Summer’s warm and sunny days make a perfect time for hosting BBQs while spending quality time with family and friends. While hosting a summer BBQ can be fun and exciting, it’s also challenging because of the work and planning that goes into it. BBQs aren’t just about the food. They involve entertainment, décor, and other things that elevate the party. Below are 10 tips for hosting the perfect summer BBQ.
1. Plan ahead
Planning ahead of time is crucial to hosting a perfect summer BBQ. While you may be the party’s host, you still want to spend time interacting with your guests. Get the shopping done a day or two before D-day. Before going shopping, consider food restrictions to ensure everyone is accommodated. Talking to your guests on time will help determine if there are pure vegetarians or others with specific allergic reactions in the lot.
This will help you plan accordingly while ensuring all the guests are cared for. You should also prepare your ingredients on time to reduce cooking time and avoid getting stuck when your loved ones start arriving. Completing all the significant tasks in advance will give you time to enjoy yourself.
2. Prepare the grill
Suppose you haven’t used your grill for months. It’s crucial to do a complete inspection to identify any issues. Look out for rust signs, mainly if the grill has been outside throughout winter. Clean your grill thoroughly to get rid of all the dirt, debris, grease, and more. Consider cleaning the grates to get rid of rust and dirt. To deep clean them, soak them overnight. Also, clean grates ensure better grill marks.
If your grill isn’t in good shape, look for quality outdoor cooking grills to avoid replacing them every other season. Consider upgrading your BBQ tools, including tongs, gloves, spatula, meat thermometer, and more.
3.Prepare the food before the guests start arriving
Preparing the food in advance makes all the difference when it’s time for everyone’s cookout. The guests should find the meat already rubbed, marinated, seasoned, and ready on the grill. All the BBQ side dishes, including baked mac and cheese, potato salad, bacon cheddar jalapeño cornbread, macaroni salad, and more, should be assembled, cooked, and presented in advance. Pre-prepping your food ensures all flavors properly soak in and enables you to go straight to grilling.
4. Include a side dish potluck
Since summer BBQs are an excellent way to bring people together, you can generate a communal feel by asking your visitors to come with a side dish of choice. This will give you more time to perfect the main dish. With a side dish potluck, you can create diverse food arrangements for everyone to enjoy while relieving you of some of the hosting duties.
5. Prepare games and activities
Games and activities are a great way to spice up your BBQ get-together or party. Games like croquet, bocce, tug of war, human piñata, human ring toss, human football, giant Jenga, and more can be enjoyed by nearly all ages and can be as casual or competitive as the guests would like. They’re good for socializing and ensure guests don’t get bored or focus on what’s cooking. Get some outdoor toys for the young ones, including the new color foam writers and Crayola Powered Bubble launcher to ensure they keep a safe distance from the grill while having fun.
6. Don’t forget the drinks
Besides the standard BBQ staples like burgers, steak, hot dogs, fresh salads, and more, the drinks you offer your guests can significantly impact the success of your BBQ. Setting up a bar in your backyard and stocking it with drinks is an excellent way for guests to serve themselves according to their tastes and preferences. You can also hire a bartender to take care of your guests.
If you’re working on a budget and can’t afford a bartender to tend to your guests with various drinks, you can find fun cocktails to serve them. The summer BBQ drinks you may consider making include pineapple rose sangria, strawberry wine punch, watermelon hibiscus lime margarita, strawberry Pimm’s cup, cider rum punch, blueberry lavender vodka spritzer, vodka mint limeade, and more.
7. Consider frozen desserts
After spending time in the sun, it would be great to give your visitors something sweet and cold to look forward to. You can ask them to leave room for dessert, so they don’t have too much of the grilled food. Frozen desserts are good easy-to-serve BBQ additions to consider. If additional utensils and clean-up are a problem, try single-serve treats, including good humor, Klondike, Fruttare, and popsicle bars.
Don’t forget about the health-conscious guests. You can serve them high-protein frozen yogurt in single, mess-free squeeze tubes. You can have them in various flavors such as chocolate, vanilla bean, banana vanilla, and more.
8. Create a BBQ playlist
To create a summer BBQ playlist that everyone will love, consider including country classics, pop hits, and oldies. To satisfy the party’s older generation, classic oldies, such as the Beach Boys, The Supremes, The Foundations, and Four Tops, are a must-have in the list. Without the ’70s tunes, including Fleetwood Mac, Billy Joel, Eagles, Tom Petty, and The Rolling Stones. To take the music a notch higher and even convince the guests to dance, include various ‘80s pop hits. The late ‘90s, early 2000s country hits, and current hits can be a great addition to your playlist.
9. Ensure sufficient, comfortable seating
Knowing the number of guests you expect makes planning sufficient seating easier. It should also be comfortable for your visitors to have great experiences. Arrange the seats in a way that makes the party more social. Consider L-shaped arrangements as they make it easier for the guests to mingle. Square or rectangular tables are great for people to gather around and interact. Weatherproof furniture is ideal for outdoor BBQs as they’re easy to clean and maintain.
10. Consider outdoor lighting
Outdoor lighting allows you and your guests to enjoy the BBQ even long after the sun goes down. You can install solar lights or LED outdoor lighting to illuminate your backyard, making it easier and safe for the guests to move around.
While organizing BBQs is fun and exciting, it isn’t easy. Use these tips for hosting the perfect summer BBQ.