While many may think of a BBQ themed party as a laid-back and casual gathering, this is not the case for the host. The host is in charge of cooking, overseeing the firing up of the grill, and the final cleanup. If you’ve ever hosted a BBQ, you know how much coordination is required. If you’re new to hosting or looking to step-up your BBQ hosting game, review our ultimate guide for a successful and memorable backyard cookout.
- Choose the time and location
Weekends are the perfect time to host a party as most people are available then. Should you choose to host your party on a Saturday, you have the advantage of having the party later in the day, say around 4 or 5 pm. Sundays feel like, and are indeed, work nights. Therefore, plan to have the party earlier in the day. Having at least a three or four-hour window allows your guests to arrive without stressing about the time.
There are plenty of options when it comes to where you will be hosting the BBQ. Apart from your backyard, you can host the party in a local park or campground. Check out your community’s website or Facebook group for inspiration.
- Decide on the guest list and send out invites
Is your party a family affair or a casual dinner with your friends or colleagues? The answer to this question will help you put together a list of whom you should invite. While it’s entirely up to you to decide whom you invite, inviting every person within your chosen sphere of influence ensures that none of them feels left out.
Don’t go overboard with the invites. If it is only a gathering of three to five people, a simple phone call or text would do. If it is a larger gathering, an e-mail, a card, or even a Facebook invitation will do. Remember to include details such as your address, your phone number, the time the party is supposed to start and end, the dress code, and even what the guests should bring. If it is an adult only event, specify that in your invite so that none of your guests feel awkward for showing up with their kids.
- Decide on the menu
Whether you choose a specific theme like a fiesta, luau or a traditional BBQ, choose a menu that’s simple and casual. When designing the menu, consider the following:
- What you are comfortable cooking
- If your guests have any dislikes or allergies
- How much time you can dedicate to preparing and cooking for your guests
- Whether you intend to make dessert
- What drinks you should serve
Stick to tried-and-tested BBQ recipes such as steaks, burgers, sausages, and roasted veggie skewers. You can ask your guests to bring along side dishes especially if you plan on having a large gathering. Include nibbles such as chips as they’ll keep your guests busy while the BBQ cooks out. Ice-cream is a perfect dessert treat and is also ideal in the hot weather.
Ensure you offer non-alcoholic drinks for kids and those who do not drink alcohol as well as plenty of water. Fruit punches, smoothies, or homemade lemonades are perfect for any BBQ. Ice cold alcoholic drinks are a BBQ tradition. You can use a large container or cooler packed with ice so that you do not have to dash in and out of your house each time someone wants a beer.
- Set the scene
If you are hosting the party in your backyard, make sure it is in good condition. Not only do you need a few tables and chairs for your guests, but you’ll also need a table by the grill to put your cooking utensils on. Set a relaxed atmosphere by coming up with a killer playlist. Pick out fun songs with summer night themes or classics if you are uncertain on what to play. The music should be loud enough to set the mood but not too loud that your guests must shout to each other. Organizing a few lawn games also helps break the ice and make the party fun.
Hosting a summer BBQ takes a great deal of work, but you do not have to take on all the tasks by yourself. Come up with a to-do list and have your friends and family help out. Take time to sit back and relax. Should mistakes happen, laugh it off. After all, summer BBQs are meant to be fun!