It’s summertime and all your friends and family have been asking you for some of that famous BBQ that you’re known for.
The grill may be your cooking Mecca, but throwing a party is a completely different story.
A BBQ party in the backyard, with friends and family, may seem like a great idea until you realize half your guests are baking from the heat, the ice is melting, and the drinks are warm. Hosting a BBQ party can be glorious and can boost your grilling ego among friends and family – but you’ve got to do it right.
The following steps are most of the most important steps to follow when hosting a BBQ party (or other grilling parties).
The Steps to Grilling Party Success
Set Up Covered Sitting Areas –
It’s imperative that people have a covered place to sit. There is nothing worse than eating hot BBQ with a hot sun blazing on your back. Covered areas are extremely important (even if they are pre-existing) where people can hide.
Proper Drinks and Variety –
For the kids coming to the BBQ, lemonade, Gatorade, ice cream, and juice pouches, are all great options. As for the adults, beer and BBQ go together like salt and pepper so make sure that you have plenty of light, refreshing beer as well as hard liquor drink varieties for guests who don’t drink beer.
Entertainment and Activities –
Most of the adults are going to want food, drinks, and casual conversation – but for the kids that’s just not going to cut it. You need to provide some sort of entertainment that the kids will love, whether that’s a Frisbee, music, horseshoes, or board games. Anything is better than nothing, especially if the event is going to be long.
Always Have Food Available –
You never want guests to be empty-handed. While you’re attracting their taste buds with the smell of your BBQ on the grill, provide them with appetizers or small snacks. Community tables with chips, salsa, and “pigs in a blanket” should suffice.
Create a Checklist to Ensure You Got Everything –
What kind of side dishes do you want? What kind of meats are you offering, or are you only doing BBQ? What are the decorations and linens for the party? What is the weather like today, for example, is it going to rain? Do I have entertainment, music, or other means of impressing and stimulating my guests?
Offer Something Cool –
Other than shade and a place to sit and relax, offering something cool for your guests will keep the party moving along during the peak of the summer day. Frozen fruit, ice cream, or popsicles are just a few options. Make sure you have something cold.
Toppings and Corn on the Cob –
You must have Corn on the Cob, as it’s a BBQ staple. Whether people eat it or not, a BBQ without corn on the cob is a bad omen. In addition, providing variety (small portions, large quantity of items) may cost you more time, but will impress your guests for parties to come. Providing a toppings table is the best, most cost-effective way to implement this idea. A table full of toppings will allow guests to customize their burger or BBQ without you needing to provide multiple meat options.
Use Glass Early, Plastic Late –
For the adults, early in the party, I have found that it’s always better to provide glasses for drinks and ceramic plates for food. Paper and plastic plates are great, but depending on the number of guests, it could hurt you. Drinks don’t taste as good in plastic and food eaten off paper plates always creates inconvenience. I prefer glass and ceramic in the beginning of the party, and then as the alcohol flows and the food has been consumed, I bring out the paper and plastic items.
Provide Access to the House –
If you’re with close friends and family always provide a path of entry into the house for bathroom breaks and air conditioning. Make sure that the house is sealed and attempt to find a way to lower the traffic in and out of the home. Every time someone opens the door, hot air is rushing into your rooms.
Yard Canopy –
This is a great investment because it allows multiple people to eat, drink, and hang out under the same roof without weather exposure. Bigger is often times the better choice because everyone will be able to fit and converse without seclusion of some people. Don’t forget the fans.