Throwing a BBQ party is the ultimate fun! Everyone loves a good BBQ party and with summer here BBQs are the best summer activities to indulge in! Enjoy a good BBQ party with friends. While BBQ parties are a lot of fun when you are the one attending, they can be quite stressful for those who are actually throwing it. Picking a location (if you are not feeling your backyard), choosing the menu, making sure all cooking utensils and possible plates, napkins, etc. are ready, having snacks ready, drinks available, a stock of sports related activities like volleyballs, tennis, frisbees, etc. and keeping your sanity together can sometimes sound like a large feat to accomplish. Yes, they can be pretty stressful to throw but if you are actually prepared for all the curveballs and keep yourself ready ahead of time than throwing a BBQ party can actually be really painless and fun. It is just all about being prepared. Do your research and think of all your options so that you can throw an awesome BBQ party that your friends and family will never forget. Here is your ultimate BBQ party checklist to keep you in check and on the right path to a successful BBQ celebration!
Create a Guest List & Be Aware
The one thing you do not want to happen at a BBQ party is having a lack of food to feed everyone. It would be an utter nightmare if you miscalculated the amount of people coming and ended up running out of your necessary food in the middle of your celebration. To keep this from happening, write down your guest list ahead of time. Draft up everyone that you want to invite and calculate multiple times so that you know you are accounting for the right number of people. Be sure that when you are telling you friends and family about the BBQ party that you let them know ahead of time if they plan to bring any extras. By letting your guests know they will understand that food may be limited and will make sure to account for any extra people they may bring along. After drafting your general list of people and accounting for any extras that are showing up it is probably best that you still increase the amount of food for the day. If you want to make hot dogs and think that buying 2 bags of hot dogs are enough, just buy one extra bag so that you can account for any surprises. Also consider the fact that some people may want seconds so having extras is always better for that case as well. Being well stocked up on food is so necessary! You rather have leftovers than have your guests leave feeling hungry and not satisfied!
Account for Weather Disturbances
Weather can be another major issue that you want to keep track of. Bad weather can really ruin a good BBQ considering BBQs tend to happen outside and if it isn’t sunny, then it won’t be as enjoyable. Try to plan your BBQ on a day in which you are aware of the general weather and always come up with a backup plan. If a storm happens or it does end up raining, where else can you go? Can you fit your guests in your place? If not, think about still hosting the BBQ but buying a big tent so that even if it does rain, your guests can still keep dry and enjoy the food. It would be even better if the place where you are hosting your BBQ already has some type of stone shelter over the BBQ pit and tables. That way you won’t have to spend money or effort trying to get the tent up! Although it may be a good idea to buy one if you think it will be too sunny outside, that way younger kids and older people can stay in the shade if necessary. If you are not a big fan of having your BBQ be on a rainy day then it is probably best that you try to account for the rain ahead of time as much as possible so that you can cancel your BBQ and wait it out for a better day. Whichever way you decide to do it, be cautious about the weather when planning your BBQ party.
Did you Prep Your Grill?
If you are having a BBQ where the grill is already provided then this doesn’t have to necessarily be something you account for, but if the BBQ is going to be at your place and you plan on using your own grill then this rule is especially important. Be sure your grill actually works! If your grill does not work on the day of the BBQ that would be the ultimate BBQ fail and leave you feeling upset with all the hard work you had put into the day. Plan ahead accordingly by testing out your grill and making sure it works fine. Bring in the necessary items based off of what kind of grill you are using and be sure everything it working the way it is supposed to. Start up your grill and be sure that all the burners are working very well. Make sure your propane tank is full and stock up on all your supplies like more propane, charcoal, lighter fluid, and more. Clean your grill up as well! This is very important. You want a nice, clean grill to start off with when making your food so be sure to do this ahead of time before the guests arrive.
A Checklist to Refer To
Now that you have been given some really good barbecue tips to ensure that your barbecue runs smoothly, here is a list of all the supplies you should consider when making sure you have everything set for your barbecue!
Think of all the possible meats that you want to feature in your barbecue and be smart when buying your meats at the market. Depending on what meat you are looking for, do some research to understand what the meat should look like raw and what the best meat looks like when it is raw. That way you know that when you come back from the butcher you have the best and freshest, quality meat to cook up! Some meats to consider in your barbecue include…
● Burgers (beef, turkey, chicken, salmon)
● Hot dogs
● Veggie burgers (for all your vegetarian and vegan friends)
● Chicken breast
A good and successful barbecue always has some delicious appetizers to keep the guests happy and satisfied as they wait for their food to cook. Keep an idea for what appetizers you can include. They can either be homemade if you are feeling extra or can even just be little snacks you buy from the store. Either way you decide to do it, you can be sure that you are keeping your guests happy. Plus, good food encourages more people to socialize and stay in a good mood since incredibly hungry guests are more prone to being grumpy and more anti-social (if they are waiting too long).
● Cheese and fruit platter
● Chips and guacamole or salsa
● Chips and French onion dip
● Cut veggies with ranch or hummus
● Small pieces of bread with a spinach or queso dip
● Mini nachos
● Potato skins
● Buffalo wings
● Mozzarella sticks
● Light salad
No barbecue entree is complete without delicious barbecue sides to go with it! The sides are what help to tie the entree together. They can also be a way to enhance the meaty entrees that you have to serve. Sides are so necessary in a barbecue because they can offer little bit of crisp and light foods for when you are eating a lot of salty and meaty foods. It can be a way to cleanse your palate up a bit before diving up back into something hot and salty. They are also often cool and refreshing so they are a bit of an opposite to the entree allowing you to enjoy best of both worlds and have a balance. That way your guests don’t feel too gluttonous or overwhelmed by the food and can actually leave feeling good about the meal instead of feeling lethargic by what they just consumed.
● Green salad
● Baked beans
● Mashed potatoes
● Corn on the cob (or off)
● Pasta salad
● Potato salad
● Mac and cheese
Don’t forget the condiments! Do not get me wrong, barbecue food is amazing but condiments and barbecue food go hand in hand like macaroni and cheese and peanut butter and jelly. Besides the few odd ones out, many people need to have condiments with their food and cannot actually eat without them. I know I am that type of person. So, when planning your barbecue do not ever forget these tiny but mighty items. They are easy to buy and they offer a lot more variety for your guests to dress up the food in front of them to their own taste preferences.
● Hot sauce
● Barbecue sauce
● Hot sauce (my favorite condiment)
● Barbecue sauce
After a delicious salty and savory meal, your guests definitely need a way to fill up that sweet tooth that will surely be coming right after they have digested their foods. In reality your guests will say they shouldn’t but, in all honesty, everyone needs a little bite of sweet heaven after going crazy on all the salty and savory foods!
● Apple pie
● Ice cream
● Fruit salad
● Practically anything you can think of!
The food may be the spotlight of your barbecue, but don’t let it overshadow the fact that you need drinks! Drinks are so imperative especially since you are outside all day and most of the time it is really sunny and hot. Your guests need a way to stay cooled down, refreshed, and hydrated so that everyone is feeling their best. Stock up on drinks that will be appealing to all ages and audiences and be sure to either have your cooler or your refrigerator ready with all the drinks so that they are cold. It is really important that the drinks stay cool since lukewarm drinks for the most part are not fun to drink when it is already so hot outside. Cold beverages will surely hit the spot!
● Iced teas
● Sparkling water or juices
Supplies are Everything!
Other than food and drinks which are definitely the main attraction to your BBQ party, your supplies are just not if not more important. Without your supplies ready, ensuring that you can prepare and serve the food and drinks to the best standard will surely be difficult. Account for all the necessary BBQ supplies, utensils, clean up, set up, and more! All of it is so important, especially if your barbecue is not being thrown at home and you do not have access to your own supplies.
● Fire extinguisher
● Table cloths
● Plastic Ziploc bags
● Aluminum foil
● Aluminum trays
● Paper plates
● Plastic utensils (knives, forks, spoons)
● Plastic cups
● Wet wipes and paper towels
● Trash bags
● Bug repellant
● First aid kits
● Bottle openers
Here are the basics and tips of all the things that you need to know and be aware of when throwing your own awesome barbecue event! Surely if you take these tips and this checklist into consideration when planning your own BBQ, your party will be the hit of the summer! Hopefully with these in mind you can rest easy knowing that you know the basics and no surprises should be thrown in your face the day of or during the midst of the barbecue. So, relax and plan. If you plan ahead early then your barbecue is surely going to be a lot of fun to host!