasty tapenade served with bread.
This will keep everyone satisfied until their main course.
5. Have a Self-Serve Drinks Policy
It’s never easy to keep everyone’s drinks topped off at a BBQ, but you can encourage guests to serve themselves. You then only need to keep your fridge full with a selection of thirst-quenching beverages.
To make sure your guests’ drinks stay cold while they’re mingling in your backyard, you can bring a sense of style to your BBQ by providing custom beer koozies.
6. Put on Some Pre-BBQ Entertainment
Your visitors will no doubt entertain themselves by telling stories and enjoying the weather, but you can make your backyard barbecue even more fun by introducing some party games. You could start a game of football in your garden, put some board games on a table, or play charades to keep the mood light and playful.
Time will fly by until you’re ready to light the grill.
7. Fire Your Grill Up Before Guests Get Hungry
Rather than waiting until your guests start to ask when the food will be ready, make sure you start cooking before people get restless. This is especially vital if you have a charcoal grill that might take a little longer to reach a safe cooking temperature.
Even if you serve food slightly early, this can be better than waiting until guests are hungry.
8. Serve Food Away From Your Grill
Accidents can easily happen at a BBQ, and you should avoid having too many people around your grill. Instead of asking guests to come too close to the heat to choose their food, have a separate serving area away from the grill.
Setting up a table where you can set your meats, vegetables, and side dishes is a simple solution.
9. Provide a Light Dessert
Desserts aren’t really considered barbecue essentials, but they can be a pleasant way to finish your outdoor meal. On a hot day, cooler options such as ice cream or a fruit salad can be a treat.
Leaving a short gap between your main meal and dessert will give people time to build an appetite.
10. Light a Firepit So Guests Can Stay Longer
There’s no need for the party to end when the sun goes down. You can light a firepit, provide some cozy blankets, and invite your guests to sit down for an evening of great conversation and laughter.
This can be a marvelous way to end a fantastic BBQ event.
Throw an Amazing Backyard BBQ
You’ll be eager for your backyard BBQ to be a memorable event, and this can be easy if you take the right steps. It’s crucial to make sure your grill is ready to cook on and to provide plenty of cool drinks. Guests will appreciate having some activities to entertain them, and you can invite people to stay long into the evening to complete the day.
You might find you gain a reputation as your social circle’s BBQ king!
While planning your summer BBQ, be sure to read more of our helpful blog posts.