It really wouldn’t feel like summer if you didn’t host at least one backyard barbecue. It’s a great opportunity to just hang with friends and catch up with what’s been happening. If you’re a seasoned pro, then you probably already have an established barbecue planning strategy. But if a grilling party is a new adventure for you, here are some tips for hosting the best backyard barbecue ever.
Get the backyard ready for entertaining.
To set the stage, create areas intended for specific purposes such tables for setting out food, a portable bar or coolers filled with beverages, and chairs where people can sit, eat, and chat.
Place the grill as far away from tables where snacks, food, and condiments are.
If there isn’t enough shade in your backyard, create a place to cool off with patio umbrellas or a portable awning.
When children are on the guest list, have a designated play area just for them. Make games available or fun activities to keep little ones occupied. Have some water blasters on hand.
Plan a menu that has a variety of tastes, textures, and colors.
Food is obviously the star of any outdoor barbecue. Your menu might just be the regular hot dog/hamburger fare, but they don’t have to be “boring.” Allow guests to customize their burger or hot dog with a choice of toppings from mild to spicy. Pretty much anything can be grilled, including chicken, pork, shrimp, and corn and other vegetables. Don’t forget to add seasonal fruits like peaches, plums, strawberries, and watermelon.
Get the grill ready for the “big event.”
Make sure your grill tools are all in one place and ready to go. Don’t run out of fuel – before the big event, check to see if the propane tank is full (gas grill) or there’s enough charcoal (charcoal grill) to get you through your get-together.
Do as much food prep as possible before people arrive.
When you do as much food prep as possible the night before or on the day of the party, it gives you more time to spend with your guests. You’ll also feel like your playing more than working. It’s your party – have fun!
Ask Guests to bring their favourite side dish or dessert.
Especially if it’s going to be a large gathering, ask guests to bring their favourite side dish or dessert. People love sharing the recipe for their tried-and-true potato salad or their family’s classic coleslaw or the lemon squares you’ll just die for.
What to wear to your own party.
Reasons people throw a barbecue party range from the casual get-together to a baby shower to a backyard wedding. Whatever the occasion, the number one rule is to be comfortable. For a family barbecue with kids choose shorts and rompers made of breathable fabrics. A solid color tank top paired with a patterned midi skirt should get you through hosting a barbecue for your boss and co-workers. For more “formal” barbecues, select a sleeveless summer dress that will keep you looking cool and pretty.