Once the warm weather hits, it’s time to start thinking about spending more time outdoors with family and friends. And one of the best ways to do this is to host a casual backyard BBQ because—let’s be real—great food makes any gathering even better!
Plan a bit ahead with our tips below and your BBQ is sure to be a success. Not only will it be a memorable time for your guests, but you’ll be able to relax and enjoy yourself as well!
Get Your Grill Ready
Use your grill at least once before your BBQ in case there are any issues. The last thing you want is to find out there’s a problem when trying to grill at the party!
So give your grill grates a good cleaning, check if you need to replace any grilling supplies ahead of time, and stock up on propane or charcoal as needed.
Create Your Menu
Once you know how many guests are coming, you’ll be able to plan the perfect menu for the size of your group. If you’ll be expecting a large crowd, make it easier on yourself and go with a simple menu. If your gathering will be more intimate, feel free to add more to the menu and include one or two involved dishes.
Of course, regardless of the number of guests, don’t be afraid to keep food on the simple side. Choose a couple of grilled entrée selections, a few appetizers and side salads, along with a selection of fresh summer fruits and vegetables and you’ll have a menu that’s ideal for any BBQ.
Just be sure not to forget dessert! Something as simple as s’mores, brownies or cupcakes are always a hit.
Serve Refreshing Beverages
Having a selection of refreshing drinks is a must. In addition to the usual mix of sodas, guests are sure to appreciate some homemade lemonade or iced tea. Of course, have plenty of water available, too!
For alcoholic beverages, you may want to add a signature cocktail to the mix of beer and wine. For the most convenience, pick one that’s conducive to being served in a pitcher so guests can help themselves—and make at least two pitchers of it.
If you want guests to be able to mix their own favorite cocktails, a portable kitchen cart/island makes the perfect outdoor mini bar!
Consider Seating Arrangements
While most of your guests will likely be doing a lot of standing and moving around, it’s still important to have a good amount of seating available, especially since people will almost always want to sit down to eat. If needed, you can rent extra chairs or throw some blankets on the lawn for picnic-style fun.
Provide Some Entertainment
Playing music and having a few classic backyard games to keep guests active is guaranteed to liven up your barbecue for kids and adults alike. Create a playlist of popular songs (from oldies to some of today’s hits) to appease most of your guests’ musical tastes, and set up a few simple, old-fashioned games like badminton, horseshoes, bocce ball or limbo.
If your event will go into the evening, displaying Christmas lights or lanterns is a great way to keep the festivities going and create a cozy mood after sunset.